Ancient farmers buried with livestock

2011-10-08 20:38

Athens - Archaeologists in northern Greece have found a rare group of ancient graves where farmers were interred with their livestock, a Greek daily reported on Friday.

At least 11 adults and 16 farm animals were found buried together near the town of Mavropigi in the northern region of Macedonia, 21km from the city of Kozani, Ethnos daily said.

The men, women and a child lay alongside horses, oxen, dogs and a pig in two rows of graves, the area's head archaeologist told the newspaper.

"It is the first time that this strange custom is found at such a scale, and from this particular period of time, the late 6th century and early 5th century BC," head archaeologist Georgia Karamitrou-Mentesidi said.

"These were simple people, farmers, who were buried with their horse, their buffalo, deer, dogs and pigs," she said.

Though horse burials are not unique among archaeology finds in Greece, they are usually associated with prominent citizens or warriors.

The area, which today is extensively mined for lignite by the Public Power Corporation, has been inhabited since the Neolithic era.