This study arises from the reworking of the specialization thesis in Greek and Roman Archeology discussed by the Author at the Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene (SAIA) in 2004, supervisor Prof. Emanuele Greco and co-supervisor Prof. Nunzio Allegro. It presents the results of the archaeological investigations carried out in the necropolis of Efestia on the island of Lemnos between 1926 and 1929 by SAIA, under the direction of Alessandro Della Seta. This research is placed in ideal succession to the edition of the “Tyrrhenian” necropolis by Domenico Mustilli, concentrating on the period between the classical age and the proto-Byzantine one. The two burial grounds, the one belonging to the indigenous population of North Aegean tradition who inhabited the island in the geometric and proto-archaic age, and that of the Athenian colonists who conquered the island together with Miltiades, partially overlapping, were investigated simultaneously; however, while the “Tyrrhenian” burial ground was published a few years after its discovery, the burials of the following period remained unpublished. A preliminary analysis of the necropolis was carried out between 1978 and 1979 by Allegro, at the time of his student at SAIA, under the supervision of Prof. Luigi Beschi. It included a partial collection of the excavation documentation and the filing of the tomb finds that had been possible to recover at the Archaeological Museum of Myrina. This study proved to be essential for the final reconstruction of the sepulchral contexts presented here.
Considering the preeminent interest shown by Della Seta towards the “Tyrrhenian” phases of population of Lemnos, the post-archaic burial ground of Hephaestia did not attract immediate interest. In the Kokkinovrachos locality, near the isthmus, five plexuses of cineraries related to the sub-geometric and proto-archaic necropolis were discovered called Alpha I, Alpha CXX, Alpha CXCII, Alpha CCXXII and Beta I. During the investigation they were accidentally discovered tombs of the Greek and Roman age that interspersed with the most ancient cineraries, sometimes “disturbing” them. The location of these divisions in the areas of the “Tyrrhenian” necropolis was random and in no way consistent with the articulation by plexuses of the previous phase. It immediately became clear that they referred to the Greek settlement which, from the beginning of the 1th century BC, obliterated the “Tyrrhenian” one located near the peninsula of Efestia. Two sepulchral nuclei were also investigated located in areas not affected by the archaic burial ground, one in Kokkinovrachos (called "Gamma 15-16 area"), the other in Bounda, along the coast on the edge of the city (called "Gamma 94 area -XNUMX ").
The study presented today includes the complete edition of the post-archaic burials investigated by SAIA and those found in the "Tyrrhenian" Alpha I, Alpha CXX, Alpha CXCII and Beta I plexuses and those that form the sepulchral nuclei of the Gamma 1- areas 15 and Gamma 16-94. Through the privileged observatory provided by the analysis of the funerary ideology, it aims to clarify the articulation of the Athenian community that settled in Hephaestia in the first decades of the fifth century BC and to follow the development of the city until Christianization, marked by entrance of the city in the province of Achaea.