As made famous by Homer’s Iliad, the war between the Trojans of the besieged city of Troy and the Achaeans (ancient Greeks) was led, on the latter side, by Agamemnon, king of Mycenae. Although a lot of the story is apocryphal, the city of Troy, based on excavations, is likely to be a real city at what is now Hissarlik in Turkey.
Mycenae, too, is now an archaeological site in Greece, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) southwest of Athens. During 1600 and 1100 BCE, it was one of the major centers of Greek civilization and a military stronghold.
The citadel there has been slowly excavated since 1841, and a golden death mask was found there by Heinrich Schliemann, a pioneering archaeologist. Upon his discovery, he declared that he had “gazed upon the face of Agamemnon.” Although it’s disputed by some as being far older than the rule of the ancient king, it does heavily hint that a throne fit for a king – or many kings – should be there among the ruins somewhere.
Is this the death mask of Agamemnon? Xuan Che/Wikimedia Commons; CC BY 2.0
Greek Culture Ministry officials, however, have distanced themselves from the throne interpretation, saying that they think the limestone chunk was part of a stone basin that held water. However, it would be useless for holding liquids, as it was made of a highly porous material.
Maggidis now hopes to get a permit to excavate more of the stream. If more pieces are found, and they can be assembled, then maybe the ancient throne of Mycenae will appear before our very eyes – or, perhaps, it won’t. Only time will tell, and in the meantime, it’s good to be hopeful, but skeptical.