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WRiting At Pylos: palaeography, tablet production, and the work of the Mycenaean scribes

Project description

Training and practices in Linear B writing

A large number of Mycenaean Greek texts were discovered at an archaeological site of the Pylos palace in south-western Greece. The texts were written on clay tablets in Linear B, offering unique information of palatial economic and administrative activities and practices of a community of scribes. The EU-funded WRAP project will provide a new understanding of the Mycenaean texts and the environment in which scribes worked and were trained to use the Linear B writing system within the palatial administration. This interdisciplinary research at the British School at Athens will combine epigraphic and archaeological methods through detailed analysis of the palaeography and physical features of the original tablets to explain the processes and people involved in the writing of the clay tablets.

Objective

WRAP (WRiting At Pylos) will combine epigraphic and archaeological methods to provide new insights into the Mycenaean Greek texts written on clay tablets in the palace of Pylos in SW Greece, and into the ways in which scribes used the Linear B writing system in their work within the palatial administration. As the only Mycenaean site with a large number of securely contemporary Linear B tablets (c.1000 nearly all written within the same year c.1200 BCE), Pylos offers a unique view of palatial economic and administrative concerns and of the practices of a community of writers. This innovative interdisciplinary action, based in the British School at Athens and supervised by Prof. John Bennet, a leading expert in interdisciplinary studies of Linear B, will shed new light on the processes and people involved in creating the clay tablets and the ways in which the scribes were trained to use this writing system for administrative recordkeeping; it will also illuminate the development of the Linear B writing system over time and the use of palaeographic variation to date groups of texts. These objectives will be accomplished through a detailed analysis of the palaeography and physical features of the original tablets, which this action’s location in Athens will enable the ER to study in the National Archaeological Museum, and an experimental archaeology project on the processes of tablet production, to be carried out in conjunction with the BSA’s Fitch Laboratory, which will provide training in ceramic analysis and experimental design. This ground-breaking investigation of palaeography and tablet production will not only produce a new understanding of the work of the scribes of Pylos and make important contributions to ongoing debates over Mycenaean chronology and history; it will also provide a more rigorous comparative and methodological basis for future studies aimed at a more complete understanding of the practices of the scribes from all of the Mycenaean palaces.

Coordinator

BRITISH SCHOOL AT ATHENS
Net EU contribution
€ 153 085,44
Address
10-11 CARLTON HOUSE TERRACE
SW1Y 5AH London
United Kingdom

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Region
London Inner London — West Westminster
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Total cost
€ 153 085,44