Mycenae was the home of the Greek king-of-kings Agamemnon during the time of Homer’s Iliad. This was hundreds of years before the Classical Age began. Without any physical evidence to tell them otherwise, early historians believed that Homer’s epic tales of men and gods caught up in great battles must have been mythology and nothing more. When controversial archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered what he believed to be the city of Troy, those interpretations of the epics were cast into doubt. And when he followed that by unearthing the city of Mycenae in 1876, this became the final proof that caused everyone to recognize the Mycenaeans actually existed.
The most spectacular of those finds was the “Mask of Agamemnon” and other gold objects shown above. It later turned out that the golden death-mask was made about 300 years earlier than Agamemnon’s life, but it and the other golden burial objects were remarkable nonetheless. They showed that the Mycenaeans had a rich and thriving culture throughout their existence from 1550 BC to 1200 BC. The Mycenaean treasures–as well as their everyday pottery utensils–can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum at Athens and in other museums around Greece, including the modest one on site at Mycenae.
(image by Greeceguy)