Mycenean Palace and Linear B Tablets Discovered in Sparta Area

    arxaia-xirokampi-evrotaA new excavation in the Xirokambi area of Aghios Vassilios west of Sparta, in the Peloponnese, Greece, has revealed a richness of Mycenean artefacts in the area, including the remains of a palace, Linear B tablets, fragments of wall paintings, and several bronze swords.
    The excavation, led by emeritus ephor of antiquities Adamantia Vassilogrambrou, was presented publicly at the biennial Shanghai Archaeology Forum at the end of August as one of 11 sites showcased from different parts of the world.

    The Aghios Vassilios excavation began in 2010, after Linear B tablets were found in the area in 2008, pointing to the existence of a powerful central authority and distribution system. The deciphered texts were devoted to perfume and cloth production, the trade of which was controlled by a palace administration in the Mycenean era.

    Evidence of a central palace administration was confirmed also by the architecture, which is dated to the 14th century BC, while contact with Crete was confirmed by the finding of a double axe, a feature of the island’s palace culture.

    Artefacts found include seals, a multitude of ceramic and bronze vessels, and 21 bronze swords. According to the evidence, a sudden fire that broke out either at the end of the 14th century or the beginning of the 13th destroyed the three buildings on the site which were never rebuilt at the same location.
    (source: ana-mpa)


    • Emily

      Excellent find! I did my thesis on the Mycenean Megaron in 2008, I wish I had this info back then!

    • Jeff

      “The deciphered texts were devoted to perfume and cloth production”

      I wonder if anyone has ever done an accounting of the resources listed on Linear B tablets at each site? I am hinting at specialization by locality.

    • Macarena

      This is excellent! I cannot wait for more news about this

    • Brandon

      I visited this site this summer while working in Boiotia on the dig at the Mycenaean site of Eleon and it was amazing. Dr. Vasilagamvrou gave my friend and I a personal tour of the site as well as a look at the unpublished excavation report and I have to say that this site holds more promise for furthering our knowledge of the Aegean Late Bronze Age Palatial system on the mainland than any other. In particular the early development of the Mycenaean palaces and their connections with Minoan Crete. I would also like to say that Dr. Vasilogamvrou was extremely friendly and I would like to thank her again for taking time out of her busy work to show a couple of young archaeologists, who had shown up unexpectedly, around her exciting excavations.

      There will be many more big things to come from this site over the next several seasons I am sure of it,
      ~Brandon