view of Nemea Valley  

FROM THE DIRT TO THE MUSEUM

a website sponsored by
the National Endowment for the Humanities
and Bryn Mawr College

 

 
  

 
 
 

 
 
WHO WERE THE MYCENAENS?

 

The term "Mycenaean" (pronounced "My-sen-EE-an") refers to the people who lived on mainland Greece between approximately 3000 BC and about 1200 BC (between 5000 and 3200 years ago). The cemetery at Ayia Sotira probably was made toward the end of this period. Most artifacts we found seem to date to about 1400 BC (or 3,400 years ago)!

The Mycenaean period gets its name from an important archaeological site near Nemea called Mycenae ("My-SEE-nee").  You can read more about it here.

Most archaeologists think that the Mycenaens lived in small, independent kingdoms.  There may have been a few central capitals also. We do not know much about Mycenaen religion, but the names of some of their gods were used in later times in Greece. 

The Mycenaean civilization ended around 1,200 BC, when many towns were abandoned or destroyed.

 


 

 

MYCENAEN POTTERY
Here are some photos of pottery from the Ella Reigal Memorial Museum at Bryn Mawr College. We found many things that looked like these.   The upper photo is a kylix (a kind of drinking goblet).  Below that is a stirrup jar. Can you see the decoration?


 

 

 
Copyright © 2007 Johanna Best