History

Archaeologists Unearth Ancient Greek Palace Near Sparta

The ruins of an ancient palace with important archaic inscriptions dating back to the Mycenaean Age are found in Greece.

Archaeologists in Greece have discovered the ruins of an ancient palace with important archaic inscriptions dating back to the Mycenaean Age, the culture ministry said Tuesday.

The palace, likely built around the 17th-16th centuries BC, had around 10 rooms and was discovered near Sparta in southern Greece.

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At the site, archaeologists found objects of worship, clay figurines, a cup adorned with a bull's head, swords and fragments of murals.

Since 2009, excavations in the area have unearthed inscriptions on tablets detailing religious ceremonies and names and places in a script called Linear B, the oldest script to be discovered in Europe. It first appears in Crete from around 1375 BC and was only deciphered in the mid 20th century.

PHOTOS: Greek God Hermes Featured in Ancient Mosaic

The new discovery will allow for more research on the "political, administrative, economic and societal organization of the region", and provide "new information on the beliefs and language systems of the Mycenean people," the ministry said in a statement.

According to the culture ministry, more than 150 archaeological excavations were have been carried out in Greece so far this year, "demonstrating the importance of the archaeological wealth and cultural heritage of the country."

A photo released by the Greek Ministry of Culture on Aug. 25 shows an excavation site near Sparta in the Peloponnese region with remains of a palace of the Mycenaean period.

A stunning mosaic floor uncovered at Amphipolis in northern Greece, shows the Greek god Hermes as a charioteer, leading a bearded man to the Underworld. Hermes wears a petasos on his head, a cloak, winged sandals and holds a caduceus, a winged staff with two snakes wrapped around it.

The mosaic covers the whole floor of a chamber -- a 14.7-foot wide by 9.8-foot long area. A large portion of the middle section is missing, however, archaeologists have found many pieces of the damaged area and will try to puzzle the floor back together.

A bearded passenger on the chariot wears a laurel wreath and has just the left side of face showing. Archaeologists believe the man to be Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, who had lost his right eye and also won a wreath at an Olympic game.

Two white horses pull the chariot bound for the banks of the river Styx.