Ancient Aegean: c. 2700-1200 B.C.E.

19th century archaeologists sought evidence for Homer’s epic poems. Instead they uncovered the bronze-age art of the Cycladic islands (in the Aegean Sea), the Minoans (on Crete), and the Mycenaeans (on the Greek mainland).

The archaeological site of Knossos (on the island of Crete) —traditionally called a palace—is the second most popular tourist attraction in all of Greece.

The Palace at Knossos (Crete)

"Spring Fresco (detail)," Building Complex Delta, room delta 2, west wall, Akrotiri, Thera (Santorini), Greece
Hidden under volcanic ash for millennia, the beautiful frescoes in the houses of Akrotiri were recently unearthed.

Akrotiri, Thera

Male harp player from Keros (detail)
Modern artists fell in the love with these abstract 5000 year old sculptures—but what was their real meaning?

Male Harp Player from Keros

Mask of Agamemnon
“I have gazed into the face of Agamemnon,” boasted the man who discovered it—but is it really the Homeric hero?

Mask of Agamemnon

Interior view of lintel and relieving triangle, Treasury of Atreus Treasury of Atreus, c. 1300-1250 B.C.E., Mycenae, Greece
Below the great citadel of Mycenae, a passage into a hillside leads to a massive beehive-shaped tomb.

The Treasury of Atreus

Approaching Mycenae was awe inspiring: a massive hill, walls of enormous stones, and the fearsome Lion Gate.

Lion Gate