The city of Tiryns,
situated on a ridge in the plain between Nauplion
and Mycenae, has been inhabited
since the Neolithic Age (3rd millennium BCE) but
greatest splendor in the late Mycenaean period (c.
1400-1200 BCE). The bluff on which it
stood was only 18 m (59 ft) higher than the surrounding
plain, which in ancient times was a salt march. Tiryns was
associated in ancient legend with Perseus and with Eurysthus,
in whose service Hercules
performed his twelve
labors. The palace on the
summit of the citadel was excavated (1884-85) by the German
archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann and until the later
discoveries in Crete was considered the most complete
example of the home of a prehistoric king in the Aegean
area. It includes entrance gates, paved courts, large halls,
vestibules, smaller rooms, and a bath. It was apparently
built by stages; the complex of buildings representing both
earlier and later palaces. Tiryns survived into the
classical period but was destroyed by Argos about 468 BCE.
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© All pictures are Copyright 2000 Grisel Gonzalez and Jeff