The Mycenaean tholos tomb (fancifully) named the ‘Treasury of Atreus’, located in Mycenae, Greece.

This tomb dates to ca. 1300-1250 BC. Elite Mycenaean families who lived around this era, perhaps not too long before the presumed date of the Trojan War, buried their dead in beehive-like tombs which were covered by huge earthen mounds. There are about 9 such known examples in Mycenae, but there are much more elsewhere. This example is the most famous and best preserved of these tombs, with a 43-foot high dome. It was unfortunately robbed -we have no information regarding its burials or accompanying grave goods. Except for the elite status of the Mycenaean, we are thus left essentially clueless as to whom this tomb was owned by. 

Photos taken by Klearchos KapoutsisMichael Clarke.


Mycenaean Funerary Masks

Heinrich Schliemann discovered these masks in 1876, while excavating in Mycenae, Greece. Three of the gold masks were discovered in Grave IV and two in Grave V. Schliemann claimed that the first mask above was that of Agamemnon, the antagonist in Homer’s Epic, The Iliad. However, current research indicates that the mask was made from 1550-1500 BC, long before the time of Agamemnon.

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An attempt to reconstruct the apperance of a high-status mycenaean woman.

It’s possible that mycenaean women of high social status, noblewomen and priestesses, painted their faces for ceremonial occasions, using white lead. Such make-up would give their face mask-like appearance, letting temporarily remove the individual behind said mask and play a certain role instead.

The Ancient Worlds with Bettany Hughes: Helen of Troy

Untouched Mycenaean Tomb Found in Central Greece

An ancient Greek Mycenaean tomb was unearthed in Amfissa, central Greece during an irrigation project that required excavation in the area. It is a unique finding, the first of its kind that has ever been found in West Locris and one of the few in central Greece.

The preliminary archaeological study of the findings shows that the tomb was used for more than two centuries, from the 13th to the 11th century B.C..

Within the burial chamber archaeologists found a large amount of skeletal material, which had accumulated near the surrounding walls, while a few better preserved burials were also uncovered. Read more.


Extremely Rare Minoan Ostrich Egg Rhyton, 16th Century BC

This is an extremely rare example of a painted ostrich eggshell belonging to the Minoan (2000-1500 BC) or Mycenaean (1600-1100 BC) civilizations. It’s beautifully decorated with depictions of two giant octopi in red paint.

Ostrich eggshells have been discovered on a number of Greek sites, for instance, in Mycenaean levels at Mycenae and Minoan levels at Knossos on Crete. Eggshells are known in contemporary ancient Egyptian, Levantine and Mesopotamian civilizations and in the millennium that followed in Etruscan and Phoenician society. They are frequently discovered amongst high prestige grave goods and were traded widely and this explains their broad geographical spread in the Greek Bronze Age.


Rare Unlooted Grave of Wealthy Warrior Uncovered in Greece (Great archeological news!)

A team of archaeologists led by researchers from the University of Cincinnati has discovered the tomb of a wealthy warrior who had been buried with more than 1,400 artifacts, including jewels and beads made from precious stones, ivory objects, weapons, armor, and vessels made from precious metals in southwestern Greece.

The burial may hold important clues to the origin of Greek civilization some 3,500 years ago. Based on their style, experts are confident that the remains date to about 1500 B.C. The wooden coffin of the unknown soldier – evidently a person of some importance – was found on the site of the Mycenaean-era Palace of Nestor on Greece’s Peloponnese peninsula.

He had been laid to rest with an array of fine gold jewellery, including an ornate string of pearls, signet rings, a bronze sword with a gold and ivory handle, silver vases and ivory combs.

The jewellery is decorated in the style of the Minoans, the civilisation that flourished on the island of Crete from around 2000 BC, with the figures of deities, animals and floral motifs. This, of course, testifies the influence that Minoans had over the late Mycenaean.

Despite the site where the excavation took place, team co-leader Sharon Stocker said in the University of Cincinnati Magazine:

“This latest find is not the grave of the legendary King Nestor, who headed a contingent of Greek forces at Troy in Homer’s Iliad. Nor is it the grave of his father, Neleus. This find may be even more important because the warrior predates the time of Nestor and Neleus by, perhaps, 200 or 300 years. That means he was likely an important figure at a time when this part of Greece was being indelibly shaped by close contact with Crete, Europe’s first advanced civilization.”

If you want to read more check this link!


Wooden hexagonal pyxis decorated with repousse gold plates. Mycenae, Grave Circle A, Grave V, 16th cent BC.

The gold plates depict lions chasing a deer and an antelope among palm-trees, spirals and bovine heads. The latter, with their exaggerated eyes, dominate the composition. This pyxis is a unique find both because of the wood, which rarely survives from the Mycenaean period, but also because of the distinctive character of the scene depicted. (x)


Ancient Mycenaean and Vapheio cups.

Within the first photo is a belled cup (chamber tomb ΣΤ, 1500-1450 BCE), a Vapheio cup (chamber tomb Γ, 1600-1500 BCE), and a mug (chamber tomb ΙΣΤ, 1350-1300 BCE). All of these finds were excavated from the chamber tomb cemetery at Evangelistria on the NE slope of the Palamidi, Nafplio.

The Vapheio cups in the second photo are from Asine, Chamber tomb III, and date to the 16th century BCE.

Courtesy & currently located at the Archaeological Museum of Nafplion, Greece. Photo taken by Dan Diffendale.

Stirrup jar with octopus, ca. 1200–1100 b.c.; Late Helladic IIIC

A large, wide-eyed octopus stretches its tentacles across the curved body of this vessel. Flecks of paint and thin, arching lines denote the creature’s membranes, and large concentric rings represent its eyes. The spiraling ends of its tentacles lure the viewer around the sides to another, similar octopus that decorates the back of the jar. This type of vessel takes its name from the stirrup-shaped handles at the top. In antiquity, such jars—easy to carry and stow, and designed not to spill—were commonly used to transport wine and oil throughout the Mediterranean. Although this vessel is a product of the Mycenaean culture of mainland Greece, its marine imagery derives from the art of Minoan Crete. When the Mycenaeans conquered Crete (ca. 1450 B.C.), Minoan styles exerted considerable influence on the art of the mainland. The design on this vase ultimately derived from motifs that decorated marine-style vessels of the Late Minoan I period.

Control of the sea was essential to the Mycenaeans for gaining and maintaining power over their vast domain. The shape of this stirrup jar and its octopus decoration testify to the importance of the sea as an avenue of communication and source of food and wealth.

(Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Archaeologists Investigate a Massive Ancient Mycenaean Citadel

A team of archaeologists is surveying and excavating the remains of a major ancient Mycenaean citadel—an archaeological site featuring ruins that are turning out to be much more extensive than what meets the naked eye.

Under the leadership of Associate Professor Christofilis Maggidis of Dickinson College and the auspices of the Athens Archaeological Society, teams of specialists have been systematically surveying an imposing, island-like, flat-topped bedrock outcrop that rises 20-40 meters above a surrounding plain with a summit area stretching 49.5 acres at the northeastern edge of the Kopais basin in southeastern Greece. Known as the citadel of Glas and identified as consisting of ancient Mycenaean structures, the summit area featuring the ruins is estimated to measure ten times the size of the ancient citadel of Mycenaean Tiryns and seven times that of Mycenae, the famed city of Agamemnon of Homer’s Iliad. Read more.