Principal investigators: Professor Kim Shelton,  Dr. K.A. Wardle

Sponsors: Mediterranean Archaeological Trust, Institute for Aegean Prehistory

Publication of the excavations conducted by Lord William Taylour in the 'Citadel House Area' at Mycenae between 1959 and 1969 for the Greek Archaeological Society is well underway in the series Well Built Mycenae.

New publication

 Reshaping the past: Where was the “Cult Centre” at Mycenae? in Eds. Schallin A-L. and Tournavitou I., Mycenaeans up to date, Acta Instituti Atheniensis Regni Sueciae, 56, Stockholm 2015, 577-596.

'The Citadel of Mycenae, a Landscape of Myth and Memory, in Eds. E. Borgna, I. Caloi, F.M. Carinci & R. Laffineur MNHMH/MNEME: Past and Memory in the Aegean Bronze Age, Aegaeum, 43, 153-164.

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Following the first exploration of Tsountas' House by Tsountas in 1886 and excavation of a large part of the South House by Wace in 1920, an island of unexcavated deposits remained inside the west extension of the Citadel Wall which became known during the post war excavation as the 'Citadel House Area'. This proved to contain a complex variety of buildings and deposits ranging in date from Early Mycenaean to Hellenistic. Worked started at the northern end of the site and the remainder of the South House was cleared, together with an associated building known as the South House Annex.

In the southern part of the site, a transverse baulk had been left to illustrate the stratigraphy and it was only in 1968, as this began to be removed, that the most remarkable finds in the whole area were made - a large piece of wall painting still in situ and a small room containing strange clay figures and coiled snakes of a kind unknown at Mycenae or elsewhere in the Mycenaean world. As excavation continued in 1969 it became clear that these came from two sets of cult rooms - now known as the Room with the Fresco Complex and the Temple Complex - which have made a unique contribution to understanding the religious practices of the Mycenaean world. Other 13th Century BC buildings in the same area - the Tsountas' House shrine and the Megaron - have been recognised as belonging to the same group and the area has become known as the Mycenae 'Cult Centre'. This term may perhaps be misleading in relation to Mycenae as a whole since there may well have been other cult areas in the Palace itself, or elsewhere in the Citadel and surrounding settlement.



West slope The Prehistoric Cemetery
Cult Centre  Grave Circle A
Room with the Fresco Complex   South House
Temple Complex Hellenistic
Mycenae index page Publication


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