Greek Cultural Periods > Bronze Age
The major Greek Bronze Age settlement of Mycenae was discovered by Heinrich Schliemann in the 1800's during the early pioneering years of archaeology and represents a major archaeological find and the beginnings of Bronze Age archaeology. The discovery of this settlement which dates to around 1,300 BCE at the height of the Late Bronze Age was supposedly discovered by Schliemann who examined the landscape as described Homer's epics the Iliad and the Odyssey. Much like how early biblical archaeologists set out to prove the Bible correct, this was Schliemann's personal crusade to give authenticity to his childhood classical stories.
Upon excavating the city Schliemann uncovered massive walls that fit right out of the ancient epic as well as rich grave stones full of valuable artifacts. However, Schliemann lived during an era where men behaved more like Indiana Jones than scientists and his excavation of the tomb is lacking serious methodology. In fact, researchers are still trying to piece all of his notes together and attempt to understand what was lost due to context and provenance which were concepts that did not even exist during this time, let alone major developed branches of archaeology in universities.
His discoveries at Mycenae yielded amazing artifacts which showcase the innovation, technology and capabilities of the Bronze Age Greeks at the height of their civilization. Not only do these discoveries lend credibility to the stories described by Homer, but they also helped pave the way for an even greater understand of the Near East as a whole. From Mycenae the exuberant Schliemann next managed to locate and hastily excavate the supposed city of Troy. While Heinrich Schliemann did not grasp the entire picture at the time, he was set upon the right path to open up for amazing future discoveries. It was a result of his efforts that more researchers and scholars have been able to examine these mysteries and shed light on an area of history with scarce written records.
See Early Bronze Age
The Early Bronze Age saw the height of the Minoans, as well as the Cycladic Culture. This area was the first major period of civilization following the Neolithic Period and saw domestication of crops as well as metallurgy and development of trade networks.
See Late Bronze Age
See Greek Dark Ages