The Treasury of Atreus, or Tomb of Agamemnon, is the largest and most impressive of the nine tholos tombs at Mycenae

Marija Georgievska
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The Treasury of Atreus, also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon, is the largest and the best preserved of the nine tholos found in Mycenae. It was constructed during the Bronze age, around 1250 BC.

Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae. Photo Credit

Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae. Photo Credit

The diameter of the tomb is almost 50 feet, and its height is slightly less. The intel stone above the doorway weighs 120 tons, with approximate dimensions 8.3 x 5.2 x 1.2 m. It is surmounted by a relieving triangle decorated with relief plaques.

The Treasury of Atreus is well preserved and perhaps was never completely lost to sight. Photo Credit

The Treasury of Atreus is well preserved and perhaps was never completely lost to sight. Photo Credit

This kind of tholos tombs are found all over Greece, they are about one hundred and nine of them are found in Mycenae.

The roof of the treasury. Photo Credit

The roof of the treasury. Photo Credit

The tomb of Agamemnon has no relationship with either Atreus or Agamemnon, because the sovereign buried there ruled at an earlier date than the two. It was named thus by Heinrich Schliemann and the name has been used ever since.

Detailed image of the entrance. Photo Credit

Detailed image of the entrance. Photo Credit

The tholos tomb was entered from an inclined uncovered hall of dromos, or ceremonial passageways, 36 meters long and with dry-stone walls. A short passage led from the tholos chamber to the actual burial chamber, which was dug out in a nearly cubical shape.

The nine tholos tombs at Mycenae are divided into two groups by a long hill called the Panagia ridge. Photo Credit..

The nine tholos tombs at Mycenae are divided into two groups by a long hill called the Panagia ridge. Photo Credit

The tumulus which is the entrance portal was richly decorated. It has half-columns in green limestone with zigzag motifs on the shaft, a frieze with rosettes above the architrave of the door, and spiral decoration in bands of red marble that closed the triangular aperture above an architrave.

The capitals are influenced by ancient Egyptian architecture. Other decorative elements were inlaid with red porphyry and green alabaster, a surprising luxury for the Bronze Age.

All the tholos tombs in Mycenae were found robbed and no one knows what kind of treasury was buried here. Photo Credit

All the tholos tombs in Mycenae were found robbed and no one knows what kind of treasure was buried here. Photo Credit

Here is another treasure story from us:The Treasure of Panagyurishte-one of the best known surviving artifacts of Thracian culture

The Treasury of Atreus, with its monumental shape and grandeur, is one of the most impressive monuments from Mycenaean Greece.