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Treasure trove unearthed from tomb of Greek warrior-king

Published 10:14 AM ET, Fri January 26, 2018
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An intricate engraving on an ancient gem has been deemed one of the greatest prehistoric Greek artworks ever discovered. Courtesy The Department of Classics/University of Cincinnati
The sealstone was one of many treasures discovered in the 3,500-year-old tomb of a Bronze Age warrior. Archaeologist Sharon Stocker from the University of Cincinnati led the dig in southwest Greece in 2015.
University of Cincinnati, Pylos Excavations
The sealstone was covered in limestone when it was first discovered. Measuring just 1.4 inches in length, it was initially mistaken for a bead. Courtesy The Department of Classics/University of Cincinnati
Experts are stunned by the engraving's detailed representation of the human body and the understanding of bodily movement, says Stocker. Courtesy The Department of Classics/University of Cincinnati
"The amount of skill that was required to execute such an intricate design on such a small surface is unbelievable," Stocker tells CNN. Courtesy The Department of Classics/University of Cincinnati
More than 40 sealstones were found in the tomb. Others had less detailed designs featuring long-horned bulls and sometimes, human bull jumpers soaring over their horns. Jennifer Stephens
This 30-inch necklace, with two gold pendants decorated with ivy leaves, was found near the neck of the warrior-king's skeleton. Jennifer Stephens
Four solid-gold rings were found in the tomb -- more than have been found at any single burial site elsewhere in Greece, according to the archaeologists. This one depicts a Cretan bull running scene. Jennifer Stephens
Six ivory combs formed part of the treasure trove, challenging some older ideas around gender, says Stocker. Jennifer Stephens
Stocker deems the discovery "one of the most magnificent displays of prehistoric wealth discovered in mainland Greece in the past 65 years." Jennifer Stephens
"We were not looking for tombs in the first place and finding an unlooted tomb is so extremely rare," she says. "This is truly phenomenal." Courtesy The Department of Classics/University of Cincinnati