Tag Archive: Decipherment



Linear A vase rim inscription PE Zb 3 (Petras), terebinth trees:

Linear A vase rim Petras PE Zb 3 on tereebinth trees

The Linear A vase rim inscription PE Zb 3 (Petras) deals with terebinth trees, kitanasijase (instrumental plural), either surrounded by a (stone) enclosure or growing in a field. The inscription is entirely in Mycenaean-derived New Minoan. Since the Linear A word for terebinth tree, kitano (nominative masc. sing.) is all but identical to the Linear B word kitano, we can be quite certain that this tablet is inscribed in New Minoan.

On a passing note, I would like to point out that I have already deciphered over 60 Linear A tablets more or less accurately. That is far more than anyone has ever even attempted to decipher in the past.


Decipherment of the RECTO of Linear A tablet HT 86 (Haghia Triada):

Linear A Haghia Triada HT 86

It is possible to decipher this tablet and several others dealing with grain crops with a reasonable degree of accuracy and, in the case of some words, with complete accuracy. The Linear A word akaru is almost certainly the equivalent of akaro, and not of akareu, in Linear B, the latter interpretation of John G. Younger being utterly out of the question in context. The standard Old Minoan words for emmer wheat and “roasted einkorn” are kunisu and dideru. The second of these words, dideru, is equivalent to Linear B, didero, but neither word appears in any later ancient Greek dialect, leading me to draw the inference that dideru/didero is either archaic proto-Mycenaean Greek or that it falls within the pre-Greek substratum or alternatively that it is Old Minoan (OM). As for dame, it appears to be dative singular for damu (Linear A) or damo (Linear B), hence grains for the village wheat”. Finally, minute would appear to signify “and for one month”, te being enclitic, meaning “and”, with the entire phrase derived from mini = “month”. The actual case structure for the ultimate u has yet to be determined for Old Minoan. Unfortunately, it will be some time before I can tackle Old Minoan grammar (declensions and conjugations), as I must first decipher as many Old Minoan, pre-Greek substratum and Mycenaean-derived words as I can in Linear A. And these run to at least 300 out of 988 Minoan words I have isolated.


A solid decipherment of Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakros), which definitely deals with several types of crops:

ZA 20

Even though at the very least the top half of Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) is missing, it definitely deals with several types of crops. This is abundantly clear from the extant text on the bottom half (or less) of the tablet, in which we find, not one but 2 references to wheat, and to another crop, rumatase, which remains undeciphered, but which in all probability means “flax”. This word could also be Mycenaean-derived New Minoan for luma (Latinized Greek) for “offscourings”, the process whereby impurities are removed from grain crops, in this case, the extraction of chaff from wheat. It makes perfect sense in context.

Given that at least half of the top of this tablet is lost, the question is, what does it reference? It is apparent from the remaining extant text on the bottom of this tablet, which deals with wheat twice, that the missing upper part of the tablet should deal with grain crops. There are indeed several words in Linear A which are grain crop-specific. These are dideru =  “emmer wheat”, qerie =  “roasted einkorn” and sara2/sarai =  “sharia wheat”. It is highly likely that the missing top portion of this tablet deals with at least one of these crops, or with 2 or even all 3 of them. In addition, mention may well have been made of either or both barley and flax crops.

standard ideograms for crops in Linear A

In view of the fact that the sum total for all crops on this tablet = 130, whereas the totals for the crops on the bottom half = 19 only, we are left with 111 units of something unaccounted for... and what might be that something?... other grain crops, of course. Otherwise, how are we to account for the 111 missing units on the lost portion of this tablet? We cannot. These 111 units, which were definitely tallied on the missing top of the tablet, must have been standard units of dry measurement for grain crops, something akin to our modern bushels. Of course, bushels are merely a speculative approximation, since there is no way we can know what the standard units of dry measurement for crops were either in the Minoan or Mycenaean eras, historically remote as they are.  All we can do is hazard an approximation. But at least bushels at least give us some idea of what we are dealing with here.

Evidence for a substantive inventory of several grain crops on this tablet is further buttressed by the presence of the word durezase, in an oblique case of dureza, which I have (and I believe correctly) deciphered as one standard unit of dry measurement in Minoan, in other words one unit roughly approximating the modern bushel. So the accumulation of circumstantial evidence lends even further credence to our decipherment. Finally, the decipherment makes so much sense contextually that it is more likely than not correct.    


Provisional count of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary in Linear A = 33.4 %:

provisional count of New Minoan words in Linear A

I have just finished calculating the provisional maximum number of probable/possible Mycenaean-derived New Minoan words in our Linear A Lexicon of 988 words, and the count comes to 330, which is 33.4%. However, there is still a good deal of research to be done before I can determine how many of these potential New Minoan words are in fact just that. I estimate that, once I have eliminated the possible candidates, and restricted myself to the probable, this figure should drop to around 25%, which is roughly in line with the percentage of French words in English = 29%.


Proposed decipherment of a Trojan roundel in Linear A illustrating a bronze shield:

Trojan roundel in proposed Mycnaean-derived Linear A

This is my proposed decipherment of a Trojan roundel in Linear A illustrating a bronze shield. It is highly probable that a roundel of Trojan origin inscribed in Linear A would have been entirely composed in Mycenaean-derived New Minoan Linear A, since after all the Trojan War occurred near the end of the Mycenaean Era (ca. 1250-1200 BCE). Given the late date, it is improbable that it would have been inscribed in Old Minoan. Why it is inscribed in Linear A rather than in Linear B, which would have been the expected syllabary, remains a mystery. However, there is evidence that Mycenaean scribes switched back and forth between Linear A and Linear B indiscriminately.


Linear A tablet HT 6 (Haghia Triada) RECTO: ripe figs and pomegranates:

HT 6 RECTO

Linear A tablet HT 6 (Haghia Triada) RECTO deals with ripe crops, including figs and pomegranates. Although we do not know what the Old Minoan words jaru or ruja (could be either), mazu and daqera mean, they are almost certainly kinds of ripe crops, some of them fruits. However, it is possible that mazu derives from the proto-Indo-European mat = to plant, hoe. Cf. Occitan massa and Spanish maza = “mallet”. This makes sense in context.

Of the probable Mycenaean-derived New Minoan words, pitaja, on line 2, which appears to mean “drinkable”, would imply that we are dealing with 24 units (cups?) of fig juice, in view of the fact that figs are specified as the first ripe crop on line 1.

It is noteworthy that, as the result of having learned how to decipher some 25-30 Linear A tablets, all of which are at least partially inscribed in Mycenaean-derived New Minoan, I am finally gaining greater insight into the vocabulary, Old Minoan and New Minoan alike, of Linear A tablets.

Since this tablet is so information rich, I am obliged to decipher the VERSO in the next post.


Edges of Pithoi from Petras, Crete, 15th. century BCE:

edges of pithoi Crete, Petras, 15th century BC

It is apparent from the inscriptions on these pithoi that the text is inscribed in Mycenaean-derived New Minoan, except for the personal names (of the fabricators or owners of the vases) .

Petras Archaeological site:

Petras archaeological site

 


Locations of Linear A tablets at Haghia Triada, including the 14 I have deciphered:

Haghia Triada location of tablets in Linear A with my decipherments

This general plan of Haghia Triada with the locations of Linear A tablets incorporates the 14 tablets which I have managed to decipher more or less accurately to date.


Haghia Triada roundels & noduli:

Linear A nodulae with syllabogram SI from Haghia Triada

From: The Haghia Triada administrative documents:

http://www.aegean-museum.it/musint2/en/crete/documents.inc.php

Descriptions from this site (quoted):

Although the writing has not been deciphered neither the language has been interpreted (sic, poor grammar) various data may be obtained from the tablets. First of all, a list of Linear A signs may be hypothesized, which, with its 97 symbols, reveals a syllabic script of a simple typology (consonant + vowel and vowels): the signs are, in fact, too many, to represent a complex syllabic system (as the Near Eastern Cuneiform and the Aegyptian Hieroglyph). To these syllabic signs a long series of "logograms", representing each one a word, are added. 

Types of seals represented:

nodulae and roundels from Haghia Triada

Roundels:

The roundel is a characteristic document of the Neopalatian Minoan [1] administration, beside the tablet. It is a round clay disk (classified as Wc) with seals impressions along the edge - from one to six impressions - and, on most cases, one inscription on one or both sides. Frequently the inscription consists of a logogram, sometimes also of a sign-group. It seems to represent the last act [2] of an administrative transaction and probably functioned as a receipt. 

The seals stamped on roundels fully coincide with seals stamped on the other different documents. At Haghia Triada 22 roundels have been found, one of them being without (an) inscription. 

Nodules:

It is (sic, They are) the most widespread Aegean Bronze Age document, both geographically and chronologically. These clay small object (sic, objects) (defined as noduli by J. Weingarten) were not always inscribed but only sealed. They appear in two shapes: dome (classified as We) (fig. 4) and disk (classified as Wf) (fig. 5).  At Haghia Triada 54 noduli have been found, in dome shape, and only 7 are inscribed. 

Types:
1 Flat-based nodule:
This type of document is rarely inscribed but regularly sealed. Its characteristic is the negative impression on its reverse (or base) which shows that it had been placed upon a folded piece of parchment around which a thin thread was wound which was also wound into the clay. It appears in two different shapes: standing (fig. 6) or recumbent (fig. 7) (both classified as Wb). At Haghia Triada 76 flat-based nodules have been found, only 2 having a carved inscription. 

2 Hanging nodule [3]:

This small clay piece is characterized by string holes which show that it was fastened to another object by a string. They may present one or two holes. 
Those with two holes (classified as Wd) have an elongated shape (fig. 8), while those with one hole (classified as WA) present five slightly different shapes: pendant, pyramid, cone, dome, pear (fig. 9) [4]. At Haghia Triada 936 single-holes have been found, 851 being inscribed, and 11 two-hole, only 2 being inscribed. 

Comments by Richard Vallance:

[1] Neo-palatial Minoan administration: This is the Minoan administration at Haghia Triada dating from the Middle Minoan MM ca. 1750-1550 BCE & Late Minoan LM1A, ca. 1550-1500 BCE. Documents in Linear A inscribed during the LM1A period may have been inscribed in Mycenaean-derived New Minoan.  
[2] “the last act”. This is ambiguous English. Does it refer to the “the most recent” of the Haghia Triada administration? And if so, does this mean the act or acts date from the Late Minoan LM1A period?  And if so, are these acts inscribed in Mycenaean-derived New Minoan?
[3] The nodules illustrated in my decipherment of Figure 9 above are hanging nodules.
[4] See my 3 decipherments in Figure 9 at the outset of this post. If the syllabogram SI is the first syllable of a Mycenaean-derived New Minoan word, it could represent any of the 3 decipherments I have proposed. If on the other hand, SI represents any Old Minoan word, it is indecipherable.  

Haghia Triada pianta genrale

Decipherment of the Linear B seal BE Zg2:

Linear B seal BE Zg 2

This decipherment is straightforward. It certainly makes sense that a Linear B seal could deal with 5 torches, more than likely in the context of a religious or royal rite.


Linear A tablet ZA 14 (Zakros) appears to be almost entirely inscribed in Mycenaean-derived Greek:

Linear A ZA 14 Zakros

minoan fashion linen dresses

 

Linear A tablet ZA 14 (Zakros) appears to be almost entirely inscribed in Mycenaean-derived Greek. The only exception is the word tumitizase, which from the context very likely means linen, one of the most highly prize cloths or textiles in Minoan/Mycenaean times. All of the other Mycenaean derived words have been adjusted to meet the exigencies of Minoan grammar. Comments: Megidi almost certainly is in a Minoan oblique case. Given that I have extrapolated 5 more words with the ultimate di: dimedi, medakidi, mekidi, sekadidi and sekidi, it appears that this case may be the genitive singular, probably masculine. Further research is required to substantiate this claim, if at all possible. Mycenaean-derived punikaso is such a striking match with Linear B poinikiyo that it almost certainly means Phoenician. With reference to textiles, this word signifies “crimson”. In addition, qatiju is a close match with ancient Greek, geitheo (here Latinized) = to delight in, which in Minoan grammar is rendered as qatiju, i.e. gatheiu. Also, we have kupi = xhoufi from xhous, “in liquid measure” and panuke = fanuthe from fanos, meaning “brightly washed” and finally jawi for iawi = in violet (Greek).

To summarize, the decipherment makes perfect sense if all the vocabulary is interpreted as being Mycenaean-derived, except for tumitizase, which context practically demands signifies “linen”, the Old Minoan word corresponding with Linear B rino.

This remarkable decipherment lends even further credence to the hypothesis that a Mycenaean-derived superstratum imposed itself on the Minoan substratum. I have already deciphered at least six Linear A tablets which are primarily inscribed in Mycenaean-derived Greek, along with more inscribed in an admixture of Old and New Minoan.


Linear A seals: Part 1 + Minoan grammar, enclitic ne = in/on:

linear_a_sealsL

On these Linear A seals we find the word patane, apparently a variant of patos (Greek) = path. But how can we account for the divergence from standard Greek spelling? In the Mycenaean dialect, the preposition “in” was proclitic and expressed as eni, hence eni pati (locative singular). But as I have already pointed out several times in previous posts, when any word is imported from a source superstratum language (in this case, Mycenaean) into a target language (in this case, the Minoan language substratum), its orthography must be changed to comply with the spelling conventions of the target language. This phenomenon also occurs in English, where 10s of thousands of Norman French and French words are imported, but where in a great many cases, the French spelling must be adjusted to conform with English orthography. To cute just a few examples of French orthography adjust to meet the exigencies of English spelling, we have:

French to English:

albâtre = alabaster
bénin = benign
cloître = cloister
dédain = disdain
épître = epistle
forêt = forest
fanatique = fanatic
gigantesque = gigantic
gobelet = goblet
loutre = otter
maître = master
plâtre = plaster
similitude = similarity
traître = treacherous

and on and on. This phenomenon applies to every last substratum language upon which a superstratum from another language is imposed.

Likewise, in the case of Old Minoan, it is inevitable that the orthography of any single superstratum Mycenaean derived word has to be adjusted to meet the exigencies of Minoan orthography.

The most striking example of this metamorphosis is the masculine singular. Mycenaean derived words in Minoan must have their singular ultimate adjusted to u from the Mycenaean o. There are plenty of examples:

Akano to Akanu (Archanes)
akaro to akaru (field)
kako to kaku (copper)
kuruko to kuruku (crocus/saffron)
mare (mari) to maru (wool)
Rado to Radu (Latos)
simito to simitu (mouse)
suniko to suniku (community)
Winado to Winadu (toponym)
woino to winu (wine)
iyero to wireu  (priest)

But these same words terminate in u in Minoan. And there are well over 150 in the extant Linear  A lexicon of slightly more than 950 words. 

As we can clearly see on Linear A seal HM 570.1a, the word patane is typical of several Minoan words, all of which also terminate in ne. These are:

aparane
asamune
dakusene
dadumine
jasararaanane
kadumane
namine
parane
patane
qetune
sikine
wisasane

It distinctly appears that all of these words are in the Minoan dative/locative case, and that the enclitic ultimate therefore means “in” or “on”. This will have to be substantiated by further research, but for the time being, let us assum that this conclusion is at least tentatively correct.


Badly damaged, but still largely legible Linear A tablet from Gournia in Mycenaean derived Greek:

Minoan-Crete-Gournia-Linear-A

Gournia Crete

Although this tablet is badly damaged, the text remains legible. The word kadusi is instrumental plural for a bucket or pail, while daro is a piece of wood (burning/on fire). As for the single syllabogram RO on the first line of the RECTO, it looks very much like it is the last syllable for udoro, which is the word for water in Mycenaean Linear A. So while this tablet is inscribed in the Linear A syllabary, it must have been written just before the adoption of Linear B as the new syllabary. 2 roundels from Gournia were composed ca. 1600 BCE, but this damaged tablet must have been inscribed later, ca. 1500-1450 BCE.


Decipherment of Haghia Triada tablet HT 11 entirely in Mycenaean derived Greek:

HT 11

If we read this tablet as if it were inscribed in Mycenaean derived Greek, it does actually make sense. While the tablet is partially an inventory, the rest of it is a religious ceremony for (farmed?) land leased out, blessed by 3 priests. It is much more complex than most tablets either in Linear A or in Linear B.


Comprehensive Linear A Lexicon of 969 words, the most complete Linear A Lexicon ever by far, with at least 250 terms more than Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon:

comprehensive Linear A Lexicon of 969 words

At this juncture in my ongoing endeavour to decipher Linear A, I have run across so many tablets with New Minoan Mycenaean derived superstratum words that I am confident I am well on the way to deciphering New Minoan. Such is not the case with Old Minoan, i.e. the original Minoan language a.k.a. the Minoan substratum. But even there I have managed to decipher at least 100 words more or less accurately, bringing the total of Old Minoan, New Minoan and pre-Greek substratum vocabulary to around 250 out of the 969 Linear A words I have isolated in my Comprehensive Linear A Lexicon, by far the most complete Linear A Lexicon ever to appear online, exceeding Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon by at least 250.

Since this new Lexicon is so large and I intend to publish it soon in its entirety on my academia.edu account, there is no point rehashing it here. Instead, I shall tantalize you with just a few excerpts, to give you at least a notion of how far I have taken this labour-intensive project.   

*******************************************************     

Excerpta from the Complete Linear A lexicon of 969 words:

This lexicon comprises all of the intact words in John G. Younger’s Linear A Reverse Lexicon (which is far from comprehensive) plus every last intact word on every single tablet at his site, wherever any of the latter are not found in the former. By my count, there are 969 words, some 250 more than in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon. Words which are apparent variants of one another are listed as one entry, e.g.

daka/daki/daku/dakuna 
dakusene(ti)
japa/japadi/japaku
kira/kiro/kirisi/kiru
maru/maruku/maruri 
merasasaa/merasasaja
nesa/nesaki/nesakimi
piku/pikui/pikuzu 
reda/redamija/redana/redasi 
saro/saru/sarutu
tami/tamia/tamisi
zare/zaredu/zareki/zaresea

The following entries have been deliberately omitted:
1 Words containing any syllabograms which are either partially or wholly numeric, since we do not know what the phonetic values of these syllabograms are.
2 Strings of syllabograms > than 15 characters.

KEY:
OM = Old Minoan, the original Minoan language, denominated the Minoan substratum. Words are tagged OM only where I have been able to decipher any of them.
PGS = pre-Greek substratum, i.e. words, man of which are non-Indo-European, in existence before Mycenaean and ancient Greek, but which entered Greek and were probably present in Old Minoan, even if many of them do not appear on Linear A tablets or fragments. 
NM = New Minoan, Mycenaean derived or words of Mycenaean origin in Linear A

a
adai 
adakisika
adara/adaro/adaru OM
ade/adu OM -or- NM = ades-, ados- sort of cereal 
adunitana
adureza OM
aduza
ajesa 
aju 10
Akanu PGS = Archanes (Crete) 

... passim ...
 
dame/dami (sing. damai) PGS
daminu
danasi 80
danekuti
daqaqa
daqera OM
dare
darida OM
daropa OM
darunete
daserate
dasi OM
datapa 90
datara/datare
data2 OM
datu OM 
Dawa PGS (Haghia Triada) 
daweda OM

... passim ...

kanaka PGS
kanita
kanuti
kapa/kapaqe/kapi NM 
kaporu NM
kapusi NM?
kaqa/kaqe
kara NM
karona NM?
karopa2 (karopai) OM 260
karu NM?
karunau
kasaru
kasi
kasidizuitanai
kasikidaa
kasitero NM

... passim ...

mini/miniduwa NM
minumi
minute (sing. minuta2 - minutai)
mio/miowa 400
mipa
mireja
miru
mirutarare
misimiri
misuma
mita PGS

Paito = Phaistos
pa3a/pa3ana NM?
pa3da
pa3dipo
pa3katari
pa3kija 510

... passim ...

pimitatira2 (pimitatirai) OM
pina/pini 
pirueju
pisa
pita/pitaja 540
pitakase/pitakesi NM
pitara
piwaa/piwaja
piwi
posa NM
potokuro NM?
pu2juzu
pu2su/pu2sutu 
pu3pi
pu3tama 550
puko OM = tripod

... passim ...

roke/roki/roku
romaku
romasa
ronadi
rore/roreka
rosa PGS = rose
rosirasiro PGS = planted rose (rose + hole sunk in the ground)
rotau 680
roti OM = a type of grain or wheat (Petras)
rotwei
rua
rudedi
ruiko
rujamime
ruka/rukaa/ruki/rukike
Rukito (topo) PGS
ruko NM?
rukue 690
ruma/rumu/rumata/rumatase
rupoka
ruqa/ruqaqa (common)
rusa (common/rusaka
rusi 
rutari
rutia
ruzuna

... passim ...

sadi
saja/sajama/sajamana OM 700
sajea
saka NM
sama/samaro
samidae PGS?
samuku OM
sanitii
sapo/sapi
saqa
saqeri
sara2 (sarai)/sarara PGS = sharia wheat 690 710

... passim ...

taikama OM PGS
tainumapa
ta2merakodisi
ta2re/ta2reki
ta2riki
ta2rimarusi
ta2tare
ta2tite
ta2u
tajusu 800
takaa/takari
taki/taku/takui NM
tamaduda
tanamaje
tanate/tanati NM
tanunikina
tamaru
tami/tamia/tamisi NM 
tani/taniria/tanirizu 
taniti 810 
tapa NM = Linear B

... passim ...

udami/udamia NM?
udimi
udiriki
uju NM?
uki NM?
uminase OM 
unaa
unadi (common) 920
unakanasi
unarukanasi/unarukanati
upa
uqeti
urewi
uro NM
uso/usu
uta/uta2
utaise
utaro 930
uti

waduko
wadunimi
waja NM
wanai
wanaka PGS
wapusua
wara2qa
watepidu NM
watumare 940
wazudu
wetujupitu
widina
widui
wija NM
wijasumatiti
Winadu PGS (topomastics)
winipa
winu NM
winumatari NM 950
wiraremite
wireu NM
wirudu 
wisasane
witero NM?

zadeu/zadeujuraa
zadua
zama/zame
zanwaija
zapa 960
zare/zaredu/zareki/zaresea
zasata 
zirinima 
zudu
zukupi
zuma
zupaku
zusiza
zute 969 


A truly fascinating Cretan hieroglyphic tablet from Phaistos!

Cretan hieroglyphic tablet from Phaistos

I dare say I find this tablet one of the most intriguing I have ever run across. I is just jam packed with information! I have done my best to decipher at least a little of it. .5 is probably the earliest version for the later-to-become ideogram for “roasted einkorn wheat”. Likewise .8 is almost certainly the primordial ideogram for “figs”. I have also provided the translation for the word “figs” in Old Minoan. It is either nire (singular nira2=nirae) or nite (singular nita2=nitai). It can only be one or other of these 2 options. I was the first person ever to successfully decipher the Old Minoan word for “figs” several months ago.


Second of 6 Linear A fragments from Phaistos in New Minoan = matere = to Mother (Earth)?

Phaistos PH 15a 15b PD 29 10 39 22 PD 6 27

This second of 6 Linear A fragments from Phaistos appears to bear the inscription 2. = matere, which would be Mycenaean Greek dative for  “to mother”, with right-truncated text possibly following being waiaia or gaiaia = genitive singular = “of Earth”, i.e. “to Mother Earth”. The inscription tagged 1. consists of what appears to be an unidentifiable right-truncated syllabogram on the left, followed by the 2 ideograms identified.  It would thus appear that this fragment is at least partially inscribed in New Minoan, with the word “to mother” being derived from Mycenaean. There is a greater likelihood than might have otherwise been the case that this fragment is in New Minoan, since its provenance is Phaistos, where a large number of Linear B tablets, many of them quite detailed and lengthy, have been unearthed. So in view of this, it would appear that this fragment (of a larger tablet) was probably inscribed in the Linear A syllabary immediately prior to its abandonment and replacement by the new official syllabary, Linear B. Hence its date of composition would probably have been ca. 1450 BCE, and no earlier. 


Rational partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 117 (Haghia Triada)  & the first real glimpse of Minoan grammar actualized:

LinearA tablet HT 117 Haghia Triada 620

This albeit partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 117 (Haghia Triada) incorporates an approximately equal admixture of Old Minoan, i.e. the original Minoan language, also known as the Minoan substratum (of which I am unable to decipher most of the words) and of New Minoan, i.e. the superstratum of words of probable Mycenaean provenance, most of which I have been able to decipher with relative ease. While some of the New Minoan translations obviously appear to break the grammatical rules of Mycenaean Greek, such as mitu for “mint”, which is after all mita (and feminine) in Mycenaean Greek or daminu for “in 1 village”, which is damo in the nominative in Linear B, these adjustments can be readily accounted for by the fact that Old Minoan grammar is not at all the same beast as Mycenaean grammar. Although we are not yet familiar with much of Old Minoan grammar, which is after all the grammar of Minoan, just the same as modernized Anglo-Saxon grammar is the grammar of English, in spite of the enormous superstratum of French, Latin and Greek words in the latter language, this tablet alone perhaps affords us a first glimpse into the mechanics of Minoan grammar. Thus, it would appear that mitu may be the Minoan accusative of mita, and daminu may be the locative of damo in Minoan. Although there is no scientific way for me to substantiate this claim, I believe I am onto something, and that I may be making the first cracks in the obdurate wall of the grammar of the Minoan language substratum.  If this is so, then I may be actually pointing the way to unravelling at least a subset of Old Minoan grammar.  To illustrate my point, let us take a look at these phrases in English, as adapted from their Norman  French superstrata.  In French, the phrases would read as follows: avec la menthe”& “ dans le village”, whereas in English they read as “with mint” & “in the village”. Take special note of the fact that, while the Norman French superstrata words in English, “mint” and “village” are (almost) identical to their Norman French counterparts, the grammar of the phrases is entirely at odds, because after the grammar of French, which is a Romance language, and of English, which is a Germanic, cannot possibly coincide.  But here again, I must emphatically stress that English grammar is an entirely different matter than English vocabulary, of which the latter is only 26 % Germanic, but 29 % French, 29 % Latin and 4 % Greek, the latter 3 languages, namely, the superstrata, accounting for fully 64 % of all English vocabulary! We must always make this clear distinction between English grammar, which is essentially Anglo-Saxon modernized, and English vocabulary, which is only minimally Germanic.

If we carry this hypothesis to its logical outcome, we can readily surmise that the same phenomenon applies to the Linear A syllabary. Where grammar is concerned, the Linear A syllabary is Old Minoan, i.e. the original Minoan language or substrate. Where vocabulary is concerned, Linear A represents an admixture of Old Minoan vocabulary, such as uminase, kuramu, kupa3nu (kupainu), tejare and nadare (all of which I cannot decipher) and of New Minoan Mycenaean derived vocabulary, such as makarite, mitu, sata, kosaiti and daminu on this tablet alone. The orthography of the latter words is not actually consistent with Mycenaean grammar, because constitutionally it cannot be. Once again, the grammar is always Minoan, whereas the vocabulary often falls into the New Minoan (Mycenaean derived) superstratum.

In the case of makarite, it would appear that, if the word is dative in Minoan, the Minoan dative is similar to the Mycenaean, ending as it seems to in i. The ultimate te in makarite appears to be the Mycenaean or ancient Greek enclitic te (and). In the case of mitu, which is mita and feminine in Mycenaean Greek, it would appear that the Minoan word is either masculine or that in this case at least, it is instrumental, meaning “with mint”, in which case the Minoan feminine instrumental appears to terminate with u. The word kosaiti appears to follow the same lines. The first two syllables, kosai, apparently are Mycenaean, but the ultimate ti is Minoan, and once again, instrumental (plural). Again, daminu appears to repeat the same pattern. The word damo is masculine (or neuter) in Mycenaean. But the ultimate is inu here, which appears to be the Minoan locative, inu. To summarize, we must make a clear-cut distinction between any New Minoan vocabulary on any Linear A tablet, and its orthography, which must of necessity follow the orthographic conventions of the Minoan language, and not of the Mycenaean, from which any such words are derived. I intend to make this abundantly clear in subsequent posts.  


Decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 7, probably inscribed in New Minoan, i.e. the Mycenaean superstratum:

Linear A tablet HT 7 Hagha Triada 620

Linear A tablet HT 7 (Haghia Triada) may have been inscribed entirely in New Minoan, i.e. in the Mycenaean superstratum, and not in the Minoan substrate language at all. The decipherment does makes sense in proto-Greek, but I cannot account for the presence of the numbers 3 & 4, which casts doubt on it.
There is also the problem of human sacrifice. Some historians allege that the Minoans practised human sacrifice, but there is no proof of this at all. Besides, I find a bit strange that a civilization as advanced as the Minoan would have indulged in such a barbaric practice.  But you never know.


Supplement to the Comprehensive Linear A Lexicon of 903 words in Linear A: Onomastics and Topomastics: +12 = 904 - 916

Complete Linear A Lexicon banner

It is understood that I have personally interpreted the words below as either eponyms (personal names) or toponyms (place names), but some of them may be neither, being perhaps merely words. It is also possible that one or more of the 3 terms I have listed as onomastics may be topomastics, and that any number of those I have classed as topomastics may be onomastics (or neither).

Onomastics: 

Kanajami
Tateikezare
Tidiate

Toponomastics:

Akanu = Archanes (Crete)
Dawa (Haghia Triada) 5
Dikate = Mount Dikte
Idaa = Mount Ida
Kura
Meza (= Linear B Masa)
Paito = Phaistos (= Linear B) 10
Sukirita/Sukiriteija = Sybrita
Winadu = Linear B Inato 12

TOTAL for the Comprehensive Linear A Lexicon = 916

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