The script is based on Linear A, a script which cannot be read today. The oldest texts written in Linear B date from about 1450 BC. Linear was found mainly in the palace archives at Knossos, Cydonia, Pylos, Thebes and Mycenae. It disappeared with the fall of the Mycenaean civilization.
There are about 87 signs in Linear B that represent syllables. In addition, there are many ideographic signs: These represent objects or commodities. They have no phonetic value -and are never used as word signs in writing a sentence.
Linear B seems to have only been used for administration. In all the thousands of clay tablets, a relatively small number of different "hands" (or writers) have been detected: 45 in Pylos (west coast of the Peloponnese, in southern Greece) and 66 in Knossos (Crete). The script may have only been used by a guild of professional scribes. These scribes worked at the different palaces. When the palaces were destroyed, the script disappeared.
References[change | change source]
- Ventris, Michael & Chadwick, John 1973. Documents in Mycenaean Greek. 2nd ed, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-08558-6
- "New Linear B tablet found at Iklaina". Comité International Permanent des Études Mycéniennes, UNESCO. http://www.aegeanscripts.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=98:new-linear-b-tablet-found-at-iklaina&catid=80&Itemid=473. Retrieved 29 April 2012.
- Hogan, C. Michael (2008). "Cydonia". The Modern Antiquarian. Julian Cope. http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/65496/fieldnotes/cydonia.html. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
- Wren, Linnea Holmer; David J. Wren; Janine M. Carter (1986). Perspectives on western art: source documents and readings from the ancient Near East through the Middle Ages. Westview Press. p. 55. ISBN 0-06-430154-0, 9780064301541.
- Hooker, J.T. (1980). Linear B: an introduction. Bristol Classical Press UK. ISBN 0-906515-69-6.