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A shaft tomb or shaft grave is a type of burial structure formed from a deep and narrow shaft sunk into natural rock. Burials were then placed at the bottom. A related group of shaft and chamber tombs also incorporate a small room or rooms cut laterally at the base of the shaft for the placing of the dead.
The practice of digging shaft tombs was widespread but the most famous examples are those at Mycenae in Greece which date to between 1650 BC and 1500 BC, associated with the arrival of the Greeks in the Aegean (in some scenarios, with a second wave of Greek arrivals, assuming a Proto-Greek migration in the 23rd to 22nd centuries at the beginning of the Early Helladic III horizon). These shaft tombs were around 4m deep with the dead placed in cists at the bottom along with rich grave goods. The position of the shaft was sometimes marked by a stone stela.