The Mycenaean World
In 1952 the decipherment of the Linear B script suddenly revealed the Greekness of Mycenaean Greece. Now, after new discoveries and more than 20 years of intensive work, scholars are able to interpret the written documents and reconstruct from them a vivid picture of life in this remote period, in a way which is impossible from archaeology alone. John Chadwick, who assisted Ventris in the original decipherment, has played a major part in these advances. He now summarizes the results of research and in so doing opens the door to a new world, Mycenaean Greece seen through the eyes of its inhabitants. The tablets may be only, as he describes them, 'the account books of anonymous clerks', but from these prosaic documents he shows how we can infer a bronze industry, foreign slave-women, or even human sacrifice. Not least important is the comparison of the newly available data with the Homeric account, much to the detriment of Homer's credibility as a witness.
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administrative Aegean Amnisos appear archaeological archaeologists archives barley Boeotia bronze Bronze Age century B.C. chariot coast connexion corslet Cretan Crete deity described district documents doubt entry estates evidence fact figures flax flocks Fresco Further Province goats grain Greek language Greek word Haghia Triadha Hither Province Homer horses identified ideogram island Kalamata king kingdom Kiparissia Knossos tablets known Krakatoa land language large numbers later Greek Linear litres mainland major meaning mentioned Messenian gulf Methoni Minoan modern Mycenae Mycenaean Greece Mycenaean period officials olive pairs of wheels palace Peloponnese perhaps Phaistos place names Poseidon possible Potnia presumably probably production Pylian Pylos Pylos tablet quantities rations reconstructed records refers religious royal scribe seems series of tablets sheep slaves Sphagianes suggests telestai textiles Thebes Thera Tiryns town unit weight wheat women wool Zeus