Tag Archive: Bronze Age



Bachelor of Arts, Linguistics, conferred on Rita Roberts May 7 2020





maps of the Hittite Empire 1450 BCE & 1200 BCE


maps of the Hittite Empire 1450 BCE & 1200 BCE











I-je-re-ja, ka-ra-wi-po-ro and others, article by Cécile Boëlle, academia.edu:

Click here to read this fascinating study on the role of women as priestesses in Mycenaean Religion.

ijereja academia

This article is in French. You can download it from the link above and open it in WORD or Open Office.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS: 5 major articles by Richard Vallance Janke,  Spyros Bakas and Rita Roberts

In a major new development in the international dissemination of 5 papers by Spyros Bakas, Rita Roberts and Richard Vallance Janke, the following 5 articles are now universally available on WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, with 47,480,622 files:

Wikimedia Commons

 
These articles are:
CLICK on each logo to download each article:

1. Vallance Janke, Richard. “An Archaeologist’s Translation of Pylos Tablet TA  641-1952 (Ventris) with an Introduction to Supersyllabograms in the Vessels & Pottery Sector in Mycenaean Linear B”, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade). Vol. 11 (2015) ISSN 1452-7448. pp. 73-108


Wikimedia commons Pylos tablet PY641-1952620
2. Vallance Janke, Richard. “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B”, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade). Vol. 11 (2015) ISSN 1452-7448. pp. 73-108 

Wikimedia commons decipherment of supersyllabograms620
3. Vallance Janke, Richard. “The Mycenaean Linear B  “Rosetta Stone” for Linear A Tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) Vessels and Pottery”, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade). Vol. 12 (2016) ISSN 1452-7448. pp. 75-98  

Wikimedia commons Mycenaean Rosetta Stone for Linear A620
4. Vallance Janke, Richard and Bakas, Spyros. “Linear B Lexicon for the Construction of Mycenaean Chariots”, Epohi/Epochs. Vol. XXIV (2017), Issue 2. pp. 299-315 

Wikimedia commons Linear B Lexicon for the construction of Mycenaean chariots
5. Roberts, Rita & Janke, Richard Vallance, consulting editor.
The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire

Wikimedia commons Minoan and Mycenaean620


The appearance of these articles on WIKIMEDIA COMMONS greatly enhances their international profile. 

Richard Vallance Janke
June 19 2018

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.


Now on academia.edu Guidelines for submissions to KONOSO Press:

Click on the logo below to go to Guidelines for submissions to KONOSO Press. If you wish to DOWNLOAD the document, simply click on the green DOWNLOAD button on the right side of the page.

submissionsguidelinesacademia.edu


Guidelines for submissions to Les Éditions KONOSO Press now on academia.edu:

guidelines KONOSO Press academia.edu

Guidelines for submissions to Les Éditions KONOSO Press, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, are now on academia.edu. Our new Press will be publishing online monographs and books only, from 40 to 200 pages long. Submissions will be accepted starting July 1 2018. Any person submitting papers should expect to wait 6 months before we can advise that person whether or not we have accepted the submission. Submissions guidelines are very strict. You must read them exhaustively. Submissions not following these guidelines will be automatically rejected.

The editors on our board of editors are of the highest calibre with the finest credentials. Here is the list of all our editors:

ISBN 978-0-9868289-1-1

Board of Editors/Conseil des rédacteurs

Richard Vallance Janke, University of Western Ontario, Emeritus

Editor-in-Chief

Alexandre Solcà

Associate Editor-in-Chief, Université de Genève

Spyros Bakas,

Chief Associate Editor, University of Warsaw

Associate Editors:

John Bengtson, University of Minnesota

Julia Binnberg, University of Oxford, Classical Archaeology

Nic Fields, University of Newcastle, England

Jean-Philippe Gingras, Royal Military College of Canada

Jorrit Kelder, University of Oxford, Oriental Studies, Associate Professor

Roman Koslenko, Mykolaiv National University & National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine

Haris Koutelakis, Kapodistrian University of Athens

Massimo Perna, Università degli Studi di Napoli Suor Orsola Benincasa

Philipp Schwinghammer, Universität Leipzig, Historisches Seminar

Olivier Simon, Université de Lorraine, independent researcher, PIE

The most renowned of these editors are Spyros Bakas of the University of Warsaw, an expert in ancient Mycenaean and Greek warfare, and Jorrit Kelder of the University of Oxford, one of the worlds most famous researchers in Mycenaean Linear B.

Our Press promises to become one of the world’s most prestigious publishers in ancient Aegean studies in short order.

You may submit your first paper as of July 1 2018.

Richard Vallance Janke, Editor-in-Chief, May 9 2018


Article, Linear B Lexicon for the Construction of Mycenaean Chariots just published on academia.edu:

Click on the TITLE to view and download the article:

aEpochs title

just uploaded to my academia.edu account at the link above. To download it, click the green DOWNLOAD button on the right side of the document.

Illustrations from the article:

bNew Kingdom chariot

c4 spoke chariots

dcomposite parts Mycenaean chariots

eMycenaean Chariots Lexicon

gKnossos tablet KN 894

This Lexicon is the only one of its kind in the entire world. To date, no one has ever published a Linear B Lexicon on a subject as focused as the Construction of Mycenaean Chariots.

This article has just been published in the prestigious European journal, Epohi (Epochs), Vol. 25, Issue 2 (2017), published bi-annually by the Department of History of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, University of Veliko, Tarnovo, Bulgaria. I have been invited by the Editor-in-Chief, Stefan Iordanov, to publish new papers in the near future (sometime in 2018) and again in 2019. Considering that the Editor-in-Chief, Stefan Iordanov, solicited me to submit this article sight unseen, you can be sure I shall submit more papers to the journal.


T. Farkas’ brilliant decipherment of Linear B tablet KN 894 Nv 01:

Knossos tablet KN 984 Nv 01

Linear B transliteration

Line 1. ateretea peterewa temidwe -ideogram for wheel, SSYL ZE for set or pair tablet broken off (i.e. right truncated)

Line 2. kakiya -ideogram for wheel, SSYL ZE for set or pair 1. kakodeta -ideogram for wheel, SSYL ZE for pair or set tablet broken off (i.e. right truncated)

Line 3. kidapa temidweta -ideogram for wheel, SSYL ZE for set or pair 41 tablet broken off (i.e. right truncated)

line 4. odatuweta erika -ideogram for wheel, SSYL ZE for set or pair 40 to 89 tablet broken off (i.e. right truncated)

Translation (my knowlege of Greek grammar is not sufficient at present to write out proper sentences [NOTE 1] but I have looked up and know the Greek equivalents for the Linear B words which I will write here.)

Line 1. Pair/set of inlaid/unfinished? elmwood chariot wheel rims

Οn your blog you have translated ateretea as “inlaid” from the Greek ἀιτh=ρeς. I found these words ατελείωτος , ατελεις … that means “unfinished” Do you think that could work? Either way I get that ateretea is an adjective that describes the wheel rims [2].

α)τερεδέα/ατελείωτος πτελεFάς τερμιδFέντα ζευγάρι a1ρμοτα, (sorry for the mishmash Greek [3]).

Line 2. 1 Copper [4] set or pair of wheel fasteners , bronze set or pair of wheel fasteners

I looked around the net and some say copper was used as a band or even as a tire and as leather tire fasteners on bronze age chariot wheels.

Since the deta on kakodeta refers to bindings perhaps this line is refering to sets of types of fasteners of both copper and bronze for wheels? (hubs, linch pins, nails, etc…) [Richard, YES!]

χαλκίος ζευγάρι α1ρμοτα, χαλκοδέτα ζευγάρι α1ρμοτα

Line 3. 41 Sets or pairs of “kidapa” chariot wheel rims

Looked around the net didn’t find and words to match kidapa…I did take note that you think ― like L.R. Palmer ― that it means ash-wood.

κιδάπα τερμιδFέντα ζευγἀρι α1ρμοτα

Line 4. 40 to 89 ? sets of toothed/grooved willow-wood chariot wheels.

Ive looked at many diagrams and pictures of chariot wheels… but none that I could find were clear enough to really understand what might be meant by toothed [5]… Ι even watched a documentary where an Egyptian chariot is built. It is called building Pharaoh’s Chariot. Perhaps one day I’ll happen upon some chariot wheels somewhere and finally understand what is meant.

ο0δατFέντα ε0λικα ζευγἀρι α1ρμοτα 40 -89 ?

Comments by our moderator, Richard Vallance Janke:

This is absolutely brilliant work! I am astounded! 100 % hands down. This is one of the most difficult Linear A tablets to decipher. I too take kidapa to mean ash wood, as it is a tough wood. It is also probably Minoan, since it begins with ki, a common Minoan prefix:

kida/kidi 
kidapa OM = ash wood? (a type of wood) Appears only on Linear B tablet KN 894 N v 01
kidaro MOSC NM1 kidaro ke/dron = juniper berry-or- kedri/a = oil of cedar Cf. Linear B kidaro
kidata OM = to be accepted or delivered? (of crops) Cf. Linear B dekesato de/catoj
kidini
kidiora

See my Comprehensive Linear A lexicon for further details I imagine you have already downloaded the Lexicon, given that at least 16 % of Linear A is Mycenaean-derived Greek. This decipherment alone of an extremely difficult Linear B tablet entitles you to a secondary school graduation diploma, which I shall draw up and send to you by mid-August.

Specific notes:

[1] Thalassa Farkas declares that … my knowlege of Greek grammar is not sufficient at present to write out proper sentences… , but the actual point is that it is not really possible to write out Greek sentences in Mycenaean Greek, in view of the fact that sentences are almost never used on Linear B tablets, given that these are inventories. Grammar is not characteristic of inventories, ancient or modern. So it is up to us as decipherers to reconstruct the putative “sentences which might be derived from each of the tabular lines in an inventory. So long as the sentences and the ultimate paragraph(s) make sense, all is well.

[2] wheel rims is an acceptable reading.

[3] This is hardly mishmash Greek. It is in fact archaic Greek, and archaic Greek in the Mycenaean dialect, absolutely appropriate in the context.

[4] In Line 2, kakiya (genitive singular of kako) might mean copper, but is much more likely to mean “(made of) bronze” (gen. sing.), given that copper is a brittle metal, more likely to shatter under stress than is bronze. Copper tires would simply not hold up. Neither would pure bronze ones. Either would have to be re-inforced, and in this case by kidapa = ash-wood. That is the clincher, and that is why the word kidapa appears on this tablet.

[5] In Line 5, temidweta does not mean with teeth, but the exact opposite, with grooves” or “with notches. After all, if we invert teeth in 3 dimensions, so that they are inside out, we end up with grooves. This can be seen in the following illustration of a Mycenaean chariot in the Tiryns fresco of women (warrior) charioteers:

Tiryns fresco women charioteers

On the other hand, scythes, which are after all similar to teeth, were commonplace on ancient chariots, including Egyptian, a nice little clever addition to help cut or chop up your enemies. Still, it is unlikely that Mycenaean chariots would be reinforced by scythes, in view of the fact that there are far too many of them even on fresco above. That is why I take temidweta to mean indentations” or “notches”. But temidweta could refer to “studs”, which like notches, are small, even though they stick out.

Richard

 

 


Just uploaded to academia.edu: Decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 86 Haghia Triada, a mirror image of HT 95:

decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 86 academia.edu

Linear A Tablet HT 86 (Haghia Triada) Linear A tablet HT 86 (Haghia Triada) appears to be inscribed partially in Mycenaean-derived New Minoan and partially in Old Minoan, just as is HT 95 (Haghia Triada). This is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets, because it so closely parallels HT 95. The fact that the text of HT 86 so closely mirrors that of HT 95 lends further credence to our decipherment of both of these tablets taken together. We find approximately equal parts of Mycenaean-derived New Minoan and Old Minoan vocabulary on HT 86. Here we have the New Minoan vocabulary on HT 86: akaru, dideru (equivalent to Linear B didero), dame & minute Old Minoan vocabulary on HT 86: kunisu, saru, qara2wa (qaraiwa) & adu. We must pay special heed to the terms akaru and dideru in New Minoan, as these in turn signify " field " (archaic acc.), where all of these crops are obviously grown and didero, which is Linear A for " einkorn wheat ". As for the Old Minoan terminology, we have kunisu, which is " emmer wheat " and adu, which is a very large unit of dry measurement, probably " bales ". Astonishingly, the text as a whole admirably hangs together, all the more so when compared with that of HT 95. 


POST 1600: On academia.edu: Minoan Linear A tablet HT 95, emmer and einkorn wheat, other grains and flax:

Minoan Linear A tablet academia.edu

I have just uploaded an article on academia.edu: Minoan Linear A tablet HT 95, emmer and einkorn wheat, other grains and flax, which you can find here (Click on the banner):

I encourage you to download it and read it, as it is only 4 pages long.

 


Preview of the most Complete Linear A Lexicon of 1029 words ever compiled in history soon to be published on academia.edu just uploaded:

preview of comprehensive Linear A Lexicon

This Preview of the most Complete Linear A Lexicon of 1029 words ever compiled in history soon to be published on academia.edu.pdf is in and of itself a lengthy article (14 pages long), offering full insight into the massive extent and impact of the actual lexicon, Comprehensive Lexicon of 1029 New Minoan, pre-Greek substratum and Old Minoan words, with extensive commentaries, soon to be published on my academia.edu account (sometime in July 2017). The actual Lexicon will be at least 45 pages long, and will include all of the following elements:

1. An in-depth introduction, comparing this Lexicon, with its 1029 Linear A terms with the Linear A Reverse Lexicon of Prof. John G. Younger, containing 774 intact Linear A words. To date, Prof. Younger’ Lexicon has always been considered the de facto standard of Linear A lexicons; but it falls far short of the mark. From scanning through every last Linear A tablet on Prof. Younger’s site, Linear A texts in phonetic transcription, I discovered scores of Linear A words which he missed in his Reverse Lexicon. I have also spent the last two years ransacking the Internet for every last scrap of evidence of extant Linear A tablets, fragments, roundels, pendants and inscriptions on pottery, only to unearth even more Linear words entirely overlooked by Prof. Younger, to the extent that I uncovered a total of 1029 Linear A exograms, 225 more than he did. Thus, our Comprehensive Linear A Lexicon is 27.7 % larger than his.
2. The Lexicon itself, containing 1029 words, of which over 160 are Mycenaean-derived New Minoan, some 85 are either toponyms or eponyms, a few score fall within the pre-Greek substratum and at least 80 are Old Minoan words I have been able to decipher, more or less conclusively. As for the remainder of the Old Minoan substratum, i.e. the original pre-Greek Minoan language, I have been unable to decipher the rest of its vocabulary. But believe it or not, this factor is less of an impediment to the decipherment of Linear A than we might otherwise believe. I have been able to decipher at least 350 words out of a total of 1029, which is to say about 33 % of Linear A.
3. Each section of the final Comprehensive Lexicon, i.e. A: Mycenaean-derived New Minoan NM1 B: the pre-Greek substratum C: eponyms and toponyms D: Old Minoan vocabulary and E: ligatured logograms is accompanied by a detailed analysis and survey of its contents.
4. The final Lexicon contains a comprehensive bibliography of 84 items on every aspect I have detailed of the decipherment of Linear A as outlined in this preview.  

 

 


Credible decipherment of several grains mentioned on of Linear A tablet HT 10 (Haghia Triada):

Linear A tablet HT 10 Haghia Triada dealing with several grain crops

After several abortive attempts at realizing a relatively convincing decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 10 (Haghia Triada), I believe I have finally managed to come through. This has to be one of the most challenging Linear A tablets I have ever been confronted with. Any credible decipherment eluded me for months on end, until it finally struck me that all I needed to do was to identify the grain crops most commonly cultivated in the Neolithic and Bronze Age Mediterranean. And this is precisely what I have just done.  

Neolithic and Bronze age grains cultivated in the Mediterranean during the Neolithic and Bronze Age eras (the most common italicized):

barley (sara2/sarai?) *
einkorn (dideru) *
emmer (kunisu) *
flax (sara2/sarai?) *
freekeh (sara2/sarai?) *
and
bran (less common)
bulgur (less common)
groats (less common)
lentils (less common)
millet (dare -or- kasaru)
spelt (dare -or- kasaru)
vetch for fodder (less common)

Now it strikes me that if we find any of these grains recurring on several Linear A tablets, and we do, these grains must be the most common cultivated then. As it so happens, the 3 grain crops most frequently referenced in Linear A tablets are dideru, kunisu and sarai2 (sarai). They appear over and over and in abundant quantities on several Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada (HT 8 HT 10 HT 28 HT 85-68 HT 91 HT 93 HT 95 HT 114 HT 121 & HT 133), on HM 570, on Khania KH 10, Kophinas KO Za 1 and on Zakros ZA 20. We now know for certain that dideru means “einkorn (wheat)” and kunisu “emmer (wheat)”. It is also highly likely that sara2 (sarai) references “barley”, “flax” or “freekah”. Which one we cannot be sure, but it almost certainly has to be one of these. In addition, we also find dare and kasaru on HT 10. It stands to reason that, by elimination, dare and kasaru are probably either “millet” or “spelt” or vice versa. I have eliminated bran, bulgur, groats, lentils and vetch, as these crops appear to have been relatively less common. 

Free translation of HT 10:

emmer wheat on 4 hills + PA? + 16 1/2 bushel-like units of another type of grain (millet or spelt) *333? + RO + 6 *u325 + 14 bushel-like units of groats (?) + 2 1/2  of *301 (whatever that is), all stored in 8 vases, of which 2 are pithoi (very large) and also stored in 1 vessel of another type + 2 bushel-like units of bran, flax, millet or spelt & 16 young shoots of grain + 6 /12 of *312 TA ? & 6 bushel-like units of millet or spelt, of which 9 1/4 units were lost to death (i.e. never matured)...

My preliminary research into the types of grains cultivated in the Neolithic and Bronze Age Mediterranean has clearly facilitated this plausible decipherment of HT 10, and has moreover confirmed my even more accurate translations of several other Linear A tablets dealing with grain, almost all of them co-incidentally from Haghia Triada.



PINTEREST Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, PIN site for Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae:

PINTEREST Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, Progressive Grammar and Vocabulary:

PINTEREST Linear A Linear B progressive grammar and vocabulary

with over 2,240 PINS on every aspect of Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, including hundreds of tablets and their decipherment, the syllabaries, images of Knossos, Mycenae and other Bronze Age locales related to these syllabaries, maps, archaeological sites and plans, silver and gold jewellery, timelines etc. etc., is the PIN site for Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae:

Minoan Linear A Linear B Knossos and Mycenae WordPress

If you are not already following our PINTEREST site, now is the time to do just that.

 


Comprehensive Linear A lexicon of 988 words, with 214 more entries than in John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon:

comprehensive Linear A lexicon of 988 terms

This lexicon comprises all of the intact words in John G. Youngers Reverse Linear A Lexicon (which is far from comprehensive) plus every last intact word on every single tablet at his site, wherever any of the latter are not found in the former, along with additional Linear vocabulary which I have found on my own. By my count, there are 988 words, 214 more than in Prof. John G. Youngers Reverse Linear A Lexicon, which has 774 entries, not counting numeric syllabograms, of which no one knows the phonetic values at any rate + long strings + broken series of syllabograms, though I may have made the occasional error in addition, since I had to subtract some repetitive words and add others from the tablets, which are not in the Reverse Linear A Lexicon. Words which are apparent variants of one another are listed under one entry, e.g.

daka/daki/daku/dakuna 
dakusene(ti)
japa/japadi/japaku
kira/kiro/kirisi/kiru
maru/maruku/maruri 
merasasaa/merasasaja
nesa/nesaki/nesakimi
piku/pikui/pikuzu 
reda/redamija/redana/redasi 
saro/saru/sarutu
tami/tamia/tamisi
zare/zaredu/zareki/zaresea

The following entries have been deliberately omitted:
1 Words containing any syllabograms which are either partially or wholly numeric, since we do not know what the phonetic values of these syllabograms are,
2 Broken series of syllabograms &
3 Strings of syllabograms > than 15 characters.

This is the raw Lexicon, without definitions. Definitions of Old Minoan (OM), pre-Greek substratum (PGS) and Mycenaean-derived New Minoan (NM) terms will soon be published in sub-Lexicons pursuant to this Lexicon on my academia.edu account. 

adai 
adakisika
adara/adaro/adaru
ade/adu 
Adunitana  
adureza 
aduza
ajesa 
aju 
Akanu/Akanuzati  = Archanes (Crete)  = 10
aka 
akaru 
aki/akii  = garlic
akipiete(ne?)
akumina
ama 
amaja
amawasi
amidao/amidau 
amita = 20
ana 
ananusijase
anatu 
anau
anepiti
aparane 
apaki 
apero 
api 
ara = 30
araju 
arako
aranare/aranarai (sing.) 
arati
aratiatu 
aratu  
arauda
aredai
Arenesidi  
aresana = 40
ari/arinita
arisu
arokaku
arote 
aru/arudara
aruma 
aruqaro
arura 
asadaka
asamune = 50
asara2 
asasumaise
ase/asi
aseja 
asidatoi 
asijaka
asikira 
asisupoa
asona
asuja = 60
Asupuwa 
atade 
atanate 
atare 
ati 
atika
atiru
atu 
aurete 
awapi = 70
azura

daa 
dadai/dadana
dadipatu
dadumata
dadumina/dadumine
dai/daina
daipita 
dajute
daka/daki/daku/dakuna = 80
dakusene(ti)
damate Cf. Linear B damate
dame/dami/daminu  
danasi 
danekuti
daqaqa
daqera
dare 
darida 
daropa = 90
darunete 
daserate
dasi 
datapa 
datara/datare
data2 
datu  
dawa  (Haghia Triada)  CF LB dawo
daweda 

dea = 100
deauwase 
dedi
dejuku
demirirema 
depa/depu 
deripa
detaa 
dide/didi
dideru
didikase/didikaze  = 110
dii 
dija/dije
dika 
Dikate  = Mount Dikte
dikime
dikise 
dima
dimaru
dimedu
dinaro = 120
dinau
dipa3a 
dipaja
diqise 
dirasa 
diredina
dirina
diru 
disa
disipita = 130
ditajaru
ditamana  = dittany
du/dua/duja
dumaina 
dumedi
dumitatira2 (dumitatirai)
dunawi
dupa3na
dupu3re 
dura2 = 140
durare
duratiqe
dureza/durezase
dusi/dusini
dusima 
dusu
duti
duwi 
duzu

edamisa = 150
edu 
eka 
epa3
ero
esija
etanasu
etori 
ezusiqe

ia 
Ida/Idaa/Idada/Idapa3  = Mount Ida  = 160
Idamate/idamete  
Idarea 
idunesi 
iduti 
ija 
ijadi 
ijapame  
ijate 
ika 
Ikesedesute   = 170
Ikurina  
ikuta
ima
imeti 
inaimadu
inajapaqa
ipinama
ira2 
iruja
isari  = 180
ise
itaja
itaki
itijukui 
itinisa
Ititikuna  
Izurinita  

jaa
jadi/jadikitu = 190
jadireja 
jadisi
jadu
jadurati
jai 
jainwaza
jaiterikisu 
jaitose
jaja
jakisikinu = 200
jako/jaku/jakute
jamaa
jamauti
jami/jamidare 
januti
japa/japadi/japaku 
japametu 
japanidami 
japarajase
jara2qe = 210
jara/jare/jaremi 
jarepu2  
jarete
jari/jarina/jarinu
jaripa3ku
jarisapa
jaru/jarui 
jasaja
jasamu 
jasapai = 220
jasaraanane
jasasarame
jasidara
jasea/jasepa 
jasie 
jasumatu 
jata/jatai/jatapi 
jate/jateo
jatimane
jatituku+ jatituku (repeated) = 230
jatoja
jawi
jedi 
jeka 
jemanata
jetana 
jua
judu
juerupi 
juka = 240
juma/jumaku
juraa
jureku
juresa 
jutiqa
juu

ka (extremely common)
kada/kadasaa
kadi 
kadumane   = 250
kadusi 
kae
kai/kaika 
kairo
kaji/kaju 
kaki/kaku
kakunete
kami
kana/kanatiti/kanau 
kanajami = 260
kanaka 
kanita 
kanuti 
kapa/kapaqe/kapi 
kaporu 
kapusi
kaqa/kaqe
kara 
karona
karopa2 (karopai) = 270
karu  
karunau 
kasaru 
kasi 
kasidizuitanai  
Kasikidaa   
kasitero 
katanite
kataro  scarab (Egyptian)
kati 
kaudeta = 280 
keda 
keire 
kekiru
kera/kero  
keta/kete 
ketesunata  
kezadidi
kida/kidi 
kidapa 
kidaro = 290
kidata
kidini
kidiora
kii/kiipa
kija  
kika 
kikadi 
kikiraja
kimu 
kina = 300
kinima
kinite
kipaa 
kipisi (fairly common) 
kiqa
kira/kiro 
kireta2 
kiretana 
kireza
kiro/kirisi/kiru  = 310
kiso 
kisusetu 
kitai/kitei 
kitanasija 
kitiqa
kito 
koiru 
koja
kopu
koru  = 320
Kosaiti  
kuda
kuja
kujude 
kuka
kukudara 
kumaju 
kumapu 
kunisu
kupa/kupi = 330 
kupa3natu 
kupa3nu 
kupa3pa3
kupa3rija  
kupaja 
kupari 
Kupatikidadia  
kupazu
kuqani 
kura/kuramu  =340
kurasaqa 
kureda 
kureju 
kuro/kurotu 
kuto 
kuruku
kuruma 
kutiti  Kutaistos Cf. LB Kitaito
kutukore
kuzuni = 350

maa
madadu 
madi 
mai/maimi
majutu 
makaise
makaita 
makarite
makidete 
mana/manapi (common)= 360
maniki
manirizu 
manuqa
maru/maruku/maruri
masa/masaja 
masi/masidu
masuja
masuri
matapu
mateti = 370
matiti 
matizaite 
matu 
maza/mazu 
meda
medakidi
mekidi
mepajai
mera 
merasasaa/merasasaja (very common)  = 380
mesasa 
mesenurutu
meto 
meturaa 
meza 
mia
midai 
midani 
midamara2 (midamarai)
midara = 390
midemidiu
mie
miima 
mijanika
mijuke 
mikidua
mikisena
minaminapii
minedu
mini/miniduwa  = 400
minumi
minute (sing. minuta2 – minutai) 
mio/miowa
mipa
mireja 
miru
mirutarare
misimiri
misuma
mita = 410
miturea 
mizase
mujatewi
muko 
mupi 
murito
muru
musaja 

naa
nadare = 420
nadi/nadiradi/nadiredi
nadiwi
nadu
nadunapu2a
naisizamikao   
naka
nakiki
nakininuta
nakuda
namarasasaja  = 430
namatiti
nami
namikua/namikuda
namine 
nanau 
nanipa3
napa3du
narepirea
naridi
narinarikui  = 440
narita
naroka
naru 
nasarea
nasekimi 
nasi 
nasisea
nataa/nataje
natanidua
natareki (common)  = 450
nati 
nazuku/nazuru
nea 
neakoa  
nedia
nedira
neka/nekisi 
nemaduka
nemaruja
nemiduda = 460
nemusaa
Nenaarasaja 
neqa
neramaa
nerapa/nerapaa 
nere 
nesa/nesaki/nesakimi
nesasawi
nesekuda
neta = 470
netapa 
netuqe
nidapa
nidiki/nidiwa 
niduti
nijanu
niku/nikutitii
nimi
nipa3  
nira2 (nirai) -or- nita2 (nisai)  = 480
niro/niru 
nisi 
nisudu
nisupu
niti
nizuka
nizuuka
nua
nude
nuki/nukisikija  = 490
numida/numideqe 
nupa3ku (extremely common)
nupi
nuqetu 
nuti/nutini
Nutiuteranata  
nutu
nuwi

odami/odamia
opi = 500
ora2dine (oraidine)
osuqare
otanize
oteja 

pa (common)/paa
padaru
padasuti 
pade
padupaa
Paito = Phaistos = 510
pa3a/pa3ana
pa3da 
pa3dipo
pa3katari 
pa3kija 
pa3ku
pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi
pa3pa3ku
pa3qa
pa3roka  = 520
pa3sase
pa3waja
paja/pajai/pajare
paka (very common)/paku (very common)/pakuka 
pamanuita  
panuqe 
para 
parane 
paria 
paroda = 530
parosu
pasarija
pase 
pasu 
pata/patada/pataqe/patu 
patane 
pia/pii 
pija/pijani/pijawa 
piku/pikui/pikuzu
pimata  pimento = 540
pimitatira2 (pimitatirai) 
pina/pini 
pirueju
pisa
pita/pitaja 
pitakase/pitakesi
pitara 
piwaa
piwaja
piwi = 550
posa 
potokuro
pu2juzu
pu2su/pu2sutu 
pu3pi
pu3tama
puko
punikaso
puqe
pura2  = 560
pusa/pusi
pusuqe

qara2wa 
qa2ra2wa
qajo
qaka
qanuma
qapa3 (qapai) 
qapaja/qapajanai
qaqada = 570
qaqaru 
qareto 
Qaqisenuti  
qaro 
qasaraku 
qatidate 
qati/qatiki 
qatiju 
qedeminu
qeja = 580
qeka 
qenamiku 
qenupa
qepaka
qepita 
qepu
qequre 
qera2u/qera2wa
qeri
qero = 590
qerosa 
qesite
qesizue
qesupu
qesusui
qeta2e
qeti/qetiradu 
qetune 
qisi
qoroqa = 600 
quqani 

raa
rada/radaa/radakuku/radami
radarua 
radasija
radizu
radu 
ra2i
ra2ka 
ra2madami   = 610
ra2miki
ra2natipiwa 
ra2pu/ra2pu2
ra2ri (rairi)  = lily
ra2rore
ra2ru
ra2saa 
raja/raju
rakaa 
raki/rakii/rakisi/raku = 620
ranatusu
rani 
raodiki 
rapa/rapu
rapu3ra
raqeda
rarasa
rarua
rasa/rasi 
rasamii = 630
rasasaa/rasasaja
rata/ratapi 
ratada
ratise (ritise?) 
razua
rea 
reda (common)/redana/redasi 
redamija
redise 
reduja = 640
reja/rejapa 
rekau 
rekotuku 
reku/rekuqa/rekuqe 
rema/rematuwa 
remi
renara/renaraa 
renute
repa 
Repu2dudatapa   = 650
repu3du
reqasuo
reradu
rera2tusi
reratarumi 
rerora2
rese/resi/resu  See sere
retaa/retada
retaka 
retata2 = 660
retema 
reza
rezakeiteta 
ria (common) 
ridu
rikata
rima 
rimisi 
ripaku
ripatu = 670
riqesa
rira/riruma
rirumate
risa
Risaipa3dai  
Risumasuri  
ritaje 
rite/ritepi
ritoe 
rodaa/rodaki = 680
roika
roke/roki/roku
romaku 
romasa
ronadi
rore/roreka 
rosa  = rose 
rosirasiro 
rotau 
roti = 690
rotwei 
rua 
rudedi
ruiko
ruja  
rujamime 
ruka/rukaa/ruki/rukike 
Rukito
ruko
rukue = 700
ruma/rumu/rumata/rumatase 
rupoka
ruqa/ruqaqa (common)
rusa (common/rusaka
rusi
rutari 
rutia 
ruzuna

sadi
saja/sajama/sajamana = 710
sajea
saka
sama/samaro
samidae 
samuku 
sanitii
sapo/sapi
saqa
saqeri
sara2 (sarai)/sarara =720
sareju 
saro/saru/sarutu 
sasaja
sasame  = sesame
sasupu 
sato 
sea/sei 
sedina 
sedire
seikama = 730
Seimasusaa
seitau
sejarapaja  
sejasinataki  
sekadidi
sekatapi
sekidi  
Sekiriteseja  
sekutu 
semake = 740
semetu 
senu
sepa
sere 
sesapa3
Sesasinunaa  
Setamaru
Seterimuajaku
setira 
Setoija   = 750
Sewaude   
sezami 
sezanitao
sezaredu
sezatimitu 
sia 
sidare/sidate
sidi/sidija 
sii/siida/siisi  
siitau = 760
sija 
Sijanakarunau
sika 
siketapi
sikine 
Sikira/sikirita
sima 
simara 
simita 
simito/simitu  = mouse = 770
sina
sinada
sinae  
sinakanau (common)
sinakase  
sinamiu
sinatakira
sinedui
sipiki 
sipu3ka = 780
sire/siro/siru/sirute 
siriki 
Sirumarita2   
Sitetu  
situ 
siwamaa
sokanipu  
sokemase 
sudaja 
suja = 790
Sukirita/Sukiriteija  = Sybrita
suniku (common)
supa3 (supai) 
supi/supu 
sure 
Suria  
suropa 
sutu/sutunara
suu
suzu = 800

taa
tadaki/tadati
tadeuka 
taikama
Tainaro
tainumapa
Ta2merakodisi 
ta2re/ta2reki 
ta2riki
Ta2rimarusi    = 810
ta2tare
ta2tite
ta2u 
tajusu 
takaa/takari
taki/taku/takui
tamaduda
tanamaje
tanate/tanati
Tanunikina  = 820
tamaru 
tami/tamia/tamisi 
tani/taniria/tanirizu 
taniti  
tapa 
tapiida
tapiqe
tara/tarina
tarasa
tarawita = 830
tarejanai 
tarikisu 
taritama
tasa/tasaja 
tasise 
tata/tati 
tateikezare
tedasi/tedatiqa
tedekima
teepikia = 840
Teizatima  
tejai 
tejare 
tekare
teke/teki
tekidia
temada/temadai
temeku 
temirerawi 
tenamipi = 850
tenata/tenataa 
tenatunapa3ku  
tenekuka 
teneruda
teniku 
tenitaki
tenu/tenumi (common)
tepi
tera/tere/teri tera 
teraseda = 860
tereau 
tereza
teri/teridu 
terikama
tero/teroa
terusi (extremely common) 
tesi/tesiqe 
Tesudesekei 
tetita2
tetu = 870
Tewirumati
Tidama  
tidata 
tidiate
tiditeqati 
tiduitii/tiisako 
tija 
tika 
tikiqa
tikuja = 880
Tikuneda
timaruri/timaruwite
timasa 
timi 
timunuta
tina 
Tinakarunau
tinata (common)/tinita
tinesekuda
tininaka = 890
tinu/tinuka 
tinusekiqa 
tio
tiqatediti 
tiqe/tiqeri/tiqeu
tiraduja 
tira2 
tirakapa3
tire 
tisa = 900
tisiritua 
tisudapa
Tita
titema
titiku
titima
tiu
tiumaja
tizanukaa
toipa = 910
tome
toraka  = Linear B toraka
toreqa
tuda
tujuma
tukidija
tukuse
tuma/tumi/tumitizase
tunada/tunapa
tunapa3ku = 920
Tunija
tupadida
tuqe
turaa 
Turunuseme 
turusa
tusi/tusu/tusupu2
tute/tutesi

udami/udamia 
udimi = 930
udiriki
uju 
uki
Uminase  
unaa
unadi (common) 
unakanasi  
unana 
unarukanasi/unarukanati
upa = 940
uqeti 
urewi 
uro
uso/usu
uta/uta2 
utaise
utaro 
uti 

waduko
waduna = 950
Wadunimi  
waja
wanai 
wanaka 
wapusua  
wara2qa
watepidu
watumare 
wazudu
wetujupitu = 960
widina
widui
wija 
Wijasumatiti  
Winadu
winipa
winu 
winumatari 
wiraremite 
wireu = 970
wirudu
Wisasane  
witero 

zadeu/zadeujuraa
zadua
zama/zame
zanwaija
zapa
zare/zaredu/zareki/zaresea
zasata = 980
zirinima
zudu
zukupi
zuma
zupaku
zusiza
zusu
zute = 988

VERSUS Younger = 774 ( – numeric syllabograms + long strings + broken series of syllabograms). Hence Youngers lexicon amounts to 78.3 % of this one, i.e. this lexicon contains 214 more entries and is 21.7 % longer.


3 quasi-identical tablets on rams. But what are the “items related to rams ”? What a quandary!

KN 1175 - KN 1180 sheep

The written text of all three of these tablets is identical. Only the total numbers of rams and so-called “items related to rams ” vary, especially that latter, from a low of 10 to a high of 67. This raises the thorny questions of why the shepherd or owner of these sheep, Dumireweis, would have to use 67 items related to rams on the second tablet, versus 10 on the first and 20 on the third, especially in light of the fact that the number of rams varies but little on all three tablets (4,5,4).

The next problem is that Mycenaean Greek does not in any specify what these items are supposed to be. The only recourse I have is to assume that they are the instruments and implementa the shepherds and sheep owners used to raise their sheep. Turning to modern sheep raising instruments, and using a little imagination to boot, I came up with the ones listed in the illustration above. This still leaves the issue of Dumireweis having to resort to using 67 such items for a mere 5 rams on the second tablet. The only explanation I can come up with is that the is using several of the same items, meaning that he has several of each in stock. But if this is the case, why does he apparently have only 10 items in stock on tablet 1 and 20 on tablet 3, unless these are a subset of his total stock? That can make sense, as in modern inventories, we can and sometimes do find varying numbers of tool, instruments etc. related for instance to car or airplane manufacturing. These instruments can run to a significant number, especially in the aerospace industry. But I find it extremely difficult to believe that there could as many as a total of 67 discrete (separate) instruments used in an ancient agricultural setting such as that of Knossos, Mycenae or Pylos. It would make far more sense to adduce that the number of such tools and implementa is in fact only 10, as illustrated on the first tablet. This would mean that the 20 on the last tablet would make for redundancy in the number of separate, distinct items, for instance 3 forceps for birthing, 2 different shearing tools etc. Shearing in particular could have involved the use of a number of different, even specialized tools. So the number 67 on the second tablet may not be so wacky after all. For instance, Dumireweis could have made use of 2 different type of forceps or calipers for birthing, and as many as 5 different shearing tools, all in quantity, in order that the total runs to 67.

shears and tongs some bronze

But we are not done yet. Why on earth are there 3 tablets inventorying Dumireweis’ rams, when the scribe could have fit all of the rams and all of the instruments on one tablet? That really beats me. He could have listed 97 instruments for 13 rams, but he didn’t. The only explanation I can come up with is that the scribe is inventorying three different groups of rams Dumireweis owns. No matter how you cut it, though, there appears to be no way our of this messy impasse.


The composite supersyllabograms E & KO with the ideogram for horse in Linear B:

KN 226 N j 21 composite SSYLS E KO

This is one of only two tablets in the entire corpus of Mycenaean Linear B tablets, on which two (2) supersyllabograms modify their ideogram, in this case, the one for horse. It is particularly intriguing that these two supersyllabograms are framed on each side with the numeral 1. If this looks peculiar at first sight, I can hardly blame you. Yet there is an explanation which is more than likely sound. We note that there is only 1 chariot. This would mean that there has to be a team of 2 horses. Yet it appears that this factor is not taken into account. In fact, far from it. The scribe has in fact written the number 2, one 1 one on each side of the two supersyllabograms. This would seem to imply that the scribe is referring to 2 sets of a part of the harness, probably the bridle and of the cross-bar. This in turn implies that there is a team of horses to whom these parts are assigned. Even though the supersyllabogram ZE = a team of horses does not appear on this tablet, it looks very much like that is what the scribe intends us to understand, given that there are two sets of the parts assigned, this appears to confirm that there is a team of horses.

Note that the ideogram for armour follows that for one (1) chariot and precedes the two supersyllabograms E & KO. This is the standard formulaic position for the ideogram for armour. This ideograms does not imply that the chariot is armoured, but rather that the driver of the chariot is armoured, hence my translation.

Prior to my discovery of this phenomenon of composite supersyllabograms, no researcher past or present has ever before identified it.


This Minoan object preceded the heralded Antikythera Mechanism by 1,400 years, and was the first analog and portable computer in history

Researcher Minas Tsikritsis who hails from Crete -- where the Bronze Age Minoan civilization flourished from approximately 2700 BC to 1500 century BC -- maintains that the Minoan Age object discovered in 1898 in Paleokastro site, in the Sitia district of western Crete, preceded the heralded "Antikythera Mechanism" by 1,400 years, and was the first analog and "portable computer" in history.

"While searching in the Archaeological Museum of Iraklion for Minoan Age findings with astronomical images on them we came across a stone-made matrix unearthed in the region of Paleokastro, Sitia. In the past, archaeologists had expressed the view that the carved symbols on its surface are related with the Sun and the Moon," Tsikritsis said.  The Cretan researcher and university professor told ANA-MPA that after the relief image of a spoked disc on the right side of the matrix was analysed it was established that it served as a cast to build a mechanism that functioned as an analog computer to calculate solar and lunar eclipses. The mechanism was also used as sundial and as an instrument calculating the geographical latitude.  Source: Athens News Agency [April 06, 2011]

Text © from original below.

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Minoan computer news network archaeology
This Minoan object preceded the heralded Antikythera Mechanism by 1,400 years, and was the first analog and portable computer in history. A stone-made matrix has carved symbols on its surface are related with the Sun and the Moon serving as a cast to build a mechanism that functioned as an analog computer to calculate solar and lunar eclipses. The mechanism was also used as sundial and as an instrument calculating the geographical latitude.

Previous paragraph by Rita Roberts



Knossos tablet KN 894 N v 01 (Ashmolean) as a guide to Mycenaean chariot construction and design

KN 894 An1910_211_o.jpg wheel ZE

In spite of my hard gained experience in translating Linear B tablets, the translation of this tablet on chariot construction and design posed considerable challenges. At the outset, several of the words descriptive of Mycenaean chariot design eluded my initial attempts at an accurate translation. By accurate I not only mean that problematic words must make sense in the total context of the descriptive text outlining Mycenaean chariot construction and design, but that the vocabulary entire must faithfully reconstruct the design of Mycenaean chariots as they actually appeared in their day and age. In other words, could I come up with a translation reflective of the actual construction and design of Mycenaean chariots, not as we fancifully envision them in the twenty-first century, but as the Mycenaeans themselves manufactured them to be battle worthy?

It is transparent to me that the Mycenaean military, just as that of any other great ancient civilization, such as those of Egypt in the Bronze Age, of the Hittite Empire, and later on, in the Iron Age, of Athens and Sparta and, later still, of the Roman Empire, must have gone to great lengths to ensure the durability, tensile strength and battle worthiness of their military apparatus in its entirety (let alone chariots). It goes without saying that, regardless of the techniques of chariot construction employed by the various great civilizations of the ancient world, each civilization strove to manufacture military apparatus to the highest standards practicable within the limits of the technology then available to them.

It is incontestable that progress in chariot construction and design must have made major advances in all of the great civilizations from the early to the late Bronze Age. Any flaws or faults in chariot construction would have been and were rooted out and eliminated as each civilization perceptibly moved forward, step by arduous step, to perfect the manufacture of chariots in their military. In the case of the  Mycenaeans contemporaneous with the Egyptians, this was the late Bronze Age. My point is strictly this. Any translation of any part of a chariot must fully take into account the practicable appropriateness of each and every word in the vocabulary of that technology, to ensure that the entire vocabulary of chariot construction will fit together as seamlessly as possible in order to ultimately achieve as solid a coherence as conceivably possible. 

Thus, if a practicably working translation of any single technical term for the manufacture of chariots detracts rather than contributes to the structural integrity, sturdiness and battle worthiness of the chariot, that term must be seriously called into question. Past translators of the vocabulary of chariot construction and design who have not fully taken into account the appropriateness of any particular term descriptive of the solidity and tensile strength of the chariot required to make it battle worthy have occasionally fallen short of truly convincing translations of the whole (meaning here, the chariot), translations which unify and synthesize its entire vocabulary such that all of its moving and immobile parts alike actually “translate” into a credible reconstruction of a Bronze Age (Mycenaean) chariot as it must have realistically appeared and actually operated. Even the most prestigious of translators of Mycenaean Linear B, most notably L.R. Palmer himself, have not always succeeded in formulating translations of certain words or terms convincing enough in the sense that I have just delineated. All this is not to say that I too will not fall into the same trap, because I most certainly will. Yet as we say, nothing ventured, nothing gained.      

And what applies to the terminology for the construction and design of chariots in any ancient language, let alone Mycenaean Linear B, equally applies to the vocabulary of absolutely any animate subject, such as human beings and livestock, and to any inanimate object in the context of each and every sector of the economy of the society in question, whether this be in the agricultural, industrial, military, textiles, household or pottery sector.

Again, if any single word detracts rather than contributes to the actual appearance, manufacturing technique and utility of said object in its entire context, linguistic as well as technical, then that term must be seriously called into question. 

When it comes down to brass tacks, the likelihood of achieving such translations is a tall order to fill. But try we must.

A convincing practicable working vocabulary of Knossos tablet KN 894 N v 01 (Ashmolean):

While much of the vocabulary on this tablet is relatively straightforward, a good deal is not. How then was I to devise an approach to its translation which could conceivably meet Mycenaean standards in around 1400-1200 BCE? I had little or no reference point to start from. The natural thing to do was to run a search on Google images to determine whether or not the results would, as it were, measure up to Mycenaean standards. Unfortunately, some of the most convincing images I downloaded were in several particulars at odds with one another, especially in the depiction of wheel construction. That actually came as no surprise. So what was I to do? I had to choose one or two images of chariots which appeared to me at least to be accurate renditions of actual Mycenaean chariot design. But how could I do that without being arbitrary in my choice of images determining terminology? Again a tough call. Yet there was a way through this apparent impasse. Faced with the decision of having to choose between twenty-first century illustrations of Mycenaean chariot design - these being the most often at odds with one another - and ancient depictions on frescoes, kraters and vases, I chose the latter route as my starting point. 

But here again I was faced with images which appeared to conflict on specific points of chariot construction. The depictions of Mycenaean chariots appearing on frescoes, kraters and vases unfortunately did not mirror one another as accurately as I had first supposed they would. Still, this should come as no real surprise to anyone familiar with the design of military vehicles ancient or modern. Take the modern tank for instance. The designs of American, British, German and Russian tanks in the Second World War were substantially different. And even within the military of Britain, America and Germany, there were different types of tanks serving particular uses dependent on specific terrain. So it stands to reason that there were at least some observable variations in Mycenaean chariot design, let alone of the construction of any chariots in any ancient civilization, be it Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece throughout its long history, or Rome, among others.

So faced with the choice of narrowing down alternative likenesses, I finally opted for one fresco which provided the most detail. I refer to the fresco from Tiryns (ca 1200 BCE) depicting two female charioteers.


This fresco would go a long way to resolving issues related in particular to the manufacture and design of wheels, which are the major sticking point in translating the vocabulary for Mycenaean chariots.

Turning now to my translation, I sincerely hope I have been able to resolve most of these difficulties, at least to my own satisfaction if to not to that of others, although here again a word of caution to the wise. My translation is merely my own visual interpretation of what is in front of me on this fresco from Tiryns. Try as we might, there is simply no escaping the fact that we, in the twenty-first century, are bound to impose our own preconceptions on ancient images, whatever they depict. As historiography has it, and I cite directly from Wikipedia:      

Questions regarding historicity concern not just the issue of "what really happened," but also the issue of how modern observers can come to know "what really happened."[6] This second issue is closely tied to historical research practices and methodologies for analyzing the reliability of primary sources and other evidence. Because various methodologies categorize historicity differently, it's not possible to reduce historicity to a single structure to be represented. Some methodologies (for example historicism), can make historicity subject to constructions of history based on submerged value commitments. 

wikipedia historicity
The sticking point is those pesky “submerged value commitments”. To illustrate even further, allow me to cite another source, Approaching History: Bias:

approaching history

The problem for methodology is unconscious bias: the importing of assumptions and expectations, or the asking of one question rather than another, by someone who is trying to act in good faith with the past. 

Yet the problem inherent to any modern approach is that it is simply impossible for any historian or historical linguist today to avoid imposing not only his or her own innate unconscious preconceived values but also the values of his own national, social background and civilization, let alone those of the entire age in which he or she lives. “Now” is the twenty-first century and “then” was any particular civilization with its own social, national and political values set against the diverse values of other civilizations contemporaneous with it, regardless of historical era.

If all this seems painfully obvious to the professional historian or linguist, it is more than likely not be to the non-specialist or lay reader, which is why I have taken the trouble to address the issue in the first place.  

How then can any historian or historical linguist in the twenty-first century possibly and indeed realistically be expected to place him— or herself in the sandals, so to speak, of any contemporaneous Bronze Age Minoan, Mycenaean, Egyptian, Assyrian or oriental civilizations such as China, and so on, without unconsciously imposing the entire baggage of his— or -her own civilization, Occidental, Oriental or otherwise? It simply cannot be done.

However, not to despair. Focusing our magnifying glass on the shadowy mists of history, we can only see through a glass darkly. But that is no reason to give up. Otherwise, there would be no way of interpreting history and no historiography to speak of. So we might as well let sleeping dogs lie, and get on with the task before us, which in this case is the intricate art of translation of an object particular not only to its own civilization, remote as it is, but specifically to the military sector of that society, being in this case, the Mycenaean.

So the question now is, what can we read out of the Tiryns fresco with respect to Mycenaean chariot construction and design, without reading too much of our own unconscious personal, social and civilized biases into it? As precarious and as fraught with problems as our endeavour is, let us simply sail on ahead and see how far our little voyage can take us towards at least a credible translation of the Tiryns chariot with its lovely belles at the reins, with the proviso that this fresco depicts only one variation on the design of Mycenaean chariots, itself at odds on some points with other depictions on other frescoes. Here you see the fresco with my explanatory notes on the chariot parts:

Mycenaean-Fresco-Mycenae-women-charioteers

as related to the text and context of the facsimile of the original tablet in Linear B, Linear B Latinized and archaic Greek, here:

Knossos tablet KN 894 N v 01 original text Latinized and in archaic Greek
   
This is followed by my meticulous notes on the construction and design of the various parts of the Mycenaean chariot as illustrated here:

Notes on Knossos tablet 894 N v 01 Wheel ZE

and by The Geometry of chariot parts in Mycenaean Linear B, to drive home my interpretations of both – amota - = - (on) axle – and – temidweta - = the circumference or the rim of the wheel, referencing the – radius – in the second syllable of – temidweta - ,i.e. - dweta - , where radius = 1/2 (second syllable) of – temidweta – and is thus equivalent to one spoke, as illustrated here:

The only other historian of Linear B who has grasped the full significance of the supersyllabogram (SSYL) is Salimbeti, 

The Greek Age of Bronze chariots


whose site is the one and only on the entire Internet which explores the construction and design of bronze age chariots in great detail. I strongly urge you to read his entire study in order to clarify the full import of my translation of – temidweta – as the rim of the wheel. The only problem remaining with my translation is whether or not the word – temidweta – describes the rim on the side of the wheel or the rim on its outer surface directly contacting the ground. The difficulty with the latter translation is whether or not elm wood is of sufficient tensile strength to withstand the beating the tire rim had to endure over time (at least a month or two at minimum) on the rough terrain, often littered with stones and rocks, over which Mycenaean chariots must surely have had to negotiate.  

As for the meaning of the supersyllabogram (SSYL)TE oncharged directly onto the top of the ideogram for wheel, it cannot mean anything other than – temidweta -, in other words the circumference, being the wheel rim, further clarified here:

wheel rim illustration

Hence my translation here:

Translation of Knossos tablet KN 984 N v 01 Wheel ZE

Note that I have translated the unknown word **** – kidapa – as – ash (wood). My reasons for this are twofold. First of all, the hardwood ash has excellent tensile strength and shock resistance, where toughness and resiliency against impact are important factors. Secondly, it just so happens that ash is predominant in Homer’s Iliad as a vital component in the construction of warships and of weapons, especially spears. So there is a real likelihood that in fact – kidapa – means ash, which L.R. Palmer also maintains. Like many so-called unknown words found in Mycenaean Greek texts, this word may well be Minoan. Based on the assumption that many of these so-called unknown words may be Minoan, we can establish a kicking-off point for possible translations of these putative Minoan words. Such translations should be rigorously checked against the vocabulary of the extant corpus of Minoan Linear A, as found in John G. Younger’s database, here:

Linear A texts in transciption

I did just that and came up empty-handed. But that does not at all imply that the word is not Minoan, given that the extant lexicon of Linear A words is so limited, being as it is incomplete.

While all of this might seem a little overwhelming at first sight, once we have taken duly into account the most convincing translation of each and every one of the words on this tablet in its textual and real-world context, I believe we can attain such a translation, however constrained we are by our our twenty-first century unconscious assumptions. As for conscious assumptions, they simply will not do. 

In conclusion, Knossos tablet KN 894 N v 01 (Ashmolean) serves as exemplary a guide to Mycenaean chariot construction and design as any other substantive intact Linear B tablet in the same vein from Knossos. It is my intention to carry my observations and my conclusions on the vocabulary of Mycenaean chariot construction and design much further in an article I shall be publishing on academia.edu sometime in 2016. In it I shall conduct a thorough-going cross-comparative analysis of the chariot terminology on this tablet with that of several other tablets dealing specifically with chariots. This cross-comparative study is to result in a comprehensive lexicon of the vocabulary of Mycenaean chariot construction and design, fully taking into account Chris Tselentis’ Linear B Lexicon and L.R. Palmer’s extremely comprehensive Glossary of military terms relative to chariot construction and design on pp. 403-466 in his classic foundational masterpiece, The Interpretation of Mycenaean Texts.

So stay posted. 



Rita Roberts’ elegant translation of Knossos tablet KN 1548 Ok 02.

Once again, Rita Roberts has finessed a translation of an intact military tablet from Knossos. It is significant that Rita mentions that the hilt is directly riveted, whether to ivory overlaid on terebinth, or to the terebinth itself. Although the tablet does not explicitly mention rivets, it is obvious that this was the method the highly skilled Mycenaean sword craftsmen used to attached the blade to the hilt.

The following figures clearly illustrate the marked accuracy of her translation.

hilts

swords

Notice in particular the blue stones inlaid in the ivory on the second and third swords in figure 2, and especially in the second. If these stones are lapis lazuli, as I strongly suspect they are, then it follows almost as night follows day that the second sword in particular could only have been reserved for the wanax  transliterated from the Greek into Latin letters for those of you who cannot read Greek  (called wanaka in Linear B), the King of Mycenae, since lapis lazuli was worth a fortune in those days. The second sword could also have been his, though it may also have been the property of the second leader in the Mycenaean hierarchy, the lawaketa, or lawagetas (likewise transliterated into Latin letters) or the leader of the host, in other words the commander-in-chief, the general. I would bet my top dollars on this presumption. I wonder whether Rita would too.  

Bravo,  Rita.

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