Major Exhibition in Germany on Mycenaean Greece

One of the famous gold masks discovered at Mycenae in 1876 which German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann thought was the mask of Agamemnon. PHOTO: Public Domain

KARLSRUHE, Germany – The exhibition Mycenaean Greece: The legendary world of Agamemnon opened on December 1 at the Karlsruhe Palace Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany. The largest exhibition ever held on Mycenaean Greece, the exhibition includes over 400 items on loan from Greece, many of them for the first time outside of the country, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported.

“The visitors will be guided through an ancient world and can experience Mycenaean culture from its beginnings to its downfall,” co-curator Bernhard Steinmann told DW.

In support of “Greece’s efforts to fight against the looting of its antiquities,” DW reported that the museum is displaying artifacts all of which “come from Greek museums, as well as heritage agencies and secured excavation sites.”

According to a press release, the exhibition highlights include artifacts from the tomb of the Griffin Warrior that was discovered in May 2015 close to the Palace of Nestor in Pylos, one of the most significant archaeological finds in Greece in the last 65 years. Well-known items such as tomb furnishings from the legendary Shaft Grave No. 5 of the Mycenaean Grave Circle A are also on view. The German merchant and archaeological pioneer Heinrich Schliemann excavated the site where the famous gold masks were found in 1876.

Mycenae, the archaeological site near Mikines in Greece. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Vasilis Papadopoulos)

Schliemann thought he had found the tomb of legendary King Agamemnon, but scientists later dated the site to about 400 years before the Trojan War, DW reported. Visitors will have the unique opportunity to view one of the gold masks, as well as precious robe accoutrements, artistic drinking vessels, and impressive bronze swords. A recently discovered ancient crown found in a tomb in Routsi is on display for the first time ever in this exhibition.

Schliemann and other pioneers of Mycenaean archaeology, including his colleague Wilhelm Dörpfeld and the excavator of Pylos, Carl Blegen, are brought to life in the exhibition through animation to recount their discoveries in person. Interviews with the Heads of Research at current excavations, such as Professor Joseph Maran from Heidelberg University, familiarize exhibition-goers with the latest research findings. Meanwhile, younger visitors can participate in the hunt for a grave robber. A children’s detective story runs through the exhibition via several interactive stations, inviting them to solve the puzzle while playfully conveying Mycenaean living conditions.

This major exhibition is made possible thanks to collaboration between the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sport and the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg.

Mycenaean Greece: The legendary world of Agamemnon at the Karlsruhe Palace Museum runs through June 2, 2019.

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