Chances are that you have never heard about Midea or Dendra before. Yet, these villages close to the road leading from Nafplio to Mycenae, feature two archaeological sites of major importance. Midea has an impressive Mycenaean citadel, the cemetery of which is located in Dendra. Both places formed one unit 3,500 years ago and are definitely worth a visit if you are interested in the history and archaeology of Argolis.

Midea's citadel lies on a hilltop that features a breathtaking 360 degrees panoramic view on the plain of Argolis, the mountains of Arkadia, and the foothills of Mount Arachnaion. It is easy to understand how this strategically located stronghold could control and dominate the surrounding area, and protect its inhabitants against invading enemies. Although Midea doesn't have the fame of neighbouring Mycenae, it has at least one remarkable point of interest. The traces of the earthquake that ravaged and probably put an end to the Mycenaean civilisation around 1200 BCE, are still visible here: part of the Eastern wall collapsed, its huge stones tumbling down the slope. Today, they are still lying in their original position and give us a unique look on a decisive moment in history over 3,000 years ago.

The cemetery that belonged to the citadel of Midea, lies hidden in the centre of the small village of Dendra. Virtually unknown to the public, this site nevertheless yielded major archaeological discoveries, the most famous of which being the unique bronze body armour and helmet with boars tusks, currently on display at the museum in Nafplio. Apart from a number of chamber tombs and one unplundered tholos tomb, the cemetery has one more unique feature: the skeletons of two horses were found in the immediate vicinity of the tomb of their owner.

Keywords:

Mycenaean citadel, Mycenaean cemetery, tholos tomb, chamber tombs, horses, bronze armour, panoramic view, earthquake, Cyclopean walls.

Practical information:

Midea & Dendra are almost unknown to the public and visiting them will be a unique experience. However, we recommend combining a visit to these two sites with a Photo Tour of Mycenae and/or Nafplio, thus making it a great choice for a half-day or full-day Photo Excursion.