Tag Archive: crops

Linear A tablet PY Ub 1318a (Pylos) – millet or spelt:

Linear A tablet HT 1 Haghia Triada

This is Linear A tablet PY Ub 1318a (Pylos), which deals with millet or spelt, and mentions switches or something bent, which I take to be scythes.

The supersyllabogram PA pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi OM = millet -or- spelt -or- pa3qe, paiqe (+ ideogram for wheat) LIG = a kind of grain similar to wheat:

millet or spelt

The supersyllabogram PA pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi OM = millet -or- spelt -or- pa3qe, paiqe (+ ideogram for wheat) LIG = a kind of grain similar to wheat appears on all of these tablets from Haghia Triada (HT), Petras (PE), Tylissos (TY) and Zakros (ZA)

HT 43 gr HT 93 gr (x2) HT 120 gr (x3) HT 125 oo HT 128 gr KH 27 gr PE 1 (x2) TY 3 oo ZA 6 gr (x3) ZA 11 (x5) ZA 18 gr ZA 28 gr

all of which which deal with grains, with the exception of HT 125, dealing with olive oil. The decipherment of millet or spelt (one or the other) is confirmed. It is impossible to decipher PA in the instance of olive oil.

The supersyllabogram KI kitina in Linear A probably means a border of a plot of land/territory Cf. Linear B kotona kotoina ktoi/na = plot of land?


The supersyllabogram KI kitina NM1 ktoi/na/ktoina/siaj probably means a border of a plot of land/territory Cf. Linear B kotona kotoina ktoi/na = plot of land. There is no way of substantiating this claim. However, it does make sense, given that it appears on all of rhe following Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada (HT), on one from Tylissos (TY) and one from Zakros (ZA):

HT 8 oo HT 9 wi HT 16 oo HT 28 oo HT 44 gr HT 50 oo (x2) HT 91 oo HT 101 oo (x2) HT 116 (x2) HT 125 oo HT 129 oo HT 140 oo (x2) TY 3 (x3) ZA 18 oo

All of these tablets except one apparently deal with olive trees, rather than olive oil. The one exception is HT 44, which deals with grain, another crop which is grown on plots of land.

4-sided Cretan pictogram bar with end shown & interpretations of pictograms:

4-sided Cretan pictogram bar with end shown


Cretan pictograms, Medallion E, Knossos, after Sir Arthur Evans:

Cretan pictograms - medallion E Knossos from Arthur Evans

A few of the Cretan pictograms on Medallion E, Knossos, lend themselves to possible/probable/definite decipherment. These are:

definite: 5. & 8. (adze, labrys)

probable: 3. & 7. (spice container, saffron)

possible: 9. 11. 12. (olive oil lamp, some kind of floral crop, dagger)

Everything else is indecipherable.

So-called Cretan hieroglyphs are not hieroglyphs at all. Example 2

Cretan symboic writing ideograms b

These 2 palm-leaf tablets incised with Cretan symbols are the second example of why so-called Cretan hieroglyphs are not hieroglyphs at all. We note right off the top that there are only 12 symbols, all of which are in fact ideograms or logograms. The numeric symbols, 20, 60 and 100 on the fist tablet do not conform to Linear A and B standards.

As for the ideograms, they all appear to be indecipherable, but it is perhaps possible to assign meanings to a few of them. 2., which looks like Linear B ZU, may be a grain crop, possibly barley. 4. looks like some kind of animal, possibly a horse. 5. and 6. could be separate logograms, or put together, the could constitute one, in which case it could be a scythe. 7 is perhaps another kind of crop. 8 is probably an olive tree. 10. looks a great deal like 4., and may be the same ideogram. 11. looks like the Linear A syllabogram PA3 (PAI), but is indecipherable. 12 appears to be somewhat like the Linear A vowel E, and it may be a boars tusk helmet, but there is no way of telling for certain.

Translation of Linear B tablet Knossos KN 854 K j 11 by Rita Roberts:

Knossos tablet KN 854 K j 11 by Rita Roberts


Rita Roberts’ translation of Linear B tablet KN 342 J e 01 concerning olive oil:

Knossos tablet KN 342 J e 01 by Rita Roberts

New interpretation of Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakros):

Linear A tablet ZA 20 HM 1636 Zakros

This new interpretation of Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) varies only slightly from my original one. I interpret the syllabogram on line 0 (the indecipherable line) as being NI, since the bottom of NI is a vertical line. And figs often figure prominently in Linear A tablets. The actual reading of the text is not quite clear, since there are at least 2 damaged syllabograms following MI on line 1. It is impossible to determine with any accuracy what the actual units of measurement are for anything on this tablet, although of course the units of chaff from wheat would have to be considerably less than the total units of wheat. So 1 unit + 6 units of wheat probably refers to something like bushels (a mere approximation), from which we would not get all that much chaff… which may explain the presence of the container, supposedly containing 3 smallish units of chaff. But why would anyone want to place chaff in a container? So we see problems with the decipherment.

Common pulse crops in the late Neolithic, Early, Middle and Late Bronze Ages Mediterranean and Near East, including Minoan Crete:

Minoan pulses diet

Go to:


Faba beans (Vicia Faba) fa/ba ancient Greek

Faba beans are among the world’s most ancient crops. During the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages, they played an important role in spreading agriculture throughout Eurasia and North Africa, along with other pulses and cereals. They can be found in numerous archaeological deposits.

Peas (Pisum sativum)

Peas also belong to one of the oldest domesticated crops. Archaeological evidence dates its existence back to 10 000 BC to the Near East and Central Asia. During the Stone and Bronze ages they spread to Europe and the Mediterranean and then to India in 200 BC.

Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum)

Chickpeas originated in an area located between the southeast of Turkey and the western part of the Fertile Crescent. They were domesticated around 7 000 BC. This is the reason why chickpeas are culturally bound to the Middle East and Asia, and why they are a basic constituent of Asian diets.

Lentils (Lens culinaris)

Lentils were also domesticated in the Fertile Crescent – in what today is Iraq. As far back as 8 500-6 000 BC, archaeological evidence confirms the existence of lentils. Just like chickpeas, lentils are a basic constituent of Asian diets.

Cow peas (Vigna unguiculata)

Cow peas, as we know them today, originated in Sub Saharan Africa but the origin of wild varieties has been traced to southern Africa. Although today cowpeas are cultivated throughout the world, they are still an important component of traditional intercropping systems in the dry savannahs of Sub-Saharan Africa due to their high shade tolerance. Ever since their domestication, they have been culturally bound to this region.

Lupine (Lupinus)

Lupinus is regarded as one of the most diverse genus in the legumes family. It is crucial for its very high protein content – up to 45%- and for its versatility, ranging from human nutrition to forage. The two main varieties domesticated by ancient civilizations are part of two geographically isolated groups: White Lupine, (Lupinus albus) of the Old World group and Andean Lupine (Lupinus mutabilis) of the New World group.

AND also download this highly relevant document:


The Role of the Traditional Mediterranean Diet in the Development of Minoan Crete:

In this extremely detailed analysis of grain and pulse crops vetch, bitter vetch, lentils, chick peas, peas, grass peas, Celtic beans are all mentioned, with a great deal of information on how they were grown and how they were fully incorporated into the Minoan diet. 

Since we have already deciphered, in some cases, with complete accuracy, the types of grain crops the Minoans grew, ie. kunisu for emmer wheat and dideru for einkorn wheat, plus sara2 (sarai) for flax, among others, with the information on the most common Bronze Age pulse crops we now have in hand, we may now draw the tentative conclusion that any one of the following words, in order of frequency of use on the tablets, are very likely pulse crops:

1 minute 20 10 10 6+ = 46+
2 pura2 (purai) 6 (with figs) 40 (with grains) (Haghia Triada only) 40
3 qanuma 20 
all from Haghia Triada only...

Any 3 of the above probably refer to broad beans (faba/fava) , chick peas *,  lupins *,  vetch * in any permuted order. 

and the crops they represent, permuted, could be any of the following, with the most likely candidates marked by an asterisk (*):

broad beans (faba/fava) *, chick peas *,  lupins *,  vetch *

Since four pulses are listed in English, versus only 3 in Minoan, one of the 4 is not one of the 3. But we cannot know which one.

with the following pulses also possible, but less likely, candidates:

bambara, cow peas, green peas, pigeon peas


Minoan Linear A poetic vocabulary (11 pages):

goddesses on signet Minoan prince saffron goddess



adara/adaro/adaru = having to do with the measurement of grain crops 
ade/adu = large unit of measurement for grains, something like bales?
adureza = dry unit of measurement, usually for grains
akara/akaru a1kra (arch. acc.) - or - = end, border + akaru a0gro/j = field

akiro a1kairoj = not in season, unseasonable -or- a1grioj = living in the fields; uncultivated, unreclaimed

amaja a3maca= wagon
arura a0rou/ra = unit of land -or- plough Cf. Linear B arura 
arudara a1lutra <- a1lutron = threshing instrument (arch. acc.) 
asesina = sowing or harvesting
asadaka a1staxa (arch. acc.) <- a1staxu (Minoan nom. sing.)= ear of corn
Asara2 TOP = Linear B Asaro A0sa/roj -or- may refer to Assur, hence Assyria -or- asara2 (asarai) = without flax
atare a0ta=lei/ <- a0ta=lo/j = tender; delicate (of crops?) -or- a0qa/lei <- a0qa/loj = without a branch, twig; without an olive branch -or- a9dro/j = full-grown – or – a0qa/rh = groats, meal, green fodder, forage, provender Cf. kupari = galingale
atiru a0te/lu <- a0te/loj = without boundaries 
dame/dami/daminu OM dame = a type of grain -or-  da/mei = in the village
data2 (datai) = olive
datu = olive tree 
dideru = einkorn wheat Cf. Linear B didero
durare = a type of grain, durum wheat?
dureza/durezase = unit of dry measurement? (variation of: adureza?)
ero e0llo/j = young deer, fawn 
etori e1tori <- e1toj = for a year 
itaja = unit of liquid volume for olive oil? (exact value unknown)
kami ka/mi (dat./instr. sing.) <- ka/ma = (on a) unit of land Cf. Linear B ka/ma 
kasaru = surviving? (drought)
kasitero kasite/loj = boundary of...?
kikadi = cicada (cricket) 
kireta2 (kiretai) kri/qai = barley
kiretana kriqani/aj = like barley, barley (attributive)
kiro/kirisi/kiru = owed Cf. Linear B oporo = they owed
kunisu = emmer wheat (derivation: Semitic kunnisu) 
madi = a ram? (probably, because it appears to be masculine and is used in conjunction with the ideogram for sheep 
maru/maruku/maruri mallo/j = flock of wool Cf. Linear B mali mali/ = wool 
meza me/za (fem. sing.) = greater, bigger Cf. Linear B mezo me/zwn me/zoj
minute (sing. minuta2 – minutai) = type of grain – or – Mi/nute\ <- Mi/noste\ = and Minos
mireja mhle/a = apple tree -or- mh/leia (gen. sing.) = belonging to a sheep
miru mh=lon = a sheep or goat -or- mh1lon = apple, tree fruit 
mirutarare = sheep pen? -or- apple orchard?  
naka na/ka (arch. acc) <- na/koj = sheep’s fleece    
nea ne/a = new Cf. Linear B ne/#a = new                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi =  millet -or- spelt 
pa3qe -or- qepa3 i.e. paiqe -or- qepai  (+ ideogram for wheat”) = a kind of grain similar to wheat
paja/pajai/pajare = contracted, indentured, hired?
para para\ = beside, from beside, by the side of, beyond etc.
pasarija = pa=sa + rija = all-encompassing, international? 
pura2 = a type of grain 
qanuma = a type of grain
qareto = lease field? Cf. Linear B onato
qaqisenuti xalkei/a=senuti = with bronze craftsmanship 
qera2u/qera2wa = a type of grain, probably millet or spelt
qeria = probably millet or spelt
reza = standard unit of linear measurement
rima lei=mac = garden -or- lei=mma = remnant, remains -or- lh=mma = income, receipts  (dative/instrumental plural) 
ruma/rumu/rumata/rumatase lu=matase <- lu=ma = offscourings from grain, i.e chaff
sara2 (sarai)/sarara/saru = flax
saro/saru/sarutu sa/ron = broom, threshing floor
sato sa/ton = Hebrew unit of measurement.
sedina = celery Cf. Linear B serino se/linon
seikama = seika/ma = a unit of land dedicated to a/the goddess
setamaru  = something to do with wool/spun wool?
sika  shka/ (arch. acc.) <- shko/j = fold, enclosure; (sheep) pen; sacred precinct, shrine = <- zhka/zw = to pen in Cf. Linear B periqoro peri/boloj = sheep pen 
Sikine TOP loc. sing. of Sikinos -or- OM = a type of grain
simita = mouse (arch. acc.) simito/simitu PGS  = zmi/nqoj mouse 
sitetu See situ below
situ si/tu si/tun = wheat Cf. Linear B sito si/ton 
suniku (common) su/noiku <- su/noikoj  living together, joint inhabitant,  dweller
suzu su/zuc = yoked together; paired Cf. Linear B zeukesi zeu/gesi = yoked (instr. pl.)
taikama taika/ma = a unit of land, something like an acre?
ta2re/ta2reki sta=rei<-  stai=j wheaten flour mixed into dough + tasise sta/sisei
tai2si (taisi) stai=sei <- stai=j = with wheaten flour mixed into a dough (instr. pl.)
teke/teki = small unit of measurement for wine @ 27 1/2 units per tereza
tereza = liquid unit of measurement
terikama te/leika/ma = extent of land, i.e. something like acreage, lit. land to its extent or boundary 
tero/teroa te/loj = end, boundary 
Tumitizase TOP -or- = linen Cf. Linear B rino li/non
udiriki u3driki <- u3droj = with water 
ukare = sowing or harvesting
Uminase TOP  Cf. Linear B Aminiso = harbour 
waja #ai/a = earth, land

Flowers/fruit/spices etc:

adakisika a0dakissi/ka = adorned with ivory
adoro a1doroj = receiving no gifts; unpaid; giving no gifts
akumina a0ku/mina = without cumin? (arch. acc.)
amawasi a3mai#asi = with violets
asidatoi a0si/datoi = without pomegranate (dat. sing.)
atade a1ttade = from father 
ditamana = dittany
dudama = a kind of fruit = dates? (found in context with figs)
ia i0a/  (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets/ija See i0a/ (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets (variation) 
kanaka kna/ka (arch. acc. of respect) = saffron Cf Linear B kanako kna/koj
kapa/kapaqe/kapate/kapi  karpa/ (arch. acc.) + karpa/te\ = fruit, and fruit, with fruit -or- kara 
kera/kero ke/raj = horn (ivory) -or- khr/oj = bees-wax Cf. Linear B kera
kikina = some kind of fruit, quite likely grapes (from context)
kireza = measurement of figs = 1 basket of figs carried on a shoulder
kitai/kitei = kestai/ kestei/ = embroidered (lit.), but in context = basketry, basket(s)
kupari ku/pairi (instr. sing.) <- ku/pairoj = marsh-plant used to feed horses, galingale or ginger
kuruku kro/koj = crocus, saffron
mera mela/j = black  - or – me/la (arch. accus.) = honey 
merasasaa/merasasaja (very common) = something to do with honey/ honeycomb or honey drink? 
meto mesto/j = full, filled
mireja mhle/a = apple tree -or- mh/leia (gen. sing.) = belonging to a sheep
miru mh=lon = a sheep or goat -or- mh1lon = apple, tree fruit 
mirutarare = sheep pen? -or- apple orchard? 
mita  mi/nqa = mint Cf. Linear B mita 
muru mu/ron = sweet oil extracted from plants; sweet oil; unguent; perfume Cf. Linear B musaja
nira2 (nirai) -or- nita2 (nisai) OM = figs + ideogram = NI (in both Linear A & B)
oteja o1steia <- o1streia = oyster pigment; oyster purple Cf. Linear B otawero o1streioj 
para para\ = beside, from beside, by the side of, beyond etc.
patane OM = lentils? (fem. pl.)
pimata PGS = pimento
pita/pitaja pista/kion = pistachio-nut 
pitakase/pitakesi pista/kesi = with pistachio-nuts (instr. pl.) 
punikaso funi/kasoj = crimson, red (of wine) Cf. Linear B ponikiya ponikiyo foini/kioj = crimson 
ra2ri (rairi) = lily 
rima = lei=mac = garden -or- lei=mma = remnant, remains -or- lh=mma = income, receipts  (dative/instrumental plural)
rimisi See above (instr. pl.) 
rosa = rose 
rosirasiro = rosebush? 
sasame sasa/me = sesame Cf. Linear B sasa/ma
sedina = celery Cf. Linear B serino se/linon
tuma/tumei/tumi qumi/a = incense
turunu qo/rnoj = throne Cf. Linear B tono qo/rnoj 
unana = penny royal?
uro ou0=loj = entire, total. Cf. kuro ku=rwn = reaching, attaining i.e. = total
waja #ai/a = earth, land

ia i0a/  (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets/ija See i0a/ (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets (variation) 
ima i9ma/c = leather strap, thong; lash of a whip 
ira2 i1la=i = troops, companies, squadrons
kara kara/ = head Cf. Linear B kara(pi) kara/afi
kipisi ci/fisi <- ci/foj = with swords (instr. pl.) 
kito xitw/n = chiton Cf. Linear B kito
koiru koi/ru <- koi/roj = hollow (ships) 
koru ko/ruj = helmet Cf. Linear B koru
kuro/kurotu ku=roj = supreme power, authority & ku=rwn = reaching, attaining i.e. = total Cf. Linear B tosa to/sa
kuto/kutu ku/toj = shield, cuirass
qaro ba=lo/j = threshold 
qero be/loj = arrow, dart
radu r9a/bdu <- r9a/bdoj = rod, switch; spear-staff or shaft
ra2ti (raiti) r9aisth/r = a hammer, crusher
sama/samaro sama/ro = burial ground Cf. Linear B Sama/ra sama/ra = place name -or- monument -or- grave mound OR sa/meron = today
sere -or- rese seirei/ <- seira/ = with a cord or rope (instrumental sing.)
tarasa = sea Cf. Linear B tarasa qa/lassa
toraka qw/rac  = breastplate, cuirass = Linear B toraka
toro tau/roj = bull -or- qolo/j = dome or circular vault; vaulted building
zuma zw=ma girdle, belt; girded tunic


aresana a1leisana <- a1leison = an embossed cup (arch. acc.) = de/paj (Homeric) Cf. Linear B dipa/arisu  a1leisu <- a1leison = embossed cup 
daqera = a type of vase? 
darida = large vase, slightly smaller than a pithos
daropa = stirrup jar 
depa/depu de/paj de/pu (acc.?)= cup Cf. Linear B dipa di/paj & Homeric de/pa
dipa3a (dipaia) di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup 
dipaja di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup (alternate?)
ipinama/ipinamina i0pneume/na (fem. sing.) = baked (bread)

itisapuko i1tija = round + pu/coj = box-wood -or- NMOM i1tija = round + puko = tripod = round tripod Cf. puko below

kadi kadi/ (instr. sing.) <- ka/doj = with a jar or vessel for water or wine
kadusi ka/dusi <= ka/doj = with buckets or pails (instr. pl.) 
kairo kairo/j = due measure 
kaki/kaku xalku/ <- xalko/j = copper, bronze
kakunete = bronze alloy - or – crafted in bronze 
karopa2 (karopai) = kylix with 2 handles-or-   ka/rdoph = wooden vessel/vase
kataro ka/nqa=roj = scarab (Egyptian) + drinking cup
kera/kero ke/raj = horn (ivory) -or- khr/oj = bees-wax Cf. Linear B kera
meto mesto/j = full, filled
meza me/za (fem. sing.) = greater, bigger Cf. Linear B mezo me/zwn me/zoj
nere = larger amphora size (fem. plural) 
posa po/sa= (arch. acc.) <- poi/si=j = drink(ing), beverage -or- po/sa <- po/soj = how great, how much, of what value?  
posi -or- sipo posi/ = on, upon Cf. Linear B posi -or- sipo = si/fwn = reed, straw, siphon
puko= tripod Cf. Linear B pukoso pu/coj = box-wood. Apparently unrelated 
qapa3 (qapai)  = (large) handle-less vase or amphora
qapaja/qapajanai qapaja (genitive sing. of qapa3 (qapai))
qaqisenuti xalkei/a=senuti = with bronze craftsmanship
qedi = a flagon (for wine) 
qeti (instr. sing.)/qetiradu = a very large pot, pithos Cf. Linear B PGS qeto pi/qoj
supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) =small cup with handles Cf. Linear B dipa mewiyo
supi/supu/supu2 = largest size pithos -or-   supu/h sipu/h sipu/a i0pu/a = meal tub = suropa = some kind of vase?
tisa = pottery worker/working on pottery/pottery wheel (tourney)


ara a0ra/ = a prayer 
araju a0ra=u <- a0ra=oj = prayed for 
arati a0ra=ti/ <- a0ra/toj = with something unblessed Cf. makarite  below
atanate a0qa/na=te = with an immortal (instr. sing.) 
damate Da/mate = Damater Cf. Linear B Damate -or- da/matei = in the village 
dare da=lei/ <- da=lo/j = (with) a firebrand or torch/daro LIG  da=lo/j = firebrand
dewa -or- wide de/#a = goddess? 
dija/dije Di/ #a Cf. Linear B Diwija Di#i/a = priestess of Zeus
dumitatira2 (dumitatirai) = left or right side of a spindle? (or verso) 
dura2 dou/lai = slaves (fem.) Cf. Linear B doera doe/la 
esija e3sti/a = hearth of a house 
Idamate/Idamete  0Idama/te = Mother goddess of Mount Ida
Idarea  0Idar9ea = Rhea, goddess of Mount Ida 
ijate i0a/ter = doctor, physician Cf. Linear iyate  i0a/ter
iruja i0e/ruia = priestess Cf. Linear B iyereya i0e/reia
jamauti i1amauti = as a means of healing <- i1ama i1amatoj = healing, remedy
jarisapa  = some kind of dress? Cf. Linear B sapa
jasaja  0Ia=sai/a <-  0Ia=sw/ of/from the goddess of healing and health  
jasidara i0a=sida=la/ = healing torch/firebrand (arch. acc.) 
jate/jateo i0a=th/r = physician 
jatimane i0a=th/j mannei= = with the bread of healing  
mana/manapi (common) Hebrew manna= = (of spiritual food) bread from heaven, the supernatural food eaten by the Israelites in the desert  
maza/mazu  ma=za  = kneaded or unbaked bread, barley bread/cake
miturea mi/toj 9Re/a= thread of a warp for Rhea 
narepirea narepir9e/a = Rhea, goddess of the snake/ snake goddess?   
pimitatira2 (pimitatirai) = right of left side of a spindle? -or- verso  
qajo ba/i"on = a palm branch (Kafkania pebble)
ranatusu (agglutinative?) -or-  r9anatusu < - r9anti/zw = to cleanse, purify 
rani r9a=ni/j = anything sprinkled (as in a libation); rain drop See also ratise
ratise (ritise?) = la/tise <- la/taj = with drops of wine (instr. pl.)
rea r9e/a = goddess, Rhea
sea/sei se/a se/ei (dat. sing.) = snake goddess (from K. Bouzanis)
seikama= seika/ma = a unit of land dedicated to a/the goddess
taro tau=roj = bull
tejai qei/ai = goddesses
tuma/tumei/tumi qumi/a = incense
turunu qo/rnoj = throne Cf. Linear B tono qo/rnoj
wanaka = king 
wireu #i0eru/ <- #i0ero/j = priest Cf. Linear B iyero i0ero/j


arako a0ra/c = weaver Cf. Linear B arakateya a0laka/teiai = weavers

arakokuzu = weavers establishment?


datu = olive tree
keda = cedar
kidapa = ash wood? (a type of wood) Appears only on Linear B tablet KN 894 N v 01
kidaro kidaro ke/dron = juniper berry-or- kedri/a = oil of cedar Cf. Linear B kidaro
kitanasija/kitanasijase kitanisija (gen. sing.) ki/rtanasia <- ki/rtanoj = terebinth tree Cf. Linear B kitano ki/rtanoj 
tarawita = terebinth tree Cf. Linear B kitano ki/rtanoj & timito ti/rminqoj 
tarina qalli/na (arch. acc.) <- qallo/j = a young shoot, twig; festive olive-branch 


aka -or- kaa a0ska/ (arch. acc.) <- a0sko/j = leather bag, wine skin
apero a1mpeloj = a vine  Cf. Linear B apero 
kupazu kou/fazu <- kou/fazoj = light (of wine) 
kuqani = a type of (fine) wine
kuwa -or- waku ku/#a = girl Cf. Linear B kowa ko/#a – or – #a0sku/ <- #a0sko/j = leather bag or wineskin 
punikaso funi/kasoj = crimson, red (of wine) Cf. Linear B ponikiya ponikiyo foini/kioj = crimson 
qesizue (plural) = wine goblets? 
ratise (ritise?) = la/tise <- la/taj = with drops of wine (instr. pl.)
unaa oi0nai/a = wine vessel, wine jug, wine jar
winadu #i1nadu = vineyard Cf. Linear B winado
winu #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono  #oi/noj
winumatari #i/numa/tari = wine dedicated to Mother Earth


Akanu/Akanuzati  OP A0rxa/nej = Archanes (Crete) 
Asuja Cf Linear B Asiwiya A0si/#ia
Dawa = place name Cf. LB dawo Da/#oj / Da/#on 
Dikate = Mount Dikte Cf. Linear B Dikatade Diktai/oj 
Dupu3re Cf. Linear B Dupu2razo Dupurai/zoj 
Ida/Idaa/Idada/Idapa3  = Mount Ida
Itinisa = female resident of Itanos?
Kana/kanatiti/kanau Kanna
Kanijami Kaniamis (female name)?
Kina Kinna
Kiso Kissos
Kosaiti Cf. Linear B Kutaito Ku/taistoj (not necessarily the same place) 
Mekidi Megi/di <- Me/gaj = the Great
Raja/Raju  9Rai/a = Raia Cf. Linear B Raja 
rea PGS r9e/a = goddess, Rhea
Tejare TOP Cf. Linear B Tejaro qei/aroj = place of the gods?
Tita = Ti=ta/n



HT 123 (Haghia Triada) VERSO, deciphered for the first time ever:


Linear A tablet HT 123 Haghia Triada VERSO

As follows:
1. 2 shares in an enclosed plot land for 11 months,
1 scythe for sowing
2. tidata . pisa . 4 2 shares in 1 enclosed plot 
3. in 1 enclosed plot *188 tupadida
4. sowing *... kadi . repu
5. paputuito harvesting to full harvest 
6. kuro 20 . kiro 5

1. the lop-sided square with a cross in it in line 1 is an enclosed plot of land with 2 shares for the tenant farmers, which was sown 11 months ago, the tenants using a scythe for sowing. The scythe also appears in line 1, looking somewhat like a sword.
2. In line 2, the 2 shares are repeated. The words *188 and tupadata are indecipherable, although tupadida is obviously some kind of crop.
4. In line 4, the word kadi refers to an amphora (large) for the storage of the paputuito (also indecipherable, also a crop)
5. which in line 5 has been harvested to full harvest. This makes perfect sense, since the harvest occurs in the 11th. month, i.e. lunar November. This particular season, it appears to be still warm enough that month to cash in on the full harvest. This is possible in a Mediterranean climate such as in Crete.
6. In line 6, kuro references the total return for the full harvest, while kiro stands for the 5 shares owed (4 for the tenants, 1 for the landlord). This also makes sense, since 2 shares are listed on line 1, and 2 more in line 2. As for the extra share, this is apparently the tithe for the landlord.          

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. 

The first ever complete and entirely unique decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 123 RECTO (Haghia Triada):

Linear A tablet HT 123 Haghia Triada RECTO olives saffron flax wine

This decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 123 RECTO (Haghia Triada) is entirely unique and is the first ever of its kind. It incorporates several key features never before seen in any of the failed attempts at deciphering this tablet. These are:

1. It accurately identifies the crops as (a) olives (b) wine and (c) saffron/flax;

2. It accurately identifies what all previous decipherers” have erroneously assumed to be fractions as crop shares;

3. It accurately identifies the supersyllabogram PU, which no one has ever before been able to decipher as the Old Minoan word, punikaso = Phoenician or in the case of wine = purple, equivalent to Linear B ponikiyo.

4. It clearly and accurately identifies the shares of crops, usually 8 shares per;

5. The Old Minoan Linear A word kiro appears to mean they owed, which suits the context to a T;

6. the combination of the number 8 with harvesting fits the season exactly, the month for harvesting being lunar August (at least if the Minoans counted counted their lunar months from the first month in the year, which certainly appears to be the case).

7. Since the total 20 + is right-truncated on the last line, I have to assume that it refers to 20 or more months, given that 9 months are mentioned above, with the ninth month implying that 8 preceded it, for a total 17. The number 4 with the unknown character probably also references months, bringing the potential total to 21. Thus a grand total of 20+ months is not out of the question.

This is the first ever successful decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 123 (RECTO) in toto.



Statistical incidence of various types of gains and of flax on Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada and elsewhere, now on academia.edu

Statistical incidence of various types of grains and of flax on Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada and elsewhere



Statistical incidence of various types of grains on Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada and elsewhere:

incidence of barley einkorn emmer on Linear A tablets

akaru = field HT 2 (20+) HT 86 X2 (20+ )

TOTAL = 40+


kireta2 (kiretai) = barley HT 85 (1) + HT 129 (33)

TOTAL = 34

kiretana = barley-like HT 2 (54+) HT 8 X 2 (5) HT 108 (1) HT 120 (60)

TOTAL = 120

einkorn wheat

dideru = einkorn wheat HT 86 X 2 (2nd. trunc.) (20) HT 95 X 2 (20)

TOTAL = 40

emmer wheat

kunisu = emmer wheat HT 10 (0) HT 86 X 2 (40+) HT 95 X 2 (30)

TOTAL = 70+


[sara2 = flax HT 18 (10) HT 28 X 2 (21) HT 30 (0) HT 32-34 (0) HT 90 (20) HT 93 (20) HT 94 (5) HT 97 (0) HT 99 (4+) HT 100-102 (985+) HT 105 (234) HT 114 (10) HT 121 (5) HT 125 (2) HT 130 (0)

TOTAL = 1306+

+ saru (oblique case) HT 86 X 3 (41+) HT 95 X 2 (30) HT 123+124 (16 )

TOTAL = 87+

TOTAL for all references to flax = 1393]

spelt or millet

dame = spelt or millet HT 86 (20) HT 95 X2 (20) HT 120 (74)

TOTAL = 94

millet or spelt

qera2u/qera2wa = millet or spelt HT 1 (197) HT 95 X2 (17)
TOTAL = 214

durare = durum wheat? Knossos KN Zc 7 (0)


minute = a type of grain -or- and for a month HT 86 (20) HT 95 X2 (20) HT 106 (6+)

TOTAL = 46+

pura2 = a type of grain HT 28 (6) HT 116 (45) KN 54 (0)

TOTAL = 51

qanuma = ditto HT 116 (20) KH 88 (Khania) (10)

TOTAL = 20

standard units of measurement on all Linear A tablets:

adu HT 85 (0) HT 86 (0) HT 88 (20) HT 92 (680) HT 95 (0) HT 99 (0) HT 133 (55) (bales?)

TOTAL = 755

adureza (0) = standard unit of dry measurement, something like a bushel

dureza (7 ) = variant of the same


kireza ( 42) = standard unit of measurement for figs, dates or grapes = 1 basket

TOTAL = 42

reza (67+ ) = standard unit of linear measurement

TOTAL = 67+

tereza (0) = standard unit of liquid measurement

© by Richard Vallance Janke 2017

Now on academia.edu. Are Minoan and Mycenaean fractions fractions?

Click to download:



This very brief, but informative tract is a real eye opener.


Are Minoan and Mycenaean fractions fractions? I am not at all convinced

Are Minoan Linear A fractions fractions or something else

Are Mycenaean Linear B fractions fractions or something else

Since Minoan and Mycenaean fractions, as estimated by Andras Zeke of the Minoan Language Blog and Prof. John G. Younger, fall as low as 1/10 and 1/32, I am not at all convinced that these are fractions at all. They are, as far as I can tell, crop shares. This makes a lot more sense, since we are dealing with farming, where crop shares have always been of paramount importance. As for units of measurement, we have no real idea what they were, since Minoan Crete and the Mycenaean Empire are so remote in history. No one can possibly determine fractions that far back in history. In fact, Prof. Younger and Andras Zeke cannot even agree on the values of the fractions... not that that argument invalidates the notion they are not fractions. That is a specious argument. However, it makes more sense to consider these as crop shares, especially in view of the fact that some of the Mycenaean symbols are so remarkably similar to their Minoan counterparts. The appearance of symbols has nothing to do with what we take them to mean. This again is an arbitrary decision, which may be right or wrong.  

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.


HT 95 (Haghia Triada), dealing emmer and einkorn wheat, is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets:

HT 95 dadumata dame minute saru kunisu dideru

Linear A tablet, HT 95 (Haghia Triada), which deals with various grain crops, i.e. emmer and einkorn wheat, millet and spelt, and with flax, is unquestionably the most important Linear A tablets, with the possible exception of HT 86, dealing with the same roster of grains, inscribed exclusively in Old Minoan. When I posted HT 86 (Haghia Triada) the first time round, I established that kunisu meant “emmer wheat” and dideru “einkorn wheat”, but I was not quite sure I had them in the right order. Thanks to Cyrus G. Gordon, who makes the following statement:

... Linear A ku-ni-su must mean some kind of wheat because it is followed by  the WHEAT determinative. Now kunnisu is a Semitic word for “emmer wheat”  so that Linear A ku-ni-su WHEAT “emmer wheat” not only adds a word to our Minoan vocabulary but it also establishes Ventris’s (sic) readings of the ku, ni and su signs. (italics mine)

we now know beyond doubt that kunisu does mean emmer wheat, just as I had suspected. Consequently, since these two types of wheat appear conjointly here and very close together on HT 86, we are left to draw the conclusion that dideru means einkorn wheat. Now dideru appears 4 times on HT 86 & 95, while kunisu appears once on HT 10 & HT 79, and 4 times on HT 86 & 95, for a total of 6 times. So it pretty much goes without saying that these two grains play a significant role in the Minoan diet. This should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Late Neolithic and Bronze Age Mediterranean and Middle Eastern diets, since these two grains were the predominant ones in all societies in these regions. This will become blatantly obvious when I publish the Comprehensive Linear A Lexicon of 1031 New Minoan, pre-Greek substratum and Old Minoan words sometime in July, from which I cite all the references dealing with grain crops in the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age Mediterranean and Middle Eastern diets in REFERENCES below (Note that I have italicized explicit references to major grains in each title dealing with the same). 

As for dame and qera2u (qeraiu), proper identification is a bit problematic, because we do not know which is which. This is why I have tagged dame with the reference [1], signifying it could mean either spelt or millet, and qera2u (qeraiu) with [3], meaning either millet or spelt (the reverse). But the problem is that we are confronted with 2 permutations here. By this we mean that dame could mean either spelt or millet or vice versa, and qera2u (qeraiu) millet or spelt or millet or vice versa. Either way, dame means one of the two, while qera2u (qeraiu) the other. But how do we know this? It just so happens that, after emmer and einkorn wheat, the next most common grains in the Bronze Age Mediterranean and Middle East were millet and spelt. So chances are good that dame and qera2 (qeraiu) each references one or the other. 

The reference note [2] with flax indicates two things, (a) first that flax is in an oblique case, probably instrumental, i.e. with flax, since the nominative is sara2 (sarai) & (b) the standard unit of measurement is probably not something a bushel, because flax is extremely light. What it is we shall never know, since after all we have no real concept of what any standard unit of measurement, dry or liquid, was either in Minoan Linear A or Mycenaean Linear B. These civilizations are so remote in the distant past that any attempt at determining standard units of measurement amounts to nothing more or less than a wild guess.

Nevertheless, we find that we are able to decipher HT 95 with a reasonable degree of accuracy, and in the case of kunisu and dideru, with complete accuracy. So we can now say with confidence that these two grains have been conclusively deciphered once and for all time, thanks to Cyrus H. Gordon.

© by Richard Vallance Janke 2017


1 Adu, Michael. Stay green in wheat: Comparative study of modern bread wheat and ancient wheat cultivars
2 Beneš,  Jaromír. Kernel Weights of Triticum, Hordeum, Avena, Secale and Panicum Species can be used for Better Estimation of Importance of Different Cereal Species in Archaeobotanical Assemblages 
3 Desheva, Gergana. Comparative Evaluation of Einkorn Accessions (Triticum monococcum L.) of Some Main Agricultural Characters 
4 Gordon, Cyrus H. Linguistic continuity from Minoan to Eteocretan
6 Mueller-Bieniek, Aldona. Plant macrofossils from the site of Tell Arbid, Northeast Syria (3rd–2nd millennium BC). Preliminary report 
7 Poupet, Pierre. Approche pédoarchéologique des espaces de production agricole à l’âge du Bronze dans les montagnes méditerranéennes (exemples des Pyrénées-Orientales et de la Haute-Corse, France) 
8 Salamini, F. AFLP Analysis of a Collection of Tetraploid Wheats Indicates the Origin of Emmer and Hard Wheat Domestication in Southeast Turkey 
9 Ibid. Genetics and geography of wild cereal domestication in the near east 
10 Ibid. Molecular Diversity at 18 Loci in 321 Wild and 92 Domesticate Lines Reveal No Reduction of Nucleotide Diversity during Triticum monococcum (Einkorn) Domestication: Implications for the Origin of Agriculture 
11 Shaaf, S. Evolutionary History of Wild Barley (Hordeum vulgare subsp. spontaneum) Analyzed Using Multilocus Sequence Data and Paleodistribution Modeling 
12 Stein, Gil. Isotope evidence for agricultural extensification reveals how the world's first cities were fed 
13 Ulanowksa, Agata. Different skills for different fibres? The use of flax and wool in textile technology of Bronze Age Greece in light of archaeological experiments. Workshop: The Competition of fibres, March 8-10, Excellence Cluster TOPOI (A-4), Textile Revolution
14 Yakar, Yak. The Nature and Extent of Neolithic Anatolia’s Contribution to the Emergence of Farming Communities in the Balkans - an Overview
15 You, Frank. The structure of wild and domesticated emmer wheat populations, gene flow between them, and the site of emmer domestication 
16 Zapata, Lydia. Hulled wheats in Spain: history of minor cereals
17 Ibid. Measuring grain size and assessing plant management during the EPPNB, results from Tell Qarassa (southern Syria) 
18 Ibid. The spread of agriculture in northern Iberia: New archaeobotanical data from El Mirón cave (Cantabria) and the open-air site of Los Cascajos (Navarra) 



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