More than 150 archeological excavations have taken place in Greece so far this year, but two recent digs may have just made history of their own. They may have discovered the lost palace of Sparta.
Archaeologists have unearthed a stunning 10-room complex that dates back to the Mycenaean Age and is only less than 10 miles away from Sparta, according to Live Science.
Inside, they found artifacts including religious objects, a cup emblazoned with a bull’s head, a number of bronze swords, and fragments of murals.
Whether the ruins belonged to the city-state remains to be determined, but they likely housed the palace archive, the Greek Ministry of Culture suggests in a statement.
The team has found clay tablets bearing records of financial dealings and religious offerings, as well as engravings of texts from Linear B, the oldest script to be discovered in Europe, The Guardian reported.
Though the palace is thought to have burned in a fire, experts believe the flames may have “baked” the inscriptions “into permanence,” according to Live Science.
Archaeologists have been carrying out investigations in this particular hilly area since 2009 to demonstrate “the importance of the archaeological wealth and cultural heritage of the country,” Greek officials wrote.
This latest discovery may help clear up “one of history’s enduring mysteries,” reported Live Science. “Though archaeologists have a fairly clear picture of the late Mycenaean culture up to around 1200 BC, they knew relatively little about the centuries beforehand.”
The Mycenaeans, one of the most dominant empires that are believed to have inspired Homer’s “The Iliad” and “Odyssey,” began disappearing bizarrely around 1200 BC.
Torsten Meissner, a classicist at the University of Cambridge in England, told Live Science the findings are “hugely significant.”
As all the other famous sites referenced by Homer in his epics have been discovered, “Mycenaean, or Bronze Age, Sparta was the last ‘big prize,’” he said.