Behind the Mask of Agamemnon

Behind the Mask of Agamemnon

By John G. Younger, Spencer P.M. Harrington, William M. Calder III, Katie Demakopoulou, David Traill, Kenneth D. S. Lapatin, and Oliver Dickinson

Archaeology, Vol. 52 (1999)

Introduction: “I have opened up a new world for archaeology,” said Heinrich Schliemann after his 1871-1873 excavation of Troy. Schliemann was speaking the truth; the businessman-turned-archaeologist had shown that Homer’s epics may have been based in fact. Schliemann next turned his attention to Mycenae, where the ancient geographer Pausanias had located the grave of Agamenon, the leader of the Greek assault on Troy, and his fellow soldiers. Unlike previous scholars, Schliemann interpreted Pausanias meaning the Homeric graves were within the walls of the Bronze Age citadel, not outside. Test Schliemann conducted in 1874 inside the wall revealed house walls, a tombstone, and terracotta artifacts – promising evidence for a future investigation.

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