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TITLE Writing in Late Bronze Age Thera. An overview of the development of writing practices, stricto sensu and lato sensu, during the Minoan cultural expansion of the 2nd millennium BC
AUTHOR Notti Erika
LANGUAGE Αγγλικά / English
PUBLISH DATE 31.03.2018
KEYWORDS Linear A, Thera, Akrotiri, Minoan mason’s marks, writing, ancient scripts
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The art of writing may be considered one of the most extraordinary technologies ever born from the human mind. Historically, the process of the invention of writing is considered to be concluded when the understanding comes that not only can the graphic traces which express, fix and transmit the ideas and feelings of an individual existence be transcribed, but also that these very ideas and feelings may have a name made up of sounds and that these sounds can be represented graphically. In Minoan Crete, such a salient transition from “homo loquens” to “homo scribens” took place in the 2nd millennium BC, when the island became the birthplace of what are thought to be “the most ancient writing systems in Europe”. As regards Linear A, this script extended beyond Crete, as the cultural expansion of the Minoan civilization spread into the Aegean basin, as far as the Peloponnese and the Syro-Palestinian coast.

This study therefore intends to focus on the relations between Crete and Thera suggested by the written evidence. In the light of new first-hand examinations and an overall revision of the currently available documentation, special attention is paid to the Theran epigraphic evidence of Linear A. Further observations on the mason’s marks found in Akrotiri are also provided.