The Odyssey of a vaulted tomb of Tzannata Kefalonia

In the early 1990s, a Mycenaean vaulted tomb was discovered in Tzannata, Kefalonia (in the interior of Poros, in the Heraklion plain), where I come from. The largest of the Ionian Islands (and if I understand well the whole of Northwestern Greece), with a diameter of 7 meters and surviving, current height of 4 meters. Important excavation of the Bronze Age, logically a royal tomb.   

10 years ago, ruins of an elliptical building, perhaps a mansion, were discovered near it, indicating that there was probably a large Mycenaean center in the area. Over the years the tomb was damaged and needed maintenance. Took 4 years, 2 months and 14 days, and more than 1,000 pages of paperwork to join his tomb in the NSRF maintenance costs, despite the heroic efforts of former mayor and prefect Makis Metaxas and his associates of the Company s Studies Prehistoric Cephalonia. That is, it took about half a year for Odysseus to return from Troy to Ithaca, an incredible achievement!

In other parts of the world, the approval of the funds would have taken only a few months, a short report would have been enough and, of course, this whole archeological site would have already been excavated. Also, the local Archaeological Service would inform, as it should, the public about these important findings. But not the Ephorate of Antiquities of Kefallinia and Ithaca, on whose website there is not only a photo but, very strangely, not a word about these unique findings. But there are others, such as relatively insignificant Roman cemeteries on the island. It should be noted that on the website there is a reference to some bronze tripods found in the Museum of Ithaca, which “refer to the verse of the Homeric Odyssey in which the Phaeacians donated 13 bronze tripods to Odysseus”. Only these tripods were made in the 8th-9th BC. century,

History and Archeology are sciences. They are not compatible with bureaucratic or other gimmicks, with unfounded, unsupported theories, as well as with arbitrary interpretations and conclusions. And they do not reconcile with personal, religious, local and political interests. All this is always a brake on the established process of producing new knowledge, the cornerstone of our current culture. In the end, of course, science always wins. However, it helps to seriously evaluate and apply the opinions of experts in a timely manner.

In this case, the late Spyros Marinatos had proposed in 1958 to the then Directorate of Antiquities systematic excavations in Kefalonia lasting at least five years, which would solve questions of Prehistoric and Late Helladic Kefalonia and the Ionian Islands. If he had lived, I am sure that today there would have been systematic excavations in the Heraklion plain, as well as in Southern Kefalonia where he had excavated circa 1930. And the vaulted tomb would not have been, completely inexplicably, closed for a long time until the day before yesterday when they visited Heraklion the Secretary General of the Ministry of Culture and the Governor of the Ionian Islands. 

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