A farmer on the island of Crete was minding his own business trying to park his car under the shade of an olive tree when the ground beneath him began to sink.
After pulling away quickly to prevent his car from falling into the ditch, a large hole more than five feet wide began forming as the dirt surrounding the perimeter began giving way.
Inside the hole was a late-Minoan era tomb of what is believed to be a high-status individual and his/her mate or partner.
The tomb contained a pair of coffins, each containing a single skeleton, as well as two dozen pots with colored ornaments.
The hole in the olive grove opened after an irrigation tube broke, releasing water and softening the soil.
“According to the ceramic typology, and according to the first estimates, the tomb can be dated to the Late Minoan IIIA-B period, approximately from 1400 to 1200 BC,” explained the ministry in a statement. The tomb is located near the village of Kentri in southeast Crete near Ierapetra.
The findings are important because at a depth of 2.5 meters, the tomb was never disturbed by looters.
Some 3400 years ago, the tomb was dug into the region’s soft limestone, with access made possible by a vertical trench. The tomb is comprised of three carved niches, and the entrance was eventually sealed by stone masonry, according to the ministry.
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