The surprise discovery of the mysterious Griffin Warrior at Pylos promises to reveal fresh insights into that crucial point in European history when the Minoan customs of island Crete gave way to the emergent culture on mainland Greece. Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker reveal this treasureladen tomb from the dawn of Mycenaean civilisation.
he tomb of the Griffin Warrior is one of the richest found on mainland Greece in recent years. This Bronze Age burial belongs to the
Ttransitional period in European prehistory when the Minoan culture of island Crete gave way to that of the Mycenaeans on the mainland, and its lavish grave goods are not only some of the most spectacular to have been recovered in the last few years, but are also providing important new information about the emergence of mainland Europe's earliest civilisation.
The grave sits on a hilltop in Messenia, near the village of Chora, overlooking the south-west coast of the Peloponnese. It was here, in 1939, that Carl Blegen of the University of Cincinnati and Konstantinos Kourouniotis, director of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, discovered a Bronze Age palace - and though they were not to know it at the time, the palace turned out to be one of