Archaeologists in Greece have uncovered rare jewels, coins and other artifacts while excavating tombs in the ruins of Ancient Tenea, near Corinth.
The haul; dating between the fourth and first centuries A.D., was uncovered while excavating a burial ground with two distinctive chambers that were built when Greece was part of the Roman Empire.
The Greek Ministry of Culture said in a statement that the Roman burial monuments appeared to have been built into a pre-existing Hellenic substructures from the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. up until the Roman conquest in 146 B.C.
Five of the most well-appointed tombs; the experts said, would have belonged to wealthy inhabitants of Roman Greece. Bodies were found alongside elaborate gilded bronze leaves, a gold ring, precious stones and gold and bronze coins from the surrounding region.
Among the other ritualistic items buried with the dead, were perfumes, artifacts made of gold, gold foil and elaborately crafted glassware, as well as items of pottery.
Also within the dig site the archaeologists recovered items from a series of different burial plots. Fourteen graves, organized in circles, as was Roman convention, yielded a number of gold and silver coins, vases and a series of lamps, the most striking of which bore depictions of the Roman goddess Venus and two cupids.
Of particular interest to the excavation team; that was led by Elena Korka, were the older Greek parts of the structures. One side of the Roman burial monument was built above a typical rectangular Hellenistic basement made of limestone and then coated in a thick layer of mortar.
In other areas they found evidence of graves from the earlier Greek period, pottery including a figurine in the shape of a dove and other ritual items such as perfume. It also appeared some of the lower vaults in the buildings would have been associated with other Greco-Roman rituals.
Source: Newsweek, photos: Greek Ministry of Culture