Mycenae, Greece: Ancient and Mysterious

published 8 years ago by Rick Steves

Mycenae, a hilltop fortress located on the Peloponnesian Peninsula SW of Athens was the hub of a mighty civilization that dominated the Greek world between 1600 and 1200 B.C., a thousand years before Athens' Golden Age. The Mycenaeans were as distant and mysterious to the Golden Age Greeks as Plato and Socrates are to us today. Mycenae lay unappreciated until the 19th century when a treasure trove of gold was unearthed in the necropolis. Today, those treasures, including the so-called "Mask of Agamemnon" are the star attractions in Athens' National Archaeological Museum. This discovery affirmed the archeologists' theory that Mycenae was Homer's fabled city "rich in gold." For more information on the Rick Steves' Europe TV series — including episode descriptions, scripts, participating stations, travel information on destinations and more — visit

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