Who Were the Mycenaeans?

The Mycenaeans were Ancient Greeks that lived during the Helladic period, which occurred at the end of the Bronze Age from 1600 to 1200 B.C. The capital of their civilization was Mycenae.

Not much is known about the Mycenaeans except a few details from records and literature of the time and the 400-year length of their civilization. The Mycenaeans expanded from the mainland of Greece to Crete, ousting the Minoans around 1500 B.C. They adopted much from the Minoan civilization, including art, pottery and jewellery styles. The Mycenaeans also settled on the Cycladic Islands. Some of the major cities in the Mycenaean civilization include Athens, Argos, Sparta, Thebes and Pylos.

The Mycenaeans are mentioned in Homer's "Iliad," a historical piece about the Trojan War. Agamemnon was called the king of Mycenae. One relic of the people is a death mask of a Mycenaean king dating back to the 16th century B.C. Although the death mask supposedly belongs to Agamemnon, it was made 400 years before he lived. Other relics found in Greece made of copper, glass, gold and ivory suggest that Mycenaeans traded extensively with other civilizations settled around the Aegean Sea, as well as Egypt, Mesopotamia, Cyprus and Sicily.