Image: Mask of Agamemnon
The gold Mask of Agamemnon was discovered in 1876 by Heinrich Schliemann during his excavations at Mycenae in Greece. It was found covering the face of a body in a burial shaft (grave V, Grave Circle A).
Schliemann supposedly telegrammed a Greek newspaper when he first saw the mask with the line "I have gazed on the face of Agamemnon". In fact, he never identified it as belonging to Agamemnon (the legendary Greek leader during the Trojan War who tradition says was buried at Mycenae), but it became associated with the hero as it was the finest of 5 funerary masks found in the graves of Mycenean leaders.
The mask dates to about 1550–1500 BC, about 300 years earlier than the traditional date for Agamemnon.
The mask is displayed in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens and a replica is housed at Mycenae.
- Fran Dorey
- © Fran Dorey