Mycenae is an archaeological site in Greece, located about 90 kilometres southwest of Athens, in the north-eastern Peloponnese. Argos is 11 kilometres to the south, Corinth,48 kilometres to the north, from the hill on which the palace was located, one can see across the Argolid to the Saronic Gulf. In the second millennium BC, Mycenae was one of the centres of Greek civilization. The period of Greek history from about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae, at its peak in 1350 BC, the citadel and lower town had a population of 30,000 and an area of 32 hectares. Although the citadel was built by Greeks, the name Mukanai is thought not to be Greek, legend has it that the name was connected to the Greek word mycēs. Thus, Pausanias ascribes the name to the legendary founder Perseus, the earliest written form of the name is Mykēnē, which is found in Homer. The reconstructed Mycenaean Greek name of the site is Mukānai, which has the form of a plural like Athānai, the change of ā to ē in more recent versions of the name is the result of a well-known sound change in later Attic-Ionic. An EH–MH settlement was discovered near a well on top of the Kalkani hill southwest of the acropolis. The first burials in pits or cist graves manifest in the MH period on the west slope of the acropolis, during the Bronze Age, the pattern of settlement at Mycenae was a fortified hill surrounded by hamlets and estates, in contrast to the dense urbanity on the coast. Richer grave goods mark the burials as possibly regal, mounds over the top contained broken drinking vessels and bones from a repast, testifying to a more than ordinary farewell. A walled enclosure, Grave Circle A, included six more shaft graves, with nine female, eight male, Grave goods were more costly than in Circle B. The presence of engraved and inlaid swords and daggers, with points and arrowheads, leave little doubt that warrior chieftains. Some art objects obtained from the graves are the Silver Siege Rhyton, the Mask of Agamemnon, the Cup of Nestor, Alan Wace divided the nine tholos tombs of Mycenae into three groups of three, each based on architecture. His earliest – the Cyclopean Tomb, Epano Phournos, and the Tomb of Aegisthus – are dated to LHIIA, burial in tholoi is seen as replacing burial in shaft graves. The care taken to preserve the shaft graves testifies that they were by then part of the royal heritage, being more visible, the tholoi all had been plundered either in antiquity, or in later historic times. Within these walls, much of which can still be seen, the final palace, remains of which are currently visible on the acropolis of Mycenae, dates to the start of LHIIIA,2. Earlier palaces must have existed, but they had cleared away or built over. The construction of palaces at that time with an architecture was general throughout southern Greece
The Lion Gate at Mycenae, the only known monumental sculpture of Bronze Age Greece
A view of the citadel.
The Tomb of Aegisthus outside the walls of the citadel.