Tag Archive: Amnisos

Rita Roberts’ translation of Knossos tablet KN J 1 f 01, her last tablet for her second year of university:

Linear B tablet KN 1 J f 01 priestess of the winds

Line 1: Deukijojo = month name + temeno = shrine. The damaged first syllabogram looks like TO. The actual word temeno =temple” does not appear on the first line of this tablet, since it appears that the the scribe has made a scribal error, which actually happens quite often on Linear B tablets. The writing is messy, and appears to read teno, which would explain the scribal error, i.e. he missed on one syllabogram. Deukijojo could either be a month name, in which case it means “the tenth month” or more properly in this content, “of the tenth month” or it could simply be a persons name. If it refers to the tenth month, then it follows that the entire tablet refers to this month.

Line 2:

Wakatanujo – or- Dukatanayo = name + newejo = “of something new” + 3 units (probably bales) of barley. Hence the line refers to 3 new units (probably bales) of barley from Wakatanujo – or- Dukatanayo

Line 3:

Padarejode = a place hame, which is a sanctuary = hence, olive oil from Dardare and 2 units (probably bales) of barley.

Line 4:

Pade = name plus olive oil and 1 unit (probably a bale) of barley

Line 5:

Pasiteoi = “to all gods” barley and 1 unit of olive oil

Line 6:

olive oil and barley for Qerasiya = goddess Artemis, with numerals absent because of right truncation.

Line 7:

1 unit of barley to all the gods at Aminiso = Amnisos

Line 8:

2 units (probably pithoi) of olive oil for the goddess Erinu. Note that Erinu references one of the Furies (Erynies) in Greek. So it would appear that the scribe tells us that there was a sacrifice to at least one of or probably all of the Furies to appease them so that crops would thrive.

Line 9:

Gold and olive oil and 1 cyperus plant, probably dedicated to the priestess of the winds in Line 10.

Line 10:

4 cyperus plans dedicated to Anemo Ijereja = to the priestess of the winds

Line 11:

Blank and truncated.

Line 12:

3 units (probably pithoi) of olive oil and 2 units of barely plus 2 cyperus trees (also probably dedicated to the priestess of the winds)

Line 13:

Blank and truncated.


This is the very last tablet Rita Roberts is to translate for her second year of university, and it is by far the most challenging she has ever been confronted with to date. Congratulations to Rita! She is now about to take her final examination for her second year, which is to consist of 25 questions in increasing level of difficulty, the last 5 of which are to be translations of tablets, plus her second year thesis paper, What did the Minoan agricultural sector contribute to the Mycenaean Empire? This paper must be at least 25 pages long, inclusive of the bibliography but excluding illustrations, which will add to the page length of her thesis. Since this thesis paper is much more difficult than her first year thesis, I am allotting her three months to complete it, i.e. Feb. 15 – May 15. However, she must complete the rest of the examination in just 2 weeks (Feb. 15 – March 1 2018).

In the next post, I shall re-inscribe the entire tablet in archaic Greek from the Mycenaean.


Knossos tablet with all sorts of references to olive oil and barley:

Knossos tablet 1 j olive oil barley etc

This tablet is a real hodgepodge of references to olive oil, olive oil trees and barley, ranging from references the port of Amnisos, to units of dry measurement (which also frequently occur on Minoan Linear A tablets), to all the gods and to the goddess Erinu in particular. Not only that, it also tabulates bales of barley, even down to single units of dry measurement of barley. So this tablet serves as a real cornucopia for olive oil, olive oil trees and barley. Thus, it adds one more reference to every single facet of these commodities. I shall tally the totals for all references to each commodity when I have finished translating as many Linear B tablets as I can referencing olive oil.

Linear B tablet KN 777a K b 01 & the wheat (and barley) harvest:

Linear B tablet 777a K b 01

Linear B tablet KN 777a K b 01 deals with the wheat and barley harvest at Knossos, without specifying the amount of the barley harvest, and then goes on to enumerate the wheat harvests alone at Amnisos and Phaistos. We note that the toponyms go by their ethnic names. So I have deemed it appropriate to translate their names as “by the farmers of”... + locale. I find it very suspicious that the scribe has chosen to allot 100 + hectares to every single locale. Bizarre. Maybe he was high on something. But of course, I doubt that. The only alternative explanation that I can think of is that the palace administration at Knossos capped the wheat harvest at each of these milieux. Otherwise, the total amount of wheat produced would have filled the granaries (presumably at Knossos) to the bursting point.  

A Mind Blower! Monthly Statistics on Wheat & Barley at Knossos, Amnisos & Phaistos in Linear B: Click to ENLARGE

Linear A tablet KN 777a K b 01 wheat monthly Knossos Amnisos Phaistos

Ambiguities pop up as a matter of course in any attempt to translate all too many tablets in Mycenaean Linear B. These ambiguities arise for a number of reasons, such as:

(a.1) The scribes routinely omitted any word(s) or phrase(s) which they as a guild implicitly understood, since after all no-one but themselves and the palace administration would ever have to read the tablets in the first place. The regular formulae involved in the production of Linear B accounting, inventory or statistical texts of whatever length were commonly understood by all, and shared (or not, as the case may be) by all the scribes.

Formulaic text, including the same Linear B stock phrases, the same logograms & the same ideograms appearing over and over again, are routine. But even that does not give us the whole picture. Some text, which would have otherwise explicitly appeared as per the criteria just mentioned, was deliberately omitted. This bothers us today, in the twenty-first century, because we expect all text to be there, right on the tablet. Sorry. No can do. The scribes merely wrote what were routine annual accounts only, and nothing more (to be summarily erased at the end of the current fiscal year and replaced by the next fiscal year’s inventories). That was their job, or as we would call it today, their job description, as demanded by the palace administration. Nothing more or less. It would never have entered the minds of the scribes or the palace administrations of any Mycenaean city, trade centre, harbour or citadel to preserve inventories beyond one fiscal year, because they never did. Routine is routine.

So if we take it upon ourselves to complain that “vital information is missing”, we mislead ourselves grossly. That information was never “missing” to the personnel concerned. It is only absent to us. It is up to use to try and put ourselves into the mindset of the palace administration(s) and of the scribes, and not the other way around. Tough challenge? You bet it is. But we have no other choice.

(a.2) In the case of this tablet specifically, the text which is annoyingly “missing” is that in the independent nominative variable upon which the phrase in the dative, “for barley-by-month” (kiritiwetiyai) directly depends. The “whatever” (nominative) ... “for barley-by-month” (dative) has to be something.  But what? I translated the missing nominative independent variable as “ration” on the illustration of the tablet above, but this is a very rough translation.

(b) What is the semantic value of the implicit independent nominative variable?

If we stop even for a second and ask ourselves the really vital question, to what step or element or procedure in barley production do our average monthly statistics refer, then we are on the right track. Note that the word “average” is also absent, since it is obvious to all (us scribes) that monthly statistics for any commodity are average, after all. It is impossible for these monthly statistics for Knossos, Amnisos & Phaistos to refer to the barley crop or harvest, because that happens only once a year. The scribes all knew this, and anyway it is perfectly obvious even to us, if we just stop and consider the thing logically. So to what does the dependent dative variable refer?

There are a few cogent alternatives, but here are the most likely candidates, at least to my mind. First, we have (a) ration. Fair enough. But what about (b) consumption of barley -or- (c) monthly metropolitan (market) sales of barley for the city of Knossos alone -or- (d) routine monthly trade in barley, by which I mean, international trade?  All of these make sense. In fact, more than one of these alternatives may apply, depending on the site locale. Line 1 refers to the independent variable in the nominative for Knossos. That could easily be the monthly metropolitan market (akora) sales of barley. However, line 2 refers to Amnisos, which is the international harbour of Knossos, and the major hub of all international trade and commerce between Knossos and the rest of the Mycenaean Empire, and between Knossos and the rest of the then-known maritime world, i.e. all empires, nations and city states surrounding at least the mid-Eastern & South Mediterranean, especially Egypt, Knossos’s most wealthy, hence, primary trading partner. So in the case of Amnisos (line 2), the independent variable in the nominative is much more likely to be the average monthly figure for international trade in or for barley-by-month. As for Phaistos, it is probably a toss-up, although I prefer international trade. 

(c) Hundreds of Units of Barley or is it Wheat? But how many Hundreds?

(c.1) Before we go any further, it is best to clear one thing up. While line item 1 on this tablet refers specifically to barley, and not to wheat, I find it really peculiar that, in the first place, the ideogram used in line 1 (Knossos) is the ideogram for wheat and not for barley. This appears to be a contradiction in terms. The only explanations I can come up with are that (a) the scribe used the ideogram for wheat in line item 1, because he used it in both line items 2 & 3 (for Amnisos and Phaistos), where he actually did intend to reference wheat specifically, and not barley, or (b) the other way around, that he meant to reference barley in all 3 line items, but did not bother to repeat the phrase kiritiwetiyai = “for barley-by-month”, because (as he perceived it) he did not have to. Wasn’t it obvious to all concerned, himself and his fellow scribes, and their overseers, the palace administration, that is exactly what he meant? Of course it was. But which alternative was obvious (a) or (b)? We shall never know.
(c.2) Since the right hand side of this tablet is sharply truncated immediately after the appearance of the numeric syllabogram for 100, we are left high and dry as to the value of the total number of units for each of lines 1 to 3. The number must be somewhere between 100 & 999. Ostensibly, it cannot possibly be the same for Knossos, Amnisos & Phaistos. The problem compounds itself if we are referring to sales or consumption of barley at Knossos versus international trade for Amnisos and Phaistos or, for that matter, any combination or permutation of any of these formulae for each of these line items in the inventory. This being the case, there is obviously no point wasting our breath trying to figure out which is which (consumption, sales or international trade) because it will get us nowhere. One thing is certain, however. The scribes themselves knew perfectly well what the figures in each of lines 1 to 3 referred to. We are the ones who are the poorer, not the wiser.

(d) You will have noticed that, whatever the semantic value of the implicit nominative independent variable is in lines 1 & 2, which reference Knossos and Amnisos respectively, I mentioned on the illustration of the tablet above that the line item figure for Amnisos could either be lower than or higher than that for Knossos. And that is a correct observation. Assuming that the figure for Knossos probably refers to either average monthly consumption or metropolitan market sales of barley in the city itself, with a population estimated at some 55,000 at its height, the average monthly figure for consumption or sales alone would probably have been quite high, ranging well into the multiple hundreds. But how high? I wouldn’t dare hazard a guess.

Likewise, the average monthly volume in international trade of barley (let alone wheat and all other major commodities such as wool, olive oil, spices, crafts and fine Minoan/Mycenaean jewelry) would have been very significant, probably at least as great if not greater than the the average monthly figure for consumption or sales of barley, wheat etc. etc. in the city market (akora) of Knossos. Regardless, the monthly figures for Amnisos and Knossos almost certainly do not reference the same economic activity, so we are comparing apples with oranges.

As for Amnisos and Phaistos, the average monthly figures are more likely to reference the same economic phenomenon, namely, international trade. If this is the case, the monthly figures would have been far greater for Amnisos, the primary port of the entire Mycenaean Empire, for international commerce and trade, than for Phaistos, which was an important centre for commerce, but certainly not the hub. However, once again, we have no idea of the average ratio for monthly international trade and commerce between Amnisos and Phaistos, although I surmise it was probably in the order of at least 4:1. 


Haiku: “peri rimeni Aminisi anemo paidio pasi” = “all around the port of Amnisos the wind is everyone’s child”

Haiku of Amnisos in Linear B, ancient Greek, English and French =
Haïkou d’Amnisos en linéaire B, en grec antique, en anglais et en français

Click to ENLARGE

peri rimeni Aminiso anemo paidio pasi

This is the one haiku in Linear B which appeals to my sensibilities more than any other I have composed en Mycenaean Greek. The reason is simple: the Linear B of this haiku, which anyone can read in its Latinized version beneath the original in Linear B, has an entrancing rhythm, a melody about it that truly appeals to the ear, evoking a light sea breeze wafting around the sunny harbour of Amnisos. The language of the haiku is simple and direct. The alliteration, assonance and onomatopoeia are almost Italianate and so very appealing. In a word, I love it.

I elected to use the miniature Minoan frieze of the harbour of Thera, rather than a frieze of Amnisos, for its exquisite beauty.

I sincerely hope you love it as much as I do, and that you will tag it with LIKE. I would also appreciate your comments.

Thank you

Grâce à sa musicalité innée qui se déroule si aisément à travers les lignes, ce haïkou est assurément celui qui plaît à mes sensibilités avant tous les autres que j’ai jamais composé en grec mycénien. La version du haïkou en lettrage latin de l’intégral en linéaire B a un charme tout particulier, une mélodie qui nous hante l’oreille, comme si une brise maritime légère s’élèvait sur le havre ensoleillé d’Amnisos. Son langage est simple et direct. Il y en a une allitération, une assonance et une onomatopée quasi italiennes qui s’y harmonisent si parfaitement. En un mot, je m’en raffole.

Au lieu de choisir une fresque d’Amnisos, j’ai pris la frise miniature minoenne du havre de Thère, grâce à sa beauté exquise.

J’espère donc qu’il vous plaise autant qu’à moi, et que vous l’évalueriez selon sa qualité poétique.  Je serais également reconnaissant de vos commentaires, si’il y en a.



SPECIAL MEDIA POST! 2 Linear B Tablets at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum Naming Knossos & its Harbour, Amnisos + More Tablets: Click to ENLARGE:

2007-02-16 23.56.22
These tablets speak for themselves, to say the very least. There are in fact scores of tablets mentioning the name of the unwalled metropolis, Knossos, estimated population 55,000 (a very large city for antiquity) and of its bustling town harbour, Amnisos. We have already translated over a dozen tablets naming Knossos & Amnisos. Here is a sampling: Click to ENLARGE

Sampling of Linear B Tablets, Scripta Minoa, with the names of Knossos and its harbour, Amnisos

Amnisos & Knossos map
Check Wikipedia to read all about Amnisos:


By comparison, Athens, with its own harbour, Piraeus, had about the same population at the acme of its power in the 5th. century BCE. Click to ENLARGE:

Piraeus Long Walls Athens map

This is the first time ever that I have put my modern Greek lessons to the test, by including the title of this image in modern Greek, as well as English & French. If there are any errors at all in the Greek title, I beg one of our native Greeks to inform me ASAP, so that I can correct the error statim.

To read all about the Piraeus, see Wikipedia:


while Rome, a much larger city (est. pop. at least 750,000 at its height in the Augustinian period, ca. 20 BCE – AD) also had its own town harbour, Ostia (aka Ostia Antica). Click to ENLARGE

Ostia Antica Rome

Check Wikipedia to read all about Ostia:


SPECIAL NOTE: From here on in, whenever we post anything which largely features MEDIA (photographs, videos & films), we will tag them as such in the post Title, MEDIA POST! We are also creating a new Category at the top of the first page of our blog, MEDIA, so that you can search all archived media posts at your leisure!  


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


A Shard from Wisconsin, U.S.A. (A: Top Left), Minoan Pottery (B, C & D) Click to ENLARGE:


Is the shard from a giant storage container something like the Minoan pithos?

In response to James’ newest post, illustrating a shard from Wisconsin, allow me to make the following observations and comments. In the first place, leaving aside all consideration of pictographs or script (whatever the symbols are on this shard), from a strictly archaeological point of view, the shard seems to conform most closely in its apparent thickness to the giant Minoan pithoi or storage jars found at Knossos. These pithoi are huge (I know, I have seen them myself). They were used to store such commodities as wine, grain, olive oil etc. This observation might lead us to the conclusion that the Wisconsin shard is also from a North American vessel of the approximate configuration of a pithos, but there is really no way to know. What I am saying is simply this: just because the shard looks as if it is approximately the same thickness as a Minoan pithos does not necessarily mean that it comes from a pithos at all.  What kind of vessel it comes from I simply cannot tell. Since I am a linguist, and not an archaeologist, I leave it up to Rita Roberts, our resident archaeologist, and specialist in Minoan wares, to shed further light on this issue. It is not up to me to draw any conclusions either way (or any way, for that matter), due to my ignorance of the archaeological implications of such ancient artifacts, no matter what their provenance, Asian, Australasian, Mediterranean, European, North or South American etc.  

I have eliminated the other examples (B & C) of Minoan pottery in the illustration above for the simple reason that they appear to be too thin. But here again, I may very well be deceived by appearances. Only Rita Roberts is qualified to determine whether the apparent thickness of the Wisconsin shard falls within the parameters of thickness for Minoan pithoi, and in order for her to accomplish this, she would need a precise measurement of the thickness of the Wisconsin shard from James. So James and Rita, the ball is in your court.

Snake Goddess or Priestess or...?

Click to ENLARGE:

Minoan Egyptian Hindu snake goddesses

As for the appearance of what looks like a snake goddess or priestess or someone of that kind on the Wisconsin shard, may I make the following observations? It all boils down to one thing: there were snake goddesses all over the place in the ancient world, as can be seen above. However, in all fairness to James, the Minoans were the most obsessed of all ancient civilizations with the worship of the snake goddess, so there is a very remote possibility that the snake goddess or snake priestess or whatever the symbol on the Wisconsin shard might be of Minoan origin, but I for one certainly would not count on that. Just because a snake symbol on an archaeological artifact from one part of the world (Wisconsin, U.S.A) looks like a similar symbol on an artifact from another, far-off region of the world, does not imply that they are (even remotely) the “same” symbol or, and this is even more critical, that they are from the (relatively) “same” historical period, as I go on to elaborate in the next section, carbon-dating.          	

The Absolute Necessity for Carbon-Dating (yet again):

On the other hand, as I pointed out in a previous post, the necessity for carbon-dating is absolutely paramount for both the tablet and the shard. Although carbon-dating is most likely to reveal that they both originate from the same pre-historical or historical period, there is still the possibility that they do not, and in that case, we would find ourselves at an impasse yet again. Without carbon-dating, however, there is simply no way to come close to an accurate determination of the approximate historical timeline within which these artifacts fall. Moreover, given that we are dealing with an enormous timeline, from paleolithic to as recent as the early modern era, when North American aboriginals still held sway all over the North American content (say, from as early as 10,000 BCE to as late as the 18th. century AD), the chances that these artifacts would actually fall within the timeline of the Minoan civilization (ca. 1900 – 1200 BCE, or about 700 years) is about 1/17, if we operate solely from this hypothesis, excluding all others, namely, that the total timeline rounds out to about 12 millennia (12,000 years, BCE to AD).  If we were to extend the timeline further back in time, the odds would get even worse. If we were to restrict the timeline to, say, 5,000 BCE until today, the timeline is still 7 millennia, leaving us with odds of about 1/10, which is to say that there is still a 90% chance that the Wisconsin artifacts do not fall within the entire timeline of the Minoan/Mycenaean civilization, i.e. 1,900 – 1,200 BCE (700 years).  There is simply no way around this road block, unless we do carbon-dating, and even then, the chances that the Wisconsin artifacts are contemporary with the Minoan/Mycenaean era are still only 1 in 10, in the best case scenario, or 1 in 17 in a more realistic timeline of 12,000 years.

Chronological and Geographic Considerations:

Moreover, even if carbon-dating of the Wisconsin artifacts does result in an approximate timeline of something like 2,000 – 1,000 BCE, this is only an indication that the Wisconsin artifacts versus any and all artifacts of the Minoan/Mycenaean civilization share the same timeline, give or take a few centuries (!), and nothing more. In other words, we are dealing with rough chronological simultaneity, but beyond that, what else can we say?  Add to this the fact that, even if carbon-dating should result in an almost perfect chronological alignment, we are still faced with such an enormous geographical distance between the sites (Wisconsin, U.S.A. versus Crete) that the chances of these two far-flung sites sharing the “same” or similar civilization are very remote indeed. I hasten to add that Minoan ships, with their extremely low gunwales and profile, were suitable only for navigation in the Mediterranean in the spring and summer only, trade routes pretty much lying dormant for the winter.  Here we see two images of a Cycladic/Minoan/Cretan ship, one a model and the other a fresco. Click to ENLARGE:

Minoan Ship and Fresco

Note the extremely low gunwales. James, being a former naval officer, as I recall, fully appreciates the implications of such a configuration for seaworthiness on the high Atlantic. After all, if the Wisconsin artifacts are conceivably Minoan, Cypriot or of a related Mediterranean civilization, the people had to cross the Atlantic even to get to the Eastern shores of North America, let alone having to trek another 3,000 kilometres or more to get to Wisconsin!   

Yet, for all I have to say here, it is not up to me to draw any conclusions in the archaeological sphere, as I am not qualified to do so. I leave that task to our esteemed colleague, Rita Roberts.

The Pre-Historical or Historical Significance of the Wisconsin Artifacts in their own right: 

On a final note, regardless of the timeline of the Wisconsin artifacts, once verified by carbon-dating, they are bound to be of great historical significance in and of themselves, without the need to take into account reference to any other ancient or more recent civilization whatsoever. This is the prime consideration I believe James should keep uppermost in mind. Again, it is up to Rita to confirm or dissent on this point, but it strikes me that any and all major archaeological finds, regardless of where in the world they are unearthed, must perforce be evaluated in their own geological, historical and geographic context, as telling sign posts to the very civilization they represent, and to none other. To illustrate: just because the Minoan civilization was contemporaneous with much of the ancient Egyptian does not mean they were the same or even similar civilization, regardless of geographical proximity, because they were not. The same could be said for the Sumerian and Hittite Empires, also co-existent with the Minoan/Mycenaean. And yet all of these Empires were situated smack dab in the same geographical area of the world!... not 10s of thousands of kilometres apart.

I shall turn my attention to address the linguistic implications of the Wisconsin tablet and shard in the next post.


Translation of Knossos Tablet KN 601 A g 02, “Even more for people to admire in Amnisos... ” (Click to ENLARGE):

First of all, it is vital that you read the Notes to the previous post, Knossos Tablet KN 600 A g 01, which is for all intents and purposes almost identical to this tablet; otherwise the grammatical constructs of this tablet will make little sense. A few explanatory notes on the grammatical constructs in both of these tablets, except for “AMINISOYO”, which occurs on this tablet only.

[1] The comment on AMORAMA appears in the previous post. 
[2] As per the notes in tablet KN 600 A g 01, the verb, ESOTO, in Linear B, is the neuter impersonal form of the Greek verb, “to look at, admire”, and so on this tablet the Linear B word, TOSO, must also be neuter. I cannot over-emphasize this.
[3] Since the impersonal verb, ESOTO, contains the prefix “ES” = ancient Greek “eis”, the notion of “in or into” is clearly implied. Hence, the presence of the preposition EPA, which is merely an archaic form of “epi”. Greek verbs prefixed with “es” or “eis” often take the preposition “epa” or “epi”.
[4] The presence of the Linear B, AMINISOYO = Greek archaic genitive, “Amnisoio”, throws a wrench into this translation, as “epa” cannot possibly be modified by the genitive, only the dative. So the question arises, WHAT is modified by “epa”. If we assume that the end of this tablet is truncated, it is quite possible, even likely that the phrase “in the port” follows and if so, it can easily be modified by the genitive, “in the port of Knossos”. But all this is speculative.


Translation of Knossos Tablet KN 600 A g 01, “There is so much for people to admire... ” (Click to ENLARGE):


At first, I found this tablet a little tricky to translate, as it contains the word, “epa”, which I could not recognize off the top of my head. However, it came to me like a flash that “epa” is merely an archaic form of “epi”, as is readily confirmed when we consult Liddell & Scott, 1986, pp. 288-243,  where the meanings of the vast majority of the verbs with this prefix, “epa”, terminate with either, “in, on or over.” This is strong confirmation of the existence of an earlier, archaic form of “epi”, namely “epa”. Consequently, whenever the preposition “epa” occurs in any Linear B tablet, it has to mean “in, on or over” and variations thereof. 

The translation of “amorama”, according to Chris Tselentis, in his lengthy Lexicon, is doubtful, but it does make sound sense in the context of this tablet.

Finally, I have to say that I find both this tablet, KN 600 A g 01 and the next one in the next post, very unusual, to say the least, because neither of them speaks of that obsession of Linear B scribes, statistics and lists. Instead, these two tablets appear to be so informal as to almost defy logic. While tablet KN 600 Ag 01 does not specifically mention Amnisos, KN 601 Ag 02 does. So I think we can safely say that both of these tablets refer to Amnisos, as they are otherwise practically identical on all respects.

What they seem to be saying is that it is a lot of fun for folks to wander around Amnisos, the lovely port of Knossos, and that there is even a possibility the tablet is referring to foreign visitors, in other words, as we would call at least some of them, “tourists”. But that is a bit of stretch, as the very notion of a tourist seems alien to the cultures of the ancient world, especially of Greece, where such visitors from abroad where always called “strangers” or “foreigners”. Of course, the tablet probably also (and even predominantly) is referring to the inhabitants and citizens of Knossos, some of whom dropped by every single day to admire its beauty. On this tablet, we have 25 visitors, and on the next, KN 601 A g 02, we have 9.


POST 300! A Sampling of Linear B Fragments on Amnisos, the Harbour of Knossos, in Scripta Minoa (Click to ENLARGE):

AMINISO 10 samples from Scripta Minoa

In this set of Linear B fragments from Scripta Minoa, we feature even more fragments on Amnisos, the harbour of Knossos. Like fragments and sometimes whole tablets dealing with Knossos, there are scores dealing with Amnisos, and sometimes the same fragment or tablet deals with both Amnisos and Knossos, which should come as no surprise, considering the extreme importance of these two locales to the thriving Minoan economy. One fragment in particular, KN 410 X (top right) is of particular significance, because it reveals more about the Minoan economy than might be assumed at first sight. This fragment states, “to Amnisos”. The only question is, from where?  There can only be 2 possibilities, either (a) from Knossos itself or (b) from overseas, since Amnisos was the international trading port of Knossos. If this distinction sounds a bit academic, I would put it to you that it is not, because either meaning fits the bill supremely. And in any case, the missing portions of some fragments would have said, “from Knossos”, while others would have said “from overseas/from Mycenae/from Egypt” etc. I think we can probably take that much for granted. To summarize, what I am getting at here is simply this, that the Linear B fragments can often reveal something valuable, i.e. at least some information about their context, even where that context is missing. In those instances, such as in this case, where this is not entirely a matter of conjecture, we may find ourselves learning something new about the Minoan/Mycenaean society and economy, however sparse that new information may be.


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