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date: 10 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

General loss of faith in “invasion theories” as explanations of cultural change, doubts about the value of the Greek legends as sources for Bronze Age history, and closer dating of the sequence of archaeological phases have undermined the credibility of this reconstruction, and other explanations for the collapse have been proposed. This article recalls that the general impressions given by the material suggest a relatively prosperous and stable world dominated by a few major centers, the capitals of the “palace societies”; the best known are Mycenae, Thebes, and Pylos. These are the sites, along with Khania in Crete, that have produced almost all of the evidence from the thirteenth century bc for a sophisticated system of administration. This system, comparable in many ways to those used in the Near Eastern states, relied on the use of the seal and the Linear B script.

Keywords: Bronze Age, Collapse, palace societies, Mycenae, Thebes, Pylos, seal, Linear B

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