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(tī`rĭnz), ancient city of Greece, in the NE Peloponnesus, 2.5 mi (4 km) N of Nauplia (now Návplion) and near Argos. The site seems to have been inhabited since the 3d millennium B.C. It was a city of splendor from c.1600 to c.1100 B.C. Excavations begun by Heinrich Schliemann and Wilhelm Dörpfeld in 1884–85 revealed not only extensive pre-Homeric palaces of the Mycenaean period but also remains going far back in prehistory. The old city was prominent in Greek legend.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an ancient Greek city in the Argolis, in the Peloponnesus. A settlement arose on the site of Tiryns in the Neolithic age. At the beginning of the second millennium B.C., Tiryns became a center of the early class-structured state of the Achaeans. Tiryns flourished from the 16th to 13th centuries B.C; during this period a large royal palace, decorated with frescoes, was built in the acropolis. Circa 1400 B.C., massive cyclopean stone walls were built around the acropolis. They were mentioned in the Iliad (II, 559) and later were described by Pausanias in his Description of Greece (II, 25). The walls of Tiryns, fortified with towers, measure as much as 10 m thick in places and contained storage rooms for weapons and various supplies. An underground passage led from the fortress to an underground spring.

Diomedes, who ruled circa 1240 B.C, was particularly famous among the kings of Tiryns. According to Greek legend, he served in the campaign against Troy. In the 12th century B.C, the acropolis of Tiryns was devastated by fire during an invasion by the Dorians; however, the city below the acropolis continued to be inhabited. During the first millennium B.C, Tiryns remained a small polis. Circa 470 B.C. the city was destroyed by Argos.

The archaeological study of Tiryns was begun in 1831. The most significant excavations were those conducted by W. Dórpfeld (1884–85), the German archaeologists G. Karo and K. Miiller (1912–38, with interruptions), and the Greek archaeologist N. Verdelis (1960’s).


Blavatskaia, T. V. Akheiskaia Gretsiia vo vtorom tysiacheletii do n. e. Moscow, 1966.
Tiryns: Die Ergebnisse des Ausgrabungen des Instituís, vols. 1–6, Athens-Augsburg-Mainz, 1912–73.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The settlement of Tiryns, for example, has been considered a major port of entry, based upon its size and proximity to the ancient coastline and larger quantities of exotic material compared to other nearby communities (Cline 1999).
The apricots exported are mostly of the Bebek variety lower in price than the Tiryns. After a good start watermelon exports have been hampered by very low prices; a problem also affecting the shipments of early peach and nectarine varieties.
Hinzen and his colleagues have created a 3D model of Tiryns based on laser scans of the structures left and are hoping to determine if the walls' collapse could only have been caused by an earthquake.
Googling a runner Eurystheus 3.15 Chepstow Eurystheus was king of Tiryns and, in the battle of wills between Zeus and wife Hera to find a hero, was championed by Hera against Heracles, who was backed by Zeus.
Driving the book is Heinrich Obermann, Ackroyd's stand-in for Heinrich Schliemann (1822-90), discoverer of Mycenae, Tiryns, and the "Treasure of Priam" at Hissarlik in eastern Turkey.
Topics include pictorial pottery of LHIII C Middle and its antecedents, the post-palatial settlement in the lower citadel of Tiryns, and Lefkandi in late Helladic III C Middle.
(4) After the excavations at Tiryns and Mycenae in the 1950s, however, a later stage of LH IIIB with different ceramic characteristics from those of the Zygouries "Potter's Shop" was recognized.
The Neolithic and Bronze Age dolphins that appear on signets found in Crete, and the oldest painting of a dolphin, which adorned a palace wall at Tiryns in Peloponnesian Greece around 1600 BC, as well as other images, including the famous reconstructed dolphin fresco from the so-called Queen's Megaron at Knossos, Crete, may all be emblems of the power of Poseidon and of mastery of the sea.
Other fortified palace complexes were also built on the mainland in the Late Bronze Age; they include Athens, Tiryns, Thebes, and, perhaps most critical for the archaeological record, Pylos, the fabled palace of Nestor, Homer's wisest elder statesman.