The Griffin Warrior Project has been excavating the area surrounding the Palace of Nestor since May of 2015
The project, which is sponsored by the University of Cincinnati and operates under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies, follows in the footsteps of Dr. Carl W. Blegen, the Cincinnati-based archaeologist who explored much of the Bay of Navarino region in the mid-twentieth century. In 1939, Blegen, along with his team and Greek counterpart, Dr. Konstantinos Kourouniotis, first discovered the Palace of Nestor, the most completely preserved Bronze Age palace on the Greek mainland. For fifteen seasons, Blegen, archaeologist Marion Rawson, and their team excavated the site, which proved to be a remarkably intact Mycenaean palace. Now, half a century after Blegen’s last season, a University of Cincinnati team has returned to the site to continue excavating.
The ongoing project’s most significant discovery has been the grave of the Griffin Warrior. The unlooted shaft grave contained dozens of intricate seal stones, hundreds of gold and bronze artifacts, and the remains of a prominent Mycenaean nobleman from around 1500 B.C. Its discovery was heralded in the press around the world as one of Greece’s most significant archaeological finds in decades.
In addition to the Griffin Warrior Tomb, the team has excavation several other areas around the palace. Parts of the palace’s acropolis, the field surrounding the grave, and a nearby area several kilometers down the road closer to the bay have all been excavated since 2015. Work is continuing at the site on a pair of beehive-shaped tholos tombs, and the finds from past seasons are still being conserved and documented for further research.
If you are interested in supporting our excavations, please considering making a donation.