The Bronze Age battles of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey were considered by 19th-century archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann to be based on fact, and he devoted much of his life to proving this at Mycenaean sites in present-day Greece. Schleimann may have stretched his findings a bit to make his theories work, such as the famous 16th-century BCE “mask of Agamemnon” discovered in 1876, which he proposed was the funerary mask of the Greek leader of lore. Nevertheless, the Mycenaean sites are rich with the fragments of a society mythologized in Homer’s epic poems, and a newly excavated palace is revealing more about this mysterious past.
The Greek Ministry of Culture announced on August 25 that since 2009, archaeologists at a Mycenaean palace on Aghios Vassilios Hill on Greece’s Sparta plain have unearthed numerous artifacts, including a cup with the shape of a bull’s head, an intricate seal with a nautilus shape, and most importantly, clay tablets with their writing preserved due to a late 14th or early 13th century BCE fire.
Read more: Hyperallergic