PXRF Analysis of the Pylos Linear B Tablets

Author(s): Billy Wilemon; Michael Galaty

Year: 2017


PXRF Analysis of the Pylos Linear B Tablets

In 2015 and 2016 I analyzed all of the Mycenaean Linear B clay tablets and sealings from the Palace of Nestor at Pylos for their chemical composition using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer.

Sealings were used on containers of oil, wine, etc., and on baskets of tablets. Leaf-shaped tablets usually contain one entry or line of information. Page-shaped tablets contain several entries of related information.

There are questions that these analyses may help answer:

• Did the sealings travel with material goods, or were they manufactured at the palace as materials arrived?

• When inscribed sealings are related to tablets, do they use the same or different clays?

• Do the tablet manufacturers use different clays, and were these manufacturers at the palace or located in remote areas?

• Can we gain insight as to whether the Archives Complex of the Palace was the functional economic center of the regional polity?

The answers to these questions will help us understand the controls placed on material wealth headed to the palace, how the tablet-writers interacted with goods brought to the palace, and how information entered the official record.

Cite this Record

PXRF Analysis of the Pylos Linear B Tablets. Billy Wilemon, Michael Galaty. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429676)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Linear B pXRF Pylos

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15643