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Added to academia.edu: The Role of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B: Click to VISIT

role of supersyllabograms academia.edu

The Role of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, talk on July 1 at the Third Interdisciplinary Conference, Thinking Symbols, Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, Poland -  my talk centred on the role of what were previously – and erroneously – called “adjuncts” in Mycenaean Linear B. With 35 in total, there are for more of them and they fulfill a role far more significant than had previously been assumed. In the majority of cases, one syllabogram replaces entire phrases and even sentences.  No one had identified, isolated and classified them all until I did so in 2014-2015.

Full PDF text of  “The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B” for the talk I gave at The Third International Disciplinary Conference ‘Thinking Symbols’ at the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, Poland, July 1 2015

Thinking Symbols

This is the full PDF text (Click to READ):

The Role of SSYLS in Mycenean Linear B

of the ground-breaking talk I gave at  The Third International Disciplinary Conference ‘Thinking Symbols’ at the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, July 1 2015. This presentation constitutes the most significant breakthrough in the further decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B since the genius, Michael Ventris, realized a successful decipherment of the Linear B syllabary in June-July 1952. In this paper, I isolate, identify and classify all 34 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, previously and largely erroneously referred to as “adjuncts”  in the field of linguistic research into Linear B. The discovery of supersyllabograms is of such critical import to the full decipherment of Linear B that they simply cannot safely be ignored, to the peril of misinterpretation or even total misreadings of some 700-1,000 intact Linear B tablets from Knossos alone. In fact, it staggers the imagination to find that fully 34 of 61 syllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B alternatively function as supersyllabograms on hundreds of tablets. Actually, it is more accurate to say that syllabograms specifically identified as supersyllabograms are no longer simple syllabograms at all, as my talk makes perfectly clear. Read on, my friends, and stand as amazed as I was (and still am) at the discovery,  isolation, identification and classification of supersyllabograms in Linear B.

Furthermore, my presentation includes an extremely  comprehensive bibliography of 147 items on prior research into any and all phenomena related to syllabograms leading (in)directly to my own discovery of supersyllabograms as a phenomenon it is own right. This  bibliography even references (item 139) the upcoming publication of a major article by myself, which is to appear in the February 2016 issue of prestigious peer-reviewed European journal,

Archaeology and Science = Arheoologija I Prirodne Nauke (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448,
February 2016. approx. 30 pp.


In partnership with The Association of Historical Studies, Koryvantes (Athens), our organization, Linear B,Knossos & Mycenae (WordPress), conducts ongoing research into Mycenaean archaeology and military affairs and the Mycenaean Greek dialect. This study centres on a fresh new decipherment of Pylos tablet TA 641-1952 (Ventris) by Mrs. Rita Roberts from Crete, who brings to bear the unique perspectives of an archaeologist on her translation, in all probability the most accurate realized to date. We then introduce the newly minted term in Mycenaean Linear B, the supersyllabogram, being the first syllabogram or first syllable of any word or entire phrase in Linear B. Supersyllabograms have been erroneously referred to as “adjuncts” in previous linguistic research into Mycenaean Linear B. This article demonstrates that their functionality significantly exceeds such limitations, and that the supersyllabogram must be fully accounted for as a unique and discrete phenomenon without which any approach to the interpretation of the Linear B syllabary is at best incomplete, and at worse, severely handicapped.

Keywords: Mycenaean Linear B, syllabograms, logograms, ideograms, supersyllabograms, adjuncts, Linear B tablets, Pylos, Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris), decipherment, translation, pottery, vessels, tripods, cauldrons, amphorae, kylixes, cups, goblets

Please note that this post shall shortly be supplemented with several more delving into the general application of supersyllabograms in Linear B, and into the specific application of them to every sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, from agriculture to the military, from textiles to vessels (pottery) to over-arching realm of the religious in their society.


Now on academia.edu: References, Notes & Bibliography for the Presentation, “The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B”

Has just been uploaded as my second research paper at (click to VISIT):

References Notes Bibliography Supersyllabograms Pultusk Poland

Comments, observations and criticisms welcome here at Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae and on my academia.edu pages.

The next paper I upload to academia.edu will deal specifically with the Gezer Algricultural Almanac in Paleo-Hebrew and its translation into Mycenaean Linear B.[


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.


My first research paper now uploaded to my academia.edu page. Many more to follow

The previous post, 

Introduction to the Complete Bibliography of 138 Citations for “The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B”, Presentation by Richard Vallance Janke at the 2015 Conference in the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, Pultusk, Poland, June 30-July 2, 2015

has been uploaded as my first research paper on my academia.edu page, here:

Introduction to thew complete bibliography academia.edu

I shall be uploading several research papers in PDF format to my academia.edu page on a variety of topics related to Mycenaean Linear B, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C and other topics of interest to users of our Blog. By visiting my page,

Richard Vallance academia.edu

where you can download any of these papers in PDF format.


Thinking Symbols”, Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, University of Warsaw (June 30-July 2 2015):

Thinking Symbols Koryvantes 640

Table of All 32 Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B for my Presentation at the Conference: Click to ENLARGE

Table of SSYLS in Mycenaean Linear B

As of spring 2015, I have discovered, isolated and classified a total of 32 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, having found no new ones since autumn 2014. Let us review supersyllabograms, what they are, the 2 different types & how they are classified & sub-classified.

What Supersyllabograms are:

In Mycenaean Linear B, a supersyllabogram is almost always the first syllabogram only, in other words, the first syllable only of a Mycenaean Greek word or phrase. There are only three (3) exceptions to this operative principle. The 32 supersyllabograms account for more than 50 % of all syllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B. That this is a very significant subset of this discrete set of syllabograms goes without saying.  

The 2 types of Supersyllabograms:

There are only two types of supersyllabograms:

(1) Independent supersyllabograms (i):

An independent supersyllabogram is one which stands alone, all by itself, on any Linear B tablet. There is just the one syllabogram, with nothing preceding or following it, except whenever several of them appear in a series, as on Linear B tablet Heidelburg HE Fl 1994. And even then, strictly speaking, they still stand alone, each one being a discrete entity naming only one thing, a city or settlement name. 

Most independent supersyllabograms were deciphered,

(a) first by Prof. John Chadwick, who deciphered the syllabograms NI = suko (figs) & SA = rino (flax), and the homophone RAI = kanako (crocus or saffron) in his ground-breaking book, The Decipherment of Linear B (1959,1970), in which he divulged to the world the arduous road over several years to the decipherment of Linear B in 1952 by the brilliant cryptographer, Michael Ventris.

It is essential to realize that these three independent supersyllabograms alone are the only ones for which the single syllabogram symbolizing the Mycenaean Greek word they each replace is not the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of that word, as we can clearly see with NI, SA & RAI. This being the case, the remaining 29 supersyllabograms of a total of 32 are, by default, the first syllabogram of the Mycenaean word or phrase each of them represents.

(b) The second person to identify independent supersyllabograms was Prof. Thomas G. Palaima, in his superb translation of Heidelburg tablet HE Fl 1994, here:

Heidelburg HE Fl 1994 800

In this case, all 5 of the independent supersyllabograms, KO, ZA, PA, PU & MU are the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a Minoan or Mycenaean city or settlement name. While these 5 independent SSYLS appear in sequence, each one should and must be interpreted as standing alone in its own right.

There are thus a total of 3 + 5 = 8 independent supersyllabograms (i). However, it is absolutely essential to understand that some of these 8 SSYLS are also dependent (d).

I am obliged to point out that neither John Chadwick nor Thomas G. Palaima recognized or identified these 8 supersyllabograms as such, since after all, one of them (Chadwick) discovered only 3 syllabograms which fit this description, while the other (Palaima) hit upon only 5 more. In retrospect, we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that it would be unrealistic, if not downright disingenuous, to expect them to have isolated supersyllabograms in the first place, given that they only just happened to stumble upon these 8, all of which are independent SSYLS, and none of which fit into the default paradigm of the rest of the supersyllabograms, all of which are dependent (d). In a word, neither of them could conceivably have even identified a phenomenon one could call the supersyllabogram, because they did not find any others. And it was the others, of which there are so many, that were, as we say, the real McCoy.

(2) Dependent supersyllabograms(d):

A dependent supersyllabogram (d) is one which always appears as a single syllabogram, but which is also always immediately adjacent to (da) or inside (di) an ideogram. It is the dependent supersyllabogram I discovered early 2014, and which has given true meaning to the term as I have come to define it. The basic formula for the layout of the dependent supersyllabogram on any Linear B tablet is:

SSYLa (left) + ideogram (right) -or-
ideogram (left)+ SSYLb (right) -or-
SSYLc on top of an ideogram -or-
SSYLd under an ideogram -or-
SSYLe inside an ideogram.

If there is only one (1) dependent supersyllabogram (d) adjacent to only one (1) ideogram, that ideogram, upon which that SSYL depends, determines the exact meaning of the SSYL. Change the ideogram, change the meaning. In other words, the meanings of all dependent supersyllabograms (d) are determined by the specific ideogram to which they are adjacent. The meaning of any adjacent dependent SSYL must therefore be strictly contextual (dc).     

More than one dependent supersyllabogram can be adjacent to one or more ideograms, and in any order. However, the order in which the SSYLS & the ideograms appear together is never random. It is always structurally contextual. Change the order, change the meaning.

Sub-classification of Dependent Supersyllabograms:

Dependent supersyllabograms are sub-classified as either associative (as) or attributive (at).

(1) Associative dependent supersyllabograms (as) are those which are immediately adjacent to the ideograms upon which they depend. An associative SSYL is one which informs of us of some external element, for instance, the factor of land tenure relating to the ideogram itself, or one which circumscribes its environment, especially in the livestock raising sub-sector of the agricultural sector. For instance, in the Table of All 32 Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B above, the supersyllabogram O adjacent to the ideogram for sheep + the number of sheep accounted for in the inventory of any particular tablet, informs us that the sheep are being raised on a lease(d) field, more specifically a usufruct lease field (i.e. a lease field which a farmer tenant cultivates for the use of his own family and village neighbours, with a taxation imposed by the overseer). In other words, the supersyllabogram O = onato (lease field) is associated with the raising of x no. of sheep.

(2) Attributive dependent supersyllabograms (at) always appear inside the ideogram which they qualify, never adjacent to it. They always describe an actual attribute (usually known as an adjectival function) of the ideogram. For instance, the syllabogram PO inside the ideogram for “cloth” is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of the Mycenaean word ponikiya = “purple”, hence the phrase = “purple cloth”.  Likewise the syllabogram TE, when it appears inside the ideogram for “cloth” is the supersyllabogram for the Mycenaean word tetukuwoa, which means “well prepared” or if you like, “well spun”. Hence, the syllabogram TE inside the ideogram for cloth must mean one thing and one thing only, “well-prepared cloth”. I have discovered, identified & classified well over a dozen examples of associative supersyllabograms.

The first person to identify and correctly translate two of the most frequently occurring supersyllabograms was Chris Tselentis, who deciphered the two SSYLS ZE & MO on Knossos Tablet KN So 4439, in the appendix TEXTS of Linear B tablets of his excellent Linear B Lexicon. On this tablet, which is strictly military, these syllabograms each appear immediately adjacent to the ideogram for chariot wheel, ZE appearing after the ideogram, and MO before it. It was obvious to Chris Tselentis that, in the military context of this tablet, the syllabogram ZE could mean one thing and one thing only, “a pair of (wheels)”, while MO could only mean “a single wheel”. And he was bang on. Unfortunately, he had his hands full just compiling his comprehensive Lexicon, and so he never got around to a thorough examination of a large enough statistically significant cross-section of Linear B tablets, to ascertain whether there were any more like this one.

But there were – plenty more, in fact some 700 of 3,000 Linear B tablets I meticulously poured through from the corpus at Knossos. If it weren’t for Chris Tselentis in particular, or for John Chadwick and Thomas G. Palaima before him, I would never have followed my intuition to ferret out more examples of the same phenomena, only to be so richly rewarded for taking this decisive step in the first place in the winter of 2014. There was no guarantee that anything concrete would come out of my year-long investigations. But it did, to say the very least. The ultimate result of my painstaking search through 3,000 tablets from Knossos, and the meticulous research which ensued were to pay off in droves. The Table you see above is the true fulfillment of a hard-won struggle.     

To read a detailed account of the function of dependent supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, please refer to this post:

Associative Versus Attributive


Photos of Michael Ventris (1922-1956) & Richard Vallance Janke (1945 - ): Click to ENLARGE each composite

Here is a composite of 2 photos, one of Michael Ventris (1922-1956) just before his tragic death in a car accident in 1956, and one of myself, Richard Vallance Janke, still younger, at age 23, upon my graduation for my first degree, Honours Bachelor of Arts in Latin and French (majors), English and German (minors) from Sir Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 1968.

Michael Ventris age 30 & Richard Vallance Janke age 23

I have no hesitation whatsoever in declaring that I consider Michael to be my patron saint, and that I pray to him instead of to God, because he is the greatest inspiration in my entire life. I shall do so until God informs me otherwise.

And here is another composite of myself, first as a Reference Librarian, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, taken at the age of 43 in 1988, and the second of a lovely couple and  myself at the age of 63, taken while I was on holidays in Quebec in the summer of 2008.

Richard 1989 and 2008

I will be using these photos for my talk on The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Linear B at the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, University of Warsaw, Poland, June 29 – July 2, 2015.



Breaking NEWS: Conference “Thinking Symbols”, University of Warsaw, Pultulsk Academy of Humanities, June 30 – July 2, 2015: Click to ENLARGE

Thinking Symbols Pultusk University of Warsaw June 29-July 2 2015

Richard Vallance Janke, the moderator of this blog, has been cordially invited to give a talk on The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B at the Conference “Thinking Symbols”, University of Warsaw, Pultulsk Academy of Humanities, June 30 – July 2, 2015. His talk will serve as the official public announcement of his discovery of some 30+ supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B throughout 2014 and early 2015.

This is the probably the most significant breakthrough in the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B in 63 years since the genius, Michael Ventris, first deciphered the vast majority of the syllabary in 1952-1953. Although Michael Ventris and his mentor Prof. John Chadwick were able to decipher almost all of the syllabary, and there have been significant developments in further decipherment since then, one very large chunk of the syllabary (consisting of some 700/3,000 or 27 % of intact tablets from Knossos I meticulously examined in the course of 2014) have remained recalcitrant to decipherment for the past 63 years. From my intensive analysis of these 700 tablets, I have come to the conclusion that there has been no serious concerted effort in the past 63 years to thoroughly inspect the 3,000 or so tablets which I took the trouble to examine so closely. No doubt the task was not undertaken, since to do so would have required a team effort on the part of several specialists in Linear B linguistics.

But I could not wait on the problem any longer. So I took it upon myself alone to meticulously examine that many tablets! And what an exhausting job it was! But the pay-off in the exciting discovery I made was more than well worth the effort, to say the very least. When the Association of Historical Studies, Koryvantes, in Athens, Greece, happened upon our blog late in 2014, they were immediately impressed by the extensive research I had carried out, and very soon asked me whether I would like to participate in the Conference “Thinking Symbols”, at the Pultulsk Academy of Humanities, University of Warsaw, between June 30 & July 2, 2015. Of course, I accepted.

I shall be giving a 20 minute talk, more like a presentation, on the discovery of supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, and the significant rôle they play in the decipherment of at least 700 tablets which had previously proven recalcitrant. This talk is to serve as the premier public forum for the official international announcement of the rôle of supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B. The University of Warsaw will consequently be publishing the presentation in its entirety, along with those of all the other speakers at the Conference. The University of Warsaw is in the ideal position to publish our book, The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, likely to run to 200 pp. or more, sometime late this year or early in 2016. This would be a huge feather in their cap, as the book itself represents the most significant breakthrough in the further decipherment of Linear B since 1952. Cambridge University Press had the honour of publishing the original book by Prof. John Chadwick, The Decipherment of Linear B (1958, 1970). So the University of Warsaw has much to celebrate in the publication of the second major book, The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, which takes the inspiration of its title directly from the title of the original.


Interdisciplinary CONFERENCE on “Thinking Symbols”, Pultusk, Poland, June 30 June 30 - July 2 2015: Click to ENLARGE the Announcement:

A Koryvantes Announcement Symbolism Poland June-July 2015

an interdisciplinary conference on “Thinking Symbols” under the auspices of the Pultusk Academy of Humanities, Pultusk, Poland, June 30 - July 2 2015 & with the participation of speakers Mrs. Christy Emilio Ioannidou & Mr. Spyros Bakas from The Association of Historical Studies: KORYVANTES, Athens, Greece: click on their banner to visit them:



KEY POST: A Résumé of the Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B

This post, which is of supreme importance, has been a long time coming. I will be making a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT concerning this post in the next few days, as this constitutes the most significant breakthrough for us here at Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae since its inception 22 months ago.  The résumé as submitted to the institutions concerned is illustrated in the visual .jpg text here: Click to ENLARGE

RESUME Role ofSupersyllabograms in Linear B

This résumé, which I repeat below in a slightly less compressed format, but without the examples of supersyllabograms in Linear B, serves as the basis of a much more in-depth institutionally sponsored paper, The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, which is to be published before the end of this year, and which may even appear in other venues.


A supersyllabogram (SSYL) is defined as the first syllabogram or vowel, i.e. the first syllable of a Linear B word or phrase, and it is always found adjacent to or inside an ideogram, and always with the same invariable meaning in a particular sector of Minoan/ Mycenaean society. Sectors include agriculture, military, textiles, vessels & religious. If the ideogram or the sector changes, so does the meaning of the supersyllabogram.

Here is an example of a Linear B tablet from Knossos which uses three (4)! supersyllabograms with the ideogram for RAM. Click to ENLARGE:

Appendix A knossos-tablet-kn-927-f-a-01-ramsWhat!”, I hear you saying. “I thought you said that super- syllabograms always appeared singly adjacent to or inside an ideogram in any sector of Minoan/Mycenaean society.”  But if you re-read what I said above, that is not quite what I said. I pointed out that a supersyllabogram is always a single syllabogram or vowel, and the first syllable only of any Mycenaean word or phrase in Linear B. I did not claim that more than one supersyllabogram could not appear adjacent to or inside an ideogram. To the contrary. Scribes frequently resorted to using as many as four (4) SSYLS on one tablet, thereby eliminating all extraneous text, which would have otherwise wasted much valuable space on what were (and are) extremely small tablets. Few tablets exceed 30 cm. in width or 15 cm. in depth. Some are so tiny you have to look at them through a magnifying glass to read them! The scribes knew exactly what they were doing. The fewer words or phrases they had to write out, the more space they saved on the tablets... which is precisely why some 800 of 3,000 tablets (27%) from Knossos, which I examined and read meticulously use supersyllabograms to replace words and even entire phrases in Mycenaean Greek.         

Scribes would never have written single syllabograms unless they meant something! - with ideograms, they do. SSYLs are a form of shorthand.

See the visual post above for examples of Supersyllabograms.

28 of 61 syllabograms (46 percent) are supersyllabograms. About 800/3000 tablets from Knossos I meticulously examined use supersyllabograms.

In the next post, we shall discuss the idiosyncratic characteristics of supersyllabograms.


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