Bridey Heing
Updated Aug 29, 2015 @ 7:23 am

Archaeologists in Greece have just made a huge, huge discovery dating all the way back to the Bronze Age! A palace near what was once Sparta was unearthed during an ongoing project, and it’s believed to have been built in the 17th and 16th centuries BC. That time frame would place it in the Mycenaean civilization, the first advanced civilization in Greece.

The Mycenaean period is a fascinating and crucial part of Greek history. It predated the empire, lasting from 1600 to 1100 BC, but remained the stuff of legends for generations. Homer wrote about it, and their written language, Linear B, is the oldest found in Europe. Although a lot of their art, writing, and architecture have lived on, historians are still trying to figure out exactly why the civilization collapsed, and work out the intricacies of their culture.

This latest discovery is significant. The palace is believed to have stood for two centuries before being destroyed in a fire, although religious icons survived and remain in surprisingly great shape for being thousands and thousands of years old. It’s called Aghios Vassilios, and it was once a made up of ten rooms. It stood close to Xirokambi, an ancient city not far from Sparta. “The palace complex of Aghios Vassilios provides us with a unique opportunity to investigate, with the use of modern excavation and analysis methods, the creation and evolution of a Mycenaean palatial center in order to reconstruct the political, administrative, economic and social organization of the region,” the Greek Culture Minister said in a statement. “Alongside, it is estimated that new evidence on Mycenaean religion, linguistics and paleography will also be brought to light.”

And to think, it all sat under a hill for thousands of years. Absolutely incredible!

(Images via Twitter)