Ancient Mycenae

One of the first stops we wanted to make while driving through the Peloponnese was Mycenae, an archaeological site about 75 miles south west of Athens.  Dating from the second millenium BC, at its height, Mycenae had 30,000 inhabitants.  Its prime position allowed for strong defense.  The site was discovered in 1876 by Heinrich Schliemann.  As the main center of Aegean civilization, Mycenae gives its name to the two hundred years from 1400 to 1200 BC, the Mycenaean Age, shortly after the Minoan Age.  We were able to explore the settlement that included tholos (beehive shaped tombs). The tomb of Clytemnestra is named after the wife of Agamemnon, ruler of Mycanae and leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War, but it is believed to be Agamemnon’s tomb or to have never been occupied.  The famous Lion Gate, the largest surviving sculpture in the prehistoric Aegean, has two lions flanking a central column set in Cyclopean masonry and serves as the point of entry up to the palace.

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