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Culture Archaeology Monuments Macedonian Graves Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Prefecture of Evros Municipality of Metaxades

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02/12/2007
Tomb at Elaphochori

Aikaterinh Balla
Source: C.E.T.I.
© Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace
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A random excavation in a tumulus at the region of Didymoteicho, between the villages of Elafochori and Dafni, brought to light the first subterranean “Thracian” tomb. It does not belong to any ancient settlement but forms part of a number of tombs in Northern Evros incorporated in tumuli and related to the farms of the region.

Although it is Macedonian-type tomb, it has some special morphologic features. It is made with hewn cornerstones, probably originating from the Metaxades tufa quarry. It consists of a passageway, an antechamber and a chamber resembling the family tombs, similar to the Macedonian type. The saddle-roofed funeral chamber has a semicircular apse and contains a box-shaped bed and a cist grave on the floor. Both the passageway and the antechamber are roofed in the truncated pyramid style. The chambers floors are paved with slabs. The tomb, already known since 1953, was restored in 1976.

Of great interest are the pottery sherds of pointed-bottom amphorae as well as the nozzles of Hellenistic lamps and the scarce handmade pottery sherds found in the tumulus, which might date to the prehistoric times. Still, the chronology of these finds was disputed in the past. Mr. Bakalakis claimed that these handmade pottery sherds were transferred to that area along with the earth that covered the tombs and also stated that the existence of amphorae and lamps testifies that rituals took place on the tomb. Yet, Mr. Euthymiou dated the tomb to the prehistoric period. However, according to the archaeological evidence – especially the extension of the apse on the main chamber – it seems that Mr. Bakalakis dated more accurately these finds to the early Hellenistic era (between the late 4th and the early 3rd centuries BC). Now most scholars coincide with this theory.