Tag Archive: Bronze Age

Bibliography (Part A: citations 1-69) for the Presentation, The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, by Richard Vallance Janke at the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, Pultusk, Poland, June 30-July 2 2015 

Supersyllabograms by Richard Vallance Janke Pultusk Academy Humanities Warsaw


1. The following abbreviations are always used for the sources they represent:

AJA		American Journal of Archaeology
ANCL		L’Antiquité classique
ASSC		Actes del XV Simposi de la Secció Catalana de la S.E.E.C.
BCH		Bulletin de correspondance hellénique
CAMB		Proceedings of the Cambridge Colloquium on Mycenaean Studies.
		Palmer, R.L. & Chadwick, John, eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University
		Press, © 1966. First paperback edition, © 2011. vii, 309 pp.
		ISBN 978-1-107-40246-1 (pbk.)
CMLB		Duhoux, Yves and Morpurgo Davies, Anna, eds. A Companion to
                Linear B: Mycenaean Greek Texts and their World. Vol. I.
                (Bibliotheque des Cahiers de l’Institut de Linguistique de
                Louvain 120). Louvaine-la-Neuve, France: Peeters, © 2014.
                292 pp.	ISBN 978-2-7584-0192-6 (France)
CRAN		Creta Antica		
CRR      	Colloquium Romanum: atti del XII colloquio internazionale di
		micenologia, Roma, 20 - 25 febbraio 2006
ECR     	Economic History Review
JHS      	Journal of Hellenic Studies	
KADM            Kadmos: Zeitschrift für Vor- und Frühgriechische Epigraphik
KOSM            Kosmos: Proceedings of the 13th. International Aegean Conference/
                13e Rencontre égéenne internationale. University of Copenhagen,
                Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research,
	        21-26 April 2010. Leuven-Liège: Peeters. Ix, 807+ pp. © 2012
KTMA   	        KTEMA, civilisations de l’orient, de la Grèce et de Rome antique.
	        Strasbourg: Université Marc Bloch de Strasbourg, Centre de
                recherches sur le proche orient et la Grèce antiques
MIN       	Minos: Revista de Filología Egea. ISSN: 0544-3733 	
MINR 		Minerva: Revista de Filología Clasíca
MYCAa		Risch, E. & Mühlestein, H., eds. Colloquium Mycenaeum. Actes du
		sixième colloque international sur les textes mycéniens et égéens
		tenu à Chaumont sur Neuchâtel du 7 au 13 septembre 1975, Neuchâtel.
		Genève : Librairie Droz. © 1979
MYCAb           Olivier J.-P., éd. Mykenaïka: Actes du IXe Colloque international
                sur les textes mycéniens et égéens, organisé par le Centre de
                l’Antiquité Grecque et Romaine de la Fondation Hellénique de
                l’École française d’Athènes (sic) (Athènes, 2-6 octobre 1990).
		Paris: BCH, Suppl. 25. © 1992
MYCAc 	        Carlier, P., de Lamberterie, C., et al. Etudes Mycéniennes 2010.
		Actes du XIIIè colloque	international sur les textes égéens,
                Sèvres,	Paris, Nanterre, 20–23 septembre 2010. Pisa et Roma,
                © 2012
OPUS		Opuscula, Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome
PALM		Palmer, L. R. The Interpretation of Mycenaean Texts. Oxford: Oxford
		University Press, © 1963. Special Edition for Sandpiper Books Ltd.,
		© 1998. xiii, 488 pp. ISBN 0-19-813144-5
PASR		Pasiphae: Rivista di filologia e antichità egee
REVC		Revista del Departament de Ciències de l’Antiguitat de
                l’Edat Mitjana  
SMEA		Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici  

2. Bibliographic Conventions for References & Notes and the Bibliography:

2.1 Monographs follow this convention:
Author(s) or Editor(s) -surname, first name-. Title. Place of publication: Publisher. no. of pages. © year of publication. ISBN(s) (if any. Books prior to 1965 do not have ISBNs)
2.2 Serials and Journals follow this convention:
Author(s) -surname, first name-. “Article Title”, pp. aa-bb (if any) in Journal Title. Vol. no., (issue no., if any), month (if any), year
2.3 Conventions and Colloquiums follow this convention, as far as possible, depending on the amount of bibliographical data provided:
Author(s) or Editor(s) -surname, first name-. Title. Place of publication: Publisher. no. of pages. © year of publication. ISBN(s) (if any. Books prior to 1965 do not have ISBNs) 
2.4 If the same author(s) or editor(s) with exact same title is/are cited a second time, or more than twice, each entry subsequent to the first one is tagged, Op. Cit. = opero citato, Latin for “in the work already cited”
2.5 If the same author(s) or editor(s) is/are cited under a title different from the first one or in a previous identical title or reference not immediately preceding the current one , each entry subsequent to the first one is tagged, Ibid. = Latin adverb ibidem, approximately equivalent to the English “by the same author(s) or editor(s) ”.
2.6 Monographs and articles, for which I have been unable to find sufficient bibliographical date are tagged (PDF) and may be downloaded in PDF format.
2.7 If there are more than two (2) or (3) Author(s) or Editor(s) for any given entry, the first two are named, followed by the tag, et al. = et alii, Latin for “and others”. 
2.8 If there is any error in any entry, orthographic or other, it is followed by the tag (sic) Latin for “thus”. 


1. Alberti, M.E. “The Minoan Textile Industry and the Territory from Neopalatial to Mycenaean Times: Some First Thoughts”, pp. 243-263 in CRAN, Vol. 8, 2007 

2. Aravantinos, V.L., Godart Louis & Sacconi, A. Thebes. Fouilles de la Cadmee I. Les tablettes en lineaire B de la Odos Pelopidou. Édition et commentaire. Pisa and Rome: Istituti editoriali e poligrafici internazionali, © 2005. xii, 339 pp.
ISBN 88-8147-421-2.(hb) & ISBN 88-8147-434-4 (pbk.)

3. Barber E. J. W. Prehistoric Textiles. The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with Special Reference to the Aegean. Princeton: Princeton University Press © 1991. 504 pp. ISBN-10: 069100224X & 13: 978-0691002248

4. Bernabé, A. & Luján, Eugenio R. “Mycenaean technology” pp. 201-233 in CMLB. (n.d.) undated. PDF 

5. Bennett E. L. Jr. “A Selection of Pylos Tablets Texts”, pp. 103-127 in Olivier Jean.-Paul, ed. MYCAb. Paris: BCH (Suppl. 25), 1992

6. Ibid. “The Structure of the Linear B Administration at Knossos”, pp. 231-249 in AJA. Vol. 94, no. 2, April 1990

7. Bennet, John. “ ‘Collectors’ or  ‘Owners’, An Examination of their Possible Functions Within the Palatial Economy of LM III Crete”, pp. 65-101 in Oliver, Jean-Pierre, ed. BCH (Supplément XXV). ISSN 0304-2456  

8. Ibid. “Knossos in Context: Comparative Perspectives on the Linear B Administration of LM II-III Crete”, pp. 193-211 in AJA. Vol. 89, no. 2, April 1985

9. Ibid. “Space Through Time: Diachronic Perspectives on the Spatial Organization of the Pylian State”, pp. 587-602. Plates LXIX-LXXI. PDF (bibliographic information lacking) 

10. Bennett, E.L. “The Landholders of Pylos”, pp. 103-133 in AJA. Vol. 60, 1956

11. Ibid. “The Olive Oil Tablets of Pylos. Texts of Inscriptions Found”, in MIN. Supp. 2, 1955

12. Ibid. The Pylos Tablets: A Preliminary Transcription. Princeton: Princeton University Press. xii, 117 pp. © 1951
13. Ibid. The Pylos Tablets: Texts of the Inscriptions Found, 1939-1954. London: Institute of Classical Studies. xxxiii, 252 pp. © 1955 

14. Bennett, E.L. & Olivier, Jean-Paul. “The Pylos Tablets Transcribed”, in Incunabula Graeca. Vol L1. Roma: Edizioni Dell’Ateneo. Moulos. Vol. 63, 1973 

15. Bennett E. L. Jr., Driessen J. M., et al. “436 raccords et quasi-raccords de fragments inédits”, pp. 199-242 dans KT 5, MIN. Vol 24, 1989

16. Bernabé, A. & Luján. Eugenio R. “Mycenaean Technology”, pp. 201-233 in CLMB

17. Bunimovitz, S. “Minoan-Mycenaean Olive Oil Production and Trade: A Review of the Current Research”, pp. 11-15 in Eitam, D., ed. Olive Oil in Antiquity: Israel and Neighboring Countries from Neolith (sic) to Early Arab Period. Haifa: University of Haifa. © 1987

18. Burke, B. 2010. From Minos to Midas: Ancient Cloth Production in the Aegean and in Anatolia. (Ancient Textiles Series, Vol. 7). Oxford: Oxbow Books. © 2010.
240 pp. ISBN: 9781842174067 

19. Carington-Smith, J. Weaving, Spinning and Textile Production in Greece: The Neolithic to Bronze Age. Australia: University of Tasmania.
(Ph.D. Dissertation) © 1975

20. Chadwick, John,  Killen, John T. & Olivier, Jean Paul. The Knossos Tablets.
4th ed. London: Cambridge University Press. © 1971. 486 pp. ISBN-10: 0521080851 & 13: 978-0521080859

21. Chadwick John. “Pylos Tablet Un 1322”, pp. 19-26 in Bennett E. L. Jr., ed. Mycenaean Studies. Proceedings of the Third International Colloquium for Mycenaean Studies Held at ‘Wingspread’, 4 -8 September 1961. Madison, Wisc. © 1964  

22. Davies, Lyn. A is for Ox: A short history of the alphabet. London: The Folio Society. 127 pp. © 2006. no ISBN  

23. Del Freo, Maurizio & Rougemont, Françoise. “Observations sur la série Of de Thèbes”, pp. 263-280. PDF (bibliographic information lacking)

24. Del Freo, Maurizio, Nosch Marie-Louise & Rougemont Françoise. “17. The Terminology of Textiles in the Linear B Tablets, including Some Considerations on Linear A Logograms and Abbreviations”, pp. 338-373 in Michel, C., Nosch Marie-Louise, eds. Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennia BC. Oxford: Oxbow Books. (Ancient Textile Series, Vol. 8). Oxford: Oxbow Books. ©  2010. xix, 444 pp. ISBN: 978-1-84217-975-8

25. Demsky, Aaron. Jacob’s Herds in Light of Ancient Near Eastern Sources. n.d. (undated). PDF (bibliographic information lacking) 

26. Driessen, Jan. “The Arsenal of Knossos (Crete) and Mycenaean Chariot Forces” pp. 481-498 in Acta Archaeologica Anensia. Monographiae 8, 1995, in Lodewijckx, Marc, ed. Archaeological and Historical Aspects of West-European Societies. Album Amicorum André van Doorselaer. Leuven: Leuven University Press, © 1996

27. Driessen, Jan, et al. “107 raccords et quasi-raccords dans CoMIK 1 et II”, in BCH, Vol. 112, 1988

28. Duhoux, Y.  Aspects du vocabulaire économique mycénien (cadastre – artisanat – fiscalité). Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert © 1976. 202 pp.
ISBN-10: 9025607128 & 13: 978-9025607128

29. Ibid. “Idéogrammes textiles du Linéaire B *146, *160, *165, et *166”, pp. 116-132 in MIN, Vol. 15, 1974

30. Duhoux, Y. “Mycenaean anthology”, pp. 243-393 in CMLB. Vol. I, no pagination.

31. Feinman, G.M. “Crafts, Specialists, and Markets in Mycenaean Greece. Re-envisioning Ancient Economies: Beyond Typological Constructs.” pp. 453-459 in AJA, Vol. 117, no. 3, 2013

32. Fine, John V.A. “The Early Aegean World”, pp. 1-23 in, Ibid. The Ancient Greeks: a Critical History. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. ix, 720 pp. © 1983. ISBN 0-674-03314-0 (pbk.)

33. Finley, M.I. “The Mycenaean Tablets and Economic History”, pp. 128-141 in ECR. Vol. 10, 1957

34. Firth, R.J. “Re-considering Alum on the Linear B Tablets”, in Gillis, C. & Nosch Marie-Louise. Ancient Textiles: Production, Craft and Society: Proceedings of the First International Conference on Ancient Textiles, held at Lund, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark, on March 19-23, 2003. Oxford: Oxbow Books. © 2007. 288 pp. ISBN-10: 1842172026 & 13: 978-1842172025

35. Firth, R.J. & Nosch Marie-Louise. “Scribe 103 and the Mycenaean Textile Industry at Knossos: The Lc(1) and Od(1)-Sets”, in MIN, Vol. 37-38, 2002-2003
36. Foster, E.D. “The Flax Impost at Pylos and Mycenaean Landholding”, pp. 549-560 in Vegetation History and Archaeobotany. Vol. 20, no. 6, 2011. ISSN 0939-6314
& e-ISSN 1617-6278

37. Foxhall, L. “Cargoes of the Heart's Desire: The Character of Trade in the Archaic Mediterranean World”, pp. 295-309 in Fisher, N. & Van Wees, H. eds. Archaic Greece, New Approaches and New Evidence. Duckworth: The Classical Press of Wales.
© 1998, reprint © 2008. 464 pp. ISBN 0715628097 & 978-0715628096 

38. García, Carlos Varias. “Festes i banquets a la Grièga antiga: orígens d’una tradició ininterrompuda”, pp. 517-532 in, Danés, J. et al. Estudis Clàssics: Imposició, Apologiao o Sedducció? Llieda, 21-23 octubre de 2005. © 2005
ISBN 678-84-690-9931-5

39. Ibid. “Industria y comercio en la sociedad Micénica”, pp. 11-37 in MINR, Número 16, 2002-2003

40. Ibid. La Metodología actual en el Estudio de los Textos micénicos: un Ejemplo práctico. pp. 353-365. PDF (bibliographic information lacking)

41. Ibid. “Observaciones sobre algunos textos gastronómicos de Micenas”, pp. 831-842 in, Aldama, Javier Alonso, et. al., eds. Stij a0mmoudiej tou Omhrou. Homenaje a la Professora Olga Omatos. Spain: Universidad del País Vasco. © n.d. (undated)

42. Ibid. “Un texto micénico singular sobre la industria textil de Cnoso: la tabilla Kn LN 1568”, pp. 442-446 in Zaragoza, Joana; Senmartí, Antoni González, edd. Homatge a Josep Alsina. Actes del Xè Simposi de la Secció Catalana de la SEEC. Tarragona, 28 a 30 de novembre 1990 

43. Godart Louis, Killen John T., et al. “43 raccords et quasi-raccords de fragments”, pp. 377-389, dans le volume I du Corpus of Mycenaean Inscriptions from Knossos. BCH, Vol. 110, 1986 

44. Ibid. “501 raccords et quasi-raccords de fragments dans les tablettes de Cnossos post KT-V”, pp. 373-410. PDF (bibliographic information lacking)

45. Greco, Allesandro. “Omologazione, integrazione, sostituzione: le procedure di  aggiornamento dei documenti inerenti alle greggi del palazzo di Cnoso (Standardization, Integration, Replacement: Procedure for Updating the Documents Pertaining to Knossos Flocks)”, pp. 217-246 in CRAN. (Centro di Archeologia Cretese, Università di Catania). Vol. 2., 2002

46. Ibid. Scribi et Pastori, Amministrazione et gestione nell’archivio di Cnosso. Athens: SAIA (Italian Archaeological School of Athens), Series: Tripodes (Archeologia Antropologica Storia). © 2011. iii, 732pp. ISBN: 978-960-98397-7-8

47. Gregersen, Marie Louise Bech. “Craftsmen in the Linear B Archives”, pp. 43-55 in Gillis, Carole, Risberg, Christian & Sjöberg, Birgitta, eds. Trade and Production in Premonetary Greece. Proceedings of the 4th. and 5th. International Workshops, Athens, 1994 and 1995. Paul Åströms förlag, © 1997

48. Gulizio, Joann. Mycenaean Religion at Knossos. Austin: University of Texas at Austin. (Phd. Thesis), August, 2011.
This dissertation addresses methodological issues in the archaeological and textual evidence for religion in Knossos (LM II-LM IIIB1). The economic focus of Linear B tablets means that there is limited information about religion. It is difficult to assess archaeological evidence for phases of cult practice at Knossos in light of the time line of palace administration. Thus archaeological and textual evidence appears in two temporal phases, allowing for a more accurate assessment of the evolution of religious beliefs and practices in the late Bronze Age culture of Knossos. While earlier Minoan shrines persist, they are incorporated into the pantheon of the new Indo-European deities at Knossos introduced by the newly-established Greek elite. Eventually, the epithets of several Minoan divinities often replace the Greek theonyms in ritual offerings, although Minoan shrines fade from use. Consequently, the nature of Mycenaean religious observances at Knossos represents a unique blend of both Minoan and Mycenaean religious beliefs and practices. 

49. Hammond, N.G.L. Chapter 2, “The Greek Mainland and Mycenaean Civilization”,
pp. 36-71 in Ibid. A History of Greece to 322 B.C. Oxford: Clarendon Press. xxi, 691 pp. Third Edition, © 1986. ISBN 0-19-873093-0 (pbk.)

50. Hiller S. “A-pi-qo-ro amphipoloi”, pp. 239-255 in Killen J. T., Melena, José. L. & Olivier J.-P., eds. Studies in Mycenaean and Classical Greek presented to John Chadwick, Salamanca, in MIN, Vol. 20-22, 1987

51. Hutton, William F. The Meaning of QE-TE-O in Linear B. pp. 105-131. PZN INT CANADA (University of Calgary, Department of Classics). nd. (undated). PDF (bibliographic information lacking)

52. James, S.A. “The Thebes tablets and the Fq series: a contextual analysis”,
pp. 397–417 in MIN. Vol. 37–38, 2006

53. Jones, D.M. “Land tenure at Pakijane: some doubts and questions”. pp. 245-249 in CAMB.

54. Killen John T. “The Knossos Ld(1) Tablets”, in MYCAa

55. Ibid. “The Knossos Nc Tablets”, pp. 33-38 in CAMB

56. Ibid. “Last year’s debts on the Pylos Ma tablets”, pp. 173-188 in SMEA.
Vol. 25, 1984

57. Ibid. “Linear B a-ko-ra-ja/-jo”,  pp. 117-125 in Morpurgo Davies A. & Meid W., eds. Studies in Greek, Italic and Indo-European Linguistics offered to Leonard R. Palmer on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday. Innsbruck: Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Sprachwissenschaft, 16. © 1976

58. Ibid. “The Linear B Tablets and Mycenaean Economy”, in Morpurgo, Davies A. & Duhoux Y., eds. Linear B: A 1984 Survey: Proceedings of the Mycenaean Colloquium of the VIIIth Congress of the International Federation of the Societies of Classical Studies (Dublin, , 27 August -1st September 1984). Louvain-La-Neuve: Peeters.
© 1985. 310 pp. ISBN 2870772890 & 9782870772898 

59. Ibid. “Mycenaean economy”, pp. 159-200 in CMLB. Vol. I. 

60. Ibid. “Some thoughts on ta-ra-si-ja”, pp. 161-180 in Voutsaki S. & Killen John T., eds. Economy and Politics in the Mycenaean Palace States. Proceedings of a Conference held on 1-3 July 1999 in the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge. Cambridge: (TCPhS Suppl. 27). ©  2001

61. Ibid. & Olivier, Jean-Paul. “The Knossos Tablets. A Transliteration”, pp. 292-294 in ANCL. Vol. 34, no 1, 1965

62. Ibid. Studies in Mycenaean and Classical Greek presented to John Chadwick, pp. 319-323 in MIN. Vol. 20-22, 1987

63. Ibid. “388 raccords de fragments dans les tablettes de Cnossos”,
pp. 47-92 in CAMB

64. Lane, Michael Franklin. 14. From DA-MO to DHMOS: Survival of a Mycenaean Land Allocation Tradition in the Classical Period? pp. 110-116 n.d. (undated). 

65. Ibid. “Landholding at PA-KA-JA-NA: Toward Spatial Modeling of Mycenaean Agricultural Estates”, pp. 61-115 in PASR. Vol 6. 2012.
ISSN 1974-0565 & ISSN elettronico 2037-738

66. Ibid. Linear B pe-re-ke-u, pe-re-ke and  pe-re-ko: Contextual Analysis and Etymological Notes. pp. 76-99. PDF (bibliographic information lacking)

67. Lejeune, M. “Chars et Roues à Cnossos: Structure d 'un inventaire”, pp.287-330 in Ibid. Mémoires de philologie mycénienne, lll. Rome, 1972, in Minos.
pp. 9-61. Vol. 9, 1968

68. Ibid. “Le récapitulatif du cadastre Ep de Pylos”, pp. 260-264 in CAMB

69. Ibid. “Sur quelques termes du vocabulaire economique mycenien”, pp. 77–109 in Bennett, E.L., ed. Mycenaean studies. Proceedings of the third international colloquium for Mycenaean studies held at “Wingspread”, 4–8 September 1961. Madison, Wisconsin  © 1964

Part B, Citations 70-138 to follow in the next post.


The Famous “Dolphin Fresco” at Knossos on Papyrus! Minoan Literature? Did any Exist?

Click to ENLARGE

Replica of the Dolphin Fresco Knossos on papyrus

Here you see a magnificent reproduction of the famous “Dolphin Fresco” at Knossos reprinted on Papyrus, which I purchased for the astonishing price of 10 euros while I was visiting the site on May 2, 2012. The colours on this papyrus version are so vibrant no photograph can fully do justice to them. Nevertheless, the photo turned out wonderfully, and if you would like to use it yourself, please feel free to do so. I even framed it to enhance it.

Papyrus in Minoan/Mycenaean Crete?

The very idea of reprinting one of the amazing Knossos frescoes onto papyrus may seem blasphemous to some, but certainly not to me. It raises the very astute question: did the Minoans, writing in Linear A or in Linear B, ever produce any literature as such? Consent is almost unanimous on the Internet and in print – No! They did not write any literature. But not so fast! It strikes me as peculiar - indeed very peculiar – that a civilization as advanced and sophisticated as that of Knossos, in both the Minoan Linear A eras (Middle Minoan – early Late Minoan) and in the Mycenaean Linear B era (Late Minoan), may very well have had a literature of its own, for these reasons, if none other:

(a) Creation Myths:

Ancient Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, the Hittites and other proto-literate civilizations, at least had a religious literature, whether or not it was composed on papyrus (as with Egypt), here at Wikipedia:

The sun rises over the circular mound of creation as goddesses pour out the primeval waters around it

Egyptian Creation Myth Sunrise_at_Creation 

or on baked clay tablets, as with the Babylonians, here:

The Enûma_Eliš Epic (Creation Myth) ca. 1,000 lines long on 7 tablets: 

Enûma_Eliš Creation Myth


When on high the heaven had not been named,
Firm ground below had not been called by name,
When primordial Apsu, their begetter,
And Mummu-Tiamat, she who bore them all,
Their waters mingled as a single body,
No reed hut had sprung forth, no marshland had appeared,
None of the gods had been brought into being,
And none bore a name, and no destinies determined--
Then it was that the gods were formed in the midst of heaven.
Lahmu and Lahamu were brought forth, by name they were called.

the famous Sumerian Myth of Gilgamesh on 7 Tablets here:

Epic of Gilgamesh

and the Sumerian & Akkadian Myths, including that of Gilgamesh, here:

Akkadian Gilgamesh:

Akkadian cuneiform-gilgamesh

(b) The implications of the astounding achievements of the highly advanced Minoan Civilization for a putative literature of their own:

Just because the Minoans, writing in Linear A or in Linear B, left behind no literature as such on their administrative inventory tablets, does not necessarily mean that they never wrote any literature at all. That strikes me as bordering on nonsensical, since Knossos always had the closest economic and cultural ties with Egypt and with all of the other great civilizations contemporaneous with her. Egypt, above all, set great store on the inestimable value of Knossian, Minoan and Mycenaean artifacts such as gold, in which the Mycenaean artisans were especially gifted, lapis lazuli, of which the finest quality in the entire known world issued from Knossos; Minoan & Mycenaean pottery and wares, which again were of the most splendid designs; Minoan textiles and dyes, again the finest to be found, and on and on. In fact, the Minoans were rightly renowned as the among the very best dyers in the entire known world.

But why stop there? Why should such an obviously advanced civilization as the Minoan, with its understanding of the basic principles of hydraulics, quite beyond the ken of any other contemporary civilization, and with its utterly unique airy architecture, based on the the most elegant geometric principles, again quite unlike anything else to found in the then-known world, not have a literature of its own? To me, the idea seems almost preposterous.

(c) If the Minoans & Mycenaeans did write any literature, what medium would they most likely have used for it?

The question remains, if they did have a literature of their own, it too was most likely religious in nature. But on what medium would they have written it down? - certainly not on their minuscule tablets, as these were so tiny as to virtually exclude the composition of any religious literature such as that of the origin of mankind (very much in currency at that era in the other civilizations mentioned above). Again, the Minoan scribes writing in Linear B used their tiny tablets solely for ephemeral annual accounting and inventories. Still, I can hear some of you objecting, “But the Babylonians and other civilizations wrote down their creation myths on tablets!” Fair enough. Yet those tablets were larger, and they were deliberately baked to last as long as possible (and they have!), quite unlike the Minoan & Mycenaean ephemeral administrative tablets, which were never baked.  And, as if it isn’t obvious, one civilization is not necessary like another, not even in the same historical era. This is especially so when it comes to the Minoan civilization – and to a very large extent to its cousin, the Mycenaean, versus all others at the time, since clearly the socio-cultural, architectural and artistic defining characteristics of the former (Minoan/Mycenaean) were largely very much at odds with those of the latter, (Egypt, Babylon, Assyria etc.), much more ostentatious than the Minoans... except for one thing...

We are still left with the question of medium. If the Minoans, writing in Linear A and later in Linear B, did have a literature, and let us assume for the sake of argument that they did, which medium would they have used? Before I get right down to that, allow me to point out the Knossos was, as it were, the New York City of the Bronze Age, the metropolis at the very hub of all international trade and commerce on the Mediterranean Sea. All you need to do is look at any map of the Mediterranean, and you can see at a glance that Knossos was located smack dab in the centre of all trade routes to all other great civilizations of her day and age, as we quite clearly see on this composite map: Click to ENLARGE

Minoan Trade Routes 1600-1400 BCE

Is it any wonder that no-one was particularly bent on attacking her, or any other city on the island of Crete, such as Phaistos, since after all everyone everywhere strictly depended on Knossos as the very nexus of international trade? No wonder the city was never fortified. This pretty much how Knossos looked at her height: Click to ENLARGE


No walls or fortifications of any kind in evidence! That alone is a very powerful indicator of the critical commercial value of Knossos as the very hub of international commerce in her era. But more than anywhere else, the archaeological evidence powerfully evinces a very close trade relationship between Knossos and Egypt, since Minoan jewelry, textiles, pottery and wares have shown up in considerable amounts – sometimes even hordes - in Egyptian archaeological sites. The Egyptians clearly placed extreme value on Minoan goods, as exquisitely crafted as they were. So what? - I hear you exclaim.

So what indeed. These major trading partners each must have had something to trade with the other that the other was in desperate need of. And in the case of Knossos and the Minoans, the Egyptian commodity they would probably have needed most of all would be, you have it, papyrus. The Cretan climate was not dry enough for them to produce it themselves. So they would have had to rely exclusively on Egypt for what was, after all, one of the most precious commodities of the entire Bronze Age.

If we accept this hypothesis – and I see no reason why we should not at least seriously entertain it – then the Minoans may very well have used papyrus and ink to record their religious literature. There is some evidence, however second-hand and circumstantial, that they may have composed religious texts, and possibly even a religious epic, on papyrus.

This evidence, although only secondary, if we are inclined to accept it as such – is the high incidence of the names of Minoan and Mycenaean deities and priestesses, and even of religious rites, on the Linear B accounting and inventory tablets from Pylos, over all other Minoan/Mycenaean sites. Why on earth even bother mentioning the names of so many gods so frequently on minuscule tablets otherwise dealing almost exclusively with anything as boring – yet naturally economically vital - as statistics and inventories of livestock, crops, military equipment, vases and pottery, and the like? There was nothing economically useful about religious rites or babbling on about deities. So why bother, unless it was a matter of real significance to the Minoans and Mycenaeans? But ostensibly, it was. Chuck economics, at least where religion is concerned, they apparently believed. This cannot come as any surprise in the ancient world, and of course, in the Bronze Age itself, where religions and superstitious beliefs were rampant, playing an enormous and absolutely essential rôle in virtually every civilization, every society, great or small. This composite of Minoan/Mycenaean deities, which were were found in droves on every single Minoan/Mycenaean site, makes this blatantly obvious: Click to ENLARGE 

Minoan goddesses TOP Mycenaean goddesses B

(d) The implications of a putative Minoan & Mycenaean military literature in The Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad: 
Given this scenario, I am seriously inclined to believe that not only did the Minoan and Mycenaean scribes writing in Linear B (leaving Minoan Linear A aside for the time being) keep track of religious rites, and possibly even compose a creation myth of their own on papyrus, but that they may very well have also written down a stripped down written version of their oral military epic, their own story of the Trojan War, and if so, the most accurate version of the events of that war. Their original history of the Trojan war would have almost certainly been much more factual than the version of The Catalogue of Ships in Book II of The Iliad, which must have been derived from it, had it existed. This would go a long way to explaining why the Greek of The Catalogue of Ships in Book II of The Iliad is written in the most archaic, and the most-Mycenaean like Greek in the entire Iliad – not to say that Mycenaean Greek does not appear elsewhere in both the Iliad and the Odyssey, because, surprise, surprise, it most certainly does.  

There is one passage in The Catalogue of Ships which really brings this sort of scenario to the fore. I refer specifically to lines 645-652, which read as follows in the original Greek and in my translation: Click to ENLARGE

Iliad II Catalogue of Ships Role of Knossos and Crete in the Trojan Wariliad-2-615-652 (1)

It is passingly strange that Homer bluntly states, in no uncertain terms, that Knossos and Crete were major contributors to the Achaean fleet in the Trojan War, since everyone these days, archaeologists and literati alike, assume without question that Knossos fell long before the Trojan War (ca. 1450-1425 BCE). So who is right?  Homer? - us? -anyone? How on earth can we resolve the blatant discrepancy? We cannot, nor shall we ever. But the fact remains that this extremely important passage in The Catalogue of Ships in Book II of The Iliad leaves me quite unsettled. Since Homer is obviously convinced that Knossos and some 100(!) Cretan cities did figure prominently in the Trojan War, where on earth did he get his information from? I for one believe it is quite conceivable that rewrites on papyrus of some Minoan documents from Knossos and possibly even Phaistos may still have been in existence when Homer wrote the Iliad, or that at least stories of their prior existence were still in circulation. If you think correlatively as I always do, this hypothesis cannot simply be dismissed out of hand.

For my in-depth discussion of this very important question, please refer to this post:

RipleyBelieveitorNot Knossos in the Trojan War

(e) If the Minoans and Mycenaeans wrote some sort of religious and/military literature of their own on papyrus, there is absolutely no evidence that they did! 

This leaves us with only one final consideration. If the Minoans and Mycenaeans actually did compose documents on papyrus, where are they all? The answer to that stares us in the face. While the scribes would have taken great pains to assiduously preserve documents on papyrus in dry storage while the city of Knossos was still flourishing, these same documents would all have rotted away entirely and in no time flat, once Knossos and the Minoan civilization had collapsed. Crete was not Egypt. Egypt’s climate was bone dry; the climate of Crete was, and still is, Mediterranean. Ergo, the whole argument against the Minoans and Mycenaeans ever having had a literature of their own, composed on papyrus scrolls is de natura sua tautological, as is the argument they did. 50/50. Take your choice. But since I am never one to leave no stone unturned, I much prefer the latter scenario.

NOTE: This post took me over 8 (!) hours to compile. So I would appreciate if at least some of you would tag it LIKE, comment on it, or better still, reblog it!
For all the intense work Rita and I put into this great blog of ours, it often shocks me that so few people seem to take much interest in some of our most compelling posts. I am merely letting you know how I feel. Thanks so much. 



Fantastic new Blog on the Internet all about #ancient #Greek #warriors & #weapons including #Mycenaean. You simply HAVE to check it out! Richard

KORYVANTES Association published work

Thank you so much, Adonis Koryvantes, for not only inviting me to
join your blog, but for allowing me to be an author. I sincerely
hope I can contribute some really useful posts. PS I hope you got
my invitation to my blog!
In case you are not already following me on Twitter, here is my


I am already following you on Twitter.

I shall soon post some of the lovely photos of Mycenae I took when
I was there in early May, 2012.


Meanwhile, you may wish to check out this post on Linear B, Knossos
& Mycenae: Click on the composite of the Frescoes to read this post
the composite is much larger on my blog)

composite of frescoes at Knossos10 of the Loveliest Frescoes from Knossos (Composite): Choose your Favourite(s)! Click to ENLARGE: These frescoes are as follows: [1] The Fresco of the Dolphins in the Queen’s Megaron…

View original post 252 more words

CONTEST QUIZ & LOVELY BOOK PRIZES! Are these statuettes of the Mistress of the Hunt, Zeus & the Priestess of the Winds? Click to ENLARGE:

Potnia Theron Diwo Anemoieriya
NOTE that this POST is classified under the heading MEDIA at the top of this blog. If you click on MEDIA, you will find it much faster than if you simply try scrolling through the hundreds of posts on our blog.

It is quite possible that these 3 statuettes are, from left to right, (a) Potnia Theron (Mistress of the Hunt), (b) DIWO (in Mycenaean Greek) or ZEUS & (c) ANEMOIYEREA (The Minoan Mycenaean Priestess of the Winds). For more on the Priestess of the Winds, click on this BANNER:
POST Anemoiyerea
But they may not be. Who is to say, if not you yourself? So why not tell us, and we will let you know if you are right. Moreover, if you get the answer EXACTLY right, you will win FIRST PRIZE of a fine edition of W. Ceram’s Gods, Graves and Scholars, and if you get the closest answer to the FIRST PRIZE winning answer, your SECOND PRIZE is another fine book on The Minoans. See below for details.

HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST: It is simple. Answer any of questions (a) to (d) below as you see fit.

To reply with your answer, you may either:
(a) leave your reply in the Comments section for this post; or
(b) send me your answer to either of my e-mail accounts:




(Since I must protect myself from spammers, these e-mail links are not live in this post.
You must add my e-mail address to your address book.)


Good luck!  


While watching a truly fascinating TV program this morning, I happened to see these three statuettes, which I instantly recognized as quite possibly being dated anywhere from the late Bronze Age to the early Iron Age (ca. 1300-800 BCE). Just one look at them, and you can see for yourselves that they could easily date from within these five centuries. But the question is, do they, and if they do not, what are they? Do not kid yourself, this is an extremely tricky quiz question, because, unless you have actually seen the program yourself and you recognized them flash across the screen, then you cannot possibly know the answer. However, to be fair, I shall give everyone out there, whether or not you are an expert in ancient Greek archaeology, an historian of ancient Greece, or an aficionado of all things ancient, more than an even break to guess the right answer... and there is only one. 


Answer these questions as you see fit:
(a) Are these statuettes genuine ancient Greek artifacts, Minoan, Mycenaean or early Iron Age? OR
(b) If not, are statuettes from another ancient civilization, and if, so, which one? OR
(c) Are these statuettes fake? AND
(d) If they are fake, precisely what are they? If you believe (c) to be true, then you must answer (d) precisely, i.e. you must identify exactly what these statuettes are and the actual name of the program from which they are derived. The only way anyone can get this last option (d) correct is if you have actually seen the program in question, and even then, I my be leading you astray. In other words, either (a) or (b) may be the right answer, or on the other hand (c) and (d). YOU DECIDE.

There are two beautiful prizes to be won:
FIRST PRIZE: for the person who tells me precisely what they are, down to the very last detail, providing the actual names of each statute in turn, AND the name of the TV program where I found them, this magnificent volume:

Ceram, C.W. Gods, Graves, and Scholars: the Story of Archaeology. London: the Folio Society, © 1999. xxx, 528 pp. Illustrated with full colour and black & white plates. Bound in full buckram, printed on Inveresk Wove paper by the Bath Press.
Approximate Value: $80

Ceram Gods Graves and Scholars Folio
SECOND PRIZE: for the person who tells me gets the closest to the answer for the first PRIZE, down to the very last detail, providing the actual names of each statute in turn, but missing out on only one or two details, this splendid book: 

Fitton, J. Lesley. The Minoans. London: the Folio Society, © 2004. xix, 392 pp. Illustrated with full colour and black & white plates. Bound in full cloth, printed on Abbey Wove paper by Cambridge University Press. Approximate Value: $65

Fitton Minoans Folio



A Map of the Mycenaean Empire & a Quiz?

A Map of the Mycenaean Empire & a Quiz?

A Blank Map of the the Mycenaean Empire & a Quiz to Test your Memory Skills + a Prize of a Set of Beautiful Photos

Click to ENLARGE:

CBMycenaean world BLANK 

Whoever guesses the largest number correct names of the major Mycenaean cities and settlements on this map (those tagged with a RED SQUARE), and the name of least one of the cities they conquered (tagged with a BLACK SQUARE) will win a beautiful set of 50 photos I took of ruins at Ephesis, Pergamon, Knossos, Mycenae & Epidaurus on my fabulous vacation in the Mediterranean in May 2012.


Two maps of Mycenaean Greece, the Second Illustrating the Mycenaean Empire’s Extensive Trade Routes

Map of Mycenaean Greece and the Orient ca 1450 BCE

Click to ENLARGE this map of the Mycenaean Empire’s Trade Routes:

Map of Mycenaean Greece ca 1250 BCE

It is perfectly clear from this map that the extent of the Mycenaean Empire was as vast as that of the great Athenian Empire some 700-800 years after the fall of Mycenae ca. 1200 BCE. While the actual epicentres of these two great Greek empires, that of Mycenae, the earliest of them all, and that of Athens, were not the same (which goes without saying), amazingly their network of trade routes extended to virtually the same places, some very far away, especially in light of the great difficulties encountered by ancient Bronze and Iron age mariners in their little ships on the high seas. The very fact that they, the Mycenaeans,the Egyptians, the Athenians, the Romans and everyone else in the ancent world had to do all of their international trading in the spring, summer and early autumn, when the Mediterranean Sea was relatively calm speaks volumes to the wide extent and the robust economic strength of their trade routes.  We see here that the Mycenaean trade routes did in fact reach as far as and apparently even beyond Sicily, astonishing as that seems, as well as all the way to Egypt. The Minoan Empire had previously carried on a hefty trade relationship with Egypt before them.



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