The Mask of Agamemnon is an important piece of Greek Bronze Age artwork. Discovered in Mycenae in 1876 by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, the funeral mask was found over the face of a deceased individual in a burial place. Although previously thought to depict Agamemnon, the great Greek hero of Homer’s Iliad, it is now known that the mask portrays an unknown individual.
The cache of gold objects found in the grave circles also included many bodies surrounded by precious objects and several figures wearing gold masks. The Mask of Agamemnon was created through the repousse method and remains on exhibit in Room 4 of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. Despite the authenticity of Schliemann’s claims regarding the mask being debated, the artifact remains as one of the most significant artworks found at the Mycenae site.
The mask’s intricate details and technique of crafting have made it an object of fascination and admiration in the art world. It stands as a representation of the skillful artistry present in ancient Greece and a glimpse into the burial and ritual practices of that time. The legacy of such an incredible piece of art speaks to the lasting impact and importance that art holds in history, illuminating our understanding of the past and informing our future perspectives.