Cyclopean Walls

Location: Ancient Site   

The Cyclopean Walls of Mycenae: The characteristic of the Mycenaean walls is that they are made of huge limestone boulders, which have been fitted together rather roughly. As these boulders are very big in size, the ancient people believed that it was the Cyclops who built these gates, as the thought it impossible for men to move such big rocks. That is why these walls were named Cyclopean Walls.

Notable is that the hammer was rarely used for the construction of these walls and thus they fit very roughly together. The cracks or gaps between the boulders were filled with smaller limestone. Dating since the 13th century AD, these Cyclopean walls are the characteristic feature of the Mycenaean architecture.

Archaeologists have noticed that this type of architecture can be seen in other Mycenaean towns, too, such as Tyrins or Argos. However, Harry Thurston Peck, in 1898, divided Cyclopean architecture in four styles.

The first style consists of stones of various size filled in between with smaller stones. The second style consists of polygonal stones that fit precisely. The third style is characterized by stone of unequal size but of the same height and the fourth is known for its rectangular stones of unequal height. The walls in Mycenae match to the third style.

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