shaft tomb

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A distinctive type of burial monument characterized by a deep narrow shaft running down into the ground with burials deposited either in the bottom of the shaft itself or in a small chamber opening from the base of the shaft. Found widely in many parts of the world at different times, the best known are those dating to the later 17th through to the 16th centuries bc at Mycenae. Here the dead were placed in cists, either individually or in groups, at the bottom of an oblong shaft up to 4 m deep. The position of the grave is sometimes indicated at the surface by a stone marker or stele.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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