Mycenae lies about 90 kilometres south-west of Athens. From around 1600BC-1100BC Mycenae was a highly wealthy and influential city, dominating much of southern Greece. The Mycenaean Era was named in reference to the city. THE DISCOVERY OF MYCENAE
It was Heinrich Schliemann who first completely excavated the city of Mycenae. The controversial archaeologist was searching for evidence that Agamemnon, the king who led the Greeks to fight Troy in the Trojan War. Schliemann was determined to prove that the Trojan War was a real event; in fact his career was based around his desire for this. After failing to find any definitive evidence in his search for Troy, he turned to Mycenae. In 1841 another archaeologist had found and restored the Lion Gate that marks the entrance to the city of Mycenae, but Schliemann was the first to systematically excavate the entire site. He believed that the Homeric tales described actual historical events and used his discoveries at Mycenae to back this up.
DISOVERIES MADE AT THE SITE
Discovered in Grave Circle A by Schliemann’s team, a dagger shows the militaristic values of the Mycenaean’s. From the weapons buried with most of the bodies found, we can deduct that the Mycenaean’s were not a peaceful people. They revelled in fighting, as shown by the violent motifs on their stelae and decorative weapons. Most graves featured full sets of weapons, both real and decorative. We can assume that life for the men of Mycenae would have had a heavy focus on fighting , with men of higher status being shown as brave fighters. This is also shown through the architecture of the city, particularly the Cyclopean walls. These huge walls show a need for a defensive attitude, which demonstrates the Mycenaean’s military attitude. On this dagger there is a depiction of a lion hunt, which shows that the Mycenaean’s hunted for sport. This further reflects the aggressive principles of the city.
Double axe and bull motifs...