Tag Archive: decipherment of Linear A



Restoration the full text of the badly damaged Linear A tablet from Gournia:




Here we see my restoration of the full text of the badly damaged Linear A tablet from Gournia, which includes line 0. at the top and line 4. at the bottom. This is just a personal interpretation, which may stray from the actual text of the original tablet... but we cannot really know this. Note that the RECTO (front side) and the VERSO (reverse side) are reversed. If you horizontally flip the VERSO it fits correctly into the RECTO. So this means that we have to read the text on the RECTO from left to right (dextrograde) and on the VERSO from right to left (sinistrograde). The reconstruction certainly makes sense. It was hard work, but worth it and fun! 


severely damaged Linear A fragment from Gournia:





To the best of my ability, I have attempted to read the syllabograms and ideograms on the severely damaged Linear A fragment from Gournia, but it is so badly damaged that it is hard to tell if I have interpreted all the signs well enough. At any rate, the interpretations I have attempted hang together.





							

Restoration of the top of Minoan Linear Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) REVISED:

Since the last post on my original restoration of the top of Minoan Linear Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros), I have reconsidered the hypothetical text, and I have come up with this more plausible restoration:

Linear A tablet ZA 20 Zakros top restored

The running decipherment reads as follows:

1. a field
2. of 20 bales of einkorn wheat
3. and 20 bales of emmer wheat
4. and 65 bales of barley
5. all measured by bales
6. 4 bales of MI ?? ZA (unknown) + 1 bale with wheat
7. and 12 bales of wheat with 2 spin-offs of chaff from the wheat 
8. totals for all the above = 130

This restoration is the basis of an article on it soon to be published on academia.edu. I shall keep you posted. 


Richard Janke’s conjectural restoration of the missing top of Linear A tablet ZA 20:

Since the top of Linear A tablet ZA 20 is missing, I boldly took it upon myself to restore the top of this tablet. My restoration is of course conjectural, but I am quite sure it is something like what the original must have looked like, because line 6 mentions sitetu and line 7 situ. These are variants on the same Linear A word, situ, which just so happens to look a great deal like the Linear B word sito, which means “wheat”. SO it is natural to suppose that in fact situ and sitetu also mean “wheat” in Linear A.  

linear-a-tablet-za-20-zakros-restored

Here is the decipherment of the entire Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakrs), including the restored lines 1.-7.

1. kireta2 11 = 11 units (probably bales) of barley
2. dideru 42 = 42 bales of einkorn wheat
3. dideru 30 qerie 22 = 30 bales of einkorn wheat (2) and 22 bales of another type of grain (3)
4. qerie 6 = 6 bales of grain type (3)
5. ro? + direza- = (dide)ro [left truncated] = einkorn wheat = didero + direza = a unit of measurement
6. se + mi? +ru? 4 sitetu 1 = “se” is the last syllabogram, i.e. syllable of the word direza+se, which implies the word is inflected.
7. situ 6 te*123 12 rumitase 2 = 6 bales of wheat + 12 bales or units of te*123 (unknown) 2 units of chaff  
8. kura 120 = kura = TOTAL of all items listed in lines 1.-7.

No one has ever attempted to decipher even the extant bottom portion of Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) before, let alone to restore the missing lines in the missing top portion of this tablet.


summer haiku in Minoan Linear A, ancient Greek, English and French: 

haiku in Linear A wine mother earth

Originally written in 2017, and reposted here... 


NEW on academia.edu. High Correlation Linear A-Linear B vocabulary, grammar and orthography in Linear A, by Richard Vallance Janke and Alexandre Solcà:

CLICK HERE:

High Correlation Linear A Linear B on academia.edu

ABSTRACT:
Over the past 118 years since the discovery of the first Linear A tablets at Knossos, innumerable attempts have been made to decipher Linear A, all of them falling short of expectations in academia, or being outright abject failures. We propose a multi-pronged approach to the decipherment of the Mycenaean-derived superstrate in Linear A, otherwise known as New Minoan (NM), with the implicit understanding that we, like all other researchers past and present, are not in a position to decipher the Minoan substrate language, a.k.a. Old Minoan (OM), onto which Mycenaean-derived New Minoan (NM) vocabulary is grafted. The primary thrust of this monograph is to demonstrate the high correlation which obtains only between Mycenaean-derived Linear A and Linear B vocabulary, a.k.a. New Minoan (NM) in Linear A, between the grammar and orthography in Linear A and Linear B and between their syllabaries. To this end we have adopted a multi-pronged approach, which consists of the following methodologies: (a) the establishment of high correlation between Mycenaean-derived Linear A and Linear B vocabulary, wherever applicable (b) the confirmation of high correlation between the Linear A and Linear B syllabaries (c) demonstration of high correlation between the orthography of Mycenaean-derived Linear A terms and their Linear B counterparts and (d) corroborating evidence of the possible derivation of much of Mycenaean, archaic and Homeric Greek grammar from foundational archaic Minoan declensions. 

Keywords: syllabary, Linear A, substrate, Linear B, superstrate, correlation, high correlation, derivation, derivative analysis, vocabulary, orthography, syllabaries, grammar, archaic Greek, Homeric Greek

This monograph, High Correlation Linear A-Linear B vocabulary, grammar and orthography in Linear A, by Richard Vallance Janke and Alexandre Solcà, is the largest study into the genesis of a Mycenaean-derived superstrate in Linear A ever undertaken by these authors. This is merely the draft paper, and as such it has yet to be approved for final publication by the editorial board of Les Éditions KONOSO Press. Since this is a draft paper only, we urgently request that any and all visitors to View Comments apprise us of any and all errors, whether orthographic, grammatical or syntactical. We have already proof-read this monograph at least 150 times, but before it can be approved or is approved for final publication by Les Éditions KONOSO Press, it must be absolutely free of errors of any kind. So if you spot any errors whatsoever, please let us know at once. We of course welcome any and all comments, observations and criticisms on this major new and entirely revolutionary study into the possible/probable existence of a Mycenaean-derived superstrate in Linear A. We realize that a great many critics will object to our hypothesis, some of them vociferously. But all we ask is that you keep an open mind, whoever you may be, with our thanks in advance.

Also, please be sure to go straight to this astonishing new study on academia.edu, by clicking on the graphical link at the outset of this post. Please do bookmark it, and if you are a member of academia.edu, please recommend it to other researchers. And if you already know Linear B, read all of it, because you will be astounded to discover how great is the overlap between Mycenaean-derived Greek in Linear A and Mycenaean Greek in Linear B. Trust me.

Thank you

Richard Vallance Janke and Alexandre Solcà



on academia.edu. Old Minoan lexicon and geographical researches Lexicon for sites other than Haghia Triada, by Alexandre Solcà, primary author, and Richard Vallance Janke:

Click on the link below to visit:

Old Minoan Lexicon



Linear A, examples of writing, reposted from Mnamon, Ancient Writing Systems in the Mediterranean:

Click on the image below to visit this post:

Mnamon examples of writing Linear A

This post on Linear A tablets and roundels from Mnamon is amazing! You really have to see it for yourself. The graphics quality is astounding, and the explanations of the tablets are clear and precise.


new Linear A nodule, on the brim of a cup or tripod + a spice cup:

cretan_linear_a_tablet_greece_minoan_aegean_bronze_age_1600bc

As the graphics above make it clear enough, this decipherment is pretty straightforward, much to my relief, considering how so many Linear A inscriptions are such tough nuts to crack.


Linear A nodule on weighing emmer wheat with 3 supersyllabograms:

cretan_linear_a_tablet_nodule_minoan_aegean

This rare Linear A nodule is of particular interest because it contains 3 supersyllabograms, JE SE & U. I am unable to decipher JE and SE, but U appears to be the first syllabogram, actually a vowel, i.e. the first syllable of the word it represents, which in this case would appear to be the Mycenaean-derived word, udoro = u3droj = a water flask. But this interpretation may not make sense in the context of weighing KUNI(SU) or emmer wheat, unless a certain standardized amount of water in a water flask were poised at the other end of the scale measuring the emmer wheat. This is surely open to speculation.


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

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

Wikimedia Commons

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

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


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

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

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

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

Wikimedia commons Minoan and Mycenaean620


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

Richard Vallance Janke
June 19 2018

Linear A fragment HT 55 (Haghia Triada) RECTO: wool and silk dress of a priestess:

linear-a-fragment-ht-55-recto1

The RECTO of this fragment probably deals with wool and silk textiles. The word KIRO, which appears to mean “box” or “chest”, may imply that there is a silken garment trimmed with wool in a chest. But there is no way to substantiate this as this is a fragment, and so the words do not necessarily string together in any way which makes any real sense. The fragment may imply that a Minoan priestess is wearing a dress of silk trimmed with wool (hence the instrumental singular for wool), which has been recently stored in or is still stored in a chest to retain its freshness. Notice in the modern recreation photo on the left that the trim on the woman’s dress appears to be of wool. Perhaps she is a priestess of one of the peak sanctuaries. This makes sense, as there were many peak sanctuaries in Minoan Crete. Post revised courtesy of Jean-Philippe Gingras.

Minoan Linear A seal, ZOTE, possibly a belt or girdle (of gold?)

Minoan seal crete ZOTE girdle belt

This Linear A Minoan seal is incised with the syllabograms ZO + TE, which form the word ZOTE, apparently equivalent to ancient Greek zwsth/r = belt or girdle. If this is the meaning we can take from the seal, it is likely the belt was gold, as per the fresco of the cup bearers in the South Portico, Knossos.


Cretan hieroglyphics on a four-sided seal/nodule may reveal signs of early Linear A:

Cretan hieroglyphics DINA NIMA AWADI AWAMA

 


The word WANAKA = King, which apparently adorns this Royal Seal from Malia (Click to view this seal on the Minoan Language Blog:


Hieroglyphic inscription WANAKA Malia seal

The seal has been deciphered as it stands here by Andras Zeke of the Minoan Language Blog.

It quite looks like the term WANAKA = King appears on this Royal Seal form Malia. I have flagged what appear to be the syllabograms WA NA and KA on this seal. Of course, the reading is definitely open to interpretations other than this one. And yet, the meaning seems to suit the context well enough. If this reading is correct, then this sealing is one of the earliest attestations of the Linear B syllabary in existence. If correct, it is also the very first reading ever in the history of Linear A and of Linear B of the Linear A-B term for king, i.e. WANAKA, #a/nac.


Linear A fragment, Tylissos TY Zb 4, possibly an (embroidered) basket:

TYZb4-vessel

Linear A fragment, Tylissos TY Zb 4 possibly deals with an (embroidered) basket, or simply with a basket, though we cannot be certain. The apparent Mycenaean-derived KITAA is doubtful and certainly unconfirmed.


Linear A sealing Knossos KN Zg 55, dealing with healing and health:

KN ZG 55 seals

This sealing from Knossos apparently deals with the superstitious Minoan art of healing… not that the Minoans were the only superstitious ones in the ancient world. Everyone was! The term, JASAJA is apparently Mycenaean-derived, and would therefore signify healing. From the RECTO, it appears that a boars head is being sacrificed with a knife, while on the VERSO, an olive branch is offered in guise of healing, given that the olive branch was considered as a symbol of peace, hence, healing in the ancient world, just as it still is nowadays.

olive branch chiropractic

 


Linear B tablet HT 93 (Haghia Triada). What happens when there are not enough Mycenaean-derived words to decipher a Linear A tablet:

Linear A tablet HT 93 Haghia Triada

While it is a relatively straightforward matter to decipher Linear A tablets which contain a substantial portion of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary, the situation rapidly deteriorates the fewer Myenaean-derived words there are on the tablet or inscription. In fact, there is a point of no return in all too many cases. This is not quite the situation we are faced with when confronted with Linear A tablet HT 88 (Haghia Triada). But we are getting close to the precipice. There appear to be only 4 Mycenaean-derived words on this tablet, SERE = a corn silo, ASE = surfeit, OTI = with handles and KIRO, which seems to be a scribal error, since this word appears on the VERSO of the tablet with the large number 165 + fraction following it. So I suspect the scribe meant to inscribe KURO. As for the later archaic or classical Greek words to which these four words correspond, see the actual figure of the tablet above.

As for the remainder of the tablet, most of the vocabulary simply eludes us, with the exception of one word, DARIDA (HT 10, HT 85, HT 93 and HT 122), an old Minoan (OM) word, appearing in the Minoan substrate language, which definitely refers to some kind of vase. And if our interpretation of OTI is correct, then the vase is two-handled. The decipherment of OTI as two-handled is buttressed by the presence of the ideogram for a vase with two handles nearly adjacent to it. As for the rest of the tablet, with the exception of SARA2, which is ancient Semitic for barley or a similar grain crop, your guess is as good as mine. However, I suspect that QAQARU is another type of (large) vase, which in this case is used to store SARA2.


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

guidelines KONOSO Press academia.edu

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

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

ISBN 978-0-9868289-1-1

Board of Editors/Conseil des rédacteurs

Richard Vallance Janke, University of Western Ontario, Emeritus

Editor-in-Chief

Alexandre Solcà

Associate Editor-in-Chief, Université de Genève

Spyros Bakas,

Chief Associate Editor, University of Warsaw

Associate Editors:

John Bengtson, University of Minnesota

Julia Binnberg, University of Oxford, Classical Archaeology

Nic Fields, University of Newcastle, England

Jean-Philippe Gingras, Royal Military College of Canada

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

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

Haris Koutelakis, Kapodistrian University of Athens

Massimo Perna, Università degli Studi di Napoli Suor Orsola Benincasa

Philipp Schwinghammer, Universität Leipzig, Historisches Seminar

Olivier Simon, Université de Lorraine, independent researcher, PIE

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

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

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

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


Linear A tablet HT 18 (Haghia Triada) is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets with a Mycenaean-derived superstrate:

Linear A tablet HT 18 Haghia Triada

Linear A tablet HT 18 (Haghia Triada) is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets with a Mycenaean-derived superstrate, because by means of supersyllabograms only, ie. QE + the ideogram for wheat/barley, KI + the ideogram for barley and NI + the ideogram for “figs and take special note of this! with NI incharged in a square, it conveys in the most condensed manner possible every possible interpretation of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary appearing on the tablet. There can be little or no doubt but that KI is the supersyllabogram for KIRETANA/KIRETA2 = barleykriqani/aj and that NI, and this is the clever little trick the scribe employs, represents fig trees in a field, since the supersyllabogram NI (for figs) is enclosed in a square, representing a field, in other words not just figs, but fig trees, are in a field.

 

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