Even the dwelling-houses of the chieftains who ruled at Tiryns and Mycenae are known to us by their remains. The palace of Tiryns occupied the entire southern end of the citadel, within the massive walls above described. Its ruins were uncovered in 1884- 85. The plan and the lower portions of the walls of an extensive complex of gateways, open courts, and closed rooms were thus revealed. There are remains of a similar building at Mycenae, but less well preserved, while the citadels of Athens and Troy present still more scanty traces of an analogous kind. The walls of the Tirynthian palace were not built of gigantic blocks of stone, such as were used in the citadel wall.
That would have been a reckless waste of labor. On the contrary, they were built partly of small irregular pieces of stone, partly of sun-dried bricks. Clay was used to hold these materials together, and beams of wood ("bond timbers") were laid lengthwise here and there in the wall to give additional strength. Where columns were needed, they were in every case of wood, and consequently have long since decomposed and disappeared. Considerable remains, however, were found of the decorations of the interior. Thus there are bits of what must once have been a beautiful frieze of alabaster, inlaid with pieces of blue glass. Essentially the same design, somewhat simplified, occurs on objects of stone, ivory, and glass found at Mycenae; and in a "bee-hive" tomb of Attica.
Next Chapter: Sculpture in stone
Back to the table of Contents * More online Greek Resources
Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/history-of-ancient-greek-art-5.asp