It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Not even four miles south of Athens lies Phaleron — a site unknown to most tourists. A port of Athens in classical times, Phaleron also boasts one of the largest cemeteries ever excavated in Greece, containing more than 1,500 skeletons. Dating to the 8th-5th centuries BC, Phaleron is significant for our understanding of the rise of the Greek city-state. And, in particular, for understanding the violence and subjugation that went with it. Two mass burials at Phaleron include people who were tossed face-down into a pit, their hands shackled behind their backs. To learn more about these deviant burials and their relationship to Greek state formation, an international team of archaeologists is cleaning, recording, and analyzing the Phaleron skeletons.
There is significant variation in how people were buried at Phaleron. Most were interred in simple pit graves, but nearly one-third are infants and children in large jars, about 5% are cremations complete with funeral pyres, and there are a few stone-lined cist graves. One individual was even buried in a wooden boat used as a coffin – the fact that this lasted nearly three millennia shows that preservation at the site is remarkably good. The shackled skeletons, easily the most compelling remains from Phaleron, have received researchers’ attention for decades, as they are among the very few instances of shackled deaths in the ancient world and could indicate punishment, slavery, or a death sentence. But study of these “captives” has to take place within the context of the entire cemetery, and analyzing 1,500 skeletons is a massive task.