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Mass grave near Athens linked to Cylonian affair

Archaeologists digging in the area of the Faliron Delta, a coastal area in southern Athens which served as a port for Athens in classical age, have discovered an ancient mass grave containing 80 bodies, placed side by side, some of whom are shackled, an antiquities curator said on Wednesday.

Mass grave near Athens linked to Cylonian affair
The individuals buried in the mass grave had their hands shackled [Credit: Ministry of Culture, Greece]
From the research conducted so far, 50 percent of the area has been cleaned and the bones recovered appear to be young men, well-built, with excellent dentition, who do not appear to have bone fractures.

Mass grave near Athens linked to Cylonian affair
The trefoil oinochoe between the legs of one of the skeletons helped datethe mass grave to the third quarter 
of the 7th century BC  [Credit: Ministry of Culture, Greece]
One skeleton was discovered with an arrowhead stuck in its shoulder which points to a possible capture, archaeologist Stella Chrysoulaki from the Ephorate of Piraeus, Western Attica, and the Islands, said in a presentation at the Central Archaeological Council.

Mass grave near Athens linked to Cylonian affair
Aerial photo of the mass grave unearthed in the Phaleron Delta  [Credit: Ministry of Culture, Greece]
The importance of the findings, which came to light during the past 20 days and were found at a depth of a mere 2.5 meters, is that they can be safely dated, because of the presence of two trefoil jugs discovered nearby, placing them at the third quarter of the 7th century BC. This date may connect the skeletons with the Cylonian affair.

Mass grave near Athens linked to Cylonian affair
Aerial photo of the excavations in the Phaleron Delta [Credit: Ministry of Culture, Greece]
Chrysoulaki said the findings have a huge historical significance and require a close cooperation between the State and the Niarchos Foundation, which is funding the excavation, to best present and conserve the site.

See also: Shackled skeletons to shed light on ancient Athens

Source: ANA-MPA [April 13, 2016]

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