Knossos, Keepers and Kneaders.
by Karl-Erik Sjöquist & Paul Åström
The identifications of papillar line traces in this investigation have been made on clay tablets which are about 3,400 years old. Hence they arer the oldest such traces in the world that have been identified on artefacts. Isolated papillar line traces have been found on objects older than 3,400 years, but without any identification.
In another book in this series (pocket-book no. 31) - Pylos: Palmprints and Palmleaves - the authors have studied palmprints on Linear B tablets from Pylos. In this publication the fingerprints and palmprints on Linear B tablets from the Palace at Knossos have been investigated. Identifications of 46 individuals have been made. It is suggested that each scribe made the relevant tablets either by himself or with help from assistants. A new method for determining hands of children has been worked out. It is shown that tablets were sometimes flattened by children. Rough papillar lines indicate hands of hard-working labourers. With this study new light is thrown on certain aspects of the Mycenaean bureaucracy. In an appendix, the results are evaluated by Dr Jean-Pierre Olivier, a distinguished expert on Minoan and Mycenaean scripts. Karl-Erik Sjöquist was Chief Superintendent of Police and for many years Head of the Department of Fingerprints in Stockholm.
Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology
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