Plan of Palace of Nestor, also showing entrance through excavated portion ...

Image access restricted
Pylos, Palace of Nestor.

Raised ceremonial hearth in center of megaron, Pylos

Image access restricted
Voidokilia Bay. Pylos.

Image access restricted
Detail of the roof of Tholos LH III B, Pylos, Palace of Nestor.

Cuttings in floor for throne and libation hollows and channel, Pylos, Mega...

Summary: Mycenaean palace complex and traditional home of Nestor.
Type: Settlement
Region: Messenia


Middle Bronze Age

Late Bronze Age


Located near Navarino Bay and modern Pylos (close to village of Khora) on the hill of Epano Englianos. The site compares in size and richness with the palace of Mycenae and is believed to be the home of Nestor, the second most powerful Mycenaean king. The palace consisted of two-storied buildings arranged in three main blocks: the main building with a megaron hall (containing the throne), propylon, archives (with hundreds of clay tablets preserved), magazines and private chambers. The SW and NE blocks contained workshops, storerooms and private chambers. The palace was apparently unfortified. Tholos tombs and a lower town are associated with the palace.


The site was occupied at least as early as the Middle Bronze Age. The Mycenaean palace (which seems to have replaced an earlier fortified palace) was built near the end of the Late Bronze Age (LH IIIB, ca. 1300 B.C.) and shortly thereafter the site was destroyed and abandoned.

Pylos is the best preserved of all the Mycenaean palaces and is especially important for the hundreds of Linear B clay tablets found (accidentally preserved through baking in the fire that destroyed the palace) at the site.


Site was explored in 1939. Excavations: 1952- C. Blegen and Kourouniotis.

Sources Used:

Rossiter 1977, 316-318; Leekley and Noyes 1976, 23

Other Bibliography:

R. Burrows, JHS 16 (1896) 55-76; 18 (1898) 148. G. Grundy, JHS 16 (1896) 1-54. J.G. Frazer, Pausanias' Description of Greece. Vol.3, 456 and Vol. 5, 608 (1898). AJA, 43 (1939) 557ff. ILN June3, (1939). AJA, 57 (1953) 59ff. excav. reports: The Palace of Nestor. Vols.1-3 (1966-73).