What Are the Symbols on the Wisconsin U.S.A. Shard & What Might They Mean?


A Shard from Wisconsin, U.S.A. Click to ENLARGE):


James R. Heath, who unearthed the Wisconsin shard, has this to say about the symbols (whatever they are) on the shard:

As you might see, in the upper left corner; three symbols. Certainly distinguishable is the symbol ‘u’, appears, with the ‘boat’ ideogram. Preceding the symbol for ‘u’ is the first character shaped like the letter ‘C’... passim … what does the obtrusive “S”, in the middle; mean? Is it an S?

I’m not going to pretend to translate, just show anyone willing to view this piece; there is more to discover at this site.

Please present your arguments, I can only tell you where I unearthed them, not who or why they were made.



In response to James’ comments above, I would like to make this observation first, that it is not a question of arguments we should be focusing on in this particular case of an archeological find which may turn out to be of some true significance once it is carbon-dated, simply because there is nothing to “argue” about, even in the strictly academic understanding of this word, argumenta (Latin), an argument in the sense of proof. Yet it is clear that with respect to these findings, the Wisconsin tablet and shard, no proof of any kind is yet forthcoming, pending substantiation of the findings by carbon-dating and, if possible, examination by petrological microscope, as our resident archaeologist, Rita Roberts, who specializes in Minoan ware, has urged be done.

On the linguistic level, however, I believe I am on much firmer ground.  What becomes immediately obvious when we compare all of the 70-odd basic values of the Linear B syllabary with the symbols (whatever they are) on both the Wisconsin tablet and shard, is that none of the Linear B syllabograms and homophones, which in fact are writing, correspond in any meaningful way with any of the symbols on the Wisconsin tablet and shard, with the possible exception of symbol B on the Wisconsin tablet, which looks remarkably like the Linear B syllabogram ZO and C&F on the Wisconsin tablet, which appears to be similar to the syllabogram, the vowel I in Linear B. Other than that, we come up empty-handed. Here is the basic Linear B syllabary set (Click to ENLARGE): 

Wisconsin Tablet Linear B and Minoan

This is, as I have already pointed out in a previous post, a serious impediment to cross-correlating the symbols (whatever they are) on the Wisconsin tablet and shard with absolutely any and all Linear B syllabograms, homophones, logograms and ideograms. Although I have not illustrated the Linear B logograms and ideograms in the table above, since there are far too many of them, I can assure you that none of them, with the sole exception of the Linear B ideogram for “month”, corresponds in any meaningful way with any of the symbols on the Wisconsin tablet and shard.
There is also no ideogram for “boat” in Linear B.
If anything, this renders any attempt cross-correlation between the Wisconsin symbols and the entire Linear B script corpus a futile exercise at best. Readers of our blog can see the Linear B ideogram for themselves on Linear B tablet KN 162a D b 01, Scripta Minoa, on the post, A KEY TO THE MINOAN ECONOMY? An emphatic YES. 21,904 sheep in one place? Guess where...

However, what has really unsettled me right from the outset, when I first viewed the Wisconsin tablet and then subsequently, the Wisconsin shard, is that no less than 4 of the symbols look uncannily like alpha-numerics in the Latin alphabet, namely, C S U and 5. Their appearance on either one or the other of the Wisconsin finds actually spooks me. It strikes me as very peculiar indeed that no less than 4 symbols out of a total of at best a score or so actually look painfully like alpha-numeric Latin characters. I simply cannot wrap my head around this. I have yet to see any ancient script from anywhere in the Mediterranean, the Mid-East and India which includes any more than 2 or 3 symbols at best that look almost exactly or even approximately like any alpha-numeric Latin characters. This is probably the one characteristic of the Wisconsin tablet and shard which scares me off more than anything else. Should it turn out that the tablet is carbon-dated to the any historical era post dating the birth of Christ (anno domini = AD), say, for instance, to the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries AD, the symbols would then become rather more explicable. They could in fact turn out to be exactly what they look like, the letters C S & U and the number 5. But what could that possibly imply? Well, I am not entirely sure, but it could mean that the tablet and the shard, even though perfectly authentic, were a latter-day, early modern exercise in magical, alchemy or occult symbols or glyphs, secret cyphers or esoteric arcane runes such as the so-called “Theban” alphabet, a mystical script used to conceal meanings or make signs, blessings or cursings: 

Theban script 

Yet again, this arcane German script, 250 years old, also shares some symbols in common with the Wisconsin script and, quite by accident of course, 3 with Linear B (annotated with an asterisk): 
arcane German script 250 years old 

All of this may just be a figment of my imagination, but I simply cannot brush aside my own misgivings. On the other hand, pending carbon dating, there is simply no way on earth we can verify whether or not the Wisconsin tablet and shard are a relatively recent or more ancient phenomenon. If carbon-dating should prove that these fragments are indeed ancient, then my misgivings are just that, misgivings, and nothing more. If the Wisconsin tablet and shard are ancient, by which I mean at least a millennium old, then my concerns about thee symbols C S U & 5 looking eerily like alpha-numerics fly right out the window. I believe I have quite exhausted any and all observations I could possibly make on the Wisconsin tablet and shard. So I will have to leave it at that. In the meantime, all the three of us, James, Rita and I, can do now is patiently await the results of carbon-dating.