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Case 1: The Greek world 3200–1100 BC: Bronze Age

The Mycenaeans 1600–1100 BC

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A record from the ancient perfume industry

This clay tablet dates to the period when the Mycenaeans controlled much of Crete. It records the transfer of large quantities of coriander for use in the perfume industry at Knossos. The language is an early form of Greek, written in a script known as Linear B, which combines small pictures of objects with signs for syllables and numbers.

Thousands of Linear B tablets have been found in the great palaces of the Mycenaean world including Knossos, Pylos and Mycenae itself. Designed as short-term records, they survived through being baked in the fires that destroyed the palaces and brought the Mycenaean world to an end. Most tablets list the day-to-day transactions of the complex industries controlled by the Mycenaeans.

Date: around  1350 BC
Find spot: Knossos, Crete
Given by Evans, Arthur, Sir

Object Number: GR.1.1911

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