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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The existence of Bronze Age literacy in the Aegean was first recognized thanks to Arthur Evans's insightful study of seals and other inscribed objects that he saw or purchased while traveling through Crete. The seals bore signs of a script thereafter called Hieroglyphics or Pictographs—the name was based on Evans's interpretation of the appearance of the signs but was also influenced by his awareness of other Bronze Age hieroglyphics known at the. Evans established the existence of two other linear-looking scripts, Linear A and Linear B. Although the very first inscriptions are of Prepalatial date and may have had symbolic value which enhanced power of élites, wider use of Cretan Hieroglyphics and Linear A is best explained as a result of expanding economic activities that accompanied the growth of Cretan palatial centers and a consequent need for a well-structured administrative system.

Keywords: Bronze Age, literacy, Arthur Evans, seals, Crete, hieroglyphics, Linear A, Linear B

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