Skip to Content

Mycenaean

Mycenaean Greece refers to the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece (ca. 1600–1100 BC). It takes its name from the archaeological site of Mycenae in Argolis, Peloponnese, southern Greece. Other major sites included Tiryns in Argolis, Pylos in Messenia, Athens in Attica, Thebes and Orchomenus in Boeotia, and Iolkos in Thessaly, while Crete and the site of Knossos also became a part of the Mycenaean world. Mycenaean, and Mycenaean-influenced, settlements also appeared in Epirus, Macedonia, on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia Minor, the Levant, Cyprus, and Italy. Mycenaean civilization perished with the collapse of Bronze-Age civilization in the eastern Mediterranean, which is commonly attributed to the Dorian invasion, although alternative theories propose also natural disasters and climatic changes. This period of Greek history is the historical setting of much ancient Greek literature and myth, including the epics of Homer.