Mycenaeans Facts: Let Us Learn About This Ancient Greek Civilization | Kidadl


Mycenaeans Facts: Let Us Learn About This Ancient Greek Civilization

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Mycenaeans were members of warlike groups.

It is believed that the Mycenaeans belonged to a warlike group that comprised Indo-Europeans. This group was estimated to have entered Greece in the year 1900 BC.

With the arrival of the Mycenaeans in Greece during 1900 BC, the development of mainland Greece took place. They created mainland Greece and supposedly ruled the place for quite some time. It is estimated that the Mycenaeans lived in Greece from 1900 BC to around 1100 BC. During this long tenure, the famous bronze age developed in Greece. This bronze age was not only restricted to the mainland but also covered the outer city. During this the most important city that was in political control was Mycenaean and hence the people were called Mycenaeans. Apart from being the most important city, it was also the largest city and most of the Greek culture was vividly noticed in the city. According to historians, these people were also considered to be the first Greeks. As per research, this claim was being made, as they were the first people known to historians who could speak Greek. As we know, they lived between 1900 to 1100 BC, initially they were dominated by the Minoan. By 1400, the supremacy of power changed and the Minoans got replaced by the Mycenaeans. Since 1400, the trace of the Mycenaeans was found till 1100 BC. It is believed by the emergence of the 2nd century AD, the only existence of the Mycenaeans was found in the remembrances of the people. During the time of their rule, the highest population of the Mycenaeans was recorded to be around 30,000. These people not only lived in Mycenae but also in Thebes and Athens. The culture, politics, and living style of these people could be found in the pages of the Homeric epics. From these writings, theories and strategies about their trading culture were decoded. They created large ships and boats made of wood and traded through the Mediterranean. Mycenaeans usually traded olive oil and wine from places like Egypt. Apart from that, a lot of handmade goods that were made by the artisans of Greece were very much in demand. All of those goods were also traded.

History Of Mycenaeans 

The history of the Mycenaeans can go back to as early as the BC era. Their first trace of existence was found during 1900 BC when they came to Greece. These people have built, made, and left a lot of signatures and important artifacts pertaining to the growth of human civilization down the years. The Mycenaeans contributed a lot to the decoding of the stages and mysteries of Greek mythology. Most importantly, history believes these people to be the most primitive Greeks.

Before we get into the history of the Mycenaeans, we must talk about the meaning and derivation of the word. The name of the people and the entire civilization is assumed to have been taken from Mycenae in the Peloponnesos. Mycenae was celebrated by Homer who recorded the royal epoch of King Agamemnon. He is famously known in the Greek world as the king who led the Trojan War. The Mycenaeans were members of a warlike group. Partially they could also be considered as nomads. According to historians and Mediterraneans, they came to Greece and settled down around 1900 BC. Although they came around 1900 BC, most of the evidences that were recovered from archaeological sites were estimated to be from the period in between 1600 to 1000 BC. Initially, when they arrived in Greece, that land was being ruled by Minoans. Minoans mostly stayed and ruled from the islands and the outer part of the city. They dominated the Mycenaeans for over 200 years after which the power of supremacy was taken over by the latter. When Mycenaeans took over, they created the mainland of Greece and predominately ruled Greece from there. According to archeologists, the fall of the Minoans took place during 1450 BC and it was assumed to be because of natural calamities like earthquakes. Due to the unstable political condition, it was easy for the Mycenaeans to take over the throne. Even though the Mycenaeans are considered to have spoken the most primitive version of the Greek language, they adopted the language of Minoans. After coming in control, the Mycenaeans maintained a successful political balance in Greece for almost 400 years. But unfortunately, it did not last after that. Historians believed that the downfall of the dynasty occured during 1250 BC. Burnt remains have been found from the archaeological sites that went back to somewhere between 1250-1150 BC. Based on mythology and the remains, the historians claimed that most of the cities that were prospering under the leadership of the Mycenaeans were burnt into ashes during this time. The historians could not reach a definite answer as to the reason for the downfall of this civilization. Although they suggested a few situations that might have had taken place. Historians suggested attacks from the invaders like the Dorians or the sea people. Some suggested that natural calamities like earthquakes, famines, or droughts must have caused the downfall. After the downfall, the age that arrived in Mycenae was termed the dark ages. The period saw a decline in the population and a lot of deaths due to repeated droughts and famines.

Society And Culture

As we know, the Mycenaean took over the charge of governing Greece after the Minoan. Along with the change of the powers, a lot of characteristics changed in the social lives of the people. But along with the changes, a few of the social traditions were also seen to have been carried on.

The pieces of evidence of the social lives of the people were found majorly in the cities like Mycenae, Tiryns, Thebes, and Athens. The social life in the cities was believed to be based on hierarchy. The class system was followed by the people thoroughly. People belonging to the higher classes either became priests and preached religious norms or they might serve in the military, protecting the country. People belonging to the lower classes were looked down upon and would work as craftsmen or jewelers. A lot of remains of various artifacts and jewels were found from the archaeological sites. There were remains of a lot of workshops that used to make bronze vessels or shops of jewelers with precious stones. All the pottery goods and metals goods were at the peak of their production during the time of the Mycenaeans. Most of these goods were appreciated all around the world and were traded to different parts of the world through the Aegean sea and the Mediterranean. Along with goods, edible products like oil and wine were also some of the most traded items of the Mycenaeans. As we know, the social life in the country was based on the class system. A lot of the citizens belonging to the higher classes were seen to be attached to elite professions. Most of them were warriors and great engineers. Not only did the country build up an excellent armed force but also created numerous enduring bridges, buildings, and parks. Most of the population of the country was comprised of people from the less wealthy classes and hence the civilization noticed a massive production and usage of the goods made of bronze. Due to this reason, this age was also termed the Late Bronze Age. One major part of society was the writing of the language. Mino had a specific way of writing. This writing was adopted by the Mycenaeans and was found by historians. This particular form of writing in the present day is known as 'Linear B'.

Until archaeologist Arthur Evans discovered the archaeological site of the Mycenaean civilization in early 1900, the people and the civilization were unknown to the commoners.


Apart from the remains obtained from the archaeological sites a lot of information that has been gathered by modern-day scientists were from the societal and political hints derived from mythological scripts.

According to mythology, when the Mycenaeans first came to Greece during 1900 BC, they believed and worshiped gods of the supreme sky. They used to worship the sun, sea goddess, or the sky for instance. But with time, as they were becoming the rulers of the country, they started worshiping different gods. Traces of them worshiping gods like Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hermes, Artemis, Ares, Athena, and Dionysus were discovered. In the case of Dionysus, there was no trace of worshiping him, but he was found in a specific tablet that was discovered in Khania. So we can say, based on these findings and a few theories, historians claimed that the worshipping figures for the Greeks and the Mycenaeans were different. In terms of Greek mythology, there believed in heroes. whereas in the case of the Mycenaeans, they worshipped elements of nature as gods.


Q: What are the Mycenaeans known for?

A: The Mycenaeans from the Mycenaean period were famously known for the language they spoke. They were believed to have spoken the most primitive version of Greek.

Q: What are two facts about the Mycenaeans?

A: Two major facts regarding the Mycenaeans are the primitive Greek language that they spoke and their immense love for the things that were made of bronze and jewels.

Q: What did Mycenaeans invent?

A: They are known for inventing a language called the "Linear B'. A part of this language was inspired and taken from the Minoan language.

Q: Who were the Minoans and the Mycenaeans?

A: Minoans were the rulers of Greece who ruled the country from the island of Crete between 2600 BC to 1400 BC. Whereas the Mycenaeans were members of a warlike group that came to Greece during 1900 BC and then ruled Greece from 1600 BC up rill 1100 BC.

Q: Where did the Mycenaeans live?

A: The Mycenaeans after coming to power, settled in mainland Greece. Historians believe that they mostly live on the mainland. But apart from that traces of their existence were also found in the cities like Athens, Mycenae, Tiryns, and Thebes.

Q: What made the Mycenaeans rich?

A: The developed agricultural sector and international trading made the Mycenaeans extremely rich.

Q: What happened to the Mycenaeans?

A: According to historians there could have been two possibilities. Some believe that they were attacked by invaders while some believe that the civilization came to an end due to natural calamities like an earthquake or a famine.

Q: What new architectural form did the Mycenaeans develop to bury their kings?

A: They came up with these tombs known as the tholos tombs to bury their kings. These tombs were made by the artifacts and in certain cases, the tomb contained delicate designs and patterns.

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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