The Geometric Economy of Mycenaean Linear B:

Unlike most ancient scripts, with the exception of the Greek and Latin alphabets, the Mycenaean Linear B syllabary exhibits an astonishing economy of geometry.  Unlike ancient Greek and Latin, which were ALPHABETIC scripts, Linear B is a SYLLABARY using SYLLABOGRAMS. But, like Greek and Latin, Linear B had all 5 vowels, which were lacking in many ancient scripts, such as Egyptian. And like Greek and Latin, Linear B also uses basic geometric shapes such as the dot, straight line and the circle, to form MOST of its characters, and in even when it uses (slightly) more complex geometric shapes, these shapes, as we shall soon see, are all DERIVED from the basic geometric shapes, the dot, the straight line & the circle.

Hence, at the most fundamental level, we find that the simplest Linear B characters ALL use variations of these 3 shapes ONLY (click to enlarge):


Linear B goes on to derive many COMBINATIONS & PERMUTATIONS of these 3 basic geometric forms (Click to enlarge):


Linear B derives even more geometric forms from the basic ones, but we will leave those for the more advanced syllabograms later on this year and in 2014.