Mycenae © David Gill
Mycenae © David Gill

The Late Bronze Age of Mycenae evokes images of the Homeric past of Greece. This was the reputed base of Agamemnon, and it was here that Heinrich Schliemann came to excavate.

The Lion Gate © David Gill
The Lion Gate © David Gill

The site includes the massive Cyclopean walls pierced by the ‘Lion Gate’, as well as the shaft graves and tholos tombs. The Late Bronze palace was found in the upper part of the acropolis. A ‘sanctuary’ site just inside the walls was found to contain blue faience plaques of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III.

Tholos tomb at Mycenae © David Gill
Tholos tomb at Mycenae © David Gill

The site of Mycenae, along with the neighbouring Tiryns, forms part of the World Heritage Site (inscribed 1999).

The archaeological sites of Mycenae and Tiryns are the imposing ruins of the two greatest cities of the Mycenaean civilization, which dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from the 15th to the 12th century B.C. and played a vital role in the development of classical Greek culture. These two cities are indissolubly linked to the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey , which have influenced European art and literature for more than three millennia.

Author: David Gill

David Gill is Honorary Professor in the Centre for Heritage at the University of Kent, and Honorary Research Fellow in the School of History and an Academic Associate in SISJAC at UEA; Professor of Archaeological Heritage.

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