Civilization refers to the advanced culture of mainland Greece in the Late Bronze Age (about
1550–1100 B.C.) is known today as the Mycenaean civilization.
It is named
after Mycenae, the first and most important of its sites to be thoroughly excavated, but the
term “Mycenaean” extends to all representative sites and their Late Bronze Age
The civilization of Mycenaean
Greece seems to be a natural development from the Middle Bronze Age (about
2000–1550 B.C.), since the transition is marked only by a considerable increase
in wealth, skills, and population.
The new people who arrived
about 2000 B.C. were probably the ancestors of the Greeks, whose language is
first recorded in the Mycenaean period.
By this time the country had
become divided into petty kingdoms.
The king of Mycenae may have been an overlord, but the
evidence for this depends upon the reliability of Homer.
civilization appears to radiate from the Argolid, the area in the
northeastern Peloponnesus that was dominated by Mycenae.
strong in southern, central, and northeastern Greece as far as Thessaly, but
penetrated the northwest only weakly.
as the Aegean was controlled by Minoan sea power, based in Crete, the
Mycenaeans were confined to the mainland.
But with the Minoan collapse in the 15th
century, they took over the Minoan colonies in the Aegean islands and occupied Crete itself.
They established trading posts, if not
colonies, on the Asian coast at such sites as Miletus, and simultaneously took over the Minoans’ foreign