American archeologists in Greece are the first people in 3,500 years to set eyes on the tomb and remains of an unknown warrior.
The team uncovered an adult male Mycenaean soldier lying on his back with weapons laid to his left and jewelry on his right. Kicking off in May, the excavation by archeologists from the University of Cincinnati found the tomb, which stands at 2.4 meters (7 foot 10 inches) long and 1.5 meters (4 foot 11 inches) wide. The tomb is located on Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula at the Palace of Nestor, Pylos – an area brought to life in Homer’s Odyssey.
The loot includes four gold rings, an ornate string of pearls, a bronze sword with a gold and ivory handle, metal vessels, ivory tools and thousands of beads of carnelian, amethyst, jasper, agate and gold.
Archeologists from the dig, Jack L Davis and Sharon R Stocker, have suggested that hundreds of pieces found in the tomb are heavily influenced by the Minoans, an earlier civilization that flourished 300 kilometers (190 miles) away in Crete from around 2000 B.C.E.
The news has got historians salivating and rubbing their hands together. It shows that the Mycenaeans were heavily influenced by the preceding Minoan culture, but also the transfer of culture and trade of goods between Crete and mainland Greece.
The life and identity of the soldier still remains unknown. However, archeologists have said that the fact the vessels in the tomb are made of metal, and not ceramic, is a strong indication this was an extremely rich person.
"It's almost as if the occupant wants his story to be told," Davis said in a statement. The archeology team will study the artifacts in detail, while anthropologist Lynne Schepartz, now of the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, will study the skeleton.
Shari Stocker, senior research associate in the Department of Classics, McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, described the find as "one of the most magnificent displays of prehistoric wealth discovered in mainland Greece in the past 65 years."