greek-museums: Archaeological Museum of Heraklion: A few of…


Archaeological Museum of Heraklion:

A few of the 3,400 clay tables inscribed in Linear B from the palace of Knossos, from part of the archives maintained by the new dynasty, which established itself at the palace after the destruction of most Minoan political centers in 1450 BC. Dated to circa 1425-1300 B.C, these are the earliest-known texts in the Greek language. They are temporary accounts of goods and transactions, military equipment, palace officials and dependants, and ritual offerings. They have been incised by 100 different scribes, and preserved because they were accidentally baked in the fire that destroyed the palace. The long slim tablets were used for individual registration, while the rectangle page-like tables were used for detailed, or summarizing entries.

The signs of linear B, with borrowings from the earlier linear A, comprise of 89 syllabograms corresponding phonetically to syllables. They also include logograms which were used as abbreviations for the commodities, together with numerical symbols indicating quantities and units of weight and capacity.