Bronze Age tombs are so rich in luxurious inventory they probably belonged to the rulers of the city, were discovered in the ancient city of Dromolaxia Vization on the southeast coast of Cyprus. The rich funerary decoration makes these tombs some of the richest ever found in the Mediterranean Bronze Age.
The graves were found in Site A, in a cemetery near the city. perimeter. The broken pottery had been churned up by plows during previous agricultural work, prompting archaeologists to scan the site with magnetometers that can transmit images of objects up to six feet below the soil surface. The magnetometer map revealed large cavities three to six feet below the surface.
During the excavations, three chamber tombs dating back to the 14th century BC were discovered. One was looted, probably in the 19th century, resulting in severe damage to grave goods and human remains. The scattered bones were collected for conservation and study. Archaeologists have also been able to unearth some jewelry and shards of pottery brought from the Mycenaean cultures of the Aegean, Egypt and Anatolia.
The other two tombs were never looted, although their chambers collapsed in antiquity. Between the two tombs, archaeologists have found more than 500 artifacts, including local pottery, jewelry, daggers, knives, spearheads, as well as imported pottery and decorative items from the Aegean, Anatolia, Egypt, and the Levant. Imported luxury goods also came from afar. There was amber from the Baltic Sea, for example, lapis lazuli from Afghanistan and dark red carnelian from India.
Several well-preserved skeletons in the tombs, including the skeleton of a woman, are surrounded by dozens of pottery vessels, jewelry, and a round bronze mirror that was once polished. Next to her lay a one-year-old child with a ceramic toy.
“Several persons, both men and women, wore diadems, and some had necklaces with pendants of the highest quality, probably made in Egypt during the 18th dynasty during the time of such pharaohs as Thutmose III and Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) and his wife of Nefertiti. “.
Relief images of bulls, gazelles, lions and flowers adorn diadems. Most of the pottery came from what we now call Greece, and the expedition also found pots from Turkey, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.
The grave goods also included bronze weapons, some of which were inlaid with ivory, and a seal set in gold, made of the hard mineral hematite, with inscriptions of gods and rulers.
Dromolaxia Vization was a late Bronze Age port city on the shores of the Larnaca Salt Lake that flourished from about 1630 to 1150 BC. Mines in the nearby Troodos Mountains produced copper ore, and between 1500 and 1300 BC the city flourished as a major center for copper mining. processing and export. Little is known about the city’s form of government, so it’s hard to tell if the people buried in the chamber tombs belonged to the royal family, but they certainly were part of the governance structure.