Site Section Links
The Third Story
The Nature of Time
Nature of Time video
The Nature of Space
The Neutrino Aether
Nature of Force Fields
Origin of Modern
Niagara Falls Issues
Climate Change Model
Climate Change Questions
Modern Mythology Material
1994 Velikovsky Symposium
Pensee Journals TOC
Velikovskian Journals TOC
Selected Velikovskian Article
State of Religious Diversity
PDF Download Files
Open letter to science editors
Copyright 1974 by Immanuel Velikovsky
The same problem that caused the difference of opinions at the Heraion of
Olympia and at the necropolis of Dipylon at Athens arose at other excavated
sites in Greece. To demonstrate this on another case of Greek archaeology, I
chose Tiryns, south-east of Mycenae.
Tiryns was excavated by Schliemann and Dörpfeld in 1884-85. Along with
Mycenae, it is regarded as a center of Mycenaean culture. On an acropolis,
foundations of a palace were discovered. Together with Mycenaean ware and
mixed with it, geometric ware of the eighth and seventh centuries and
archaic ware of the sixth century were found, among them many little flasks
in which libations had been brought to the sacred place. According to
Schliemann, Tiryns was destroyed simultaneously with Mycenae and the palace
was burned down. But his collaborator, Dörpfeld, who agreed with him as to
the time the palace had been built, disagreed as to when it had been
destroyed, and their opinions differed by six hundred years
From Greek literature it is known that in early Greek times, in the
eighth or seventh century and until the first part of the fifth century,
there was a temple of Hera in Tiryns which was deserted when the Argives
vanquished the people of that place in -460. At later times, Tiryns was
occasionally visited by travelers coming to pay homage to the sacred place
of bygone days .
When the excavation of Tiryns was resumed in 1905 by a team headed by A.
Frickenhaus and continued in the following years, special attention was paid
to the question of the time in which the Mycenaean palace there was destroyed.
On the site of the palace and in part on its original foundations was
built a smaller edifice, identified as the temple of Hera of Greek times.
Many facts point definitely to the conclusion that the Greek temple was
built on the foundations of the Mycenaean palace very shortly after the
palace was destroyed by fire . The altar of the temple was an adaptation
of the Mycenaean palace altar; the plan of the Mycenaean palace was familiar
to the builders of the temple; the floor of the palace served as the floor
of the temple. However, the Greek temple was built in the seventh century.
After deliberating on the evidence, the excavators refused to accept the end
of the Mycenaean Age in the second millennium as the time of thp destruction
of the palace, and decided that the palace had survived until the seventh
century. In their opinion the Mycenaean pottery was refuse of an early stage
of the palace; the terra cotta figures and flasks of archaic [seventh
century] type were offerings of the pilgrims to the Greek temple of Hera. A
continuity of culture from Mycenaean to Greek times was found; even the
worship of Hera was inherited .
Frickenhaus and his team realized that their explanation required some
unusual assumptions: for instance, that the inhabitants of the palace did
not undertake any alteration for more than half a millennium
, and that
in one part of the palace the refuse of centuries was preserved, while in
another part life went forward . But the
excavators knew no other explanation because it was clear to them that "the
fire of the palace was followed immediately by the erection of the temple"
A decade later, in the light of the fact that the temple of Hera was
found very similar in plan to a Mycenaean building excavated at Korakou near
Corinth, "grave doubts" were expressed concerning the correctness of the
above interpretations of the excavators of Tiryns, who had been "involved in
a number of difficulties, both architectural and chronological"
The critic (C. W. Blegen) agreed that the temple had been built
immediately after the palace was destroyed, but he could not agree that the
temple was a building of the seventh century. "How is it possible, if a
Greek temple was established at the Mycenaean level in the megaron [the hall
of the palace] and if the open court before the megaron was used at its
Mycenaean level from the seventh century B.C. onward--how is it then
possible that this same area was later covered over with almost purely
Mycenaean debris?" . He therefore concluded that "the later building
within the megaron at Tiryns is not a Greek temple." He also denied the
relation of the Dorian capital found during the excavation of the temple.
Although Blegen's arguments seemed to carry weight when he denied that
the Mycenaean palace had survived the Mycenaean Age by more than five
centuries, they appeared without force when he asserted that the building
erected on the foundations of the palace was not a Greek temple. Blegen's
view was also questioned by an eminent classicist, M. P. Nilsson
Because it is equally inconceivable that the Greek temple was built in
the thirteenth century and that the Mycenaean palace stood until the seventh
century without alterations, its floor not even showing signs of wear
Nilsson confessed his inability to draw a conclusion: "The time of the
reconstruction being uncertain, the question whether or not the building is
the temple of Hera remains unanswered."
In a book on the architecture of the palace of Tiryns another excavator
of that city, K. Müller, arrived at the conclusion that the difference of
opinions is irreconcilable, but he shared the view of the scholars who
ascribe the palace fire to about -750 and consider the temple a Greek edifice
All agree on the continuity of the culture and cult of both buildings.
Yet each of the attempts to bridge the chasm of five or six hundred years
meets with insurmountable difficulties.
The answer would not be difficult if the Mycenaean Age were not displaced
by this interval of time and pushed back into history, behind its proper place.
The divergence of over five hundred years in the archaeological age
evaluations repeats itself with respect to many other sites of the Greek
past. Because two timetables are applied simultaneously to the past of
Greece-one built on the evidences of Greece itself, the other on the
evidences of relations with Egypt-a clash of opinions in matters of age
appraisal is almost inevitable, though the schismatic theories are banned from the dispute.
The theory that "a period covering the seventh century and extending,
perhaps, into the eighth century, was the time in which pottery and other
antiquities of the Mycenae class were produced for the home market of Greece
and possibly in Greece itself" (Murray)  was pronounced an
"archaeological insinuation" (Evans) .
The other attempt at synchronizing the geometric with the Mycenaean ware
by ascribing them to the second millennium (Dörpfeld) was called "the
naivete of complete ignorance" (Furtwängler) .
The separation of the Mycenaean Age from the Greek Age by five hundred
years of Dark Age was paid for with an ever-growing mass of conflicting
facts. Already in the shaft tombs of Mycenae some of the finds bore
conflicting and unreconcilable evidence:
"Nor . . . is the evidence of Greek excavation always as simple and
convincing as it looks. It has been usual to regard all the contents of the
acropolis graves at Mycenae as dating more or less to the same period. But
some of the objects from certain of these graves can be shown, if we are not
to throw aside all that we have learned of the development of early Greek
art, to be of far later date than others" .
The same author admitted that the graves in Greece were as a rule not
re-used. This makes the presence of objects of two different epochs in the
Mycenaean graves in Greece very enigmatic. The epochs, as usual, are
separated by more than five hundred years.
 See A. Frickenhaus, Tiryns, Vol. 1, Die Hera von
Tiryns (Athens: 1912), p. 34.
 Pausanias was one of those pilgrims, in the year 170 of the present era.
 Frickenhaus, Tiryns, 1, pp. 31-40.
 Ibid., 1, p. 31.
 Ibid., p. 35.
 Ibid., p. 36.
 Ibid., p. 38.
 C. W. Blegen, Korakou, a Prehistoric Settlement near Corinth
(Boston: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1921), p. 130.
 Ibid., p. 132.
 M. P. Nilsson, The Minoan-Mycenaean Religion and Its
Survival in Greek Religion (Lund, 1927).
 Rodenwaldt, quoted by K. Müller, Tiryns, Vol. 3, Die Architektur der Burg und des Palastes (Augsburg: 1930).
 Müller, Tiryns, 3, p..207ff.
 A. S. Murray, Handbook of Greek Archaeology (New York:
1892), p. 57.
 Evans, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 30
 Furtwängler, Kleine Schriften, 1, p. 456.
 H. R. H. Hall, The Oldest Civilization of Greece
(London, 1901), p. 16.
Velikovsky has promised for the next issues of Pensée
a series of chapters dealing with stratigraphic archaeology in
various lands of the Ancient East, under the common title
"Personal Tragedies in Archaeology. " "Again and again
conscientious excavators, misled by a fallacious chronological
scheme, saw their names and careers brought into disrepute, because
the result of their excavations, whether in Egypt, or Palestine, or
Syria, or Cyprus, or Mesopotamia, or Anatolia, or Greece,
or Crete, could not but result in a disaster that regularly became
In one of the next issues we plan to publish "The Scandal of
Enkomi" (ancient capital of Cyprus) and "Olympia" (which gave rise
to the great schism between Dörpfeld and Furtwängler,
PENSEE Journal VI