3,000-year-old family grave

An unplundered family grave, dating back over 3,000 years, has been discovered in the southern Peloponnese, the Culture Ministry said yesterday. The Mycenaean chamber tomb, an artificial cave dug into the soft rock, was found during terracing work on a knoll near the village of Peristeri, some 47 kilometers southeast of Sparta. It contained the skeletons of nine adults and a child, and was furnished with grave goods made of clay, bronze and semiprecious stones – including a steatite seal-stone, a bronze razor and a pair of tweezers used by Mycenaean women to pluck their eyebrows. The child’s bones were ringed with upturned vases. The finds, tentatively dated to between 1340 and 1050 BC, were extracted during a feverish dig carried out around the clock for security reasons, in which state archaeologists and laborers were helped by local residents.