In 1952 the decipherment of the Linear B script suddenly revealed the Greekness of Mycenaean Greece. Now, after new discoveries and more than 20 years of intensive work, scholars are able to interpret the written documents and reconstruct from them a vivid picture of life in this remote period, in a way which is impossible from archaeology alone. John Chadwick, who assisted Ventris in the original decipherment, has played a major part in these advances. He now summarizes the results of research and in so doing opens the door to a new world, Mycenaean Greece seen through the eyes of its inhabitants. The tablets may be only, as he describes them, 'the account books of anonymous clerks', but from these prosaic documents he shows how we can infer a bronze industry, foreign slave-women, or even human sacrifice. Not least important is the comparison of the newly available data with the Homeric account, much to the detriment of Homer's credibility as a witness.
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