Sikinos island: An unlooted tomb belonging to a prominent woman was discovered

Unlooted tomb of a prominent woman was brought to light by the restoration works of Episkopi in Sikinos, the most impressive monument of the island. The wealth of jewellery worn by the woman betrays that she was a prominent figure in the Sikinos society, as the Greek Culture and Sports Ministry states.

Snapshot from the reveal of the unlooted tomb. © Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The Episkopi of Sikinos is a well preserved temple-form mausoleum of late antiquity, that was later transformed into a Byzantine temple with dome forming an impressive palimpsest of antiquity and medieval times, considered unique in Greece. The tomb was placed in a blind spot in the underground of the monument, so that it could be spared the pillage and the grave looters.

"According to the first estimates, the impressive mausoleum was erected to house the tomb of this woman, while a special interest is presented by the link between an unknown burial epigram from the monument revealing the female name Neiko

Amongst the tomb’s jewelry there are gold bracelets, rings, a necklace, a brooch with a cameo relief etc. © Ministry of Culture and Sports.

From the tomb, golden wristbands, rings, a necklace, a brooch with a cameo relief, along with glass and metal vases, other smaller finds, as well as organic fragments of the costume of the dead, were gathered.

The wealth of the jewelry the woman wore indicates that she was a prominent figure in the Sikinos society. © Ministry of Culture and Sports.

The first estimations lead to the conclusion that the impressive mausoleum was erected to house the woman’s grave. A special interest is highlighted by the link between an, until today unknown, burial epigram from the monument revealed the female name Neiko.

The Cyclades Ephorate of Antiquities is responsible for the restoration works of the unique and very important Episkopi Monument in Sikinos. The work is being implemented since 2017 with credits from the operational program of NSRF of the South Aegean Region, with a budget of 750,000 euros.

Photograph of the Episkopi in Sikinos before the restoration works of the monument started, from the Cyclades Ephorate of Antiquities. © Ministry of Culture and Sports.

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