Lefkandi Textile on display in the National Archaeological Museum
The British School at Athens is delighted to note that one of the most spectacular finds of the later 20th century is currently on display (until Sunday 5 May 2019) in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens in its ‘Invisible Museum’ series.
Prof. Irene Lemos (Oxford), who currently directs the Lefkandi project offers the following note on the context of the discovery and its significance:
“In 1981 the joint efforts of British and Greek archaeologists resulted in one of the most spectacular discoveries of the 20th century: at Lefkandi on the west coast of the island of Euboea, at the location known as Toumba, a monumental building – 50 m long and 10 m wide – was discovered dating to around 950 BC. The building’s function has been interpreted as funerary because of the burials discovered under its central room: two deep shafts had been dug into the rock to hold two human burials and that of four horses. The human burials were those of man whose cremated remains were found in a Cypriot bronze amphora covered by a bronze bowl; next to him was found the inhumed skeleton of a woman. The man was buried with the status of a warrior with an iron sword and spearhead and a whetstone, plus a unique garment that was carefully folded and placed in the urn. The woman buried next to him was decorated with exceptional gold jewellery and heirlooms, including a necklace dated to around 1700 BC and originating from Syria.
“For the first time since its discovery the exceptional garment from the male burial is on display in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Here is an opportunity to see an almost complete garment, unique for its early date (10th century BC) and its exceptional preservation. This unique find is currently under study by a team of Greek specialists on ancient textiles.”