View Full Version : Lost Palace of Sparta

Jean M
08-27-2015, 10:40 PM

An ancient Greek palace filled with cultic objects and clay tablets written in a lost script may be the long-lost palace of Mycenaean Sparta, one of the most famous civilizations of ancient Greece.

The 10-room complex, called Ayios Vassileios, was filled with striking artifacts, including fragments of ornate murals, a cultic cup with a bull's head, a seal emblazoned with a nautilus and several bronze swords. The palace, which burnt to the ground in the 14th century B.C., also contained several tablets written in Linear B script, the earliest known form of written Greek, the Greek Ministry of Culture said in a statement. The ancient palace was uncovered about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) away from the historical Sparta that arose centuries later.


Ancient Greek palace unearthed near Sparta dates back to 17th century BC

Archaeologists in Greece have discovered the ruins of an ancient palace with important archaic inscriptions dating back to the Mycenaean age, the culture ministry said Tuesday. The palace, likely built around the 17th-16th centuries BC, had around 10 rooms and was discovered near Sparta in southern Greece. At the site, archaeologists found objects of worship, clay figurines, a cup adorned with a bull’s head, swords and fragments of murals.

Since 2009, excavations in the area have unearthed inscriptions on tablets detailing religious ceremonies and names and places in a script called Linear B, the oldest script to be discovered in Europe. It first appears in Crete from around 1375BC and was only deciphered in the mid 20th century.

Jean M
08-27-2015, 10:45 PM
See also: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2015/08/26/the-most-interesting-thing-about-that-ancient-spartan-palace-isnt-the-palace-its-the-language/

The Most Interesting Thing About That Ancient Spartan Palace Isn't The Palace - It's The Language

Remnants of a Mycenaean-era palace on the plain of Sparta have brought to light a number of finely-decorated artifacts, bronze swords, and wall frescoes, according to a press release from the Greek Ministry of Culture. But the real jaw-dropper is the fact that the ancient fire that destroyed the palace preserved some of the earliest known examples of Greek writing , in a form called Linear B.

Excavations between 2009 and 2015 led by archaeologist Adamantia Vasilogamvrou have revealed a palace: a complex of buildings and rooms set up by the ruling Mycenaeans between the 17th and 16th centuries BC. These were the first people, at the end of the Bronze Age, to establish a full-scale civilization in Greece, complete with urban centers anchored by large palaces for the elite, an impressive artistic tradition, and the earliest decipherable writing in the area....

The vast majority of the six thousand or so Linear B inscriptions we have are from Knossos on Crete, also following a palatial fire that baked the clay tablets, but a good fraction of them come from the mainland sites of Pylos and Thebes. Linear B appears to have been primarily used for administrative and accounting reasons: many inscriptions relate to the centralized distribution of goods like wool and grain.

These new clay tablets from Ayois Vassileios represent a key addition to the mainland corpus of Linear B , and the Greek Ministry of Culture reports that the texts refer to supplies of goods to religious groups, men’s and women’s names, place names, and some commercial transactions related to perfume and cloth production controlled by the palace administrators. The inclusion of these new inscriptions into the sparse collection of Linear B texts that currently exist will undoubtedly help archaeologists and linguists better understand the structure of Mycenaean society.