Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tablet discovery pushes earliest European writing back 150 years


A clay tablet discovered Greece changes what is known about the origins of literacy in the western world, obviously a good thing, and, unfortunately, also about the origins of bureaucracy. Measuring 2 inches by 3 inches, the tablet fragment is the earliest known written record in Europe, dating back to between 1450 and 1350 B.C., 100-150 years before the tablets from the Petsas House at Mycenae.

Back of the 2x3 inch tablet that was discovered in Iklaina, Greece, now the oldest known tablet in Europe [Credit: Christian Mundigler]
The tablet was unearthed last summer during the excavation at the site in Iklaina, which sits in the middle of an olive grove in southwest Greece. Iklaina dates to the Mycenaean period (ca. 1500-1100 B.C.), an era famous for such mythical sagas as the Trojan War. It was one of the capital cities of famed King Nestor, who figures prominently in Homer’s “Iliad.” Iklaina is the rare care where archeology meets mythology.

The Mycenaeans used clay tablets in their palaces to record state property and transactions. These tablets are written in the Linear B system of writing, which is older than the alphabet. It consists of around 87 syllabic signs. These signifying signs stand for objects or commodities and the tablets are mostly lists of property and accounting records. Archaeologists are still studying the Iklaina tablet, but preliminary analysis suggests it may refer to some sort of manufacturing process.

“On the front there is a verb that relates to some sort of manufacturing,” said Michael Cosmopoulos, director of the Iklaina Archaeological Project and the Hellenic Government Karakas Family Endowed Professor of Greek Studies at University of Missouri-St. Louis. “On the backside, there is a list of men’s names alongside numbers."

Tablets like this one were not meant to be kept more than a year and as a result were never sent to a kiln, he said. They are preserved only if accidentally burned, which is the case of the Iklaina tablet.

“This discovery is the biggest surprise in years of excavation. It was found in a burned refuse dump dated to between 1450 and 1350 B.C.,” Cosmopoulos said. “The tablet is only the latest in a series of discoveries at Iklaina. In the last two years, the excavation has brought to light evidence for the existence of an early Mycenaean palace: elaborate architecture, massive ‘Cyclopean’ terrace walls, colorful murals and a drainage system far ahead of its time.”

These pieces are indicative of a major center, potentially an early Mycenaean state capital. Cosmopoulos is cautious, however, and said that it is too soon to tell whether Iklaina was one or not. Currently, there is only a handful of known major state capitals, such as Pylos and Mycenae.

“Iklaina could potentially challenge what we know about the origins of states in ancient Greece,” Cosmopoulos said. “Not only does it push the origins of those states back in time by at least a century and a half, but the tablet shows that literacy and bureaucracy appeared earlier and were more widespread than what we had thought until now. We still have a lot to learn about the ancient world.”

Each summer Cosmopoulos returns to the dig site with a team of about 40-60 students and 25-30 staff and specialists. The land of the excavation was purchased on behalf of the Greek government, and by law all the finds remain in the local museum as property of the Greek state.

The dig is funded with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Geographic Society, the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, Harvard University, the Pylos Archaeology Foundation, and the Center for International Studies at UMSL.

I would appreciate if professor Mr. Kosmopoulos,  send a copy of the tablet, to the "European" director of British Museum of London, Mr. ignoranta Neil McGregor, to have with the other pieces of the stolen GREEK  treasures ,and to make its own of comparison with the corresponding signs of the european his homeland.
see relative
Michael Balaroutsos architect

Mentougou Eco Valley by Eriksson Architects | materialicious

Helsinki based, Eriksson Architects has designed 'Mentougou Eco Valley' in Mentougou, China and are waiting for approval from the Chinese government. The valley will cover an area of 100 square meters; which will include nine environmental research institutes and companies, one city center and several smaller residential villages. The design would serve ecological urban area for some 50,000 inhabitants.

'mentougou eco valley' by eriksson architects, mentougou, china
images courtesy of eriksson architects

spanning 28 square kilometers, the development includes nine environmental
research institutes and companies, one city center and several smaller residential
villages. influenced by the surrounding landscape, the design would become an
ecological urban area for some 50,000 inhabitants.

view of townhouse modules
Planned in collaboration with finnish ecological experts eero paloheimo eco city,
the masterplan combines modern science and innovation with an environmentally
friendly and eco-efficicent outlook. positioned in a unique buffer zone protected
by the mountains from noise and pollution, the development aims to maximize the
potential of the land with a focus on housing and services.
learning from both the successes and failures of other eco cities, such as huangbaiyu,
masdar and dong tan, the city will be capable of producing all of its own water, returning
biological nutrients back into natural circulation, and boosting local agriculture.

module homes crawl up the side of the mountains

structures experiment with new forms, materials and technologies

commercial facility

buildings are positioned around vegetation and small bodies of water

research complex

transit hub

aerial view of multiple villages

mountain-side residential development

3D Tattoo Designs -The unique style


All around the globe today, 3D tattoo designs are attracting all the tattoo enthusiasts with it’s unique and delicate mixtures of colors. Its raving the attention of both male and female. These tattoo designs are also being flaunted by a number of celebrities as it represents attitude and passion. 3D tattoo designs are a unique style of tattooing that adds depth and realism to the tattoo design. This is accomplished by adding shadow to the design to make it look like it is either a part of your skin, or something standing ontop of your skin.
READ MORE 3D Tattoo Designs  

3D Tattoos Arts and Weird Tattoos from Tattoo Design on Vimeo.

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