Among the ancestors at Aidonia.
The Tombs of Aidonia Preservation, Heritage, and ExplOration Synergasia (TAPHOS) is a cooperative effort between the Nemea Center for Classical Archaeology & the Corinthian Ephorate of Antiquities of the Greek Ministry of Culture under the direction of Kim Shelton and Konstantinos Kissas. Ephoreia representative Dimitris Sakkas, Maro Nikitakou and the guards of the Nemea Archaeological Site, topographer Kostas Chronis, conservator Maria Dimitrakopoulou, and the mayor of Nemea, Konstantinos Kalantzis, provide tremendous support to our team and invaluable expertise during our time in Greece every summer.
The archaeological site of Aidonia is located in the southern Corinthia, Greece, and includes several Late Bronze Age cemeteries dating from the 15th to 13th centuries BCE. Our project focuses on one of these cemeteries that was discovered in the late 1970s and that contains at least 20 chamber tombs comparable in design and construction to the elite tombs uncovered at Mycenae. These chamber tombs sometimes contain burial goods and furnishings. Unfortunately, many tombs were looted in the 1970s. Some of the materials stolen in the 70s have been returned to Greece, but looting at the site has resumed and intensified in recent years.
The TAPHOS project is conducting systematic excavations in an attempt to recover information lost by illicit digging. Faculty and students work together with local workers to better understand the site’s use, its occupants, and its chronology. The team is also designing and implementing a program that will physically secure the site while providing education and outreach to the local community (and beyond) in an effort to increase awareness of the material destruction and loss of knowledge caused by looting. In the near future, the team plans to create a visitor’s center with exhibit and teaching spaces, provide training for local staff, establish proper pathways and signage for visiting the site, and use a local workforce to establish and implement security protocols that will provide for the long-term security of the site.
Revealing the many aspects of Mycenaean burial practices.
Fun in the field