Monday, 24 July 2017

Mycenaean Gold

When Heinrich Schleiman excavated the ruins of Mycenae he telegraphed the emotional report: "I have looked upon the face of Agamemnon."

Death Mask of Agamemnon

Well now, thanks to the glorious National Archaeological Museum of Athens, so have I.

If there was one relic of classical civilisation that I always longed to see, this was it. And when I saw it, I couldn't help saying to myself, "I know you. I've seen people just like you."


In this wonderful place, the Trojan War happened yesterday.

Having read The Iliad, I've tended to regard the warlike Mycenaeans as essentially destructive. Here, preserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Greece are a few of the many examples of their remarkable craftsmanship that helped change my mind:
Gold cups and jewellery


Swords, two with golden hilts

Jewellery

Gold decorative items