Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns



The Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns are located in Greece along with 16 other World Heritage sites. These archaeological sites were added to the World Heritage list in 1999  for exhibiting items i, ii, iii, iv, and vi on the criteria chart which are described as:

“Criterion (i):The architecture and design of Mycenae and Tiryns, such as the Lion Gate and the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae and the walls of Tiryns, are outstanding examples of human creative genius. Criterion (ii):The Mycenaean civilization, as exemplified by Mycenae and Tiryns, had a profound effect on the development of classical Greek architecture and urban design, and consequently also on contemporary cultural forms. Criteria (iii) and (iv): Mycenae and Tiryns represent the apogee of the Mycenaean civilization, which laid the foundations for the evolution of later European cultures. Criterion (vi): Mycenae and Tiryns are indissolubly linked with the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, the influence of which upon European literature and the arts has been profound for more than three millennia.”

Basic Information:

Site Size (Mycenae): 120ha

Site Size (Tiryns): 70ha

Time period the site represents: 15th- 12th Centuries BC (known as the Mycenaean Period)

Archaeological Summary

Mycenae and Tiryns were nominated as a unit in order to call attention to the Mycenaean citadels located at these locations. The sites are grouped together because they “represent the same civilization and they complement one the other in their peculiarities.” Both of these serve as symbols of Mycenaean culture as well as fascinating examples of period architecture. The walls are set up in a cyclopean construction which shows an exceptional amount of planning and skill specialization. In addition, Mycenaean civilization is described in Homer’s works and is the basis of much of Greek and later European culture. Preservation of this site provides links, not only to the historical world, but to the arts as well, even through today.

Also, at Tiryns, some surprisingly well-preserved features of the citadel, including the representative buildings, provide insight into specific features of Mycenaean daily life. At Mycenae, buildings are less well-preserved but the fact that it is bigger balances it nicely with the data at Tiryns.

There are no known threats to this site at this time.


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