The Prepalatial Cemetery of


Koumasa Prepalatial Cemetery
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The prepalatial cemetery Koumasa is located between the villages Loukia and Koumasa in north Asterousia range. This Minoan archaeological site was first excavated by Stephanos Xanthoudides in 1904-1906 and four graves came to light (three vaulted graves and one rectangular). All the tombs contained various objects and burials dating from the Early Minoan Period.

In the cemetery, some impressive pottery with rich dark decoration was found and, in honor of the place, the style that was constructed was named Koumasa style. Among the finds were clay and stone vessels, seals, figurines, tools and three silver knives. Above the tombs was a Minoan settlement, which includes a sanctuary that has now been completely destroyed.

About 10 meters in diameter and a couple of meters in height, minoan tholos are considered to be the tombs of the elite and often richly-stocked with valuable objects. Though the site is known mainly for these sepulcral remains, as being part of Xanthoudides fundamental studies, the site extends further to the east. There, on the steep moundside as well as on top of the mound itself, Minoan archaeologists expect the position of the actual city and a precinct of bronze-age Koumasa.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Tombs
  • Peak Period: Minoan Era (3000 BC-1200 BC)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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