Mycenaean artefacts make international debut in German exhibit

This mask discovered by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann will be on show as part of the exhibition “Mycenae – The Legendary World of Agamemnon” in Karlsruhe. Photo : dpa

Do you know your Mycenaeans from your Minoans? If not, good news: The world’s largest ever cultural-historical exhibition dedicated to Mycenaean Greece, which lasted from about 1600 to 1200 BC, is about to open in Germany.

“Mycenae – The Legendary World of Agamemnon” is being held at the Karlsruhe Palace and features 412 ancient objects from the era, some of which have never left Greece before.

They include a mask discovered by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann during excavation work of an ancient grave in Mycenae in 1876. This is not the famous Mask of Agamemnon, also discovered by Schliemann during the same dig, but another mask discovered a few days earlier.

However, experts say neither of the masks can actually be linked to the Homeric hero – scientists have put the date of the Trojan War and the life of the Greek leader Agamemnon at about 1200 BC, while the masks are about 400 years older.

The Mycenaean era, named after one of the most important cities in pre-classical Greece, led to the first high culture on the European continent.

The exhibition is a collaboration between Germany’s Badisches Landesmuseum and the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sport. It is on show at the Karlsruhe Palace until June 2, 2019. – dpa