AIA Site Preservation Grant to Preserve Mycenaean Chamber Tomb in Greece
June 4, 2015

Photo courtesy of Nemea Center, UC Berkeley

BOSTONJune 4, 2015—The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) awarded a Site Preservation Grant to the Tombs of Aidonia Preservation, Heritage, and Exploration Synergasia (TAPHOS), a cooperative effort between the Nemea Center for Classical Archaeology, UC Berkeley, and the Korinthian Ephorate of Antiquities of the Greek Ministry of Culture under the direction of Kim Shelton and Giota Kassimi. The grant will support the education and outreach initiatives associated with the study and preservation of a Mycenaean chamber tomb cemetery at Aidonia in Greece.

The archaeological site of Aidonia located in southern Corinthia, Greece includes several Late Bronze Age cemeteries dating from the 15th to 13th centuries BCE. One cemetery, discovered in the late 1970’s, includes at least 20 high quality tombs comparable in design and construction to elite tombs uncovered at Mycenae, and contains a large quantity of burial goods and furnishings including the famous “Aidonia Treasure.” Unfortunately, a majority of the tombs were looted in the 1970’s. While some of the stolen materials have been returned to Greece, looting at the site has resumed and intensified in recent years.

The TAPHOS project is designing and implementing a program that will physically secure the site while providing education and outreach to the local community and beyond in an effort to increase awareness of the material destruction and loss knowledge caused by looting. Dr. Shelton’s team will use the AIA grant to create a visitor’s center with exhibit and teaching spaces, design the materials for the exhibit and educational efforts, provide training for local staff, establish proper pathways and signage for visiting the site, and use a local workforce to establish and implement security protocols that will provide for the long-term security of the site.

About AIA Site Preservation Program and Grants 

The AIA Site Preservation Program emphasizes outreach, education, and the spread of best practices in site preservation. The program supports projects in more than a dozen countries around the world. In addition to awards and grants, the program conducts advocacy campaigns to stop the destruction of archaeological sites; presents outreach activities for children; maintains online resources for the public and professionals; and hosts workshops at AIA Annual Meetings. All aspects of the program, including grants and awards, are made possible through donations to the AIA Site Preservation Program. To learn more, please visit archaeological.org/sitepreservation

About Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) 

Founded in 1879, The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is North America's oldest and largest archaeological organization. Today, the AIA has over 200,000 members and 110 local societies in the United States, Canada, and overseas. The AIA exists to promote archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past worldwide by promoting research; advocating for preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage; and educating people of all ages.

For more information and images please contact: 

Samantha Craig, AIA Site Preservation Program Administrator—scraig@aia.bu.edu 617-353-9364
Ben Thomas, AIA Director of Programs—bthomas@aia.bu.edu  617-353-8708

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