Published on December 11, 2008
The Mycenaeans Mycenaeans occupied mainland Greece about 200 0 BCE, becoming rivals to the Minoans about 1800 BCE, and eventually took over Cretan civilization about 1450 BCE.
A Warrior People • The Mycenaeans are a warrior people • They wear armor (like this guy in a boar-tusk helmet), drive chariots, and kill animals & people. • Honor and courage are primary virtues.
A Warrior People • The Mycenaeans were Greek. • They came to Greece around 2000 BCE. • They borrowed many local words, including the one for ‘sea’, Θαλασσα (thalassa)
Heinrich Schliemann • In the late 1800s, a German millionaire turned treasure hunter. • He dug up the ruins of Mycenae, and other prehistoric Greek sites. • He was the ﬁrst real archaeologist in Greece.
Heinrich Schliemann • Schliemann actually found Troy ﬁrst, but the Turks expelled him for taking artifacts. • He dressed his wife in the jewelry he found at Troy, calling her a “second Helen.”
The Grave Circle at Mycenae
Excavations at Mycenae • When Schliemann left Turkey, he came to Greece a hero, and the Greek government allowed him to excavate at Mycenae beginning in 1871. • Schliemann found a Bronze Age Greece no one had really understood before.
Mycenae Was Not Unknown People had known about it for centuries, but no one had done a signiﬁcant search of the fortress of the Sons of
It was even a tourist site! Engraving of the Lion Gate of Mycenae from about 1840 CE, about 40 years before Schliemann, shown choked with rubble.
Plan of Mycenae
Schliemann found ruins...
...that gave us an empire!
Mycenae ... • sat at the center of a road network... • traded with Egypt, Spain, Crete, Phoenicia, and maybe even Britain.
But the Mycenaeans... • were not peaceful. • Did not place nice. • Fought hard, played hard
The Megaron • The core of a Mycenaean palace was the Megaron. • The Megaron was a 2 1/2 room show- place designed to prove they weren’t barbarians...
Every Mycenaean palace • has a courtyard • with a porch • that leads to an anteroom • which precedes the four-pillared room • with a central hearth
The Inner Hall
Linear B... • The Mycenaeans conquered Crete and the Minoans eventually. • Then they stole their writing system, • Mycenaeans adapted it to their use. • Same symbols, diﬀerent sound values.
This is ancient Greek. • It just doesn’t look like ancient Greek. • the ‘Greek’ alphabet won’t even be invented for another 800 years. • This is Linear B Greek, not Linear A ‘Minoan’.
How do we know? • In 1936, a young boy named Michael Ventris heard Arthur Evans speak on two unknown languages, Linear A and Linear B. • He resolved to translate the tablets.
Linear B Deciphered • In 1953, aged 32, Ventris found the key, and proved Linear B was archaic Greek. • Ventris died in 1956, the same year Chadwick convinced everyone Ventris’s decipherment was correct.
Ventris was 14 when... • Ventris worked on the Linear B problem for 17 years. • He began as a 14-year- old boarding school student. • He was right.
Mycenaean Collapse • c. 1200 BCE, someone starts burning Mycenaean palaces deliberately. • Mycenaean records report posting sentinels and coast-guards. • An invasion was underway... or a civil war... we’re not sure which.
Mycenaean Fortresses • Mycenaean Palaces are reinforced with massive, “cyclopean” walls. • Palaces get destroyed anyway. • By 1100 BC, Mycenaeans are gone.
The Trojan War Did it Really Happen?
Will We Ever Know? • Not sure; evidence is pretty good. • War between Hittites & Mycenaeans? • Probably. • Achi!es? Odysseus? • Maybe... Maybe not
Mycenaean Greece continues to be mentioned in international affairs, ... The Mycenaeans invested in the development of military infrastructure, ...
Mycenae (Greek: ... The Mycenaeans adopted probably from the east a priest-king system and the belief of a ruling deity in the hands of a theocratic society.
A tribe rose to power in very early ancient Greece - the Mycenaeans. The Mycenaeans thought they were the best warriors in the world.
While we don't know what happened to the Minoans, they seem to have been taken over by the Mycenaeans from the Greek mainland, because after ...
Bronze Age Civilizations- The Mycenaeans. The Mycenaeans are named after the city-state of Mycenae, a palace city and one of the most powerful of the ...
The Mycenaeans were famous throughout the Mediterranean for their pottery. It was exported in large quantities to many of the other civilizations around ...
The Mycenaean civilization flourished in the late Bronze Age, from the 15th to the 13th century BCE and extended its influence not only throughout the ...
Mycenae was a fortified late Bronze Age city located between two hills on the Argolid ... A conflict between Mycenaeans and Hittites may well have ...
Religion: Little is known about the religious practices of the Mycenaeans. Only a few texts depict the name of Gods. A popular deity was Poseidon, (at the ...
Mycenaeans. The Mycenaeans were West Indo-Europeans, part of a much greater expansion and migration of Indo-Europeans from the northern shores ...