The Mycenaeans of Iolkos are the “ancestors” of Jason

They had strength, a strong culture, were navigators and travelers and became wealthy very quickly. The Mycenaeans settled near the present city of Volos, a northern Mycenaean settlement, and had contact not only with the other Mycenaean centers such as Mycenae and Tiryns, but also with distant places in the East.

This contributed to the myth of the Argonauts, the first nationwide maritime excursion.

Jason was a mythical person, but the legend was based in reality. The ancient Iolkos seems to have contacts outside of the known Mycenaean world and the eastern Mediterranean. Iolkos, had developed trade and a raw material supply system.

The curator Anthi Baji recently spoke under the Mycenaean seminar organized by the Archaeological Department of the University on “The presence of the Mycenaeans and the warriors’ graves in Iolkos region.”

He presented the conclusions of the study “Fifty early Mycenaean tombs”, among which are tombs with weapons and the specific local features of the findings, their similarities and differences with modern finds from Mycenaean centers of the southern mainland and the Aegean islands.

As reported, “lolkos began to be revealed by the findings of the excavations from 1956 to today in places such as Kastro (Palia), Dimini and Pefkakia. At Kastro the Mycenaean settlement and a large part of the cemetery were excavated. Dimini is an extensive and well organized Mycenaean settlement with administrative center at Pefkakia a coastal settlement which as excavations showed had commerce, arts, and religious activities. These three adjacent Mycenaean settlements are now accepted to be the northernmost Mycenaean center, Iolkos “.

The graves studied, are an organized cemetery that lies to the NW of the Mycenaean settlement of Kastro. They have excavated a total of 50 pit and cist graves, dating from the early Mycenaean phases (15th-14th c. Early). A vaulted Mycenaean tomb was excavated by K. Kourouniotis at the courtyard of the Church of Ag. Anargiri at Kapakli.

According to the speaker, there has been proof of commercial vessels from the “southern mainland of Greece and the Peloponnese. Apart from the pottery and weapons, the other finds are tools, beauty kits, while few are related to ideology and jewelry. ”

The period from 1500; 1380 BC witnesses “a dynamic development characterized by military expansion, to establish a political-military control over a large area,” according to Mrs. Baji.

“Within a few decades the Mycenaeans extended from Thessaly to Crete and the Aegean islands and the Mycenaean civilization spread throughout mainland Greece, as evidenced by the types of tombs, pottery, figurines, jewelry, bronze weapons and tools, and established uniformity despite the few local individualities.

The ceramic offerings are exclusively early Mycenean of the 15th century BC. This fact “obviously means that the local population not only acknowledged the Mycenaean lifestyle, but quickly incorporated it, as evidenced by the burial customs and imitated in their pottery production.”

The existence of hierarchy and social classes, which is one of the characteristics of the Early Mycenaean period is evident in the Mycenaean cemetery of Kastro. Besides the military, other social groups must have been established simultaneously, and acquired wealth, as seen at burial sites that are rich in offerings, but without weapons.

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