| Description | | Exhibits |

The Mycenaean Collection

Gallery 4. Exhibition of Mycenaean Antiquities
Objects of the Late Bronze Age constitute the greatest part of the Mycenaean collection. These come mainly from large centres of the Argolid, especially Mycenae, but also from Messenia, Lakonia and Attika. They were found mostly in graves and date from 1600 to 1100 BC. The precious grave gifts from the royal graves excavated by H. Schliemann at Mycenae at the end of the nineteenth century, are especially amazing.

The display occupies the large central room of the museum's ground floor (Room 4) and a small adjacent room (Room 3). The finds are grouped chronologically and by provenance. The visitor is introduced to the Mycenaean civilization through documents relating to the archaeological site of Mycenae and the excavation history of the grave circles. They can learn more about the development of Mycenaean civilization, the different forms it took in various parts of Greece, the relations of the Mycenaean centres with other regions and the first appearance of the Greek writing. Two models of the citadels at Mycenae and Tiryns complete the display.
Eleni Papazoglou-Manioudaki, archaeologist

Exhibition Units
Mycenae Grave Circles A and B (Room 4)
The precious grave gifts discovered during the excavations of the royal tombs at Mycenae constitute some of the museum's most important exhibits. Grave Circle A was excavated by H. Schliemann at the end of the nineteenth century, while Grave Circle B was excavated mainly by I. Papadimitriou and G. Mylonas. The display begins with a series of funerary stelai that marked the royal tombs. However, it is the dazzling grave gifts that steal the show: unique gold death-masks, richly decorated bronze weapons, ostrich-egg rhyta, ivory and stone artefacts, ceramic and metal vases and vessels, and fine jewelry made of semi-precious stones and metals.
- Mycenaean acropoleis of Mycenae, Tiryns and Pylos (Room 4)
This unit contains finds from the palace on the acropolis and houses located outside the Mycenae citadel, from the Tiryns acropolis and the Pylos palace, including part of the very important Linear B archive, the first Greek script. The wall-paintings from Mycenae and Tiryns, which depict a chariot procession and a wild boar hunt, and the seal stones with religious representations, are especially noteworthy. Mycenae's trading relations with foreign lands are presented here through objects imported from Cyprus, Egypt, Syro-Palestine and North-East Europe.
- Tholos and chamber tombs of the Argolid and Lakonia (Room 4)
Besides the rich grave gifts of Mycenae (jewelry made of gold, semi-precious stones, glass, and fayence, bronze weapons, silver vessels, clay vases and figurines) this room also contains the few artefacts recovered from Mycenae's looted tholos tombs. Here one can also see the grave gifts from several Argive chamber tombs (Prosymna, Nauplion, Deiras, Asini), those from the richest grave groups outside of Mycenae, namely the tholos and chamber tombs of Dendra (Midea), and the grave gifts of the tholos tombs of Messenia and Lakonia, including the two remarkable Vapheio cups, which are decorated with relief representations of bull catching.
- Mycenaean tombs of Attica, Thessaly, Skopelos and Kythera (Room 3)
This unit presents finds from Mycenaean centres outside the Peloponnese, the earliest being those from various Attic sites, such as Marathon, Thorikos, Varkiza and Athens. These are followed by the grave gifts, some of which are made of ivory and glass, from Spata and Menidi (fourteenth-thirteenth centuries BC) and the finds from the Mycenaean cemetery at Perati (twelfth century). The display includes grave gifts (gold vessels, ornate gold, glass and fayence jewelry, ivory objects, bronze weapons and ceramic vases) from Thessaly, Skopelos and Kythera.