by Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- A Mycenean-era carved tombs, one of the largest of such tombs ever found in Greece, has been unearthed in Orchomenos, about 100 km northwest of Greek capital of Athens, the Greek Culture Ministry announced on Monday.
Dated back to the middle of the 14th century B.C., it is the ninth-largest chamber tomb out of roughly 4,000 excavated in the last 150 years, according to an e-mailed press release.
The discovery was made in Prosilio site during the first year of a five-year cooperation program between the local Viotia Antiquities Ephorate and the British School at Athens (BSA) and Cambridge University.
Measuring 42 square meters with 20-metre carved "road" leading up to it, the death chamber has all its four walls with a carved ledge covered in clay plaster, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.
The initial height of its roof is estimated to be 3.5 metres high.
On the floor of the chamber, archaeologists found the remains of a man aged 40 or 50 years old, surrounded by horses' reins, bow parts, arrows, pins, jewelry, combs, a seal and a seal ring.
The discovery of a single burial with significant finds is exceptionally rare, since Mycenean chamber tombs tended to be reused for multiple burials across generations, so that grave goods were disturbed or looted, the ministry said.
The Prosilio tomb is exceptional in that all the items found were linked to the single dead body buried there, giving archaeologists greater insights into burial practices of the period.
The tomb is believed to be linked to the nearby Orchomenos palace complex that dominated the area in the 14th and 13th centuries B.C. and to belong to a member of the upper social classes of the time.