The Unknown Peloponnese
Discover the Known & Unknown Mycenae, Peloponnese
Day 1 of 2 days
See Ancient Mycenae and discover the forgotten sites associated to this great era when Mycenae was one of the major centres in Greek civilisation and which dominated most of Southern Greece. The archaeological sites of Mycenae and Tiryns are the imposing ruins of the two greatest cities of the Mycenaean civilization, which dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from the 15th to the 12th century B.C. and played a vital role in the development of classical Greek culture. These two cities are indissolubly linked to the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey , which have influenced European art and literature for more than three millennia!.
First stop: Ancient Mycenae
Ancient Mycenae Mycenaean culture flourished on the Greek mainland in the Late Bronze Age, from about 1600 to 1100 BC. The name comes from the site of Mycenae, where the culture was first recognized after the exacavations in 1876 of Heinrich Schliemann (1822-90). From about 1400 BC the Mycenaeans built palaces characteristically centred on a megaron or great hall. Also at this time the huge fortifications of the Mycenaean citadels were first constructed. Three of these citadels, Mycenae, Tiryns and Midea, dominate the Argive plain in the north-eastern Peloponnese - the heart of Mycenaean culture. Mycenae was a citadel palace that included extensive fortifications, granaries, guardrooms, shrines and a few private dwellings situated around the palace complex. The palace consisted of a central megaron meeting hall, throne room and courtyard with adjacent private quarters, storerooms, guard stations and administrative rooms. Outside the Lion Gate and massive walls of the citadel are found the private houses, workshops, public works and other features of the dispersed settlement and the tholos tombs of the ruling clans!
Second stop: Heraion of Argos (Temple of Argive Hera)
The Heraion of Argos is dedicated to Hera, known as “Argive Hera” to readers of Homer. Hera claims to be the protector of Argos… and the temple occupies three artificially terraced levels on a site above the plain of Argos with a commanding view. Heraion is known to have ben ocupied from the Geometric era right through to Roman times.
Third stop: Berbati Gorge (Kleisoura Caves)
Berbati Gorge, known as Kleisoura Caves is located close to Dendra and Midea. More than Within the gorge 36 caves and rock shelters (of which nine were preserved archaeological remains) have been identified. The main location is the Klisoura Cave 1. Located at the entrance of the Berbati gorge, and just 7km. from the archaeological site of Mycenae. It follows the pattern of archaeological layers in this area dating from the Middle Paleolithic to the Neolithic era. The earliest dating dates the cave 100,000 years before the present day. The findings are rich and include Paleolithic and Mesolithic stone chippings, Neolithic pottery, animal bones and molluscs, plant remains: seeds, pollen, charcoal hearths made of clay used for burning and food preparation. The latter exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Nafplion. Aslo found, a small, circular structure decorated with stones resembling a hut, the floor of which identified traces of organic residues, beads made from perforated shells...
Fourth stop: Midea
Ancient Medea! Midea was the third fortified Mycenaean Acropolis after Mycenae and Tiryns in Argos. There were many artifacts found in the cemetery in the neighboring area of Dendra. The citadel was built atop a 270 Meter tall conical hill and dominates the eastern edge of the Argolic plain about half way between Mycenae and Tiryns. Excavations began in 1907 by the German Archaeological Institute and later in 1939 by a Swedish team, who found remains on the summit of the hill attributed to a palace. About 1 Km east of the Acropolis, there is one Tholos and 12 Chambered tombs.
Fifth stop: Dendra
The site has a history stretching back at least to the early Bronze Age and is significant for an impressive Bronze Age cemetery excavated in the first half of the 20th century. An unplundered tholos tomb and many Mycenaean chamber tombs have also been excavated, presumably belonging to the ruling classes having their dwelling at the nearby citadel of Midea. Subsequent excavations unearthed the unique and exquisite Dendra panoply of bronze armour, currently exhibited at the Archaeological Museum in Nafplio. Later excavations also brought to light Bronze Age tumulus burials which included sacrificed horses...