Mycenaean Burial Traditions

Mycenaean Burial Traditions

The Myceneans lived in Greece from around 1.750 BC to 1.050 BC, and were considered the first distinctively Greek civilisation. There are archaeological excavations from this time period showing luxurious homes, art, and their urban centers.

Their burial practice was for the body of the deceased to lie in state for people to visit and lay offerings. This would be followed by a procession to their ultimate resting place, which could have been a single grave or a family tomb. Tombs were for the wealthy, and single graves for people of more modest means. Offerings were arranged around the body. Commonly found in graves and tombs are items like jewellery, weapons and vessels. Remnants of food and cups have also been found around the bodies during excavation works, so it’s thought that a ritual involved libations and a meal.

There is evidence that they did secondary burials, as archaeological sites have shown grave goods and bodies were rearranged to make room for more burials. In a family tomb, this could be quite common. Group burials in chamber tombs were the primary burial method in Ancient Greece until approximately 1.100 BC.

Other items found in Mycenaean graves include golden tiaras, weapons, and funeral masks.

▶︎ Ancient Greek funeral traditions through the centuries
▶︎ Mycenaean Burial Traditions
▶︎ Archaic and Classical Greece’s Funeral Rites
▶︎ Funeral Orations and Lekythoi