The Pseira Cemetery II: Excavation of the Tombs (Pseira VII) (Prehistory Monographs, Volume 6)
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Richard B. Seager excavated the Minoan cemetery at Pseira in 1907, but the work was never published. The Temple University excavations (1985–1994) under the direction of Philip P. Betancourt and Costis Davaras conducted an intensive surface survey of the cemetery area, cleaned and drew plans of all visible tombs, and excavated tombs that had not been previously excavated. The results of the cemetery excavations on the small island off the northeast coast of Crete are published in two volumes. Pseira VII presents the results from the excavation and cleaning of the 19 tombs that still exist at the Pseira cemetery. The cemetery is remarkable for the diversity of its tomb types. Burials were in cist graves built of vertical slabs (a class with Cycladic parallels), in small tombs constructed of fieldstones, in house tombs, and in jars. Burials were communal, as is usual in Minoan cemeteries. Artifacts included clay vases, stone vessels, obsidian, bronze tools, jewelry, and other objects.
use by EM I. One sherd of the stand no. PS 1587 (no. 4.57) was found in the upper level (for the context of the other fragments, see Tomb 4). COARSE FABRIC, EM I 3.9, Fig. 30 (PS 1588; T1570E 1900N-1). Carinated jug, body sherd. D of vessel at carination ca. 18–20. A coarse fabric (reddish yellow, 5YR 7/6). Carinated jug. Vertical lines on body. Comments: Hagios Onouphrios I Ware (Betancourt 1985, 29–31); the diameter of the body indicates this sherd can only have come from a carinated jug;
areas and black areas on exterior. Comments: Probably Vasilike Ware (see no. 4.3). Date: EM IIB. FOrEIGN FABrIC, EM I–IIA 4.74, Fig. 34 (PS 1827; T1575E 1905N-2). Pyxis, base sherd. D of base 8. A fine fabric (brown, 10Yr 5/3); Vaughan 2002, Fabric 16. Pronounced base; vertical wall. Incised decoration on exterior: herringbone. Comments: This pyxis is an import from the Cyclades. Parallels: See (among others) Doumas 1977, pl. 25a (Lakkoudes, Naxos), pl. 28c (Akrotiri, Naxos); Papathanasopoulos
collected by Seager. The stratigraphy at the bottom of the tomb (in the loose soil) suggests that the TOMB 5 small jug had been moved by Seager’s expedition, although it was not collected. Most of the finds from this location probably come originally from this tomb, but a few of the fragments possibly washed down the hill from the architectural complex of Tomb 6, Space 6A, and Tomb 4. The pottery demonstrates that the tomb had a long period of use. The only complete pot is a 55 small jug
supervision of Philip P. Betancourt, but it was not excavated. No objects were found either in or near the empty chamber. Tomb 19 consisted of an irregular shallow cave (a rock shelter) and an even shallower hollow to the south. The two shallow cavities were located in a cliff of calcrete that formed the western side of the creek at the eastern limits of the cemetery. The entrance was 0.80 m wide and 0.62 m high. The cave was deeper than its width, reaching 0.97 m back into the rock. At the south
the marks were made by cutting, chopping, sawing, or scraping, what sort of instrument was used, and whether the cuts were made while the person was living and exhibit signs of healing (Hughes 1991, 196). Whatever the truth, it has been suggested to the excavator by a senior forensic pathologist that those responsible for the flesh removal were in fact not butchers, but well practiced, skilled and knowledgeable surgeons (P.M. Warren, personal communication July 1996). TOMB 13 Tomb 13 is a