Mycenaeans Did Not Keep Records, But Left an Archeological Trail

by Sarah Useche, age 14

Mycenae was the most powerful kingdom developed in Greece between 1600 and 1200 B.C. This kingdom had a very advanced culture. Although the Mycenaeans did not keep records, they left an archaeological trail. Archaeologists know from discovered artifacts that Mycenaeans communicated in a written language and developed technology.

This technology included huge stone walls surrounding the kingdom. Mycenaeans sailed ships and  developed extensive trade routes to Egypt, the Near East and the Baltic Sea. They imported tin to make bronze amber for jewelry, and gold. They extracted oil from olives, which they then perfumed and bottled, for export.

The Mycenaeans left behind some impressive and beautiful artifacts including decorated daggers, gold death masks, and boar helmets. The decorated dagger was carved with natural scenes. These illustrations were adorned with inlaid metals including gold, silver, and copper. The gold masks were made by beating a sheet of gold over a wooden mold of the deceased. The boar helmet was an elaborate piece of armor made from linen, leather, and bronze. Archeologists have found tombs with many of these rich treasures. Mycenae was clearly a rich kingdom with many innovations.

The Mycenaean way of living is a wonder to many archaeologists. The Mycenaeans’ kingdom came to an end in 1200 B.C due to recession. Historians say that earthquakes, wars, and fires triggered this economic upheaval. Even though not much remains of the Mycenaeans, archeologists have uncovered enough to understand they were one of the strongest kingdoms in ancient Greece.    

[Source: The Encyclopedia of the Ancient World]

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