Peloponnese Road Trip – Mycenae

A major centre of Greek Civilization from 2000 BC to 1100 BC the city of Mycenae was home to 30,000 people and likely the seat of power of Agamemnon. We drove from Nafplio as a day trip.

The Lion Gate of Mycenae, 1300 BC

The Citadel

Closeup of the Lion Gate, Main Entrance to the Citadel
Hannah, Emma and Ben at the main entrance

 

Colleen and Ben explore Grave Circle A
Looking down into Grave Circle A
A Fig Tree growing in the middle of the citadel
Colleen standing at the top of the Citadel with a commanding view of the countryside
The remains of the House of Columns from the 13th Century
Exploring the underground cistern
Outside the North (postern) Gate, built in 1250 BC
Colleen in front of the North (Postern) Gate built in 1250 BC

The Tholos Tomb of Aegisthus

Aegisthus was a mythical character who murdered the father of Agamemnon, Atreus, to become King of Mycenae. He was ousted by Agamemnon but later returned to power when he took Agamemnon’s wife, Clytemnestra, as a lover and killed Agamemnon on his return from Troy.

A Tholos Tomb is a beehive shaped tomb. Nine of them are in the area and two are in excellent shape.

The entrance to the Tomb.
Hannah inside the tomb and filled with bees. hmmm? were the bees in the beehive tomb or just a bonus?
Colleen, Emma and Hannah look at the top of the tomb. The only supports added are to the entrance way.

The Tholos Tomb of Clytemnestra

The Tomb is caved in and the entrance way and some of the walls are all that remains

Grave Circle A & B

In 1874 the German Archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, conducted extensive excavations at Mycenae and uncovered a set of graves (which became known as Grave Circle A). His greatest find was a human skull beneath a gold death mask where he declared “I have gazed upon the face of Agamemnon.”

Modern day archaeologists have refuted the claims that the mask belonged to Agamemnon as the mask predates the Trojan war by three hundred years. They have also suggested that Schliemann planted the mask to gain notoriety which is something he did previously with other archaeological sites.

The Mask of Agamemnon at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens
A Gold signet ring from the Grave Circle
The hilt of a sword from the grave circle

The House of the Oil Merchant

The foundation stones and walls of an Oil Merchant in Mycenae

Treasury of Atreus or Tomb of Agamemnon

Atreus was the father of Agamemnon and once King of Mycenae. The name of the tomb was given by Heinrich Schliemann and it stuck. Current Archaeological thinking is that the tomb is too old to belong to either Atreus or Agamemnon. Constructed in 1250 BC it was the tallest and widest dome in history until the construction of the Pantheon in Rome.

The entrance to the Treasury of Atreus
Hannah and Emma at the Entrance to the Treasury

A Wonderful Day Trip

The visit to Mycenae was excellent. It was easy to get to and no problem navigating the hills. The ticket price was 12Euros per adult and the kids were free. This included access to the Treasury of Atreus down the road and the Museum which is a definite must!

 

2 Replies to “Peloponnese Road Trip – Mycenae”

  1. Looks like an a great day trip. Like the pics. Amazing how some of it holds up after 3000 years of wear and tear.

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