Mycenaean Greece

Max Westbrook

General Information

The Mycenaean were people that lived in Greece from 1500 BC to 1100 BC. Most of the time, individual city-states governed themselves, but they could united for a common cause, like the Trojan War.


The Mycenaean People had an abundance of resources (mostly grain and other crops) that they traded with neighboring civilizations. The upper class became very wealthy, and have been found buried with golden funeral masks, bronze weapons, tripods, and stemmed goblets.

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We know that the Mycenaean people could read and write. They wrote in a unique language that we have been able to translate. Unfortunately, we only have one sample of text from the Mycenaean, known as "Linear B." Linear B is a collection of tax records. Most likely, his means that only officials and wealthy people could read and write.

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The Mycenaean were a much more warlike people than the Minoans (who they conquered). They had a lot more armor and weapons, as well as fortifications and walls. In fact, the walls were so huge that later Greeks thought Cyclops had built them. We also see a depictions of war in their art.

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People were curious as to the exact geography of the Iliad. Archaeologists started digging in sites described in the Iliad. Mycenae was discovered in 1876 by Heinrich Schliemann .

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The Minoans were the civilization that existed before the Mycenaean people. The Mycenaean conquered the Minoans. This took place in about 1500 BC.

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The upper class of the Mycenaean people were very wealthy. The were the ones who benefited from the Mycenaean's extensive trading. The poor people, however, usually barely had enough to survive. This huge wealth gap eventually led to the Mycenaean's downfall.

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The Mycenaean people had a vast and reliable supply of food. Although they had access to the sea, they didn't really fish for food. They had access to huge farmlands, most of which grew grain. The farmlands were protected from invaders by the surrounding mountains. The Mycenaean traded the excess grain.

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The Mycenaean people were divided into individual city states. They were independent and functioned perfectly on their own, but they most likely looked at Mycenae as the highest power. The could unite for a common cause, such as the Trojan War.

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The Mycenaean conquered much more land than the Minoans. The Minoans were located primarily on Crete. The Mycenaean conquered most of the Peloponnese, hence the greater need for weapons and defensive barriers.

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The Mycenaean downfall was mostly the result of a grain shortage. This weakened their trading. That lead to fights between city-states over resources. This hurts Mycenaean trade even more. The cycle repeated until the Mycenaean were no more.

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Interesting Facts

1. Considered to be the one of the most important early civilizations

2. In addition to trading, the Mycenaean engaged in piracy all over the Mediterranean

3. Most Mycenaean beliefs and traditions were lost in the dark ages

4. Mycenaean people probably were polytheistic

5. They were the best civilization ever!!!!!!!!!!!

Major Characteristics of Mycenaean Culture