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article imageGreek archaeologists discover 17th century BC palace near Sparta

By Marcus Hondro     Aug 27, 2015 in World
An archaeological dig in Greece has discovered a 10-room palace from the 17th-16th century BC at a site of ancient ruins near Sparta. The Ministry of Culture said the palace dates back to the Mycenaean Age and the site revealed a host of artifacts.
In a press release, the ministry called the palace an important discovery that will help them in learning "new information on the beliefs and language systems of the Mycenean people" and gather information on the "political, administrative, economic and societal organization of the region."
The most exciting aspect of the discovery, the ministry said, are clay tablets found written in the Linear B script, considered the earliest known version of the Greek language, a language only deciphered about 70 years ago. The language first appeared in Crete about 1375 BC.
The palace burnt down some 200 years after it was built and in this case the fire was fortuitous as it baked the writing into the clay tablets, causing the script to become permanently etched into them. The circumstances under which the palace burnt down may never be known.
Other exciting discoveries unearthed on the site, in a hilly area the scene of diggings and discoveries since 2009, include numerous religious artifacts such as a cultic cup with a bulls head upon it, clay figurines, fragments of murals, some with depictions of Gods, and many bronze swords.
The Mycenean culture is still a mystery and this discovery may shed more light on their society than any other before it. The inspiration for Homer's The Iliad and Odyssey, the culture dominated others and made it through the Bronze Age only to mysteriously die out in the 12th century BC.
Some researchers beleive a drought lasting 300 years was the cause of the Myceneans demise, others suggest that an earthquake was the culprit.
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