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"Looking for Lion Gate of Mycenae reconstruction" Topic

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4,236 hits since 29 Mar 2012
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Alxbates29 Mar 2012 9:37 a.m. PST

Hello all,

I'm looking for a reconstructed image of the Lion Gate of Mycenae what it is speculated to have looked like before time wore off the top of the Lions' heads.

Pictures like this:

I've been able to find in plenty but I want something I can use as a guideline to sculpt it in 28mm, and that means some sort of reconstructed illustration.

And, for the historical purists I realize that any reconstruction involves a bit of speculation, but surely someone has made that guess at some point? I don't think there's much in the way of Mycenaean sculpture that's survived to modern times, but I hope there's enough that someone's made an educated guess about what the lions may have originally looked like.

Thanks for any help!


Roderick Robertson Fezian29 Mar 2012 9:44 a.m. PST

I'd take a look at Peter Connolly's stuff and see if he did it at some point.

Cacique Caribe29 Mar 2012 9:58 a.m. PST


Does this help? This is another lion gate nearby:




And this was found in Mycenae:


Another Mycenaean lion:


SUGGESTION: I would use the gold piece and make the lions on the gate face the people as they approach the city. There's very little room for heads in profile.


jpattern229 Mar 2012 10:00 a.m. PST

I was able to find this undated drawing: link


Three takes on the lions themselves: link

One of the takes:


I think you could make a fair stab at a sculpt with those.

An interesting aerial view drawing of a reconstructed Mycenae:


I was lucky enough to visit Mycenae a few years ago. One thing that very few of the photos convey is the commanding view of the surrounding countryside from the fortress. It really takes your breath away.


I think the Osprey book has it in the color drawings.

Crumple29 Mar 2012 10:37 a.m. PST

I don't know if this helps or not .

Above the lintel of the gate of the acropolis of Mycenae was placed a relief that depicted a pair of griffins. The animals combined the body of a lion with the head of an eagle. The heads were separately carved – the left of reddish yellow quartzite amethystine, the right of bluish violet amethyst – and attached to their respective bodies with dowels. The eagles looked down, their vertical beaks resting on four rosettes on the capitel of a Minoan column. The curved lintel symbolized the earth; the tympanum made of four altars (only two visible) symbolized Mycenae. The lions symbolized the Mycenaean kings; the eagles Zeus; the column kingship and heaven; while the four rosettes symbolized the four heavenly directions, the yellow eagle's head in the east, morning, and the violet eagle's head in the west, evening.


Taken from

Cacique Caribe29 Mar 2012 11:22 a.m. PST

"A Replica of the Lion Gate of Mycenae in the Garden of Ancient Greece" at the Xian 2011 Expo:





Similar to what I suggested, with the faces towards those arriving to the city.

I wouldn't have put manes on them though.


Alxbates29 Mar 2012 11:50 a.m. PST

You guys have the best Google-fu!


jpattern229 Mar 2012 12:09 p.m. PST

Yes, this is the kind of thread that makes visiting TMP a joy.

DeanMoto29 Mar 2012 12:21 p.m. PST


I made one out of Styrofoam covered with plaster a long time ago:


I sized it by copying a photo of it and enlarging it until I thought is was about right. I then traced the design onto the Styrofoam and carved the design and stone work before covering it with plaster.

It was more of a display thing I later dismantled it intending to add walls to the sides. I also carved the heads off after reading they likely faced towards the front. Then I saw other Mycenaean artwork that had the head facing inwards toward each other and wish I had left them alone. Best, Dean

Cacique Caribe29 Mar 2012 12:30 p.m. PST

I guess it wasn't entirely triangular either:


Interesting what happens when you block out the surrounding masonry.

PS. Dean, that looked awesome!!!

Caliban Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2012 1:52 p.m. PST

Good thread, and great work with the scenery, Dean!

Alxbates29 Mar 2012 3:10 p.m. PST

Dean – that is almost *exactly* what I'm planning on doing – yours looks fantastic!

Captain DEwell30 Mar 2012 1:40 p.m. PST

What a tremendous, informative post. Well done all concerned. There is a lot of talent out there.

DeanMoto, what a great piece of work.

DeanMoto30 Mar 2012 4:35 p.m. PST

Thanks for the all the kind words. The figures in the scene are all Redoubt. I'm not sure if a chariot ever rode through the gate, but it looked cool. I understand from those who've visited the site that it is indeed large enough for a chariot to pass through though. Best, Dean

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