Located about a thousand feet south of the main acropolis, down the road from the main parking lot, is this tholos tomb. This was the tomb of a king, but we can't be sure which one. The popular names given to this site are not likely to be accurate. [ Click on each picture for a close up. ]

The tomb has been dated to 1350BCE. Over 100 of these type of tombs have been discovered in Greece, 9 at Mycenae.

The Blue Guide to Greece has a good description, which says in part:

"The dromos [entry approach] is 35m long and 6m wide; its walls .. are built of great squared of blocks of breccia .. and water-proofed behind with a lining of clay. At the end of the approach is a doorway nearly 5.5m high"



Note the triangle form above the entrance, echoing the form at the city gate. At at the city, this empty space relieve the weight to be born by the massive lintel..

The single lintel stone is estimated to be some 120 to 150 tons. Presumably it was dragged up a temporary ramp by sheer muscle power alone.

Inside there is a circular domed room. The Blue Guide:
"the tholos is a circular domed chamber, 13m high and 14.5m in diameter formed by well-fitting blocks of breccia in 33 concentric courses, joined without mortar... Each course overlaps the one immediately below it (corbelling), the topmost course being closed by a single block which, unlike the keystone of an arch, could be removed without endangering the stability of the structure."


The tomb is bare.


[1994 image]

There is a smaller room off to the north side of the main tomb which is 8m on a side and nearly 6m high. It seems it is no longer considered safe to walk into.

Note the smaller relieving triangle above this entrance.

(from 2009)




The interior of the main tomb.

Entrance at the left.

Last modified 9/19/09, first posted 3/24/04. Original content © 2009, 2004John P. Nordin