Zoomed-in view of the Treasury of Atreus as seen from Mycenae. The 14.5 meter wide tholos chamber (the round portion) is constructed of 33 concentric circles of corbelled rock. The tholos itself was designed to merge with the slope of the hill, and grass naturally camouflaged it (although the peak of the mound rose above the top of the hill). This is the best preserved of the 9 tholos tombs on this site.
Its dromos (access way) is 35 meters long and 6 meters wide. The funeral procession would have enter through this door, the body would have been interred, and then the dromos would have been completely filled in with earth and rocks, making the entire tomb utterly invisible. When another funeral became necessary, the dromos was cleared and the process repeated. The ancient visitor would have been reminded of the power of the Mycenean king both dead and alive: the colored marble slabs from the facade of this tomb (on display in the National Museum, illustration pending) is made of the same rock and marble used for the Lion Gate.
The sun illuminates the monumental doorway (the entrance is 5 meters thick) of the otherwise dark tholos chamber. The relieving triangle is just visible and helps date the tomb to c. 1350 BC. One of the two lintel stones weighs 240,000 lbs and measures 8x5x1 meters. The height of the roof is 13 meters and the round chamber is 14 1/2 meters in diameter. The doorway is about the same width as the Lion Gate, but twice as high. Thus, the tomb entrance is in some ways even more impressive than the citadel entrance!
The interior of a small side chamber (8 1/4 meters square) appended to the tholos chamber of the Treasury of Atreus. Its use is unknown (bring a flashlight!). Little is known about Mycenean death rituals, but burial is certainly a different route than the Homeric funeral pyre.