Category: Measurement



autumn haiku – where in the world = où dans le monde

where in the world
are the Gatineau Hills?
fall leaves whisper where?




où dans le monde
les Collines de la Gatineau ?
l'automne murmure où ?

Richard Vallance

photo © by/ par Richard Vallance


Restoration the full text of the badly damaged Linear A tablet from Gournia:




Here we see my restoration of the full text of the badly damaged Linear A tablet from Gournia, which includes line 0. at the top and line 4. at the bottom. This is just a personal interpretation, which may stray from the actual text of the original tablet... but we cannot really know this. Note that the RECTO (front side) and the VERSO (reverse side) are reversed. If you horizontally flip the VERSO it fits correctly into the RECTO. So this means that we have to read the text on the RECTO from left to right (dextrograde) and on the VERSO from right to left (sinistrograde). The reconstruction certainly makes sense. It was hard work, but worth it and fun! 


Restoration of the top of Minoan Linear Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) REVISED:

Since the last post on my original restoration of the top of Minoan Linear Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros), I have reconsidered the hypothetical text, and I have come up with this more plausible restoration:

Linear A tablet ZA 20 Zakros top restored

The running decipherment reads as follows:

1. a field
2. of 20 bales of einkorn wheat
3. and 20 bales of emmer wheat
4. and 65 bales of barley
5. all measured by bales
6. 4 bales of MI ?? ZA (unknown) + 1 bale with wheat
7. and 12 bales of wheat with 2 spin-offs of chaff from the wheat 
8. totals for all the above = 130

This restoration is the basis of an article on it soon to be published on academia.edu. I shall keep you posted. 


Richard Janke’s conjectural restoration of the missing top of Linear A tablet ZA 20:

Since the top of Linear A tablet ZA 20 is missing, I boldly took it upon myself to restore the top of this tablet. My restoration is of course conjectural, but I am quite sure it is something like what the original must have looked like, because line 6 mentions sitetu and line 7 situ. These are variants on the same Linear A word, situ, which just so happens to look a great deal like the Linear B word sito, which means “wheat”. SO it is natural to suppose that in fact situ and sitetu also mean “wheat” in Linear A.  

linear-a-tablet-za-20-zakros-restored

Here is the decipherment of the entire Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakrs), including the restored lines 1.-7.

1. kireta2 11 = 11 units (probably bales) of barley
2. dideru 42 = 42 bales of einkorn wheat
3. dideru 30 qerie 22 = 30 bales of einkorn wheat (2) and 22 bales of another type of grain (3)
4. qerie 6 = 6 bales of grain type (3)
5. ro? + direza- = (dide)ro [left truncated] = einkorn wheat = didero + direza = a unit of measurement
6. se + mi? +ru? 4 sitetu 1 = “se” is the last syllabogram, i.e. syllable of the word direza+se, which implies the word is inflected.
7. situ 6 te*123 12 rumitase 2 = 6 bales of wheat + 12 bales or units of te*123 (unknown) 2 units of chaff  
8. kura 120 = kura = TOTAL of all items listed in lines 1.-7.

No one has ever attempted to decipher even the extant bottom portion of Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) before, let alone to restore the missing lines in the missing top portion of this tablet.


Translation of Linear B Tablets KN 515 R r 11 & KN 516 Rs 12 by Rita Roberts:

Linear B tablets KN 515 & 516


Translation of Knossos tablet KN LD (1) 573 by Rita Roberts:

Knossos tablet KN 573 textiles

This tablet presents several difficulties. While a literal translation is adequate, we must use our imagination to render a fluent translation. For instance, in line 1.we translate “delivered free” as “tariff free”, since in line 2. the cloth is “foreign”, i.e. “imported”, as well as being “decorated”  or more accurately “embroidered”. In addition in 3. the supersyllabogram WI can mean either simply “leather” or “made of leather”, implying that there is a piece made of leather to go with the imported embroidered cloth. So as we can see, this is far from being a straightforward translation. It is in fact one of the most difficult tablets Rita Roberts has ever had to translate. 


Rita Roberts, translation of Knossos Linear B tablet, KN 556 R o 01:

KN 556 R o 01



Translation of Knossos Linear B tablet KN 530 R l 23 by Rita Roberts:


KN 530 R l 23


The ancient Greek alphabetical numeric system:

ancient greek numerals

This chart illustrates both the ancient Greek acrophonic and alphabetical numeric systems. However, the acrophonic system, used primarily in Classical Athens ca. 500 – 400 BCE, came much later than the alphabetical system. So in effect we must resort to the only Greek numeric system we can use to represent numbers in Mycenaean Greek numbers, i.e. the alphabetical system. The alphabetical numbers are displayed in the second column after the modern numbers, 1 – 100,000 in the following chart. Here are some examples of alphabetic numbers representing Mycenaean numbers: 

mycenaean numbers followed by their alphabetic greek equivalents




Translation of Linear B tablet KN 525 R l  24 by Rita Roberts

linear b tablet kn 525 r l 24 knossos


It is to be noted that the supersyllabogram TE, which appears in the text tagged 2. refers to the Linear B word TETUKUOWA = tetu/xu #oa, which literally translated means “well prepared” or “ready”, in other words “finished”  cloth or textile, in this case “finished wool”.



summer haiku d’été – cormorant diving for fish = cormoran qui plonge 

cormorant
diving for fish –
on target... or not

cormorant haiku

cormoran
qui plonge aux poissons –
il trouve sa cible

Richard Vallance Janke
 


Translation of Knossos tablet KN 712 M p 01 by Rita Roberts:

Linear B tablet KN 712 M p 01

 


another Linear B tablet from Knossos illustrating the syllabogram JU, KN 21 J i 14:

barley

Knossos Linear B tablet 21 J i 14

This tablet from Knossos deals with barley stalks in conjunction with the syllabogram JU, which clearly is also a crop, but which kind we do not know. Wine is also mentioned on this tablet. So we may very well be dealing with barley wine, which of course is what the Mycenaeans and ancient Greeks called beer. So now we have a hint as to what JU might mean, i.e. hops or a draught, but my bet is on the former.

syllabogram JU on Linear B tablets: KN 8a J i 01 & KN 20 Ji 22 (recto verso):

Here we have the first 2 examples of Linear B tablets with the syllabogram JU, first  KN 8a J i 01:

Knossos Linear B tablet 8a

and secondly, KN 20 Ji 22 (recto verso):

Knossos Linear B tablet 20ab

It is apparent fro these 2 tablets that it is probably impossible to decipher the syllabogram JU, at leasst for the time being. But however daunting the task to decipher it, we shall persist to the bitter end.


Linear A, examples of writing, reposted from Mnamon, Ancient Writing Systems in the Mediterranean:

Click on the image below to visit this post:

Mnamon examples of writing Linear A

This post on Linear A tablets and roundels from Mnamon is amazing! You really have to see it for yourself. The graphics quality is astounding, and the explanations of the tablets are clear and precise.


new Linear A nodule, on the brim of a cup or tripod + a spice cup:

cretan_linear_a_tablet_greece_minoan_aegean_bronze_age_1600bc

As the graphics above make it clear enough, this decipherment is pretty straightforward, much to my relief, considering how so many Linear A inscriptions are such tough nuts to crack.


Linear A nodule on weighing emmer wheat with 3 supersyllabograms:

cretan_linear_a_tablet_nodule_minoan_aegean

This rare Linear A nodule is of particular interest because it contains 3 supersyllabograms, JE SE & U. I am unable to decipher JE and SE, but U appears to be the first syllabogram, actually a vowel, i.e. the first syllable of the word it represents, which in this case would appear to be the Mycenaean-derived word, udoro = u3droj = a water flask. But this interpretation may not make sense in the context of weighing KUNI(SU) or emmer wheat, unless a certain standardized amount of water in a water flask were poised at the other end of the scale measuring the emmer wheat. This is surely open to speculation.


Academia.edu THESIS The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire by Rita Roberts:

Click on this logo to download her thesis:

minoan and mycenaean main

We are proud to announce that Rita Roberts has fulfilled the requirements of her second year of university, and has passed with a mark of 85 %. We have awarded her 90 % for thesis, The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire, which is a finely researched document I highly recommend to any and all. It deals in great detail with every conceivable aspect of Minoan and Mycenaean agricultural trade via their trade routes in the Mycenaean Empire, ca. 1600-1450 BCE. We congratulate Rita on her splendid achievement, and we look forward to her fuflling the exacting requirements of her third and final year of university which commences on July 1 2018, Canada Day. Once she has completed her third year, she will have earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Minoan and Mycenaean studies.


Linear B tablet HT 93 (Haghia Triada). What happens when there are not enough Mycenaean-derived words to decipher a Linear A tablet:

Linear A tablet HT 93 Haghia Triada

While it is a relatively straightforward matter to decipher Linear A tablets which contain a substantial portion of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary, the situation rapidly deteriorates the fewer Myenaean-derived words there are on the tablet or inscription. In fact, there is a point of no return in all too many cases. This is not quite the situation we are faced with when confronted with Linear A tablet HT 88 (Haghia Triada). But we are getting close to the precipice. There appear to be only 4 Mycenaean-derived words on this tablet, SERE = a corn silo, ASE = surfeit, OTI = with handles and KIRO, which seems to be a scribal error, since this word appears on the VERSO of the tablet with the large number 165 + fraction following it. So I suspect the scribe meant to inscribe KURO. As for the later archaic or classical Greek words to which these four words correspond, see the actual figure of the tablet above.

As for the remainder of the tablet, most of the vocabulary simply eludes us, with the exception of one word, DARIDA (HT 10, HT 85, HT 93 and HT 122), an old Minoan (OM) word, appearing in the Minoan substrate language, which definitely refers to some kind of vase. And if our interpretation of OTI is correct, then the vase is two-handled. The decipherment of OTI as two-handled is buttressed by the presence of the ideogram for a vase with two handles nearly adjacent to it. As for the rest of the tablet, with the exception of SARA2, which is ancient Semitic for barley or a similar grain crop, your guess is as good as mine. However, I suspect that QAQARU is another type of (large) vase, which in this case is used to store SARA2.


Linear A tablet KH 5 (Khania) ca. 1450 BCE – adorned with ivy:

Linear A KH 5 inscription from Chania, circa 1450 BCE b

This tablet, which significantly dates from 1450 BCE, right at the time of the transition from the Linear A to the Linear B syllabary, appears to have 3 Mycenaean-derived words inscribed on it. Because it was probably one of the very last tablets inscribed in Linear A, it could just as well have been inscribed in Linear B. The first two syllables of ADAKISIKA, i.e. ADA, are Old Minoan (OM), falling within the substrate of the original Minoan language. Both ADA and ADU appear to deal with large(r) quantities in the Minoan language. And the first and second words, ADAKISIKA + WISASANE = adorned with plenty of ivy in equal measure, make for a perfectly acceptable phrase. WINASAO very much appears to be a variant of Linear A WINU, which means wine. It may be cast in an archaic Minoan ablative absolute, which would perhaps explain its orthography.

Since the rest of this tablet is in Old Minoan (OM), the language of the original Minoan language substrate, it is indecipherable.

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