Peristeria Hill – Tholos Tombs

The archaeological site of Peristeria is winding through idyllic hills filled mainly with olive trees. There, on the humble plateau just in front of the modest entrance, no one can suspect that this is the moment for one of the huge surprises of the area. Initially a small walk inside the uphill olive grove reveals at the far left, the few remains, the basses and the foundations of two domed tombs, traces of fortifications and houses. A few dozen meters to the right, the path leads to an exquisite restored domed tomb, the interior of which is open and accessible and makes you feel that you have discovered something unique and important. Now, the characterization of this point as the ‘’Mycanae of the west Peloponnese’’ is fully justified.

Professor Marinatos was the first who started excavating here during the 1960’s (followed by Georgios Korres in the 1970’s), listening to his special instinct and the locals from the adjacent village of Myros, talking about a large carved stone that their ancestors had extracted from the top of Peristeria hill to use it as a base for the ‘’feet’’ of the bridge at Sfougada. Despite the fact that it was already desecrated in antiquity, three sublime golden cups, one large diadema, golden lily-shaped ballots, golden rosettes, sheets of gold and many other items, such as burial gifts (kterismata), shells, tools and arrowheads, were found.

The hill and its buildings were used during the Middle Helladic period (2050 – 1680 B.C.) until the end of the Mycenaean period (1180 B.C. approximately), and the tombs of Peristeria are among the most ancient examples of domed tombs in continental Greece. Incidentally, as this is important for all conscientious travelers, the entrance of the big tomb during the summer months is backlit, so it will be hard to take proper photos in the shadow if you are there early in the morning… In addition, on July 31, 2015, a date that may mark the beginningof a new annual cultural festival, in the open space outside the archaeological site, under the full moon light.

This festival, takes place every year with the aid of the Municipality of Trifylia, the Non Profit Charitable Organization of Trifylia and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Messenia.