Tag Archive: cross–comparative



Boolean chart of The 5 Principles of Cross-correlative Retrogressive Extrapolation from Mycenaean Linear B to Minoan Linear A:

cross-correlation

Here we see a Boolean chart of The 5 Principles of Cross-correlative Retrogressive Extrapolation from Mycenaean Linear B to Minoan Linear A.  Before explaining the Boolean chart, it is highly advisable for us to review the 5 Principles of Cross-correlative Retrogressive Extrapolation from Mycenaean Linear B to Minoan Linear A, which you can read in full here:

The 5 principles applicable to the rational partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A:

5 Principles of decipherment of Minoan Linear A


for without a thorough understanding of these 5 principles, you will be unable to follow the novel methodology I have devised for the partial, not total, decipherment of Minoan Linear A à partir de (extrapolated from) Mycenaean Linear B.

Once you have carefully read over these 5 principles, the Boolean chart above should become pretty much transparent. For instance, the Minoan Linear A word puko is a perfect match for the Mycenaean Linear B word tiripode (= 100%). Likewise, the Minoan Linear A term sedina is a perfect match with Linear B selinon = celery. That is why the overlap between the two terms is illustrated as a circle within a circle (since displaying only 1 circle would not get the idea across clearly). Since Minoan Linear A qareto is very likely to correspond to Mycenaean Linear B onato = lease field, the overlap is > 75 %, and is mapped out as Sets A B & C completely overlapping in the Boolean chart. Likewise, saru = small olives in Minoan Linear A > 60 % and is again charted as Sets A B & C overlapping. On the other hand, tisa in Minoan Linear A, which apparently = amotewiya = description of pottery? in Mycenaean Linear B (though we can never be certain of this), comes in at a scalar value of < 50 %, mapped out in the Boolean chart as Sets A & B or A & C only.

In our Minoan Linear  A Glossary of 110 terms,

36 terms clock in a scalar value of > 75 %
58 clock in with a scalar value of > 60 %
16 clock in with a scalar value of < 50 %
TOTAL = 110

Thus, 84 or 76 % of all the terms in the Glossary of Minoan Linear A are either extremely reliable ( > 75 %) or reasonably reliable ( > 60 %).


Are we near the end of the line with our Minoan Linear A Glossary?

end of the line

Are we near the end of the line with our Minoan Linear A Glossary? With 110 terms, if we are not already there, pretty close. I can only squeeze so much juice out of an orange.

orange

Minoan Linear A tablet HT 12 & qatidate = Mycenaean Linear B erawa = olive tree(s):

HT 12 qatidate olive tree

On Minoan Linear A tablet HT 12, we find the word qatidate, which in all likelihood is the equivalent Mycenaean Linear B erawa = olive trees. This decipherment is substantiated by or earlier decipherment  of datu = small olives. Notice the direct correlation between qatidate and datu.

This raises the scalar value of both of these translations to > 60% (very reliable).

This is term 110 I have deciphered in Minoan Linear A, more or less accurately (in this case, more).


Minoan Linear A tablet HT 19 & dadumata = Linear B sitokowo = grain/wheat measurers?

HT 91 b dadumata  rain measurers

Does dadumata on Minoan Linear A tablet HT 19 = Linear B sitokowo = grain/wheat measurers? It is a long shot, but at least I am willing to take it. The likelihood that this decipherment is correct is < 50%.

This is term 108 in Minoan Linear A I have deciphered more or less accurately (in this case, less).


Minoan Linear A tablet HT 40 the terms nudu*331 = Linear B rino? = flax? & kidata = Linear B dekesato = to be accepted (for delivery):

HT 40 nudu331 TE grains

On Minoan Linear A tablet HT 40 the term nudu*331 appears to mean Linear B rino? = flax, while kidata = Linear B dekesato = to be accepted (for delivery). Given that there are 201 bushel-like units, which is a moderate amount, I have interpreted nudu*331 as signifying “flax”. Flax is not as common as wheat or barley. Since the participle kidata terminates in the ultimate “ta”, it is not a past participle passive. Past participle passives in Minoan Linear B end in “na”, for instance, kiretana = “having been delivered”.  Of these two words, nudu*331 is the less certain (<50% scalar value, not necessarily reliable), whereas kidata is more certain (probably 60%+ a reasonably reliable scalar value).

These two new terms are nos. 106 & 107. Decipherment is more or less certain.  


Minoan Linear A tablet HT 17 (Haghia Triada) & ra*164ti  = approx. 5 litres (of wine):

ra164ati wine litres gallons

Close examination of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 17 (Haghia Triada), on which 38 units of wine + the supersyllabogram TE = tereza, which is the standard unit for liquid measurement in Minoan Linear A, appears ra*164ti  = approx. 5 litres (of wine), reveals that this total (38) would amount to something in the order of 190 litres of wine, which is a pretty substantial amount. An equally close look at the heading of this tablet, the illustration of the wine magazines at Knossos, would seem to validate our findings. All we need to do is compare the amount of 190 litres or so on this tablet with the sizes of the 11 amphorae in this magazine to get a fair idea of which of these 11 amphorae is most likely to contain 190 litres or so. That is the one which I have flagged. I cannot be sure whether that amphora is the closest in size to 190 litres or so, because I have never had occasion to fill any amphora of any size with wine. Perhaps one of our archaeologist friends can carry out this experiment (or may have already done so for a certain amount of litre-like units of measurement for amphorae). Such a person would be in a solid position to enlighten us on this account. I am thinking, for instance, of our archaeologist colleague Rita Roberts, who may be willing to fill a few small amphorae with 190 litres of water until she finds the one that does not spill over... if she can find enough small amphorae to carry out such an experiment. Just a thought.

Caveat: as is the usual case, we can never be sure what the standard liquid unit of measurement for wine or other liquids was in Minoan or Mycenaean times, particularly at Knossos, but this approximation will do.

This is term 105 I have deciphered, more or less accurately in Minoan Linear A. Since I am reasonably confident of this definition, I am assigning it a scalar value of 60% +.

For the table of standard dry and liquid units of measurement in Mycenaean Linear B by Andras Zeke, click on the figure below:

Mycenaean-measurement-system




Minoan Linear A tablet KH 10 (Khania/Chania) & akipiete = Mycenaean Linear B kekemena = “common, shared, allotted”:

Linear A KH 10 akipiete = shared plot of land Linear B ktonia

Minoan Linear A tablet KH 10 from Khania/Chania contains the word akipiete, which is very likely the equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B kekemena = “common, shared, allotted”. Note the number 90 following the number of “bushel-like” units of wheat. That number is too small to refer to anything other than something rather small in common, or if you like, shared or allotted to an equally small number of farmers or (more likely) tenant farmers sharing a rather small plot of land = ktoina. I had previously defined akipiete as “harvest”, but such an interpretation is quite out of the question in light of the small no. of “bushel-like” units of wheat = 90. Such a piddly amount of wheat would never be sufficient to victualize all of the inhabitants of Khania/Chania, not even for a month! So we have no alternative but to greatly reduce the number of people who can reasonably be fed by 90 bushels to a few farmers or more likely tenant farmers on a small plot of land.

It is crucial to understand that the number of items following any object on a Minoan Linear A tablet is a critical factor determining the definition of said object. This factor will become clearer when I publish my draft article on our Minoan Linear A Glossary on academia.edu.

This is term 105 I have deciphered, more or less accurately. I feel comfortable enough assigning a scalar value of 60%+ to this term, indicating a reasonable degree of accuracy.


Minoan Linear A jedi = Mycenaean Linear B atoroqo = man/men, human:

Minoan Linear A jedi = man men

After wracking my brains out for at least 3 months, I have finally come to the belated conclusion that the Minoan Linear A word jedi = Mycenaean Linear B atoroqo = man/men, human. There is a reasonably good chance that this is correct (60% +), given the following factors:

(a) On the first tablet, HT 8, jedi immediately precedes the ID for “olives or olive oil” followed by the supersyllabogram KI, which almost certainly stands for kireta2 (kiretai) = Mycenaean Linear B apudosi = “delivery”. So the phrase appears to mean, “One man is preparing to deliver 10 (amphorae) of olive oil”.
(b) On the verso of the second tablet, HT 122, there are 40 jedi = Linear B atoroqo = man/men, human who are apparently counting the crop yield (qaqaru), where the total (kuro) of all items accounted for on this tablet is 65. 

Previous researchers have attributed a personal name to Jedi, but that interpretation is implausible.

This is term 103 I have deciphered, more or less accurately. 


Mycenaean Linear B tablet KN 160a J j 11 as a template for Minoan Linear A large unit of liquid measurement, tereza:

Mycenaean Linear B tablet Knossos KN 160a J j 11 wine PE wine DI

Mycenaean Linear B tablet KN 160a J j 11 serves as a useful template for Minoan Linear A large unit of liquid measurement, tereza, which was one of the very first words I deciphered with reasonable accuracy back in May 2016. Moreover, the supersyllabogram DI following the ideogram (ID) for “wine” specifically references dipa, the Mycenaean word for “cup”, which in turn appears as supa3 (supai) for a small cup (300 of them) and pazeqe for a small cup without handles (3,000 of them) on Linear A tablet HT 31, which we have already translated in its entirety.  In addition, this particular Mycenaean Linear B tablet on wines is information-rich.


The first ever complete translation of a Linear A tablet in toto, HT 31 (Haghia Triada), vessels & pottery:

Linear A tablet HT 31 vessels

Here you see the first ever full translation of a Linear A tablet, HT 31 (Haghia Triada), vessels & pottery. Today I was finally able to break through the last barriers to the complete translation of this tablet, one of the most complete in Linear A, and the only one with so many ideograms, in this case, all of them standing for various types of vessels. The tablet explicitly names the type of each vessel by superimposing the Linear A name of it over its ideogram. What a windfall!

It just so happens that HT 31 exhibits so many parallels with Mycenaean Linear B tablet Pylos Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris) that it almost defies credulity... so much so that we can even consider the latter to be the long overdue “Rosetta Stone” for the former. Not only are they written in two syllabaries which are almost the same, Minoan Linear A for HT 31, and its successor, Mycenaean Linear A for Pylos Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), but even the contents (the text) of each of these tablets closely mirrors that of the other. That is one truly amazing co-incidence. And it is precisely because the similarity between these two tablets is so striking that I have been able to decipher the integral text of Minoan Linear A HT 31 (Haghia Triada) in toto, with the exception of a few signs (syllabograms, ideograms and numerals) which are pretty much illegible. This is the first time in history that anyone has managed to decipher a Minoan Linear A tablet in its entirety.

Compare the translation of HT 31 with the text of Mycenaean tablet  Pylos Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris) on which I have overlaid the equivalent cross-correlated Linear A vocabulary, and it instantly becomes clear that the two tablets deal with almost exactly the same range of vessels:

Pylos Tablet 641-1952 Ventris with Minoan Linear A term superimposed

The methodology followed in the comparative analysis of any Linear A tablet which appears similar to any Linear B counterpart is called cross-correlated retrogressive extrapolation of a Linear A tablet (A) with an equivalent Linear B tablet (B), where:

CCRE (cross-correlated retrogressive extrapolation) stipulates that A = B (closely or approximately), in this case closely. 

I welcome any and all comments on this hard-fought and hard-won breakthrough in the decipherment of Minoan Linear A. Please also tag this post with 4 to 5 stars if you like it (hopefully 5!) 


It is very likely that Minoan Linear A pitakase means the same thing as epididato = “distributed” in Mycenaean Linear B:

Dictionary.com distributed

In all probability, Minoan Linear A pitakase means the same thing as epididato = “distributed” in Mycenaean Linear B. There is firm circumstantial evidence to support my hypothesis. Dictionary.com defines “distributed” as follows:

HT 21  PITAKASE 161 distributed

Pay close heed to the synonyms I have underlined for each of the definitions above. Note that the definition includes reference to “prizes”... “distributed among ten winners”. Ten prizes, ten winners. Likewise, on Linear A tablet HT 21 (Haghia Triada), Prof. Younger directly links pitakase to“mixed commodities” (in his own words). This leads me straight to conclusion I have drawn. The term pitakase fits the context very well indeed, especially in light of the fact that a relatively large number (161) of commodities are being distributed. These are all almost certainly agricultural in nature, most likely representing barley, wheat, figs and other commodities in the same vein. So I am quite convinced that pitakase does indeed mean “distributed”, rating 75% or more on the scale of accuracy I have assigned for Minoan Linear A words I have deciphered.

This is the seventy-second (72) Minoan Linear A term I have deciphered, more or less accurately, to date.


Which of  atare/datara/uta2 in Minoan Linear A = Mycenaean Linear B opisuko “a figs overseer” ?

figs overseer Linear B Linear A

In Minoan Linear A, at first glance there appear to be two possibilities  for “figs overseer”, [1] atare & [2] datara = Mycenaean Linear B opisuko. The third word appearing in the illustration above, uta2 (utai) appears to refer to something else relating to figs, possibly “harvesting of figs”. But this troubles me quite a lot, since this last word is so different from the first two. It would seem more likely that the word for “harvesting of figs” would be something like atareuta2 (atareutai) or datarauta2 (dataraiutai). The next problem facing us is which word, atare or datara, actually refers to a “fig overseer”? This is no idle question. The term atare would appear to be masculine, whereas datara seems to be feminine, thereby disqualifying it as meaning “fig overseers”. On the other hand, datara may not be feminine at all, in which case it does qualify.  Moreover, it prepends the letter “d” to a minor variation of atare. So which one refers to a “fig overseer” and which to a “fig gatherer”? ... or perhaps it is even possible that neither of them refers to either, leaving the actual word for “fig overseer” as uta2 (utai). Tricky. I shall have to list all 3, of which atare may mean either “fig overseer” or  fig gatherer” and datare the same, or vice versa. I reserve uta2 (utai) as an alternative for “fig overseer”. 

These 3 words dilute to entries seventy (70) seventy-one (71).


Linear B Lexicon (Chris Tselentis) D-I - as a template for  words susceptible of translation into Minoan Linear A:

Linear B Lexicon Chris Tselentis D-I Linear B to Linear A

While I have managed to decipher 68 Minoan Linear A words more or less accurately to date, there remains a possibility that I may be able decipher a few more, but not many more. The only way I can do so is to rely on a primary source for Mycenaean Linear B vocabulary, and the source par excellence is Chris Tselentis’ Linear B Lexicon, the by far best lexicon of Linear B I have run across to date. We find below selected terms under A in his lexicon. Any of these words may still have the potential for unravelling a few new terms in Minoan Linear A. We shall continue with the rest of the alphabet in the next few posts. 


Minoan Linear A kirita2 (kiritai) = delivery & kiretana = delivered (nos. 67 & 68 deciphered):

Linear A tablets HT 114 - HT 129 Hagia Triada

After due consideration, I have decided that the terms kirita2 (kiritai) = “delivery” and kiretana =  “delivered” on the following Minoan Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada, HT 114, HT 120, HT 121 & HT 129. Kirita2 (kiritai) is used in association with grain on HT 114 & HT 129, and with olive oil on HT 121. Kiretana, on the other hand, appears only on HT 120, again in association with grain. But how could I possibly have drawn the conclusion that these two terms were in any way related? It is actually quite simple. Both kirita2 (kiritai) = “delivery” and kiretana =  “delivered” begin with almost the same prefix, i.e. kiri and kire. But does that make them directly related? If you stop to think about it, yes. I am convinced they are different grammatical forms of the same word, namely,  “delivery” (nominative) in English. As It see it,

kirita2 (kiritai) = “delivery” (nominative) &
kiretana = “(having been) delivered” (perfect participle passive)

which makes a great deal of sense in light of the fact that the same changes in form occur in all languages, ancient and modern. For instance, in Mycenaean Linear B, we have:

apudosi = “delivery” (nominative) &
apudedomeno = “(having been) delivered” (perfect participle passive)    

in English:

delivery (nominative) &
(having been) delivered (perfect participle passive)    

and in French:

livraison = “delivery” (nominative) &
(ayant été) livré = “(having been) delivered” (perfect participle passive) 

The problem with my decipherment is that it must compete with a number of other words which are frequently conjoined with the ideograms for “grain/wheat” and “olive oil” on several Linear A tablets, as noted below (with the number of occurrences of each term immediately following these potential alternatives): 

adaro 40 (ARKH 5)
adu 680 (HT 92)
apu2nadu 45(HT 14)
ase 26 (HT 93)
datu 15 (olive oil) (HT 123-124)
iqa*118 50+ (HT 131)
kupaja 16 (HT 116)
pa3ni 33 (HT 102)
pa3nina 12 (HT 93)
pi*34te (HT 116)
pitakase 161 (HT 21)
pura2 40 (HT 116)
qanuma 20 (HT 116)
qaqaru 5(HT 93)
saru 16 (olive oil) (HT 123-124)
simita 5 (HT 96)
siqine 12 (HT 116)
tukirina 40 (HT 129)
turunuseme  10 (HT 128)
zu*22di 40 (HT 101)

Any one of these words could be just as good a candidate. Right? Wrong. First of all, all but one of the terms given above occur only singly, which does not account for the shift from the nominative to the perfect participle passive. Kirita2 (kiritai) and kiretana (femine) do account for it in Minoan Linear A, but so also do apudosi and apudedomeno (neuter) do in Mycenaean Linear B. Moreover, the number of syllables in the Minoan Linear A terms is approximately equivalent to that of their Mycenaean Linear B counterparts. While this co-incidence does not necessarily ensure that the terms are equivalent in both syllabaries, the chances are that the greater the number of syllables in both, the greater the likelihood is that the selected terms are likely to be on target. In the list of alternative terms above, the only other tenable candidates are pa3ni (HT 102) & pa3nina (HT 93). Note in particular the identical shift from the nominative to the perfect participle passive in the latter, where the ppp. pa3nina has the exact same ultimate as does kiretana. Even if the latter terms pa3ni and pa3nina are actually the correct translations for  “delivery” (nominative) &  “(having been) delivered” (perfect participle passive) in Minoan Linear A rather than the two I have opted for, one or the other combination is likely to be correct, i.e. either:

kirita2 (kiritai) = “delivery” (nominative) &
kiretana =   “(having been) delivered” (perfect participle passive)

OR

pa3ni = “delivery” (nominative) &
pa3nina =   “(having been) delivered” (perfect participle passive)

However, I have opted for the former in light of the fact that in almost all languages, ancient or modern, the perfect participle passive deviates in its orthography from the nominative, as is also the case with Mycenaean Linear B, English and French above. It is for this reason that kirita2 (kiritai) = “delivery” (nominative) & kiretana = “(having been) delivered” (perfect participle passive) are more tenable than pa3ni (nominative) & pa3nina (perfect participle passive), of which the nominative and perfect participle passive share the exact same prefix, pa3ni, at least in my judgement.

The question still remains, what do pa3ni (nominative) & pa3nina (perfect participle passive) mean? I shall have to see if I can tackle that problem later on.

This brings the total number of Minoan Linear A terms I have managed to deciphered more or less accurately to 68. The likelihood that these two terms are correctly deciphered is very good (> 75%). 


							

Mycenaean Linear B tablets on olive oil dedicated to all the gods as templates for cross-correlation to Minoan Linear A tablets:

Linear B tablets pasi teoi all the gods

These two Mycenaean Linear B tablets and the Mycenaean Greek phrase on olive oil dedicated to all the gods serve as templates for cross-correlation to Minoan Linear A tablets in the same vein. In the last post on the delivery of olive oil, I stated that the immense number of permutations and combinations attributable to activities and terms related to olive oil severely mitigated against the possibility of extracting any real meaning from Minoan Linear A tablets. There is another side to this coin. Wherever the same activity or term is repeated at least 3 times on 3 Mycenaean Linear B tablets versus those terms which appear only once on 1 Linear B tablet (which is the case with all the other Mycenaean Greek terms we shall be posting), the likelihood for successful cross-correlative regressive extrapolation to Minoan Linear A tablets on olive oil rises dramatically. This is because recurrent vocabulary appearing at least 3 times on at least as many tablets in any sector of the Minoan/Mycenaean economy, agricultural, military, textiles and vessels and pottery, tends to promote the likelihood that said terms might also appear on Minoan Linear A tablets. Nevertheless, cross-correlation of terms recurring at least 3 times is still risky. There is no guarantee that such cross-correlation can or will work in dredging up the “same” tablets in Minoan Linear A.    

We shall see soon enough.


Mycenaean Linear B tablets on terms and activities related to olive oil as templates for cross-correlation to Minoan Linear A tablets:

In order to determine how to rationally assign meanings of terms and activities related to olive oil to Minoan Linear A tablets, we must rely on Mycenaean Linear B tablets as templates for cross-correlative retrogressive analysis to corresponding Minoan Linear A tablets of the same activities and terms relative to olives and olive oil. Otherwise, sensible decipherments of the latter are frankly impossible. For instance, these three Linear B tablets from Knossos clearly illustrate how terms and activities dependent on olive oil in Mycenaean Linear B must without exception be taken into consideration if we are ever to decipher the same terms and activities with any degree of accuracy on corresponding Minoan Linear A tablets:

Lineard B tablets Knossos apudosi delivery of olive oil

What possible value can these 3 tablets in Mycenaean Linear B serve as indicators of similar terms or activities on Minoan Linear A tablets?

For instance, Minoan Linear A tablets HT 121 & 123+124 from Haghia Triada cannot be deciphered at all without cross-correlative retrogressive analysis with as many Mycenaean Linear B tablets as conceivably possible. At the present juncture, I am as yet unable to decipher it, but cross-correlative analysis with as many activities and terms related to olive oil in Mycenaean Linear B may eventually provide me with the means to achieve a reasonable decipherment of it. The operative word is may, and even that is a long shot:

Minoan Linear A tablet HT 121 &amp; HT 123-124 Haghia Triada olive oil

For the time being, the words kirita2 (kiritai) and kitai are utterly undecipherable. I have not the faintest idea what they mean. It is remotely possible that kitai may mean “delivery”, given that the number of olive oil (whatever) is 30. So conceivably we might be dealing here with the delivery of 30 units or amphorae of olive oil. But then the problem is, how do we know what the 30 units of olive oil refer to, in the absence of any word on the tablet other than kitai related to olive oil?  On HT 123+124, kitai might conceivably mean “delivery” or it might mean something else, such as “amphora”, which could make sense in the context, where it could possibly mean 30 “amphorae” of olive oil. But we cannot have it both ways. In the absence of a second word referencing olive oil, it is impossible for kitai alone to mean either “delivery” or “amphorae” both or God knows what else simultaneously . So we are trapped in a paradox which cannot be resolved. On the other hand, another “definition” of kitai may possibly be in reach, but only after we have translated a number of Linear B tablets, in order to compile a list of potential alternative terms or activities which might possibly serve as templates for the potential decipherment of  “corresponding” words on Linear A tablets. Possibly, but not probably, and more likely than not, never. 

The challenge is formidable. I have my work cut out for me. Moreover, the great number of permutations and combinations besetting any interpreter make the challenge much more intimidating. 


What does the word teri mean in Minoan Linear A?

Minoan Linear  A TERI sheep and olive oil

In spite of the fact that Andras Zeke of the Minoan Language Blog attributes to the Minoan Linear A word teri the name of a type of ram on Linear A tablet PH 31, his translation cannot stand, because the same word is used in association with olive (oil) on another tablet, HT 91 (Haghia Triada). So the term is clearly independent of either association. On the other hand, the context of both these tablets is susceptible of assisting in determining what teri might mean. We should definitely take into account that only 1 ram and 1 (amphora?) of olive oil is mentioned on each of these two tablets. So the context severely limits our interpretation(s), since only large numbers of rams and olive oil admit of more liberal translations. I found that I had no real choice other than to consult Chris Tselentis’ superb Linear B Lexicon, in order to extract any meaning(s) that might possibly mesh with the Minoan word teri in light of the fact that only 1 reference is made to a ram and an amphora of wine. Under the circumstances, the only practicable translations I could come up with were: [1] just delivered (as it is certainly conceivable that just 1 of either of the above could have been “just delivered” to a farmer or possibly to a priest or priestess, possibly for sacrifice [2] as an offering, again to a priest or priestess, possibly for sacrifice or [3] being delivered, once again in the same context.

This brings the number of Minoan Linear A words we have deciphered, more or less accurately, to 65.


Andras Zeke’s definitions for “rams”,  “ewes ”, “billy goats” & “nanny goats” (Minoan Language Blog. The fault is in our stars:

On Minoan Linear A tablet PH 31,

Linear A PH 31 and agricultural stock

Andras Zeke provides us with 5 definitions for “rams”, but none for  “ewes ”, while he highlights one each for “billy goats” & “nanny goats” (Minoan Language Blog):

The four nomenclatures he attributes to “rams” are teri, rurumati, amidao, madi & patada. But as the old saying goes, you cannot have it both ways, or in this case, you cannot have it five ways. It is possible that one (and only one) of these words refers to young “rams” (lambs), but that still leaves us with the conundrum, which 1 of the 5 references “rams” and which young “rams” (lambs), if the latter even occur! There are just too many permutations and combinations to make any single definition for “rams” accessible.

On the other hand, he attributes just one definition each to “billy goat” (patane) and  “nanny goat”  (tujuma), which looks neat on the surface of things. But this scenario does not take into account the possibility, even probability, that other words are teamed up with “billy goat” and  “nanny goat” on other Linear A tablets, even if none appear on any other extant Linear A tablets. Since, in the absence of God knows how many lost Minoan Linear A tablets, we cannot know for sure whether or not other terms are conjoined with “billy goat” and “nanny goat” on the lost tablets, there is no way of our knowing whether or not additional words are adjacent to the ideograms for “billy goat” and “nanny goat” on those. In other words, other words may very well have been teamed up with these ideograms on lost tablets, but we shall never know. It is for this reason that I can neither consider the word patane as meaning “billy goat” nor tujuma as standing for “nanny goat”.

But the situation is further compounded by another critical factor, which is that the corresponding ideograms for all of these farm animals, sheep, rams, ewes, billy goats and nanny goats recur hundreds of times on Linear B tablets, yet never with any definition for any of them! All we see on any of these hundreds of tablets are the ideograms for each animal (masculine and feminine), never their definitions. And here on Linear A tablet PH 31 we find the same ideograms (which appear slightly differently in Linear A). So that leaves the question wide open. Just what can the words teri, rurumati, amidao, madi & patada, associated with rams, and patane for billy goat plus tujuma for nanny goats, possibly refer to? The situation is further complicated by the fact that never more than 5 and more often than not only 1 of each of these words attached to their respective ideograms appear on this tablet. This is in contradistinction with the total numbers of any these animals on practically all Linear B tablets, ranging from lows of scores to highs of hundreds. What is going on here? Why the huge discrepancy? Take for instance the three Linear B tablets below. On the first (KN 1301 E j 324),

a AN1938_708_o KN 1301 E j 324

78 rams and 22 ewes are mentioned, on the second (KN 928 G c 301),

b Knossos tablet KN 928 G c 301 supersyllabogram KI = kotona kitimena

the numbers of rams and ewes are truncated, but you can be sure that there are lots of them, while on the third (KN 791 G c 101),

c Knossos tablet KN 791 G c 101 ewes and rams

10 ewes & 105 rams are referenced, with the last ideogram on the second line truncated, so that we cannot even identify whether or not it is masculine or feminine. But here again, we can rest assured that the number of rams or ewes following the last ideogram runs at least to the scores.

There is no way of accounting for this huge discrepancy in the number of ewes and rams on Linear A tablet PH 31 (1 to 5) and the much greater numbers on the three Linear B tablets. Let us not forget that the totals for rams and ewes on almost every Linear B tablet run to the scores and hundreds, and even to the thousands for rams. I am thus left with no alternative but to conclude that the words on the Linear A tablet are not definitions for rams and ewes, and that even though there is only one “definition” (taken with a grain of salt) each for billy and nanny goat, that does not preclude the possibility and even probability that other words related to the same agricultural stock may have appeared on Minoan Linear A tablets, especially the non-extant ones. We cannot ignore that distinct possibility. The probability factor may also enter the equation.


Minoan Linear A tablet ZA 8, atare = “a grove of fig trees” at Zakros:

Linear A Zakros ZA 8 atare = fig grove

After spending considerable time wracking my brains out trying to figure out what atare on Minoan Linear A ZA 8 from Zakros could possibly mean, I finally came up with what I consider a rational solution. We note that no number of figs or fig trees follows the syllabogram NI, which designates figs in both Minoan Linear A and in Mycenaean Linear B, in which the actual word for “fig(s)” is suza. Given that Zakros in pre-Mycenaean Minoan times was probably a rather small outpost, the likelihood that there would be only 1 stand or grove of figs there stands up quite well to scrutiny. Of course, there is no way of saying for certain (far from it) that that is what arate means, but this is the route I have chosen to follow in deciphering the term.

This is the sixty-first (61) term we have deciphered, more or less accurately, in Minoan Linear A. This is post 1,200 on our site since its inception in late 2013.


Knossos tablet KN 875aM n 01 as a template guide for the decipherment of vessels (pottery) in Minoan Linear A:

KN 875a M n 01 DIPA

Knossos tablet KN 875a M n 01 serves as a useful template guide for cross-correlative retrogressive extrapolation of vocabulary for vessels (pottery) in Minoan Linear A. Although have already deciphered, more or less accurately, the words for “a cup with handles” in Minoan Linear A, we have not yet been able to extract the term for “a handle-less cup”. So hopefully this tablet should serve as a guide to the eventual discovery of the Minoan Linear A equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B dipa anowe or dipa anowoto, both meaning “a handle-less cup”. The term dipa anowe also appears on the famous Linear B tablet, Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the first ever large Mycenaean Linear B tablet ever deciphered by none other than Michael Ventris himself. This tablet has recently be re-deciphered by Rita Roberts, an archaeologist from Crete, in my article, An Archaeologist's Translation of Pylos Tablet 641-1952. pp. 133-161 in  Archaeology and Science, Vol. 10 (2014) ISSN 1452-7448 (Belgrade), now available on academia.edu here:

archaeologist's translation of Pylos TA 641-1952 Ventris

This is the most comprehensive article (28 pages long) ever written on the decipherment of this key Linear B tablet. You can download it from academia.edu at the link above.

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