THE PROTOGEOMETRIC BUILDING AND THE CEMETERY OF TOUMBA
The building is a monumental structure (50 x 13.8 meters) and was erected in the middle of the tenth century BC
The main entrance is to the east, while in the west the building has a curved (or ‘apsidal’) end, a feature typical of the period. It is divided into three rooms: the East, the Central and the Apse. The last of these was approached through a wide corridor flanked by two rooms. A row of wooden columns run down the central axis of the building which supported the thatched roof.
A remarkable feature of this building was the discovery of a row of post-holes running along the north and south walls and round the apse which supported a wooden veranda (peristrasis). This is earliest example in Greek Architecture and anticipates later uses in Greek temples.
In the central room two burial shafts were found: one contained the cremated body of a man buried with his weapons and an inhumed woman with remarkable jewellery; the other contained the remains of four horses.
After the destruction and the deliberate covering of the building and the burials with a mound, the area in front of the east entrance was used as a cemetery. Those buried here were probably members of the same kin group (or oikos) as those buried inside the building.
They belonged to a distinguished elite group which chose to display its wealth with rich offerings given to their dead. Their grave offerings include local and imported pottery, jewellery, iron weapons and luxurious goods most of them imported from the eastern Mediterranean and others from northern Greece.
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