Tiryns is a Mycenaean
archaeological site in....

Tiryns is a Mycenaean archaeological site in Argolis in the Peloponnese, some kilometres north of Nauplion.

Tiryns was a hill fort with occupation ranging back seven thousand years, from before the beginning of the Bronze Age. It reached its height between 1400 and 1200 BC, when it was one of the most important centers of the Mycenaean world, and in particular in Argolis. Its most notable features were its palace, its cyclopean tunnels and especially its walls, which gave the city its Homeric epithet of "mighty walled Tiryns". In ancient times, the city was linked to the myths surrounding Heracles, with some sources citing it as his birthplace.

The famous megaron of the palace of Tiryns has a large reception hall, the main room of which had a throne placed against the right wall and a central hearth bordered by four Minoan-style wooden columns that served as supports for the roof. Two of the three walls of the megaron were incorporated into an archaic temple of Hera.

The site went into decline at the end of the Mycenaean period, and was completely deserted by the time Pausanias visited in the 2nd century AD. This site was excavated by Heinrich Schliemann in 1884-1885, and is the subject of ongoing excavations by the German Archaeological Institute at Athens and the University of Heidelberg. In 1300 BC the citadel and lower town had a population of 10,000 people covering 20-25 hectares. Despite the destruction of the palace in 1200 BC the city population continued the increase and by 1150 BC the population were 15,000 people.

Tiryns was recognized as one of the World Heritage Sites in 1999


The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. A lesser neolithic settlement was followed, in the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, by a flourishing early pre-Hellenic settlement located about 15 km southeast of Mycenae, on a hill 300 m long, 45–100 m wide, and no more than 18 meters high. From this period survived under the yard of a Mycenaean palace, an imposing circular structure 28 meters in diameter, which appears to be a fortified place of refuge for the city's inhabitants in time of war, and/or a residence of a king. Its base was powerful, and was constructed from two concentric stone walls, among which there were others cross-cutting, so that the thickness reached 45 m.

The superstructure was clay and the roof was made from fire-baked tiles. The first Greek genders, the creators of the Middle Helladic civilization and the Mycenaean civilization after that, settled Tiryns at the beginning of the Middle period (2000-1600 BC) though the city underwent its greatest growth during the Mycenaean period. The Acropolis was constructed in three phases, the first at the end of the Late Helladic II period (1500-1400 BC), the second in Late-Helladic III (1400-1300 BC) and the third at the end of the Late-Helladic III B (1300-1200 BC). The surviving ruins of the Mycenaean citadel date to the end of the third period. The city proper surrounded the acropolis on the plain below.

The disaster that struck the Mycenaean centers at the end of the Bronze Age affected Tiryns, but it is certain that the area of the palace was inhabited continuously until the middle of the 8th century BC (a little later a temple was built in the ruins of the palace).

At the beginning of the classical period Tiryns, like Mycenae, became a relatively insignificant city. When Cleomenis I of Sparta defeated the Argives, their slaves occupied Tiryns for many years, according to Herodotus.[8] Herodotus also mentions[9] that Tiryns took part in the Battle of Plataea in 480 BCE with 400 hoplites.

Even in decline, Mycenae and Tyrins were disturbing to the Argives, who in their political propaganda wanted to monopolize the glory of legendary (and mythical) ancestors. In 468 BC Argos completely destroyed both Mycenae and Tiryns, and transferred - according to Pausanias - the residents to Argos, to increase the population of the city. However, Strabo says that many Tirynthians moved to found the city of Halieis, modern Porto Heli.

Despite its importance, little value was given to Tiryns, its mythical rulers and traditions, by epics and drama. Pausanias dedicated a short piece (2.25.8) to Tiryns, and newer travelers, traveling to Greece in search of places where the heroes of the ancient texts lived, did not understand the significance of the city.


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