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Koumasa Prepalatial Cemetery

Place description

The prepalatial cemetery Koumasa is situated between the villages Loukia and Koumasa in the northern Asterousia range. This Minoan archaeological site was initially excavated by Stephanos Xanthoudides between 1904 and 1906, uncovering four graves (three vaulted graves and one rectangular). Each tomb contained various objects and burials from the Early Minoan Period.

Within the cemetery, remarkable pottery featuring rich dark decoration was discovered, and the style was named Koumasa style in honor of the location. The finds included clay and stone vessels, seals, figurines, tools, and three silver knives. A Minoan settlement, which has now been completely destroyed, was located above the tombs and included a sanctuary.

Minoan tholos, about 10 meters in diameter and a couple of meters in height, are believed to be the tombs of the elite and are often richly stocked with valuable objects. Although the site is primarily known for these sepulchral remains as part of Xanthoudides’ fundamental studies, the site extends further east. There, on the steep moundside and on top of the mound itself, Minoan archaeologists anticipate the location of the actual city and a precinct of bronze-age Koumasa.

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