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Treasury of Atreus

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Tom Elliott, April Kissinger, Eric Shea, Chelsea Lee, Sterling Wright Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Apr 18, 2019 10:43 AM History
A Bronze Age tholos tomb with a corbeled dome and monumental ashlar facade on the Panagitsa Hill at Mycenae.

Base map by Ryan M. Horne for Pleiades and the Ancient World Mapping Center (ancient terrain after the Barrington Atlas). Map interaction design and implementation by Sean Gillies, David Glick, Alec Mitchell, and Tom Elliott for Pleiades.

37.726806, 22.753603
  • Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae (unspecified date range)


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The "Treasury of Atreus" was built at Mycenae between 1300 and 1250 BC. It was not a treasury, but rather a tholos tomb for an important individual or family, and it remains the best preserved example of this form at the site. The tomb's facade consists of a large door approached through a corridor flanked by ashlar walls. The 16-foot door was once surrounded by engaged red and green columns with a decorative style suggestive of Minoan influence. These columns were covered in ornaments, rosettes, chevrons and spiral motifs. Above the entrance is a relieving triangle to reduce the weight of the superstructure on the monolithic lintel of the door. The interior of the tomb is shaped like a beehive, with stone corbeled courses laid around a circular base to create a dome-like structure. The enormous vault has a diameter of 48 feet and a height of 43 feet. There is an additional side chamber which is thought to have been used to store bodies from previous burials when the tomb was re-used.  Unfortunately, the Treasury of Atreus was heavily looted before its discovery and therefore the original grave goods have been lost.

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Tom Elliott, April Kissinger, Eric Shea, Chelsea Lee, Sterling Wright, Jeffrey Becker, and Adam Rabinowitz, 'Treasury of Atreus: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2019 <> [accessed: 27 May 2020]

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