The Tholos Tomb at Tzanata

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The Tholos Tomb at Tzanata

The tomb at Bourdzi, just outside Tzannata, in a lovely setting of olive trees, cypresses and oaks, was discovered in 1991 and excavated by the archaeologist Dr. Lazaros Kolonas. This prehistoric Mycenaean tomb was used for royal burials from 1350-1100 BC.

It is the biggest vaulted tomb yet found on the Ionian Islands or northwestern Greece and as such unique in its kind. The chamber has a diameter of 6.80 m and the walls of the vault are standing to a height of 3.95 m. The roof of the vault fell in, probably during the Venetian period, and the tomb remained buried under the hill until its recent rediscovery.

Although looted in antiquity, it still contained valuable grave goods. Some of the finds, including clay vases, gold jewellery, seal stones, a miniature gold axe, two gold rosettes, a gold plaquette with a relief of a nautilus, gold beads and plaquettes of glass paste, are in the collection of the Argostoli Archaeological Museum.

The size of the tomb, the nature of its burial offerings, and its well-chosen position, point to the existence of an important Mycenaean center in the vicinity. This may be significant in connection with the ongoing search for the capital of king Odysseus’ legendary kingdom Ithaca, so vividly described in Homers’ epics.

The entrance to the tomb is signposted at the central road on the way to Poros village. Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday 08:30-15:00. Closed on Mondays and public holidays.

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