Department of Classics and Archaeology

Mycenaean chamber tombs at Epidaurus Limera, Laconia

This project works on the study and publication of the major corpus of archaeological material from the Mycenaean chamber tombs at Epidaurus Limera in south-eastern Laconia, Greece, one of the few sites that flourished uninterruptedly from the Late Helladic I (ca. 1680 BC) until after the collapse of the Mycenaean palatial administration (ca. 1060 BC).

Mycenaean stirrup jar from the chamber tomb cemetery at Epidaurus Limera, Laconia.Mycenaean strainer jug from the chamber tomb cemetery at Epidaurus Limera, Laconia.


Project overview

The main research aims for the project are:

a) examining the creation and subsequent history of the new Mycenaean mortuary tradition, mainly the introduction of the chamber tomb to the mainland, in relation to the Middle Helladic past and the newly introduced elements

b) assessing aspects of trade and cultural interaction between Epidaurus Limera, south-east Laconia and other communities in the Aegean throughout the Mycenaean period

c) reconstructing the process of (re)invention of tradition and identity in Mycenaean communities

d) framing a hermeneutic model for the archaeological study of the role of memory and tradition in the formation of cultural identity in prehistoric societies.

The project includes the full study and publication of the corpus of Late Helladic material from the chamber tombs at Epidaurus Limera, with comparisons drawn from other excavated ceramic assemblages from Laconia, and from the prehistoric material from the British Surveys (1907/ A.J.B. Wace and F.W. Hasluck, 1936-9/H. Waterhouse and R. Hope Simpson) on the Malea peninsula and of the British explorations at the submerged Bronze Age site at Pavlopetri (1968/A. Harding at al.).



Gallou, C. 2009. “Epidaurus Limera: The tale of a Laconian site in Mycenaean times‟ in Proceedings of the Conference ‘Sparta & Lakonia: From Prehistory to Pre-modern times’, ed. W.G. Cavanagh, C. Gallou and M. Georgiadis. BSA Studies 16, pp. 84-93. London.

Gallou, C. in press. The chamber tombs at Epidaurus Limera and the Mycenaean burial tradition in south-east Laconia.

Public engagement

Public lectures on the project and the archaeology of prehistoric Laconia have been delivered at University of Berkeley, California (2008), the Greek-American Association at New Jersey (2010), the ex-Municipality of Boiae (2007-2010) and the Municipality of Kythera (2011).

Project team

Principal investigator: Chrysanthi Gallou


The following should be acknowledged for their valuable assistance received throughout the project:

  • Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports
  • Greek Archaeological Society at Athens
  • University of Nottingham (Department of Classics and Archaeology, Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies)

The project has received generous funding from University of Nottingham (Arts Faculty Fellowship), the J.F. Costopoulos Foundation, the Shelby White & Levy Léon Foundation for Archaeological Publications, INSTAP, The Mediterranean Archaeological Trust, The British Academy (Overseas Conference Grant, The Robert Kiln Charitable Trust and private sponsors.


Department of Classics and Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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