Enkomi is the most explored and published site in Late Bronze Age Cyprus because of long term excavations both in the settlement area and in the intra-settlement cemetery. About 1000 tombs were possibly located at the site, but not even 200 were uncovered by official research. The earliest intensive excavations were carried out in 1896 by the British Museum expedition which brought to light about 100 tombs, although many of them were looted. The finding of a such amount of tombs convinced British excavators that the Enkomi settlement was located in a separate place from the cemetery. This separation between the cemetery and the settlement was seemingly confirmed by the subsequent excavations carried out by the Swedish Cyprus Expedition in 1930 when E. Gjerstad found 28 additional tombs. From 1934 a French mission directed by C.F.A. Schaeffer found some more (37) tombs making finally clear that the town of the living people coexisted with the dead. Finally, a zone of the site was intensively explored from 1948 to 1958 by Porfirios Dikaios, Director of the Department of Antiquities, where 30 additional tombs were excavated and associated to the settlement levels in the Areas I e III
If we analyse the architecture of all the tombs, using the expenditure of materials, energy and building care, as a decreasing meter, the higher place is taken by five partially vaulted ashlar tombs with a rectangular plan. At least 4 stone and/or mudbrick “tholos” tombs occupy the second position, while in the third there are chamber tombs with a small shaft-like dromos which are by far the most common typology in the intramural cemetery. On the lowest place there are the shaft graves, which are generally small and shallow in depth, tending to replace the typical chamber tombs in LC IIIA and B, i. e. the last periods of use of the Enkomi cemetery.
An analysis of the entire mortuary furniture burial can give information on the composition of single mortuary assemblages. This work stems from the assumption that any inference about the development of Enkomi burial assemblages can be made from a review of overall finds, whatever class of material they belong to, since all the items were deliberately chosen by the living people to accompany the dead into the tomb.
I contesti tombali della necropoli del Tardo Bronzo nel sito di Enkomi a Cipro