The ruins of the ancient city of Mycenae lie in the north-eastern Peloponnese. Mycenae was once the center of the Mycenaean civilization, which ruled ancient Greece from around 1600 to 1100 BC. It is a fortified citadel with a palace complex, treasures, tombs and much more. This land was once known for its urban organization, culture, art and writing system.
The association with Greek mythology, especially the tales of Agamemnon and the epics of Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, is strong. This blog post gives you an insight into the history and mythology of the Mycenaeans and how they formed the civilizations of the time.
Today, Mycenae is an archeological site of great historical and cultural value and a popular tourist destination for anyone who wants to take a glimpse into the Mycenaean past.
Mycenae's Geographic Significance
Mycenae lies between two hills in the Argolic Plain. The site is located on an easily accessible hill. Due to the natural surroundings, the landscape is breathtaking. The site is a large natural fortress that once protected from invasions and played a significant strategic role. Due to its location, the city also played a crucial role as a trading center for the ancient world.
The discovery of artifacts indicates that the Mycenaeans dominated mainland Greece, the Aegean islands, and the shores of Asia Minor. This indicates that Mycenae had considerable power and influence due to its dominant position in its heyday.
The Magnificent Architecture of Mycenae
The Lion Gate, Mycenae - Credits: WitR / Canva
What did the settlement look like? In addition to the extraordinary natural landscape, Mycenae had an excellent defense system. It was a fortified city with large stone walls and a unique architectural style, the well-known Cyclopean Walls. These walls were built from massive, irregularly shaped limestone blocks. The main entrance was guarded by the iconic structure of the Lion Gate. The gate featured two large lion sculptures that symbolized royal power.
Besides the fortifications, the site included a large palace complex, showcasing the complexity of the socio-political structure of the civilization. The highlights of the palace complex are the Megaron - the great hall, and the large court.