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Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology



Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World
Brown University
Box 1837 / 60 George Street
Providence, RI 02912
Telephone: (401) 863-3188
Fax: (401) 863-9423
[email protected]


A megaron is an architectural feature characteristic to the Myceneans. Such structures were established in the period of LH IIIA and IIIB (1380-1190). It is the central hall of both temple structures and private dwellings. According to Biers, the form is likely an adaptation from Neolithic architecture.

All megarons are nearly identical in form: it is a square room accessible through a porch with two columns. There is some variation as some megarons have an anteroom the same size as the main square room, or the central hall. The main room always has a round hearth which is surrounded by four columns. Directly above the hearth is an opening in the roof for the smoke to be released.

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Megarons are two stories tall and were believed to have flat roofs which were made with mainly ceramic or terracotta tiles. These megarons were presumably used for a variety of purposes including both the religious and administrative. Some notable megarons to look towards include the Palace of Nestor at Pylos and the Palace at Tiryns.

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The megaron can be compared to its predecessor, the central court of the Minoans. In the palatial architecture of the Minoans, they incorporated a similar central hall type structure in the form of a courtyard around which other edifices were constructed. In looking at the floor plan of a Minoan palace alongside that of a Mycenaean, the similarities are striking.

Stephanie Lee

Biers, William R. The Archaeology of Greece. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996.