Realms of Gold: A Journey in Search of the Mycenaeans

Realms of Gold: A Journey in Search of the Mycenaeans

Realms of Gold: A Journey in Search of the Mycenaeans

Realms of Gold: A Journey in Search of the Mycenaeans

Excerpt

"MYSTERY; A HIDDEN OR SECRET THING; SOMETHING BEYOND human knowledge or comprehension; an enigma" ( Oxford English Dictionary ).

A hidden or secret thing . . . that was how the Mycenaean civilization appeared to me long before I wrote a book about it eleven years ago; and so, I must admit, it still appears today, despite the vistas opened by archaeological and linguistic research over the past two decades. Why, then, add yet another book to the many which have been and are being published? The only justification I can offer is the attraction of something which is neither completely known nor completely unknown, like a great mountain under drifting cloud which reveals now a valley and then a peak, but never the whole. When the clouds part, other climbers can occasionally be seen. Not far away is Heinrich Schliemann, digging into the shaft graves of Mycenae and finding that Agamemnon's city was indeed "rich in gold"; farther up the slope strides Sir Arthur Evans, who revealed the glory of Knossos; a little farther away stands the American Carl Blegen, who discovered Nestor's palace at Pylos; near him is the young Englishman Michael Ventris, whose decipherment of the Linear B tablets found at Pylos and Knossos has been described as "the Everest of Greek archaeology."

Each of these men--and many others, such as Tsountas . . .

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