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News: Mycenaean Seminar
Representation of women procession from the Kadmeion of Thebes.
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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Mycenaean Priesthood through the Linear B Tablets

Monday, November 19, 2018

The 2nd meeting of the Mycenaean Seminar presents Dr. Aspasia Gkioka (archaeologist). Mrs. Gkioka will address the topic “The Mycenaean Priesthood through the Linear B Tablets: Hierarchy, Responsibilities, Cult Places, Relations Between
the Political and the Religious Domain”.

The decipherment of Linear B widened significantly our knowledge about the many and different aspects of Mycenaean life. The archival data are providing information about the system of beliefs and the cult practice of the Mycenaeans. Deities and sanctuaries receive offerings, and are presented as owners or tenants of land, of flocks and of workshops. The members of the priesthood are registered as receivers of raw materials in the context of industrial activities, as pastoralists and farmers, as professionals in general. The textual evidence does not include hymns, prayers or religious instructions, but provide significant data for the Mycenaean religion, like names of deities, cult places, priesthood
titles, festivals, and the vocabulary for “sacred”, “deity” and “offerings”.

The fragmentary preservation of the archives and the syllabic writing system’s vagueness as well as the fact that in many cases priests are recorded in the texts along with people from the secular domain, often makes the distinction between the political and
the religious sphere difficult. Moreover, the available data cannot lead to safe conclusions about the systems of faith and do not allow the approach of deeper aspects of religion. However, from the existing textual evidence a plethora of sacred titles is attested, which indicates the existence of organized worship during the palatial era on the mainland,
practiced in specific cult places by an organized priesthood, consisting of numerous personnel.

The 2nd meeting of the Mycenaean Seminar will be on Monday, November 19, 2018, at 6.00 p.m., at the Amphitheatre of the National Archaeological Museum (Tositsa 1).

The lecture will be held in greek.

The Organizing Committee: Nagia Polychronakou-Sgouritsa, Iphiyenia Tournavitou, Emilia Banou, Aphrodite Hassiacou