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The principal entrance to the main building of the palace was on the southeastern side, approached across a broad open stucco-paved court (Fig. 3). A gateway separated two shaded porches (propylon ι and % on the plan), each with a single column to support the roof. The stone bases of the columns have survived, with remains of the stucco ring that decorated the lower end of the wooden shaft. The columns were fluted with sixty-four flutings, as shown by the impressions left in the stucco ring. On entering the outer porch (i) one encountered a sentry stand at the left of the doorway; as well as the main entrance, the sentry may have guarded a door that led into the archives complex (7 and 8), a suite of two small rooms beside the gateway.11 Here were found nearly one thousand clay tablets and fragments, inscribed in the Linear Β script. Michael Ventris, in June 1952, succeeded in finding the key to the Linear Β script, which proved to represent an early stage of Greek.

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The documents which can now in considerable part be read, have turned out to be economic and administrative records of the Py-los kingdom (Fig. 4).
Proceeding through the gateway one entered an interi¬or courtyard (3), open to the sky, beyond which rose the portico (4) of the state apartments, with two columns in its facade between projecting side walls (Fig. 5). At the left was another suite of two chambers, apparently a pantry (9) and a waiting room (10), into which visitors could be ushered to await their turn to be introduced into the royal presence. The waiting room (10) was provided with a bench, coated with stucco, which bore painted patterns; here the guests could sit until summoned. In the corner was a clay stand, also stuccoed and painted, which contained two large jars, perhaps for wine.