Welcome to the GJCL Classical Art website! To prepare for the Classical Art test at State Convention, 1) study our blog posts, old and (especially) new, right up to the eve of the Convention (4/12-14/2019), 2) review old tests with their accompanying images (available for download below), and 3) read the books about Greek and Roman art recommended for the NJCL test (Susan Woodford, The Art of Greece and Rome  and John Boardman, ed., The Oxford History of Classical Art ).
were the elite buried at Mycenae in the Late Bronze Age? Some were buried in chambers cut into the side of a hill. Hence the term “rock tomb” or “chamber tomb.” The tomb was reached by a long passageway called a dromos.But a more elaborate burial seems to have been
reserved for the rulers and their families: the tholos.The tholos was also located in the side of a
hill. However, it was not a rectangular chamber but a circular structure with a top
in the form of a dome. Its shape has been
likened to a that of a beehive (hence it is sometimes called a "beehive tomb").There
were nine tholos tombs at Mycenae, the earliest dating to ca. 1500 and the
latest to ca. 1250 BC. The most famous
is the so-called Treasury of Atreus.At over
47 feet in diameter and 44 feet in height, the interior is huge.The fellow in the photo gives a sense of its
is the 114-foot long dromos or entrance passage to the Treasury of Atreus. The upward-sloping path is flanked by rising
walls leading up to a grand doorway. Receding
fascias are cut into the jambs and lintel.
The lintel is in fact two blocks. The inner lintel block has been calculated to weigh some 120 tons! Above the lintel is a relieving triangle: a false (corbeled) arch to keep weight off the lintel. There may have been something (sculpture?) in that triangle (cf. the Lion Gate, also at Mycenae), but if so it has not been preserved.
Zigzag and spiral patterns in the relief carving on the columns
To either side of the doorway stood engaged columns of green marble, decorated with zigzag and spiral relief carving. Above these were smaller columns of red marble. Fragments of these columns may be seen in the British Museum.
how was that huge dome made? Not through vaulting in the sense of a
ceiling constructed in the arch principle (with voussoirs and keystone). No, the principle here is that of the
corbel (as in the relieving triangle). In corbeling each course projects a little
farther inward than the one below it, until the sides meet (and a capstone
covers the remaining hole). The blocks
are cut on an angle to produce a smooth interior surface.