Of course no visit to this ancient city would be quite complete without my usual lengthy tour of the Archeological museum. I dutifully spend the better part of a day doing just that. In the pride of place, at the entrance were the grave goods that all the grave robbers that missed. And what a hoard they missed.
Gold ornaments, vases, cups, plates, brooches, fancifully carved plates that attached to clothing are just the beginning. Headdresses and swords and daggers with inlaid designs are as intriguing as the signet rings. They remind me of the all the gold ornaments I saw in the museum in Tbilisi. They were from the 15th or 16th century BCE as well and must have been close contemporaries of the Myceneans. I can only imagine trade between the empires must have been frequent.
Here again are the images of women – as priestesses, as exalted deities. And despite the swords and daggers, a singular absence of war or battle in any of the beautiful craftsmanship. Instead, there are birds and flowers and animals and plants.
If the frescoes, potteries and the artifacts are anything to go by, the Mycenaeans who came after the Minoans seem to have retained much of the same beliefs, traditions and ways of life.