Mycenae is an archaeological site in Greece, located about 90 kilometres southwest of Athens, in the north-eastern Peloponnese. Argos is 11 kilometres to the south Corinth, 48 kilometres to the north. From the hill on which the palace was located, one can see across the Argolid to the Saronic Gulf.

In the second millennium BC, Mycenae was one of the major centres of Greek civilization, a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece. The period of Greek history from about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae. At its peak in 1350 BC, the citadel and lower town had a population of 30,000 and an area of 32 hectares.

The first correct identification of Mycenae in modern literature was during a survey conducted by Francesco Grimani, commissioned by the Provveditore Generale of the Kingdom of the Morea in 1700, who used Pausanias's description of the Lion Gate to identify the ruins of Mycenae.

The first excavations at Mycenae were carried out by Greek archaeologist Kyriakos Pittakis in 1841 where he found and restored the Lion Gate.In 1874, Heinrich Schliemann excavated deep shafts all over the acropolis without permission; in August 1876, a complete excavation of the site by Schliemann commenced with the permission of the Archaeological Society of Athens (ASA) and the supervision of one of its members, Panayiotis Stamatakis.

Schliemann believed in the historical truth of the Homeric stories and interpreted the site accordingly. He found the ancient shaft graves with their royal skeletons and spectacular grave goods. Upon discovering a human skull beneath a gold death mask in one of the tombs, he declared: "I have gazed upon the face of Agamemnon". Christos Tsountas, another member of the ASA, cleared a significant portion of the citadel during his excavations of the site beginning in 1884 and ending in 1902.Afterwards, Tsountas and the ASA gave permission to the British School of Archaeology (BSA) to excavate; the BSA conducted excavations from 1920 to 1955 under the supervision of Alan John Bayard Wace.After Wace died in 1957, excavation work was finished by Lord William Taylor from 1958 to 1969, especially on the west slope of the citadel.

The ASA continued excavation work on the site with efforts led by Ioannis Papadimitriou and Nicolas Verdelis in the late 1950s and early 1960s, as well as by George Mylonas from 1957 up until 1985. In 1985, excavation work was directed by Spyros Iakovidis who, as of 2009, is still overseeing the ASA's research mission in both fieldwork and publication preparation.

Since Schliemann's day, more scientific excavations have taken place at Mycenae, mainly by Greek archaeologists but also by the British School at Athens. The acropolis was excavated in 1902, and the surrounding hills have been methodically investigated by subsequent excavations. The Athens Archaeological Society is currently excavating the Mycenae Lower Town (as of 2011), with support from Dickinson College and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory.

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Fax : +30 27550 71259