Professor John Bennet (director of the British School at Athens) will give a lecture, entitled “Approaching the Mycenaean material world through the lens of the Linear B tablets”. This will be the 3rd meeting of the Mycenaean Seminar this year.
In this paper an attempt is made to explore what insights the Linear B documents can offer into the appreciation of materials and manufactured objects in the Mycenaean world. Following a summary of earlier arguments about the emergence – between the formative (LHI-II) and mature (LHIIIA-B) palatial periods – of a distinctively ‘palatial’ style of production for certain types of material culture, the ways in which Linear B recording practices intersected with the processes of manufacture are briefly reviewed .
The major focus of the paper is on the Linear B terminology used to describe manufactured objects, drawing mainly on the uniquely rich set of descriptions in the 13 documents of the Ta series from late Mycenaean Pylos. It is suggested that a close reading of those texts and comparison with surviving examples of similar materials (especially ivory and glass), can offer a way into an ‘emic’ appreciation of Mycenaean elite ‘aesthetics’ and ‘connoisseurship’.
The Organising Committee: Nagia Polychronakou-Sgouritsa, Iphiyenia Tournavitou, Emilia Banou, Aphrodite Chasiakou