Cyclopean Walls

Cyclopean Walls: name for a kind of mortarless Bronze Age wall built with massive boulders.

Tiryns, Cyclopean Wall

The name "Cyclopean Walls" is derived from the descriptions of the walls of ancient Mycenae and Tiryns by the Greek author Pausanias. The Cyclopes he is referring to, were strong giants who had lived in the mythological age.

Nothing is left of the ruins [of Tiryns] except the wall, which was built by Cyclopes with natural rocks, all so huge that a pair of mules would not even begin to shift the smallest. In ancient times, little stones were fitted in to bind the rocks together.note

The expression is usually used for Mycenaean masonry of the period known as Late Helladic IIIA, but has been applied to similar irregular masonry in later periods and other Bronze Age civilizations as well.

This page was created in 2017; last modified on 14 March 2019.