Mycenae (2nd millenium BC)

Mycenae (2nd millenium BC)

The city with advanced culture was the first settlement in history to have a citadel.



Mycenae, Mycenaean civilisation, citadel, Lion Gate, World Heritage, Greece, Peloponnese, Heinrich Schliemann, Acropolis, archaeology, tholos, Greek, civilisation, building, edifice, Crete, palace, defensive wall, Hellas, Agamemnon, history, antiquity, centre

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  • What is Mycenae famous for?
  • Who conquered Mycenae in the 12th century BC?
  • Who founded Mycenae, according to Greek myths?
  • What name was given to citadels of ancient Greek polises?
  • In which part of Hellas is Mycenae situated?
  • The acropolis of which Greek city is the most popular tourist attraction today?
  • What does the term acropolis mean?
  • Who started the excavations at Mycenae?
  • What do we call a wall built of huge rocks put onto each other without the use of mortar?
  • Which of these is the famous main entrance of the citadel's wall?
  • Which of these was NOT in ancient Mycenae?
  • Who inherited the governance of Mycenae after the death of the founder's descendants, according to mythology?
  • Is the following statement true?\nArchaeologists found written clay tablets in the ruins of Mycenae.
  • What does the term 'tholos' mean?
  • Is the following statement true?\nThe tholoi were built without using mortar.
  • Who was largest and most famous tholos in Mycenae built for?
  • What was the difference between the usual tholoi and the one built for Atreus?
  • What building(s) stood at the\ntop of the citadel?
  • Who was the head of the polis of Mycenae?
  • When was the Treasury of Atreus built approximately?
  • What happened to the city of Mycenae after the Argives had conquered it in 468 BC?
  • Which era was the golden age of Mycenae?
  • Where are 'the lions of Mycenae' situated?
  • What type of writing did the ancient Mycenaens use?
  • Which building was the centre of economic life in ancient Mycenae?
  • Which of these is not a part of a usual tholos?
  • What held the dome of tombs together?



The Lion Gate and royal tombs

Palace and workshops


Atreus' treasury


Time travel


The antique ruins of Mycenae are located on the Peloponnese Peninsula in Greece. The first settlers arrived in this area in the Neolithic Age. Greek tribes appeared on the peninsula in the Middle Helladic Age, that is, in the 16th century BC.

Mycenae was built in several stages. The first grave circles were created at the beginning of the 16th century BC, but certain structures were built much later, in the 13th century BC. Built on a rocky promontory that could easily be defended, Mycenae was surrounded by what was called the Cyclopean wall, which is very special since it is made of stone blocks placed on top of one another without any binding material. The wall is therefore held together by the sheer weight of the blocks.

The city had more than one entrance. The most famous of these is the Lion Gate constructed between two 'ramparts'. Its columns and crossbar each weigh around 20 tonnes. The weight on the crossbar is supported by the relieving triangle, which is the forerunner to the arch. This triangle was carved with a relief depicting a pair of lions, hence the name of the gate. The layout of the city is very interesting since there are clearly separate quarters for the graveyard, the artisans and the nobility. This city is the first settlement in history to have an acropolis. The palace was built at the most defensible location within the citadel constructed on a natural rock.

Mycenae, the city that was long forgotten in the turmoil of thousands of years, and the culture named after her, were discovered in 1876 by the well-known archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann. Today this is one of the most visited antique sites in Greece. This legacy of the mythological king Agamemnon has officially been listed as a World Heritage cultural site since 1999.

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