Bronze age dating
This find may be even more important because the warrior pre-dates the time of Nestor and Neleus by, perhaps, 200 or 300 years.
That means he was likely an important figure at a time when this part of Greece was being indelibly shaped by close contact with Crete, Europe’s first advanced civilization.” Thus, the tomb may have held a powerful warrior or king – or even a trader or a raider – who died at about 30 to 35 years of age but who helped to lay the foundations of the Mycenaean culture that later flourished in the region.
This member of the elite was accompanied in the afterlife by about 50 seal-stones carved with intricate Minoan designs of goddesses as well as depictions of bulls and human bull jumpers soaring over their horns.
Four gold rings in the tomb contain fine Minoan carvings.
Davis speculates, “Whoever he was, he seems to have been celebrated for his trading or fighting in nearby island of Crete and for his appreciation of the more-sophisticated and delicate are of the Minoan civilization (found on Crete), with which he was buried.” The team found the tomb while working in the area of the Palace of Nestor, seeking clues as to how the palace and its rulers came to control an area encompassing all of modern Messenia in western Greece and supporting more than 50,000 inhabitants during the Bronze Age.
Davis says that researchers were there to try and figure out how the Palace of Nestor became a center of power and when this rise in power began, questions they now think the tomb may help answer.
Stocker stands in the shaft tomb the team uncovered.
“It is truly amazing that no ceramic vessels were included among the grave gifts.Though the palace was destroyed by fire sometime around 1200 B.C., it is nevertheless the best-preserved Bronze Age palace on the Greek mainland.This is one of more than four dozen seal stones with intricate Minoan designs found in the tomb.Long-horned bulls and, sometimes, human bull jumpers soaring over their horns are a common motif in Minoan designs.
The king who ruled at the Palace of Nestor controlled a vast territory that was divided into more than 20 districts with capital towns and numerous small settlements.