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 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 Tholos Tomb of Clytemnestra
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 House of the Oil Merchant
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.
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!