Pylos

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Pylos

(pī`lŏs), ancient harbor, Messenia, SW Greece, on a bay of the Ionian Sea. Excavations have revealed a great Mycenaean palace of the 13th cent. B.C., perhaps the dwelling of King NestorNestor
, in Greek mythology, wise king of Pylos; son of Neleus and father of Antilochus. In the Iliad, Nestor went with the Greeks to the Trojan War, and although he had lived three generations he was still a vigorous warrior and a respected adviser.
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. Six hundred clay tablets were found there which were important in the decipherment of the late Minoan script (see Mycenaean civilizationMycenaean civilization
, an ancient Aegean civilization known from the excavations at Mycenae and other sites. They were first undertaken by Heinrich Schliemann and others after 1876, and they helped to revise the early history of Greece. Divided into Early Helladic (c.
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). The modern town of Pílos, formerly known as Navarino, grew up on the south shore of the bay. The Bay of Pylos was the scene of an Athenian naval victory over Sparta in 425 B.C. and of the battle of Navarino (1827) during the Greek War of Independence.

Pylos

 

an ancient Greek city on the coast of Messenia in the Peloponnesus; present-day site on Mount Aigalion, 17 km north of the modern city of Pylos. The settlement dates back to the late third or early second millennium B.C. From the 16th to the 13th century B.C., Pylos was the residence of local Achaean rulers.

A joint Greek and American archaeological expedition led by K. Kourouniotis and C. Blegen in 1939 and again from 1952 exposed the remains of a vast palace complex in Pylos. The palace was erected in the 13th century B.C. and was destroyed by fire circa 1200 B.C. About 40 rooms were discovered, including residences, stores, and apartments of state laid out in the characteristic megaron plan. The walls of some of the rooms were lavishly decorated with frescoes. Of particular interest among the many finds (pottery, tools, ornaments made of precious metals and bronze) are the more than 600 clay tablets inscribed in linear script. Below the fortified acropolis are the remains of the city. Nearby are located the royal tholos tombs and the necropolis for the city’s inhabitants.

REFERENCE

Blavatskaia, T. V. Akheiskaia Gretsia vo vtorom tysiacheletii do novoiery. Moscow, 1966. Pages 121–46.

Pylos

a port in SW Greece, in the SW Peloponnese; scene of a defeat of the Spartans by the Athenians (425 bc) during the Peloponnesian War and of the Battle of Navarino (see Navarino)