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Mycenaean Greece

A brief introduction to diagnostic features and several sites

Pylos Resources

1. Stubbings, F. H. (1969). Carl W. Blegen and Marion Rawson: The Palace of Nestor at Pylos in Western Messenia. Vol. I: The Buildings and Their Contents. Princeton: University Press, 1966. Pt. I: 470 pp., col. frontis. and folding plan; Pt. II: 484 photographs and figs., col. frontis. Antiquity,43(169), 66-67. doi:10.1017/s0003598x00039995

One of the excavation publications from Pylos, this is a work that will provide a large amount of information. For the general reader it can be skimmed or sections of interest picked; however, it will contain technical terminology.

2. McCallum, L. R. (1990). Decorative program in the Mycenaean Palace of Pylos: The Megaron frescoes. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms International.

The Mycenaean palace at Pylos was extremely decorative with many artistic elements infused into its construction. This work provides an overview of the decorations with specific focus on its frescoes, which have many surviving fragments.


Pylos Summary

Pylos is one of the best preserved Mycenaean sites in Greece. The palace is in the far west of the Peloponnese, in sight of Navarino Bay. While the surrounding area is sets of ridges, the palace sits on top of a flat area roughly 150m by 90m. Unlike other citadels, Pylos was not fortified in the LH IIIB period while all other citadels expanded theirs.This has led to severa hypotheses for Pylos: that it was the unchallenged power in Messenia, that it relied on a large navy, or that they recognized the large negative effects of Cyclopean construction on the economy.

The Palace at Pylos was two stories tall and broken into three 'blocks'. It was constructed utilizing wood and limestone on the lower levels, while lighter mudbrick was used for the higher levels. The main palace area consisted of a megaron (with an extremely decorative throne room), propylon, magazine, and private chambers. The other two blocks were filled with workshops, magazines, and private chambers.

Pylos Images

Pylos Palace Architectural Plan
Pylos Archaeological Site view
Pylos Throne Room Artist's Rendition
Warrior Fresco, Pylos
Lyre Player Fresco, Pylos