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Grave Circle A at Mycenae

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Michelle Willoughby, Tom Elliott, Olesya Kolos Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Aug 28, 2020 05:31 PM History
Grave Circle A encloses a royal cemetery within the walls of the citadel of Mycenae; inside it are six shaft graves constructed around 1600 BC.

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The so-called "Grave Circle A" contains six vertical shaft graves that measure from 3 to 3.5 meters in width and 4.5 to 6.4 meters in length. These graves contained a total of nineteen individuals: eight women, nine men, and two infants. Pottery found in the graves dates the burials to the end of the Middle Helladic (MH) to the early Late Helladic (LH) period (16-15th c. BC). Grave Circle A represents a transition from the cultural stagnation of the MH period to the active cultural exchange with communities outside Greece that characterized the LH period. Archaeologists argue over how this transition could occur so rapidly, but they generally agree that many of the luxury goods found in these graves reflect the artistic styles of Crete and Egypt, either of which could have played a role in the accumulation of wealth by the Mycenaeans. Stelai discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in the upper level of the Circle were assumed to mark the graves at ground level, while the enclosing circle itself, built from stone slabs, may have marked the area not only as a cemetery but also as a temenos – a sacred enclosure or precinct.

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Michelle Willoughby, Tom Elliott, Olesya Kolos, Jeffrey Becker, and Adam Rabinowitz, 'Grave Circle A at Mycenae: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2020 <> [accessed: 25 February 2024]

            {{cite web |url= |title=Places: 780715578 (Grave Circle A at Mycenae) |author=Willoughby, M., T. Elliott, O. Kolos |accessdate=February 25, 2024 11:20 am |publisher=Pleiades}}