Ancient tablet bears writing, to scientists' surprise

Tablet Iklaina Find Explained

A 2-inch-by-3-inch clay tablet is more mature than expected — dating to 3,350 years back — and is found at a site in Greece where scientists did not assume to find creating.

The tablet steps 2 inches by 3 inches and has producing on both sides in the… (Christian Mundigler)

April 02, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times

Archaeologists have identified a clay tablet bearing the earliest recognized composing in Europe, a 3,350-year-previous specimen, which helps make it at minimum one hundred fifty years older than other recognized tablets from the region.

Identified in one of the palaces linked to Greece's King Nestor of Trojan War fame, the tablet not only is mature than anticipated, but also seems at a site, known as Iklaina, the place researchers did not assume to find composing, explained its discoverer, Michael Cosmopoulos of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The tablet, fortuitously preserved when someone discarded it in a trash pit and burned it, was part of the state's formal report-trying to keep process, and its discovery sheds light on early state development, Cosmopoulos mentioned.

Archaeologists "had developed much more and far more at ease" with the idea that producing was minimal to the key ruling centers of the time and was not to be found at secondary sites such as Iklaina, which was the equivalent of a district capital, explained archaeologist Thomas Palaima of the University of Texas at Austin, who was not involved in the research.

"It was a wonderful surprise and a welcome surprise" to find creating at a secondary center, he explained.

Iklaina, which dates to the Mycenaean period of 1500 BC to 1100 BC, sits at the southwestern corner of Greece. It was an independent state right up until about 1400 BC, when it was conquered by King Nestor, who incorporated it into his kingdom, which he ruled from the nearby city of Pylos. Overall, 16 states were brought beneath his rule ( via ).