For almost three thousand years, the Mycenaeans, ancestors of the classical Greeks, lay lost and forgotten beneath the soil of Greece. In 1876, however, a German businessman, Heinrich Schliemann, in his search for the great Mycenaean king Agamemnon and other heroes of the Trojan War, made an astounding discovery in Mycenae: inside the monumental Lion Gate he discovered shaft graves belonging to a warrior elite, many of whom were buried wearing striking gold funerary masks and armor.
In this authoritative new survey, Schofield examines these initial discoveries and other material evidence from Mycenaean culture, including painted pottery, documents in Linear B script, and the remains of fortress-palaces, all of which have yielded important information about the social hierarchies, religion, and military and trading activities of this wealthy and sophisticated culture. The author also considers the factual basis for the Mycenaeans' legendary links with the Trojan War and the various explanations for the eventual decline of their civilization.
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acropolis Aegean Agamemnon Amnisos appear archaeological record areas Argolid armour boar's-tusk helmet Boiotia buildings built burials buried carved chamber tombs chariot citadel clearly coast Crete Cult Centre Cyprus dagger dating decorated deities depictions destructions early Mycenaean earthquake East Egypt Egyptian elite evidence excavated figurines fortified fourteenth century fresco funerary goddess Grave Circle Hattusa Hittite Homer hunting identified important instance island ivory jewellery king kingdom Knossos land Late Bronze Age Linear B tablets Lion Gate Mediterranean megaron Messenia metal Middle Bronze Age Midea Miletos Minoan Myce Mycenae Mycenaean culture Mycenaean Greece Mycenaean palaces Mycenaean pottery Mycenaean warriors Mycenaean world naean Nichoria Orchomenos Peloponnese perhaps Phylakopi poems probably Pylos region ritual rooms ruins rulers scenes Schliemann settlements Shaft Grave sheet gold ship shrine stone sword terracotta Thebes Thera tholos tomb Tiryns town trade Trojan Troy twelfth century Ugarit vessels walls Wilusa women