Lefkandi, Euboea

Lefkandi, Euboea

– Fig. 1. Map of the Greek island Euboea.

– Fig. 2. Landscape of Lefkandi, Euboea.

Located on the island of Euboea, off the eastern coast of Greece, the site of Lefkandi hosts an exceptional number of rich and complex historical finds. Among the ruins of Euboea, Lefkandi’s landscape preserved one of the most fascinating structures of attribute to the success of the Dark Age period. This building structure, stretching 13.80 meters in width and 50 meters in length, is known for its careful and precise construction (Biers 102). Its composition is comprised of mud brick on a stone socle, much like smaller houses of the Dark Age period, however, a line of pits were dug for rectangular pillars in order to host a veranda approximately 1.80 meters deep. It is within the confines of this structure, and in near by tombs, that we see some of the most compelling aspects of society in that time: Grecian burial artifacts.

– Fig. 3. Details of apsidal building at Lefkandi as reconstructed. Drawing by J.J. Coulton from M.R. Popham, P.G. Kalligas, and L.H. Sackett, Lefkandi II: The Protogeometric Building at Toumba, pt. 2: The excavation, Architecture, and Finds (Athens, 1993).

The burial sites at Lefkandi have preserved some of the most remarkable burial remains and archaeological materials found within the Dark Age Period, specifically in the years of 1020 B.C to 750 B.C. Within the buildings “toumba” and great “heroon”, were key finds and artifacts. The richness of these constructed burials within the toumba and heroon were exceptionally evident through their offerings of precious jewels and metals, Protogeometric pottery and vessels, as well as terra cotta figurines, and iron and bronze metalwork (Lefkandi I. 4). Adding to this building’s import, the execution and presence of unique apsidal building structure, and sophistication of the building’s elements, for example colonnades, lent itself to much excavation and attention, indicating that Lefkandi had held a particular shine and significance to the Dark Ages (Biers 103).

– Fig. 4. Birds-eye perspective of an apsidal building at Lefkandi.

The particular grave sites located within the apsidal building of Lefkandi currently illustrate remarkable finds that further convince us that life may have attained a higher level of civilization than we had thought, at least in that area (Biers 99). Contained within the structure were the cremated remains of a warrior in a bronze amphora made in Cyprus in the late thirteenth or twelfth century, a skeleton of a woman, and the bones of four different horses. Though there is skepticism as to whether or not Lefkandi served as a funeral monument in itself, or rather a place where the deceased could finally rest in peace, there is no disputing its exceptional significance and critical role in preserving Dark Age grave offerings and burials (Biers 102).

Works Cited:

           Biers, William R. The Archaeology of Greece: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Ithaca:
Cornell UP, 1996. Print.

           “Cemeteries.” New Excavations. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012.

            “Lefkandi.” Maat. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012.

            “Map of Euboea.” Rosetta. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2012.

Popham, M. R., et al. “Lefkandi I. The Iron Age. Text. The Settlement. The Cemeteries.”
                 The British School at Athens 11 (1980): 1-464. Jstor. Web. 2 Dec. 2012.

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