Shaft tomb

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A shaft tomb or shaft grave is a type of deep rectangular burial structure, similar in shape to the much shallower cist grave, containing a floor of pebbles, walls of rubble masonry, and a roof constructed of wooden planks.[1]

Practice[edit]

The practice of digging shaft tombs was a widespread phenomenon with prominent examples found in Mycenaean Greece (i.e. Grave Circle A and Grave Circle B) and in Bronze Age China.[2]

Mycenaean Greece[edit]

Mycenaean shaft graves originated and evolved from rudimentary Middle Helladic cists, tumuli, and tholos tombs with features derived from Early Bronze Age traditions developed locally in mainland Greece.[3] Middle Helladic burials would ultimately serve as the basis for the royal Shaft Graves containing a variety of grave goods, which signified the elevation of a native Greek-speaking royal dynasty whose economic power depended on long-distance sea trade.[4] The depth of Mycenaean shaft tombs would range from 1.0 m to 4.0 m with a mound constructed for each grave and stelae erected.[5]

Bronze Age China[edit]

Shaft graves were utilized by elites from the Shang Dynasty (or Yin Dynasty) of northern China.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ Pedley 2011, p. 86.
  2. ^ a b Kipfer 2000, "shaft grave", p. 508.
  3. ^ Dickinson 1999, pp. 103, 106–107.
  4. ^ Dickinson 1977, pp. 53, 107; Dickinson 1999, pp. 97–107; Anthony 2007, p. 48.
  5. ^ Komita 1982, pp. 59–60.

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]