Embarking on a historical expedition, we delve into the intriguing narrative surrounding 80 ancient skeletons, their hands meticulously bound above their heads.

Archaeologists have uncovered a burial site in the Faliro river delta region, southern Athens, containing 80 ancient male skeletons dating back to the 7th century BCE. Notably, these skeletons were strategically arranged with their hands bound above their heads. One intriguing hypothesis proposes that these individuals could have been rebels from 7th-century BCE Greece, engaged in an attempt to overthrow the government.

The discovery includes two mass graves, both featuring the remains meticulously positioned beside each other, their arms tied high above their heads. Furthermore, the presence of an arrow lodged in the shoulder of one skeleton suggests that these individuals, likely young rebels, might have been taken as prisoners of war and subsequently executed.


These revelations unfolded during the excavation for the construction of the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center. Recognizing the importance of this discovery, the Greek Ministry of Culture has expressed their commitment to a more in-depth investigation.

Among the skeletal remains, archaeologists identified two small vases, offering clues that point to the tomb’s origin in the mid-7th century, around 625 BCE, a tumultuous period in Greek politics.

The skeletons exhibited diverse positions—some were found in a prone stance, while others lay supine. A striking detail emerged as 36 hands displayed clear evidence of being bound with iron. In a notable instance from March, one individual was unearthed with his feet securely tied using a rope. The intriguing question of why the arms of these men were tied above their heads, deviating from the customary behind-the-back positioning, remains a puzzle for historical researchers.


The skeletal remains were discovered with their hands bound above their heads, deviating from the customary practice of binding them behind their backs.


The discovery of two small vases led archaeologists to hypothesize that the tomb dates back to the mid-6th century BC, a period marked by political unrest in Greece.

Archaeologists highlight the well-preserved teeth of the deceased, suggesting they were young and healthy individuals prior to their demise. This lends weight to the theory that these individuals were followers of Cylon, a nobleman and Olympic Games victor. According to ancient historians Herodotus and Thucydides, Cylon orchestrated a coup against Athens in the 7th century BC. Despite initially seeking refuge at the Acropolis after the failed coup, the rebels eventually surrendered, trusting assurances for their safety from the government. Unfortunately, they were unable to secure their lives in the end.


In addition to the aforementioned discoveries, a tomb housing remarkably well-preserved horse skeletons was unearthed in the course of building the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center.

As of the present, only a fraction of the Faliron plain has undergone excavation, leaving undoubtedly numerous more enigmas concealed beneath the surface of one of the globe’s most advanced ancient civilizations.

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