Island of Lemnos - Poliochni

Clicca per ingrandirePlan of the town

The prehistoric settlement of Poliochni is situated close to the seashore on the eastern coast of the island of Lemnos, overlooking a bay protected from the winds by a rocky promontory and forming a natural harbour. Like Troy and like Thermi, Poliochni can be considered a tell in the true sense: the present-day hill is essentially man-made; it is formed by the superimposition of the remains of houses that succeeded each other through many centuries, with the result that the stratigraphy of the site at some points reaches a depth of over 9 metres.
The site of the ancient city was excavated by the Scuola Archeologica Italiana in Athens from 1930 to 1936 under the direction of Alessandro Della Seta. Bernabò Brea began to work at Lemnos as a pupil of the School, and was later recalled by Doro Levi in the 1950s to resume the excavations, with the aim of verifying a series of data. He was further commissioned to establish the museum of Myrina and publish the Italian excavations on Lemnos in their entirely, with the aim of "salvaging the results of so much hard work by Italian scholars".
He completed his task with the publication of two important monographs (1962 and 1976), in which he proposed a division into periods of the long life of the city. Bernabò Brea’s periodization was based on the typological/morphological evolution of pottery and other artefacts. Not least of the results of his work was the finding of an important treasure of gold jewellery, during the campaign in 1956.


  • L. Bernabò Brea, Recenti scavi a Poliochni nell'isola di Lemnos, in Bollettino d'Arte del Ministero della Pubblica Istruzione, N. III-IV – Luglio Dicembre 1957, pp.193-217.
  • L. Bernabò Brea, A Bronze Age House at Poliochni (Lemnos) in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society for 1955, -Vol. XXI, pp.144-155.
  • L. Bernabò Brea, Poliochni: Città preistorica nell'isola di Lemnos Monografie della Scuola Archeologica di Atene e delle Missioni Italiane in Oriente, I, Roma,1962. Vol. I A (testo) pp. 1-705, vol. I B (tavole) tavv. I –CXC, e Atlante,tavv. 1-26.
  • L. Bernabò Brea, Poliochni. Città preistorica nell'isola di Lemnos, Monografie della Scuola Archeologica di Atene e delle Missioni Italiane in Oriente, II, Roma, 1976.
  • Chr. Doumas, V. La Rosa, a cura di, Poliochni e l'antica età del bronzo nell'Egeo settentrionale, Convegno Internzionale, Atene 22-25 Aprile, 1996; Scuola Archeologica di Atene, Atene 1997, pp. 1-691.

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