South West Branch lecture: Dr Michael Loy ‘(Re)-building a virtual excavation. The case of Tholos IV at the Palace of Minos’

Our speaker will be Dr Michael Loy, Assistant Director of the British School at Athens, with a paper entitled: ‘(Re)-building a virtual excavation. The case of Tholos IV at the Palace of Nestor’


In 1953 Lord William Taylour directed the excavation of a monumental vaulted tholos tomb known as ‘Tholos IV’, a stone’s throw away from the later discovered and infamous ‘Griffin Warrior Grave’ at the site of ancient Pylos, Messenia, Greece. The excavation was conducted over two months, from which detailed notes were recorded in three notebooks now kept in the Archives of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The formal publication of Tholos IV, however, contains only a basic narrative of the excavation, offering neither precise detail on stratigraphy, object find spots, nor even a complete inventory of small finds. The present study rebuilds virtually Taylour’s excavation, combining data from the original notebooks with a new digital survey of Tholos IV. A comprehensive and accurate 3D GIS model for Taylour’s excavation has now been built that lets one wind back the discovery of the tomb. Furthermore, the GIS has been produced in such a way that its dataset is directly comparable with new excavation data currently generated in the ongoing Palace of Nestor Excavations (PONEX) project. Discussion follows on how the production of this GIS deepens our understanding not just of the legacy excavation, but also of the site and its wider landscape.

This will be held online via Zoom, and is open to all.

See below for booking details.


Booking information:

Join Zoom meeting:

Meeting ID: 994 1308 8709

Password: 667681