Mycenae: Daytripping In Mystery
The region of Attica contains a great many treasures from yesteryear, and a few from modern times, too. A lot of what made Greece the country it is today can be traced back to the humble city state of Athens. The city of Athens itself is a whole destination unto itself. However, things weren’t always like that. It’s worth remembering that other city states preceded Athens in the power rankings.
One of them is Mycenae, in the plains of Argolis. Its king, Agamemnon, is immortalized in Homer’s epic tales of conquest of the Trojan War. It’s founder. Perseus, was the demigod spawn of Zeus and Danae. As far as legend goes, you can hardly beat that. Even just taking Perseus into account, you could cram a whole epic’s tale worth of stories into a week and still not be done.
One of the preceding cultures of the Hellenistic years, the Mycenaean are widely referenced in the pages of Pausanias and Homer.
The Mycenaean civilization was first discovered by Heinrich Schliemann, an amateur archaeologist. Soon after, more of them descended on the plains of Argolis between the hills of Sara and Prophitis to further excavate the ruins of the palace of the Atreides.
What they unearthed were significant amounts of artefacts in near mint condition, including the now famous golden mask of Agamemnon, as well as a number of edifices and structures.
The acropolis of Mycenae, circled by the Cyclopean Walls, is the most important, although the walls themselves are nothing short of mesmerizing for their sheer size. The fact they still stand is testament to their prowess (or the Cyclope’s strength, depending on what version of reality you want to reside in).
The gate of the Lions is the entrance to the palace complex. Possibly the most impressive sight there, considering just how big the boulders are.
The tomb, of Treasure of Atreus is equally beguiling. At 13, 5 metres tall, the tholos was the tallest dome in the world, until the Romans built the Pantheon.
Other notable sights include the Grave Circles A and B, and the underground cistern.
Mycenae is a fascinating and mystical place. Many of the tales and myths we know today about the ancient Greeks were first developed there. Even though they left us with little in the way of artefacts, we know enough to safely assume they were the real deal.