Tiryns /ˈtɪrᵻnz/ or /ˈtaɪrᵻnz/ is a Mycenaean archaeological site in Argolis in the Peloponnese, some kilometres north of Nauplion. Tiryns was a fort with occupation ranging back seven thousand years. It reached its height between 1400 and 1200 BCE, when it was one of the most important centers of the Mycenaean world and its most notable features were its palace, its cyclopean tunnels and especially its walls, which gave the city its Homeric epithet of mighty walled Tiryns. In ancient times, the city was linked to the myths surrounding Heracles, two of the three walls of the megaron were incorporated into an archaic temple of Hera. The site went into decline at the end of the Mycenaean period and this site was excavated by Heinrich Schliemann in 1884-1885, and is the subject of ongoing excavations by the German Archaeological Institute at Athens and the University of Heidelberg. In 1300 BCE the citadel and lower town had a population of 10,000 people covering 20-25 hectares, despite the destruction of the palace in 1200 BCE the city population continued the increase and by 1150 BCE it had a population of 15,000 people. Tiryns was recognized as one of the World Heritage Sites in 1999, Tiryns is first referenced by Homer who praised its massive walls. Ancient tradition held that the walls were built by the cyclopes because only giants of superhuman strength could have lifted the enormous stones. After viewing the walls of the citadel in the 2nd century CE. Tradition also associates the walls with Proetus, the sibling of Acrisius, according to the legend Proetus, pursued by his brother, fled to Lycia. With the help of the Lycians, he managed to return to Argolis, there, Proetus occupied Tiryns and fortified it with the assistance of the cyclopes. The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times and its base was powerful, and was constructed from two concentric stone walls, among which there were others cross-cutting, so that the thickness reached 45 m. The superstructure was clay and the roof was made from fire-baked tiles, the Acropolis was constructed in three phases, the first at the end of the Late Helladic II period, the second in Late-Helladic III and the third at the end of the Late-Helladic III B. The surviving ruins of the Mycenaean citadel date to the end of the third period, the city proper surrounded the acropolis on the plain below. At the beginning of the classical period Tiryns, like Mycenae, when Cleomenis I of Sparta defeated the Argives, their slaves occupied Tiryns for many years, according to Herodotus. Herodotus also mentions that Tiryns took part in the Battle of Plataea in 480 BCE with 400 hoplites, even in decline, Mycenae and Tyrins were disturbing to the Argives, who in their political propaganda wanted to monopolize the glory of legendary ancestors. In 468 BCE Argos completely destroyed both Mycenae and Tiryns, and transferred - according to Pausanias - the residents to Argos, however, Strabo says that many Tirynthians moved to found the city of Halieis, modern Porto Heli. Despite its importance, little value was given to Tiryns, its rulers and traditions, by epics
General view of the Citadel of Tiryns, with Cyclopean masonry
Plan of Tiryns excavations.
Fresco with a representation of a wild boar hunt. From the later Tiryns palace.