Русский English 中国 Português 日本語 Indonesia

Middle Helladic period (XX - XVII centuries BC)

The same level of local and foreign population determined continuity in the further development of mainland Greece. Around the XVII-XVI centuries BC, a special alloy of silver and gold, called electrum, was discovered - rare and very valuable, it exists in its natural state. Things made with the help of a lathe were discovered, which, however, was not discovered by archaeologists.

The largest agricultural settlements are Mycenae and Tiryns, located on the Peloponnesian Peninsula in Argolis. Geographical conditions - the division into small valleys - contributed to the long preservation of the independence of various regions, where there were separate clans that did not unite, unlike Crete, into a single state. Some age indicators of the population are known, revealed as a result of the analysis of the bone material of a large burial ground found in Argolis. There was a high infant mortality rate - about a third of children died. Few survived the age of 50: they usually died between 30 and 40 years, and almost no one lived to a ripe old age.

Already in the III millennium BC, pictographic writing was recorded in Crete, which later evolved into ideographic writing. In ideographic writing, drawings meant not only concrete objects, as in pictography, but also individual abstract concepts. From the XVIII century B.C. on the basis of this tradition, a real Cretan script appeared, called the linear letter A. It was a syllabic script in which the sign meant a syllable (a vowel or a vowel and a consonant that precedes it). Letter A has not yet been decrypted.

Since the XV century, another type of writing has appeared - linear B writing. Its decoding is based on the correlation of this letter with the later Cypriot script, which is quite well known.1 Letter B is proto-Greek, although it contains a certain number of pre-Indo-European words. One sign, as in letter A (the connection with which is obvious), meant a syllable; at the end of each line there could be ideograms - schematic drawings explaining what was written.

The Cretan-Mycenaean script is called linear because it consisted of lines inscribed on clay tablets, a large archive of which was found in mainland Greece, in Pylos (the southwestern coast of the Peloponnese). Linear letter B from Crete appeared here later, in the XIV-XII centuries BC. The palace in Pylos burned down, and the fragile clay tablets became burnt, thanks to which they were preserved. These are not literary works or religious texts, but administrative and economic reporting documents that provide information mainly about the economy. This writing originated from the needs of large palace complexes and was inextricably linked with them: from the moment palaces cease to exist, writing also disappears.