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Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

ARTICLES | 2009

24 January 2012

A Comparative Look at Mycenaean and Near Eastern Bureaucracies: ‘Bilateral’ Documentation in the Linear B Archives?

Philippa M. Steele Kadmos 47 (2009): 31-49.

From the Introduction

It has long been acknowledged that the administrations of the ancient Near East provide important comparanda when considering the workings of the Mycenaean bureaucracy. This paper seeks to establish some of the ways in which such comparisons may continue to be useful in the study of the Mycenaean world. One particular point of interest is the type of documentation generated by the central administration within a redistributive economy. In certain Near Eastern systems, ‘bilateral’ documentation was used to provide legal or quasi-legal proof of the fulfilment of liabilities to the palace. However, it is here argued that there is no evidence for the employment of such records in the Linear B archives.

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