The Unknown Peloponnese
Discover the known & unknown Mycenae, Peloponnese
Day 2 of 2 days
First stop: Ancient Tiryns (Ancient Tiryntha)
The Mycenaean site of Tiryns is located on a rocky hill on the Argolid coast of Greece, just a 15 minutes from Tolo. The area was inhabited by the prehistoric time. The lesser neolithic settlement followed, in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, a flourishing early pre-hellenic settlement. The site is most famous for the Mycenaean palace (citadel), an imposing circular structure 28m in diameter dated to the Late Helladic period (14th-13th centuries BC). Its base was powerful, and was constructed from two concentric stone walls, among which there were others cross-cutting, so that the thickness reached 45m. The entrance to the Acropolis of Tiryns consists of a large gateway. The size of this, together with the method of construction, have led archaeologists to suggest it was built at the same time and by the same architect who built the Lion Gate at Mycenae. Also of interest are the Cyclopean fortifications between 4.5 and 7 meters thick, cyclopean tunnels and especially its walls, which gave the city its Homeric epithet of "mighty walled Tiryns". Evidence also exists of settlement around the citadel dating from the 14th century BCE. In addition, two tholos tombs from the late 13th century BCE and similar to those of Mycenae, lie 1 km from the citadel
Second stop: Mycenaean Dam & Tholos Tomb at Tiryns
About 4 kilometers east of Tiryns stands another remarkable feature of Mycenaean origin: a large dam constructed of earth faced with cyclopean masonry that diverted seasonal rainwater from a natural streambed into an artificially carved channel. This labor-intensive project protected the lower town of Tiryns from flooding by rerouting occasionally troublesome runoff further to the east. The tholos tomb nearby is a great example of Mycenae.
Third stop: Nafplion Archaeological Museum
Treasures found in the Nafplion Archaeological museum are particularly relevant to the lcoal sites visited on these two days...
Fourth stop: Kazarma Mycenaean Bridges/Acropolis/Myceanean Road - Arkadiko
The Arkadiko Bridge or Kazarma Bridge is a Mycenaean bridge near the modern road from Tiryns to Epidavros. Built during the Greek Bronze Age, the bridge is one of the oldest arch bridges still in existence and use and is one of four in the area. The Mycenaean road joins two of the bridges, Kazarma and Ptergefiri and the corbel arch bridge was part of a road between the cities of Mycenae and Tiryns and also formed part of a wider military road network. It is constructed in the typical Mycenaean manner of "Cyclopean" stones and the sophisticated layout of the bridge and the road indicate that they were specifically constructed for use by chariots. Built in the late Late Helladic III (Mycenaean) (ca. 1300–1190 BC), the bridge is still used by the locals. It is possible to walk along the ancient Mycenaean road from one bridge to another through the beautiful countryside. See also the Kazarma Acropolis situated on the hill above the bridge and the tholos tomb close by from where many treasures were recovered and are displayed in the Nafplion museum. See a map of the Mycenaean Road and bridges
Fifth stop: Ancient Asini & Barbouna Hill
The acropolis of the ancient city of Asini occupies the headland at the end of Tolo beach and Kastraki cove. The highest part of the headland is 52 metre aboce sea level and the views of Tolo, modern day Asini and Drepano's Plaka beach are breathtaking. The earliest human occupation of this site dates back to the Neolithic period (5th millenium BC). According to Homer, Asini participated in Trojan War and, together with the other Mycenaean cities of Tiryns, Epidavros & Argos sent 80 ships from Asini harbour to Troy. Asini was destroyed by Argos in around 700 BC according to Pausanias and the inhabitants moved or were moved to Asine in Messenia (modern day Koroni). Asini asa fortress or fortified settlement continued to exist many years after that. The circuit wall was constructed around 300 BC, probably by the Macedonian King Demetrios Poliorcetes. The main entrance lies in the north, with a side entrance in the east. The Great Bastion on the eastern side of the circuit wall, as well as two smaller towers on the acropolis, was built to resist catapults and other siege machines. The fortifications were added on to at least during the Byzantine (6th – 7th century A.D.) and the second Venetian (1686 – 1715) periods. During the Italian occupation in World War Two (1941 – 1943) trenches and other defense works were constructed on the Acropolis. The archaeological finds from Asinican be found in Nafplion's Archaeological Museum. In 1922 excavations of Barbouna Hill, just opposite Ancient Asini Acropolis, uncovered graves from the Helladic, Mycenaean, Geometric and Archaic periods and a Myceanaean Necropolis. On top of the hill remains of a temple dedicated to the Pythian Apollo was found and once again treasures are found in the Nafplion Archaeological museum.