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Mycenae and Tiryns


By MecePublished about a year ago 3 min read

Mycenae and Tiryns are two ancient Greek citadels that have fascinated historians and archaeologists for centuries. Both sites are located in the northeastern Peloponnese region of Greece and are considered to be among the most important archaeological sites in the country. Mycenae and Tiryns were once powerful city-states that dominated the region during the Late Bronze Age, and their impressive architecture and engineering have captivated visitors for thousands of years.

Mycenae, in particular, is famous for its imposing fortress walls, which were built using the famous "Cyclopean" style of stonework. The walls were constructed by stacking large, irregularly-shaped stones on top of each other without any mortar, creating a strong and durable structure that has stood the test of time. The walls were so impressive that the ancient Greeks believed they had been built by the Cyclops, mythical one-eyed giants who were known for their strength and size.

One of the most striking features of Mycenae is the Lion Gate, which is the main entrance to the citadel. The gate is named for the two massive stone lions that stand on either side of the entrance, which were carved from a single piece of stone. The lions have become a symbol of Mycenae and are featured on many postcards and tourist brochures.

Inside the citadel, visitors can see the remains of the royal palace, which was once the center of Mycenaean power. The palace was a complex of buildings that included living quarters, storerooms, and workshops, and was home to the ruling king and his family. The palace was decorated with frescoes and other works of art, many of which have been preserved and can still be seen today.

Another important feature of Mycenae is the Treasury of Atreus, which is also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon. The Treasury is a large beehive-shaped structure that was built as a tomb for a Mycenaean king, and is considered to be one of the most impressive examples of Mycenaean engineering. The structure was built using a corbelled arch technique, in which each layer of stone juts out slightly further than the one below it, creating a self-supporting dome. The interior of the tomb is decorated with intricate carvings and has a height of over 13 meters.

Tiryns, although not as famous as Mycenae, is also an important archaeological site that is worth a visit. The citadel at Tiryns was built using the same Cyclopean style of stonework as Mycenae, and its walls are equally impressive. The walls at Tiryns are up to 7 meters thick in places and were designed to provide protection against enemy attacks.

One of the most striking features of Tiryns is the megaron, which was the central hall of the palace. The megaron was a large rectangular room with a hearth in the center and a throne at one end. The walls of the megaron were decorated with frescoes and other works of art, and the room was used for important ceremonies and meetings.

Another interesting feature of Tiryns is the underground cistern, which was used to collect and store rainwater. The cistern was built into the bedrock and had a capacity of over 300 cubic meters of water. The cistern was an important source of water for the citadel during times of siege or drought, and its existence demonstrates the sophisticated engineering skills of the Mycenaean people.

In conclusion, Mycenae and Tiryns are two remarkable archaeological sites that provide a glimpse into the ancient world of the Mycenaean civilization. Their impressive architecture and engineering have inspired generations of scholars and visitors.

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