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DAMOS: Database of Mycenaean at Oslo

The earliest written evidence of the Greek language is comprised of inscriptions from ca. XIV-XII B.C., written in a syllabic script which we call Linear B and was deciphered only in 1952. The language of the inscriptions is referred to as Mycenaean Greek. This project aims at creating a complete, annotated and searchable corpus of the texts written in Linear B.

A tablet from Knossos (Co 903)


About the project

The Linear B texts are generally quite short administrative documents, written mostly on clay tablets (but also on vases, and occasionally on other kind of materials). They have been found within the remains of the Mycenaean palaces at Knossos, Pylos, Thebes, Tiryns, Mycenae, and other few sites both on Crete and mainland Greece. The great majority of the documents are conserved in Greece: at the Heraklion and Khania museums on Crete, the National Archeologial Museum of Athens and the archeological museums of Thebes, Nauplio and Tiryns, though we find also a few ones scattered in other museums, like the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Linear B is a syllabic script not related to the later Greek alphabet. It belongs to a family of writing systems used in the Aegean area in the II and I millennium B.C., of which just Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary of the I millennium (mostly used for writing the Cypriot Greek dialect, but not only) have been deciphered.

The language of the documents is the only attestation of a Greek dialect in the II millennium B.C. and presents several archaic features.

DAMOS will be a searchable annotated database of the Mycenaean texts and their language.


  • Provide an accesible and constantly updated corpus of Mycenaean Greek
  • Allow for systematic statistical inquires on (mostly linguistic) features of the texts
  • Allow for automatical generation of indexes and wordlists according to different parameters.
  • Provide a practical and readily available source for materials to be used in teaching and dissemination.
  • The results of the linguistic analysis will, as a first output, constitute the basis for a Ph.D. thesis on the case syntax of Mycenaean.
Tags: Greek, Corpus linguistics, Indo-european, Historical linguistics, Mycenaean, Linguistics
Published Oct. 26, 2010 10:01 PM - Last modified Feb. 14, 2017 6:52 PM