This study examines the afterlife of the history, art, and artifacts of the Mycenaeans. For centuries, individuals and institutions—including the travel writer Pausanias, the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, and the National Archaeological Museum of Athens—used the Mycenaeans in order to create a glorified vision of Homeric Greece. In order to thoroughly explicate this notion, my research examines key primary sources such as the second-century CE Descriptions of Greece of Pausanias, the nineteenth-century Mycenae Diary and Mycenae Narrative of Schliemann, and the twenty-first-century display cases and presentations of the Mycenaean Gallery of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. I also use crucial secondary sources, including work from scholars Carol Duncan, Stephen Greenblatt, Christian Habicht, and Kathrin Maurer. This study examines the impact of romanticized visions of Homeric Greece on historical interpretations of the Mycenaeans, which enabled Western Europeans to attempt to claim ownership of aspects of Greek cultural heritage on behalf of “Western Civilization.” Simultaneously, the Greeks used the Mycenaeans and their artifacts to build a sense of Hellenic identity. While this study could be applicable to a number of Greek heritage sites, Mycenae is a unique and powerful example because of its continued cultural relevance throughout the past four millennia.


Shaya, Josephine

Second Advisor

Morrow, Kara


Art and Art History; Classical Studies


Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture | Classical Archaeology and Art History | Classical Literature and Philology


Mycenae, Classics, Greek, Museum studies, Schliemann, Pausanias, Mycenaeans, National Archaeological Museum of Athens, Bronze Age

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2015 Elora A. Agsten