Epic engineers of the past.
Trip Start Mar 27, 2013
49Trip End May 17, 2013
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The Mycenaean acropolis was home to the royal family of Atreida due to its natural fortifications. It's not the most impressive ruins I have seen but still had some interesting parts:
- the Lions Gate: the monumental entrance to the citadel consisting of a carving of 2 lions looking upward to the central pillar.
- granary: which contained pottery jars filled with seeds when first uncovered, hence the name.
- grave circle: a site they believe in which was buried members of the royal family due to the treasures contained when first unearthed
The views from up atop the mount were just spectacular and you can understand why this site was chosen. Easy to keep an eye out for enemies.
A little down the road was one of the most amazing feats of engineering I have seen so far. A tholos or beehive tomb dubbed the Treasury of Atreus. This incredible structure is shaped like a dome beehive which I guess isn't overly spectacular but what it is the sheer size of the blocks that were used to construct it that is so amazing The lintel over the entrance is absolutely massive, 8 meters long, 5 meters wide, 1.2 meters thick, and its weight is estimated to be as much as 120 tonnes. How on earth did they manage to not only transport something that size from the nearby quarry, how did they get it up onto the walls to form the entrance arch?
The passage that leads up to the tomb is called a dromos and is about 36 metres long, and 6 metres wide and is constructed out of stone blocks - again the sheer size of some of these is amazing. The inside of the tholos is 14.5 metre in diameter, and the ceiling is 13 metre high - photos can't convey the true picture.
Moving on from there we headed to a nearby restaurant for an early lunch. Our tour guide recommended the cooked artichoke special and most of us followed her advice. It was an beautiful lunch that everyone thoroughly enjoyed. So much so one of my fellow travellers went and spoke to the cook to find out how to make it. (NB 30 artichokes, 10 lemons squeezed, dill, olive oil, carrot and potato - google it)
Lunch over we hit the road for the 2.5hr drive to Olympia - birthplace of the Olympic Games.