Archaeologists excavate Ancient Greek palace near Sparta, dating from 17th century BC

17th_century_BC_Ancient_Greek_Palace_Sparta_1Image Courtesy: Greek Ministry of Culture.

The so-called Mycenaean Civilization mostly refers to last leg of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, with its traditional starting date commencing from 1600 BC. And now, archaeologists have made a significant discovery in the form of an entire palace that dates from the early times of this period. To that end, the building is believed to be constructed between 17th – 16th century BC, and probably might have encompassed around ten separate rooms. Furthermore, the researchers have found fascinating archaic inscriptions, along with artifacts of worship, clay figurines, a cup stylized with a bull’s head, mural fragments and even weapons (like swords) – all in the site.

The excavation work that had been going on since 2009, has resulted in some incredible finds, including inscribed tablets that could shed some new light into the history of Greek languages and scripts. In that regard, these inscriptions (detailing religious ceremonies and names and places) contain what is designated as the Linear B – the oldest script to be discovered in Europe, thus alluding to the earliest attested language form of Greek. In essence, this particular script predates the known Greek alphabet by many centuries, and as such was indecipherable until the middle of 20th century.


Credit: Gesafidis Xenikakis/AFP/Getty Images

More importantly, from the archaeological perspective, the oldest writing of the Linear B script dates to about 1450 BC. So, if the researchers can complete their assessment in this particular site, it could result in the oldest specimen of the script (from 17th – 16th century BC) that supersedes the earlier discovery. As the culture ministry of Greece mentioned how this new project can allow for deeper analysis on the “political, administrative, economic and societal organisation of the region”.

In any case, Greece is certainly the focal point of recent archaeological activities, with more than 150 excavations being carried out in this year. The list includes the ongoing project at the Amphipolis Tomb and the fascinating ‘skeleton couple‘ unearthed in one of the neolithic Diros caves in Peloponnesos.

Via: The Guardian

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