Trifylia Province

The center of the homeric kingdom of Nestor.

Steatopygous figurine of greenish steatite, Neolithic type portraying a naked, seated female figure. It has a hanging hole, and was probably worn as a piece of jewelry (pendant). 
Malthi. Acropolis. 
Late Neolithic period (5th-4th millennium B.C.). Of great interest in the section dedicated to the Trifylia province is the unit related to Nestor's Palace. Here few characteristic antiquities can be seen selected from the great number of ceramic and small-scale finds which were, until recently, displayed at the Chora Archaeological Museum.

The exhibition also features representative antiquities from the Mycenaean chamber tombs, which were organised in clusters and formed part of the cemeteries unearthed at Kato Rouga in Chora and at Volimidia. These cemeteries belonged to settlements under the influence of Nestor's Palace. From the rich Mycenaean tholos tombs at Routsi in Myrsinochori and Ambelophyto come the antiquities that are on display in the same section, while a single clay vessel comes from the half-destroyed Middle-Helladic tumulus which was excavated at Pyrgos Trifylias.

Τίτλος In mainland Trifylia the earliest traces of habitation were identified dating from the Final Neolithic period in Messenia, in the Koufiero Cave, from which characteristic fragmentary pottery from the period is exhibited.

Archaizing head of Apollo, probably from a Herm stele (=road-marker).
3rd c. A.D. From the great port of Kyparissia, which connected Messenia with the West in the Hellenistic and Roman times, are presented certain antiquities that come from limited rescue excavations. Among them there are coins from the ancient city. There is a restricted number of Early Christian and Byzantine exhibits from Kyparissia, in spite of the importance of the city during the early Christian centuries, and later, when it was transferred to the area of the Castle and was renamed Arkadia, due to the fact that many Arcadians moved there.

The extremely important archaeological site of Peristeria is within a small distance from Kyparissia. The monumental, gold-laden Mycenaean tholes tombs convey the existence of a powerful dynasty, which ruled in the region even before the peak of Nestor's Palace. The golden cup from Peristeria on display was one of the luxurious offerings in the royal tholos tombs. The medieval settlement of Christianoupolis flourished in the same area. There are impressive architectural sculptures from the church of the Metamorphosi Sotiros at Christianoi, a supreme example of a Byzantine church, one of the largest in Greece.

In Kopanaki, in the wide Soulima valley, which occupies the north-western part of Trifylia, the only known up today organized archaic farmhouse complex in Messenia, was unearthed. The remains of a walled citadel and a settlement of the Middle-Helladic period were discovered on top of the Malthi Hill, which overlooks the valley. The later construction of a megaron-like building at the centre of the citadel, as well as the foundation of two royal tholos tombs at its western foot, indicate that the settlement flourished during the Mycenaean era. Besides the wealth of utility pottery, unearthed in the excavations by the great Swedish archaeologist M.N.Valmin, a great number of stone and bone tools has also been found in Malthi; these are related to the daily life and activities of the prehistoric inhabitants of the citadel.

The Mycenaean tholos tombs discovered on the northernmost end of the valley at Psari and Chalkia suggest that other settlements flourished in the area during the same period.

Trifylia's photo gallery

Messene Province

The fertile hinterland of Messenia and the capital of the Messenian state. Read more »

Pylia Province

Tholos tombs and great castles in a unique landscape. Read more »

Kalamata Province

Antiquity and Byzantium in the shadow of Mount Tayghetos. Read more »

38th EPCA 26th ΕΒΑ