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Dr Anna Judson (Cambridge) Learning to spell in Linear B: evidence for scribal training in Mycenaean Pylos

The Linear B writing system was used within the Mycenaean palaces of Late Bronze Age Greece (c.1400-1200 BCE) by scribes who kept administrative records of goods and people under the control of the palaces. This talk will focus on the writing practices of the scribes working at the palace of Pylos in south-western Greece, specifically on the issue of spelling variation. Variation in the spelling of particular terms or sequences occurs frequently between different scribes, and even within the work of a single scribe; it is even possible to see instances when scribes have erased signs in order to correct or change the spelling of a word. This talk will explore the evidence which both spelling variation and scribal edits offer for reconstructing the ways in which the Mycenaean scribes may have been trained to write in Linear B.

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