Middle Helladic Tombs at Nydri Plain, Lefkas Island. An Archaeological and Paleoanthropological Study

Authors

  • Vivian Staikou
  • Panagiotis D. Sianis
  • Despoina Vassou
  • Nikolaos Psonis
  • Morten E. Allentoft
  • George Iliopoulos

Keywords:

Nydri Plain, Lefkas Island, Middle Helladic Tombs

Abstract

The prehistoric record of Lefkas and the smaller neighboring islands is fairly extensive. The oldest archaeological material dates back to the Middle Palaeolithic period. The Neolithic period is also attested by archaeological finds in five caves. Even though Early (EH) and Middle Helladic (MH) periods have been known since the 1920s due to Dőrpfeld’s excavations, the archaeological data from the Late Bronze Age are scarce. A small Mycenaean tholos tomb has been excavated at Agios Nikitas, while several LH tumuli have been unearthed at the neighboring Meganissi Island.

References

Allentoft, M., Sikora, M., Sjögren, K., Rasmussen, S., Rasmussen, M., Stenderup, J., Damgaard, P.B., Schroeder, H., Ahlström, T., Vinner, L., Malaspinas, A., Margaryan, A., Higham, T., Chivall, D., Lynnerup, N., Harvig, L., Baron, J., Casa, P.D., Dąbrowski, P., Duffy, P.R., Ebel, A.V., Epimakhov, A., Frei, K., Furmanek, M., Gralak, T., Gromov, A., Gronkiewicz, S., Grupe, G., Hajdu, T., Jarysz, R., Khartanovich, V., Khokhlov, A., Kiss, V., Kolář, J., Kriiska, A., Lasak, I., Longhi, C., McGlynn, G., Merkevicius, A., Merkyte, I., Metspalu, M., Mkrtchyan, R., Moiseyev, V., Paja, L., Pálfi, G., Pokutta, D., Pospieszny, Ł., Price, T.D., Saag, L., Sablin, M., Shishlina, N., Smrčka, V., Soenov, V.I., Szeverényi, V., Tóth, G., Trifanova, S.V., Varul, L., Vicze, M., Yepiskoposyan, L., Zhitenev, V., Orlando, L., Sicheritz-Pontén, T., Brunak, S., Nielsen, R., Kristiansen, K., and E. Willerslev 2015. Population genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia. Nature 522: 167.

Berrizbeitia, E. L. 1989. Sex determination with the head of the radius. Journal of Forensic Sciences. 34(5): 1206-1213.

Bidmos, M. A., Steinberg, N. and K. L. Kuykendall 2005. Patella measurements of South African whites as sex assessors. HOMO- Journal of Comparative Human Biology 56(1): 69–74.

Blackburn, E. T., 1970. Middle Helladic Graves and Burial Customs with special references to Lerna in the Argolid. Unpublished PhD. dissertation. University of Cincinnati.

Boyd, M. J., 2002. Middle Helladic and Early Mycenaean Mortuary Practices in the Southern and Western Peloponnese (BAR International Series 1009). Oxford: Archaeopress.

Briggs, A.W., Stenzel, U., Johnson, P.L.F., Green, R.E., Kelso, J., Prüfer, K., Meyer, M., Krause, J., Ronan, M.T., Lachmann, M. and S. Pääbo 2007. Patterns of damage in genomic DNA sequences from a Neandertal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104: 14616-14621.

Buikstra, J. E., and D. Ubelaker 1994. Standards for data collection from human skeletal remains (Research series 44). Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Dickinson O.T.P.K. 1994. The Aegean Bronze Age Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dietz, S. 1980. Asine II, Results of the Excavations East of the Acropolis 1970-1974. The Middle Helladic Cemetery, The Middle Helladic and Early Mycenaean Deposits. Stockholm.

Dietz, S., 1991. The Argolid at the Transition to the Mycenaean Age: Studies in the Chronology and Cultural Development in the Shaft Grave Period. Copenhagen: The National Museum of Denmark, Department of Near Eastern and Classical Antiquities.

Dörpfeld W. 1927. Alt-Ithaka: ein Beitrag zur Homer-Frage, Studien und Ausgrabungen aus der insel Leukas-Ithaka. München.

Galanidou, N., Iliopoulos, G., Papoulia, C. 2016. The Palaeolithic settlement of Lefkas: Archaeological evidence in a palaeogeographic context. Journal of Greek Archaeology 1: 1-32.

Galanidou N., Iliopoulos G., Papoulia C. and Staikou V. 2018. Παλαιολιθική Λευκάδα. Πρόσφατες έρευνες, in Vikatou O., Staikou V., Saranti F. (eds) To Αρχαιολογικό έργο στην Αιτωλοακαρνανία και τη Λευκάδα, Πρακτικά 2ου Διεθνούς Ιστορικού και Αρχαιολογικού Συνεδρίου (Μεσολόγγι 6-8 Δεκεμβρίου 2013): 475-491. Μεσολόγγι.

Gilbert, M.T., Bandelt, H.J., Hofreiter, M. and I. Barnes 2005. Assessing ancient DNA studies. Trends in ecology & evolution 20: 541-544.

Gimbutas M. 1965. Bronze Age cultures in Central and Eastern Europe. The Hague: Mouton & Co.

Gualdi-Russo, E. 2007. Sex determination from the talus and calcaneus measurements. Forensic Science International 171(2-3): 151–156.

Jónsson, H., Ginolhac, A., Schubert, M., Johnson, P.L.F. and L. Orlando 2013. mapDamage2.0: fast approximate Bayesian estimates of ancient DNA damage parameters. Bioinformatics 29: 1682-1684.

Karo, G. 1932. Die Schachtgräber von Mykenai. München: Βruckmann.

Κassimi-Soutou, M. 1980. Μεσοελλαδικός τάφος πολεμιστή από τη Θήβα. Αrchaiologikon Deltion 35, Μελέτες: 88-101.

Κilian–Dirlmeier, I. 1997. Alt-Ägina IV, 3: Das mittel-bronzezeitliche Schachtgrab von Ägina. Mainz.

Kilian-Dirlmeier, I. 2005. Die bronzezeitlichen Gräber bei Nydri auf Leukas: Ausgrabungen von W. Dörpfeld 1903-1913. Mainz.

Kourtessi-Philippakis G. 2008. Τα λίθινα στο έργο του W. Dörpfeld. Προσεγγίσεις και ερμηνείες, στο Χ. Παπαδάτου-Γιαννοπούλου (επιμ.) Διεθνές Συνέδριο αφιερωμένο στον Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Πρακτικά Συνεδρίου, Λευκάδα 6-11 Αυγούστου 2006: 167-188. Πάτρα.

Kranioti, E. F. and M. Michalodimitrakis 2009. Sexual dimorphism of the humerus in contemporary Cretans--a population-specific study and a review of the literature. Journal of Forensic Sciences 54(5): 996–1000.

Li, H. and R. Durbin 2009. Fast and accurate short read alignment with Burrows–Wheeler transform. Bioinformatics 25: 1754-1760.

Li, H., Handsaker, B., Wysoker, A., Fennell, T., Ruan, J., Homer, N., Marth, G., Abecasis, G., Durbin, R. and Genome Project Data Processing Subgroup 2009. The Sequence Alignment/Map format and SAMtools. Bioinformatics 25: 2078-2079.

Lindgreen, S. 2012. AdapterRemoval: easy cleaning of next-generation sequencing reads. BMC Research. Notes 5: 337-337.

Lovejoy, C. O. 1985. Dental wear in the Libben population: its functional pattern and role in the determination of adult skeletal age at death. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 68(1): 47–56.

Μatzanas, Ch. 2010. Η εξέλιξη των αιχμών βελών αποκρουσμένου λίθου κατά την Εποχή του Χαλκού με ιδιαίτερη έμφαση στην Υστεροελλαδική περίοδο. Archaiologikon Deltion 57, Α΄ Μελέτες (2002): 1-52. Αθήνα.

McKenna, A., Hanna, M., Banks, E., Sivachenko, A., Cibulskis, K., Kernytsky, A., Garimella, K., Altshuler, D., Gabriel, S., Daly, M. and M. A. DePristo 2010. The Genome Analysis Toolkit: A MapReduce framework for analyzing next-generation DNA sequencing data. Genome Research 20: 1297-1303.

Mittnik, A., Wang, C., Svoboda, J. and J. Krause 2016. A Molecular Approach to the Sexing of the Triple Burial at the Upper Paleolithic Site of Dolní Věstonice. PLOS ONE 11, e0163019

Morris, C.E. 1990. In Pursuit of the White Tusked Boar: Aspects of Hunting in Mycenaean Society, in: Hagg, R., Nordquist, G.C. (eds) Celebrations of Death and Divinity in the Bronze Age Argolid: Proceedings of the Sixth International Symposium at the Swedish Institute at Athens, 11-13 June, 1988: 149-156. Stockholm.

Nordquist, G. C. 1979. Dead Society. A Study of the Intramural Cemetery at Lerna. Unpublished MA dissertation, University of Southampton, Department of Archaeology.

Okonechnikov, K., Conesa, A. and F. García-Alcalde 2016. Qualimap 2: advanced multi-sample quality control for high-throughput sequencing data. Bioinformatics 32: 292-294.

Peckmann, T. R., Orr, K., Meek, S. and S. K. Manolis 2015. Sex determination from the talus in a contemporary Greek population using discriminant function analysis. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine 33(July): 14–19.

Rogers, T.L. 1999. A visual method of determining the sex of skeletal remains using the distal humerus. Journal of Forensic Sciences 44(1): 57-60.

Ruff, C. B., Holt, B. M., Niskanen, M., Sladék, V., Berner, M., Garofalo, E., Garvin, H. M., Hora, M., Maijanen, H., Niinimäki, S., Salo, K., Schuplerová, E. and D. Tompkins 2012. Stature and Body Mass Estimation From Skeletal Remains in the European Holocene. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 148: 601–617.

Sawyer, S., Krause, J., Guschanski, K., Savolainen, V. and S. Pääbo 2012. Temporal Patterns of Nucleotide Misincorporations and DNA Fragmentation in Ancient DNA. PLOS ONE 7, e34131.Schubert, M., Ginolhac, A., Lindgreen, S., Thompson, J.F., Al-Rasheid, K.A.S., Willerslev, E., Krogh, A. and L. Orlando 2012. Improving ancient DNA read mapping against modern reference genomes. BMC Genomics 13: 178-178.

Skoglund, P., Storå, J., Götherström, A. and M. Jakobsson 2013. Accurate sex identification of ancient human remains using DNA shotgun sequencing. Journal of Archaeological Science. 40: 4477-4482

Souyoudzoglou-Haywood, Ch. 1999. The Ionian Islands in the Bronze Age and Early Iron Age 3000-800ΒC. Liverpool.

Staikou, V. 2018. Πρόσφατα ευρήματα της Eποχής του Χαλκού στους πρόποδες του Σκάρου. Ένας αιώνας από τις έρευνες του W. Dörpfeld στην πεδιάδα του Νυδριού Λευκάδας, in Vikatou O., Staikou V., Saranti F. (eds) To Αρχαιολογικό έργο στην Αιτωλοακαρνανία και τη Λευκάδα, Πρακτικά 2ου Διεθνούς Ιστορικού και Αρχαιολογικού Συνεδρίου (Μεσολόγγι 6-8 Δεκεμβρίου 2013): 433-444. Μεσολόγγι.

Stavropoulou-Gatsi M. 2008. Μυκηναϊκός θολωτός τάφος στον Άγιο Νικητα Λευκάδας, in Papadatou-Giannopoulou Ch. (ed.) Διεθνές συνέδριο αφιερωμένο στον Wilhelm Dörpfeld. Πρακτικά συνεδρίου. Λευκάδα 6-11 Αυγούστου 2006: 534-535. Πάτρα, Παράρτημα.

Steele, D. G. and T. W. McKern 1969. A method for assessment of maximum long bone length and living stature from fragmentary long bones. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 31(2): 215–227.

Τsountas, Ch. 1908. Αί προΐστορικαί Ακροπόλεις ∆ιµηνίου και Σέσκλου. Αθήναι: Βιβλιοθήκη της εν Αθήναις Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας.

Vikatou O. 2018. Oι τύμβοι του Μεγανησίου, in Vikatou O., Staikou V., Saranti F. (eds) To Αρχαιολογικό έργο στην Αιτωλοακαρνανία και τη Λευκάδα, Πρακτικά 2ου Διεθνούς Ιστορικού και Αρχαιολογικού Συνεδρίου (Μεσολόγγι 6-8 Δεκεμβρίου 2013): 399-432. Μεσολόγγι.

Voutsaki, S., Triantaphyllou, S. and Milka, E. 2005. Project on the Middle Helladic Argolid: a report on the 2004 season. Pharos 12: 31-40.

Waterhouse, E. 1952. Excavations at Stavros, Ithaca, in 1937. The Annual of the British School at Athens 47: 227-242.

Willerslev, E. and A. Cooper 2005. Review Paper. Ancient DNA. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 272: 3-16.

Zachos K. and Douzougli A. 2003. Λευκάδα. Ιστορική – Αρχαιολογική επισκόπηση μέσα από τα εκθέματα του Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου. Υπουργείο Πολιτισμού. ΙΒ’ ΕΠΚΑ.

Published

09.12.2021

How to Cite

Staikou, V., Sianis, P. D., Vassou, D., Psonis, N., Allentoft, M. E., & Iliopoulos, G. (2021). Middle Helladic Tombs at Nydri Plain, Lefkas Island. An Archaeological and Paleoanthropological Study. Journal of Greek Archaeology, 6, 43–60. Retrieved from http://archaeopresspublishing.com/ojs/index.php/JGA/article/view/1040