Friday, April 01, 2011

Some Writing Notes! And some Linear B news.

So. There has been a lot of fiction up the last couple of days! Totally accidental. I promise we'll get back to more informative and informational non-fiction posts soon.

I used up my buffer of blogposts these last couple of weeks while I plowed through revisions 1, 2, 3, and 4 of Postcards from Asgard to get to a finished product that actually works for me, start to finish. It has been a busy couple of days, and I only JUST finished rereading the final-pre-intensive-beta version this morning. Yeesh.

Needless to say, my head is still stuck in Asgard, wrapping around descriptions from the Prose Edda of Bifrost, and my tongue is twisting around Icelandic translations. (If Thjalfi was my Icelandic tutor, I would be a pro already, just for the record.) I woke up muttering Icelandic to myself in the tail end of a dream. I'm not even kidding, guys. No exaggerations required.

All of that said, by happenstance, some Linear B tablet fragment news broke on Wednesday. According to the article, the fragment found (in the trash) is the earliest decipherable evidence of writing in Europe. Even more fascinating, it comes from a satellite settlement, as opposed to one of the major Mycenaean centers, which was probably under the jurisdiction (such as it was) of Pylos, which means that more people were writing things down and keeping records than we had previously realized! It dates back to somewhere between 1450 and 1350 BCE.

Something I like about Linear B is that looking at the symbols they used, we can see what kind of goods were being traded and transported with frequency, and what was WORTH keeping track of in that distribution. Personally, I find the fact that they had a symbol just for bathtubs to be pretty awesome. It makes me think that the Mycenaeans (or at least those of wealth!) were pretty serious about staying clean. And of course, since everything on this blog comes back to Theseus or Thor: I'm happy to know that Theseus, had he lived, would not have stunk of B.O.


  1. I had no idea there was a symbol for bathtubs in Linear B.

    I know they're not Mycenean, but I was pretty impressed with the Queen's bathtub in Knossos. Those early Greeks were certainly waaaay cleaner than Europeans until recent centuries, that's for sure.

  2. The Minoans and the Mycenaeans have so much in common. Did you by any chance get a picture of this bathtub? :) I'd love to see it.

  3. That the tablet was found on the mainland and at a minor site is rather cool. It brings forward the arrival of the Mycenaeans by several hundred years I should think.

    If anyone's interested in the language, the standard text is the famous book Documents In Mycenaean Greek, by Chadwick and Ventris.

    Bathtubs can be interesting! I have a photo of a room at the palace at Mycenae which has a hole that looks suspiciously like a bath drain. If so, then that would be the site of a famous murder.


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