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O. T. P. K. Dickinson

The more substantial remains of later periods have largely effaced prehistoric settlement evidence, apart from subterranean features like tombs and wells. The distribution of these suggests that there was a nucleus of habitation on and around the Acropolis, particularly to its south, and a wider spread of hamlets and farms. The settlement's earlier history is obscure, but it clearly became one of the more significant Mycenaean centres (see mycenaean civilization), as indicated by wealthy 14th-cent. bce tombs and the later 13th cent. bce fortification and water-supply system on the Acropolis. Twelfth-cent. remains are scanty, but cemetery evidence indicates a wide spread of communities, mostly small, by the Submycenaean phase; overall, the evidence offers no support for the theory that Athens attracted large ‘refugee’ groups.


Paul Halstead, O. T. P. K. Dickinson, Simon Hornblower, and Antony Spawforth

The stone age is divided into the palaeolithic (to c.9000 bce), mesolithic (c.9000–7000 bce) and neolithic (7th–4th millennia bce); *metallurgy began during the neolithic, before the conventional neolithic–bronze age transition.Classical Greece was an essentially agricultural society and as such can trace its origins back to the first farming communities in Greece in the early neolithic (7th millennium bce). Some at least of the domestic livestock and crop species were introduced from the near east, but Greece had long been occupied by palaeolithic and mesolithic gatherer-hunters (e.g. at Franchthi cave, Argolid). It is unclear whether the first farmers were of indigenous, immigrant or mixed stock. Known early farming settlements (e.g. Argissa) are heavily concentrated in the fertile lowlands of the eastern mainland, particularly in *Thessaly. The southern mainland and smaller Aegean islands, the heartland of both bronze age palatial civilization and the Classical *polis, were not widely colonized by farmers until the later neolithic and early bronze age (5th–3rd millennia bce).


Dimitri Nakassis

Linear B is a script used to write the Greek language during the palatial period of Mycenaean civilization, c. 1400–1200 bce. It employed 87 syllabic and 143 logographic signs written from left to right. The vast majority of Linear B texts take the form of clay tablets, labels, and sealings that were used by palatial administrators to record diverse transactions. The other major document type is the inscribed stirrup jar, a coarse transport vessel with short texts painted before firing. Major deposits of Linear B texts are located at palatial sites on the Greek mainland and Crete, especially at Pylos and Cnossus. The texts are entirely administrative in nature and are therefore silent on historical events, but they shed light on many aspects of the Late Bronze Age world, especially economy, society, religion, and of course language and writing itself.Linear B is a Late Bronze Age script that was used to write documents in the Greek .



Andrew Robert Burn and Antony Spawforth

Minyans (Μινύαι), the descendants of *Minyas, an Ur-Greek population-group believed in Classical times to have inhabited Aegean lands in the heroic age (see dryops; pelasgians), with centres at *Orchomenus (1) and *Iolcus. Western Peloponnesian communities of so-called Minyans existed in the lifetime of Herodotus (4. 148). In myth they appear outside the mainland mainly linked to the itinerary of the Minyan *Argonauts (Teos, Lemnos, Cyrene, etc.