Believe it or not we haven’t been in ancient Mycenae site since some high school field trip.
Since we were in Athens, Greece those days we decided to take the kids and have some fun exploring the kingdom of Agamemnon for which many words have been written.
The term relates to the period from ca. 1600 to 1100 B.C. in Greece. This name comes from the site of Mycenae (Peloponnese), where a grand palace was.
The remains can be still seen today. It was the kingdom of King Agamemnon, according to Homer. The same Agamemnon who led Greeks into the Trojan war.
It was brought to light by the well known archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann (around 1870).
During that period, the whole of the Greek mainland went through an era of prosperity. Centers like Mycenae, Tiryns, Thebes, and Athens were related to that.
Lots of luxury items, pottery and jewelry were produced, based on precious metals and glass. The Mycenaean art was strongly influenced through the contact with Minoan Crete of that period.
A spectacular amount of objects was discovered in the Mycenae Archaeological site. Most are exhibited into the Mycenae Archaeological museum.
Ancient Mycenae Archaeological Site
The site is divided into parts with different entrance, yet in 5 minutes walking distance from each other. You can get your ticket and visit both. The museum is located in one of them.
Placed on a hill the area oversees the whole valley.
In one of the sites you will see the famous Lion’s Gate and the museum, while in the other the tomb of Agamemnon.
The Treasury of Atreus (or Tomb of Agamemnon) is a large “vaulted” tomb, constructed during the Bronze Age around 1250 BC. The floor to ceiling height is 13 meters while the lintel stone above the doorway weighs 120 tons.
Don’t neglect to get to the top and visit the underground aqueduct of the fort, going really deep in the mountain. In a hot day it is -at least- interesting and cool.
Mycenae Lion Gate
The Lion’s Gate is considered one of Greece’s Megalithic Monuments. The “relieving triangle above the lintel (masked by the relief of lions), is the oldest monumental relief in Europe.
The gate was closed by a double door (not present). The gate is dated circa 1240 BC.
Archaeological Museum of Ancient Mycenae
The Museum is built next to the citadel at Mycenae. A modern and really well organized museum hosts the treasures and artifacts found in the ancient archaeological site, but not all. The most important ones are exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.
The exhibition is deployed in 4 thematic units. The first 2 rooms relate to the life of Mycenaean people and their burial customs.
The other 2 rooms relate to the usage and role of Mycenae during history, and the activities of Mycenaean people.
The latter is very important as it reveals the uniqueness of the Mycenaean Civilization.
A copy of the Golden Mask of Agamemnon (grave mask) is also exhibited in one of the rooms. It was found in the Treasury of Atreus location. If you want to see the original piece (made of pure gold) then you need to pay a visit to the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.
Mycenae Opening Hours & Entrance Fee
Entrance fee falls under these variations:
Full: €12, Reduced: €6
November-March: 6 euro April-October: 12 euro
01Apr – 31Oct Tue-Sun, 0800-2000
01Apr – 31Mar Mon, 1200-2000
01Nov – 31Mar Tue-Sun, 0800-1500
You can combine your tour in the Ancient Mycenae archaeological site and museum with a visit to Epidaurus and many more important sites in the nearby area.