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P. R. Giot

Neolithic passage grave in Brittany, north-west France, decorated with outstanding megalithic designs (see Prehistoric Europe §IV 2.). The tomb is situated on the island of Gavrinis, parish of Larmor-Baden, in the Morbihan Gulf, 13 km south-west of Vannes. It was discovered in 1825, opened in 1832, excavated in 1884–6, and excavated (by C. T. Le Roux) and restored in 1979–84. The grave is covered by a large subrectangular cairn with revetment walls, measuring c. 40 m wide×c. 8 m high. Beneath the cairn is a square chamber measuring 2.6 m×2.5 m and 1.8 m high entered through a 13.5 m long passage averaging 1.2 m wide by 1.6 m high. Built largely of granite orthostats, the passage opens towards the south-east. It is roofed with granite capstones and paved with granite slabs, with silt-stones at either end. At the tomb entrance is a forecourt, 30 m wide, beneath which most of the artefacts recovered from the site were found. These include stone axes, Neolithic pottery and quartz stones that were apparently used for facing and decorating the slabs. Radiocarbon analysis of eight burnt posts from the final phase of the site has provided a date in the late 4th millennium ...


Gerald Cadogan

Large Late Minoan i (c. 1560–c. 1425 bc) country house a few kilometres south of Archanes and Knossos in northern central Crete. Excavated by Spyridon Marinatos in 1949–51, it stands on a spur overlooking fertile country, dominated by Mt Juktas to the north-west, with its shrines. The house, which measures over 20×20 m, was apparently not part of a village or hamlet. Its few outbuildings include a kiln, while in the house itself are presses for olive oil and wine. Its architecture exemplifies the high quality of building of these large villas, which probably controlled large estates. Features include ashlar masonry, column bases of different stones, pillar basements, recesses for windows and a paved west court. On the east side of the building, opposite the entrance and across a small courtyard, is a tripartite shrine, with a central recess (possibly for a seat or statue) between two square masonry structures with hollow centres. These may have held flagstaff-like masts, as depicted on the peak-sanctuary chlorite and gold rhyton from ...


J. D. Hawkins

[Turk.: ‘inscribed rock face’]

Great open-air sanctuary (c. 1500–1200 bc) of the Hittite capital city Hattusa ( see Boğazköy ), c. 1.5 km north-east of the ruins of the city in central Turkey. Yazılıkaya is a rocky outcrop forming two chambers (A and B) open to the sky. These were closed off by a gradually developing series of buildings that evolved from a simple wall to more elaborate structures designed to provide the natural sanctuary with the gatehouse and entrance courtyard of the typical Hittite temple. Excavation has revealed more than one remodelling.

The main chamber A was entered through the gatehouse and courtyard with a left turn, which would have disclosed the natural gallery, its rock walls sculptured with two files of figures (on the left male figures advancing right, on the right female figures advancing left). The processions converge in a central scene at the back of the gallery, where two sets of main figures, three on the left and four on the right, confront each other. The figures of both files have been numbered consecutively from the left: the left file has 42 figures, the right 21....