Before the creation of the Agora as a civic center in the 7th century B.C., the region northwest of the Acropolis was a vast cemetery. Over 150 ancient burial places have been found by excavators, and a few of the more remarkable are described here. These range from a wealthy Mycenaean chamber tomb, filled with the vases and jewelry of a rich noblewoman, to the poignant pithos burial of an infant from around 725 B.C., accompanied by eight tiny vases. As well as describing the assemblages found, the author discusses the symbolism of funeral rites and the information about social status and identity that burials reveal.
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