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date: 02 February 2023

Lefkandifree

Lefkandifree

  • R. W. V. Catling

Subjects

  • Greek Material Culture: Bronze Age

Lefkandi, a coastal site (ancient name unknown) in Euboea between Chalcis and Eretria. Inhabited from the early bronze age until its desertion c.700 bce, perhaps following the Lelantine War (see greece, history, archaic age), it flourished in the late Helladic IIIC period. During the Dark Ages Lefkandi was an important centre in a region uniting Euboea, Thessaly, east central Greece, and Scyros. Cemeteries spanning the 11th to 9th cents. have revealed significant wealth and, from c.950 bce, abundant evidence for contact with Cyprus and the Levant. A unique, massive apsidal building (almost 50×14 m. (164×46 ft.); c.1000 bce), with external and internal colonnades supporting a steep raking roof, represents a new form of monumental architecture following the end of the bronze age and prefigures Greek temple design. Inside the central hall were buried a man and woman, and four horses: woman and horses had apparently been killed in a chieftain's funeral ceremony. After a short life the building was demolished and covered with a mound. Whether it served as a chieftain's house, destroyed following his burial inside, or as a cult-place erected over a heroic warrior's tomb (see hero-cult), is debated.

Bibliography

  • M. R. Popham and others, Excavations at Lefkandi, Euboea, 1964–66 (1968).
  • M. Popham and others, Lefkandi I–IV (1979–2006).
  • Annual of the British School at Athens 1982, 213 ff.
  • Archaeological Reports 1988–9, 117 ff.
  • Excavations at Lefkandi’ 〈http://lefkandi.classics.ox.ac.uk/〉.