The Mycenaeans believed in the afterlife and this is why they dug-out hill slopes and constructed grandiose tombs with a domed roof ("tholos") to bury their rulers, expressing the anguish of man for an eternal and indestructible residence and symbolizing earthly authority and prestige. There, they placed the bodies of their kings and awarded them eternity. They covered their faces with gold masks and put their personal belongings next to them as grave goods: jewellery, cups, vessels, weapons. At the celebrated Tholos Tombs that lay near the citadel of Mycenae, archaeologists discovered many gold, silver, bronze and clay artefacts.
The tumuli formed by the tholos tombs had a height of a four story house. The builders covered the domed constructions with an awning and built an entrance; to reach it, a corridor was dug and its side walls built with stone-slate. The tholos tombs are subterranean, covered by an artificial backfill so as to create a tumulus. They have an entrance passage, which narrows to a doorway called stomion, ending at a door. The dome is constructed with large blocks placed in layers in such a way so that each layer protrudes slightly toward the interior from the one immediately under it, thus, the opening towards the top becomes more and more narrow, leaving finally only a small hole. The large stone at the top of the dome that closed this hole is called the "keystone", since it secured the structure's balance and sturdiness. The removal of the keystone would destroy the grave and facilitate grave robbers. Since the shape of these tombs' resembles a beehive, they are also called "beehive tombs". In Mycenae, nine tholos tombs were found, and Schliemann gave impressive, conventional names to the most important ones that do not correspond though to reality: the Treasure of Atreus, The Tomb of Clytemnestra, The Tomb of Aegisthus, The Lion Tomb, The Demons' Grave, The Cyclopean Tomb, Kato Phournos Tomb, Pano Phournos Tomb and Panagia Tomb.