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Vapheio Tholos Tomb

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Michael Horst
Contributors: Elise Johnson, Michael Horst, Jeffrey Becker, Emily van Zanten, Dalton Parish, Adam Rabinowitz
Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Oct 27, 2017 02:42 PM History
The Vapheio Tholos Tomb is a Mycenaean tholos built around 1500 BC that is assumed to have held an elite burial or burials. It is best known for the two golden Minoan-style cups it housed.

37.020286, 22.467781

tomb, tumulus


The Vapheio Tholos Tomb is a Mycenaean burial place built around 1500 BC. It was excavated by Christos Tsountas in 1888. While the tomb was found nearly untouched, the skeleton of the deceased had deteriorated. Inside the tomb were numerous gems and precious metal vessels, the most notable of which were two golden cups with intricate relief decorations. The cups, positioned as if to be held one in each hand by the deceased, have Minoan motifs in their decorations that have led some to believe that they were imports from Crete. Others have argued that one, which depicted bulls being lured and tethered, was Minoan in origin, while the other, which depicted bulls being violently captured, was created in Mycenae. Furthermore, one cup has much deeper and defined groves, akin to Minoan reliefs, while the other is more shallow and has superficial incisions. The origin of the tomb's most notable artifacts continues to be debated.

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Michael Horst, Elise Johnson, Michael Horst, Jeffrey Becker, Emily van Zanten, Dalton Parish, and Adam Rabinowitz, 'Vapheio Tholos Tomb: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2017 <> [accessed: 08 April 2020]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 172198383 (Vapheio Tholos Tomb) |author=Horst, M. |accessdate=April 8, 2020 2:18 am |publisher=Pleiades}}