Photo of the Week: The Lion Gate at Mycenae, Greece

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This week I’m featuring a photo taken at Mycenae during my 2007 trip to Greece.

The aptly named Lion Gate is the main entrance to the citadel of Mycenae, an archaeological site in the north-eastern Peloponnese area of Greece. Mycenae was a major centre of Greek civilization and powerful kingdom way back in the second millennium BC. | Photo of the Week: The Lion Gate at Mycenae, Greece

The Lion Gate was constructed in the 13th century BC, topped with a relief sculpture of two lionesses posing with a pillar in between them. The lionesses were carved from a slab of limestone, but their heads were made separately (possibly out of gold) and have since gone missing. I was told by my guide that the gate stands in the condition it was found by archaeologists.

Some believe that the lionesses are a tribute to Hera, goddess of women and marriage, because lions were considered sacred to her. Regardless of what the symbolism may be, the Lion Gate was an unmistakable representation of the power held by Mycenaean kings.

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