Tag Archive: grains



The top of Minoan Linear A Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) restored on academia.edu

Click on the link below to read this key contribution to research into Minoan Linear A tablets:





Minoan Linear A tablets appear to be classed in two primary areas of interest (a) agriculture, and more specifically, crops and grains and (b) religious and sacerdotal. It is to the former that we turn our attention in this study. Focusing on certain Linear A tablets which deal primarily or almost exclusively with grains, we find that these three tablets yield the most promising results, Haghia Triada tablets HT 86 & 95 and Zakros tablet ZA 20. While HT 86 and HT 95 are intact, ZA 20 is not. Other Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada also contribute to our findings.





Is it possible to envision an intact version of the original ZA 20 tablet from Zakros? We believe so, and with that firmly in mind we have attempted the first ever restoration of the top of ZA 20, resulting in what amounts to a plausible intact version, however hypothetical, of the original.  So without further ado, we present the full restoration of our version of Linear A tablet ZA 20.






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.


another Linear B tablet from Knossos illustrating the syllabogram JU, KN 21 J i 14:

barley

Knossos Linear B tablet 21 J i 14

This tablet from Knossos deals with barley stalks in conjunction with the syllabogram JU, which clearly is also a crop, but which kind we do not know. Wine is also mentioned on this tablet. So we may very well be dealing with barley wine, which of course is what the Mycenaeans and ancient Greeks called beer. So now we have a hint as to what JU might mean, i.e. hops or a draught, but my bet is on the former.

syllabogram JU on Linear B tablets: KN 8a J i 01 & KN 20 Ji 22 (recto verso):

Here we have the first 2 examples of Linear B tablets with the syllabogram JU, first  KN 8a J i 01:

Knossos Linear B tablet 8a

and secondly, KN 20 Ji 22 (recto verso):

Knossos Linear B tablet 20ab

It is apparent fro these 2 tablets that it is probably impossible to decipher the syllabogram JU, at leasst for the time being. But however daunting the task to decipher it, we shall persist to the bitter end.


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.


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.

 


Linear A words and ideograms for cereals + general Linear A ideograms:

all Linear A ideograms grains

The chart above lists almost all of the Linear A words and ideograms for cereals + general Linear A ideograms. The Linear A Semitic words and ideograms for cereals are identical to those found on Linear A tablets HT 86 and HT 95 (Haghia Triada). Simply refer to the previous posts on these two highly significant Linear A tablets to confirm these interpretations. Also found in this chart are general Linear A ideograms, the majority of which are identical to their Linear B counterparts, which should come as no surprise to anyone, considering that the Linear B syllabary is merely a refinement of the Linear A syllabary.


All-new all but complete decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 95 (Haghia Triada):

ht-95-dadumata-dame-minute-saru-kunisu-dideru

This is the latest and most accurate decipherment I have attempted to date of Linear A tablet HT 95 (Haghia Triada). Although the tablet is inscribed entirely in Old Minoan (OM), with the sole exception of DADUMATA, which is almost certainly some kind of grain, it can be translated almost entirely. Note too that the RECTO and VERSO are practically mirror-images of one another (Cf. Linear A tablet HT 86 below). And if this tablet can be deciphered, then its close twin and practically mirror-image, HT 86 (Haghia Triada) is equally susceptible to decipherment, and in fact in the case of the latter, it (HT 86) is fully decipherable, down to the last word. This is the first time ever I have succeeded in deciphering two almost identical Linear A tablets inscribed entirely in Old Minoan (OM), the original Minoan substrate language. 

All of the cereal products on this tablet are Semitic, some of them still acknowledged to this day in Arabic.

This constitutes a major advancement in the decipherment of Linear A, all the more so, since DAME & SARU appear on other Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada. So we are making at least some progress in the decipherment of the original Minoan substrate language, Old Minoan (OM).

The newest decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 86, which is practically a mirror-image of HT 95, appears in the next post.


Linear A tablet 10 (Haghia Triada), a crazy-quilt hodgepodge:

HT 10 RECTO VERSO

Linear A tablet 10 (Haghia Triada) is a crazy-quilt hodgepodge of 2 apparent Mycenaean-derived words (MEZA & TARINA), Semitic (KUNISU), with all of the rest of the words being Old Minoan (OM). Moreover, there are two numeric syllabograms U*305 & *312, which are completely unknown. There is also some confusion with the numerals on this tablet. I disagree with Prof. John G. Younger’s interpretation of some of them. So as we can see, in spite of the 2 apparent Mycenaean-derived words, it is next to impossible to decipher this tablet, try as we might.


Translation of Linear B tablet KN 347 D x 01 by Rita Roberts:

Linear A tablet KN 347 D x 01

 


New interpretation of Linear A tablet HT 10 (Haghia Triada):

Linear A tablet HT 10 Haghia Triada

A few months ago I posted my first interpretation of Linear A tablet HT 10 (Haghia Triada). Since then, I have made a few small tweaks. These are (a) the Linear A word kunisu, which is derived from Semitic kunissu, definitely means “emmer wheat”. (b) The supersyllabogram PA stands for Linear A pa3ni (paini) (noun)/pa3nina (painina) (adjective), which means either “millet” or “spelt”, since these two grain crops are the second most common grains cultivated everywhere in the Bronze age after kunisu “emmer wheat” and didero “einkorn wheat”. (c) the translation “offscourings/chaff” for ruma/rumata/rumatase (noun, adjective, noun in the instrumental plural) makes sense in context. (d) dare probably means “with a firebrand or torch”, since the tablet appears to deal with drought, when dead crops, i.e. grains in this case, are burnt. (e) Although tanati resembles the dative singular of the ancient Greek work qa/natoj, but this interpretation is doubtful.


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.


Cretan pictograms – 15-23: crops (possibly/probably/definitely) known:

Cretan pictographs crops

All of the Cretan pictograms from 15 to 23 definitely deal with crops, though in some cases we cannot tell for certain which ones. In other cases, the crops represented by their respective pictograms are either probably or definitely identified. 17a. & 17b. are spice containers. 19a. – 19c. are 3 variants for olives/olive oil. 22. is absolutely the ideogram for wheat. 20. (multiple variants) is saffron.


Tablet, Malia Palace MA/P Hi 02 in so-called Cretan hieroglyphs, dealing with crops and vessels (pottery):

Cretan tablet Malia Palace MAP hi 02

Tablet, Malia Palace MA/P Hi 02 in so-called Cretan hieroglyphs, which are not hieroglyphs at all, but rather ideograms and logograms, is highly intriguing. Actually, this tablet is partially decipherable. The front side definitely deals with the produce of olive trees, i.e. olive oil and also with wheat crops. If anyone is in any doubt over the meaning of the logogram 5. TE, which looks exactly like the Linear A and Linear B syllabogram TE, this doubt can easily be swept away by mere comparison with the logogram/ideogram for wheat in several ancient scripts, some of which are hieroglyphic, such as Egyptian, others which are cuneiform and yet others which bear no relation to either hieroglyphs or cuneiform, or for that matter, with one another, as for instance, the Harrapan and Easter Island exograms.

comparison of Cretan TE with symbol for wheat or barley in various ancient scripts

In fact, the recurrence of an almost identical ideogram/logogram across so many ancient scripts is astonishing. It is for this reason that I am in no doubt over the interpretation of 5. TE as signifying what in the Cretan script.

Next up, we have 3a. & 3b., which I interpret, and probably correctly, as signifying “ewe” and “ram” respectively. In fact, the resemblance of 3b. to a ram’s head is uncanny. What is passingly strange is this: the ram’s head figures so prominently on the second side of the tablet, being much larger than any other ideogram/logogram on the tablet. Why is this so? There simply has to be a reason. But for the time being, I am stumped. Since 3a. & 3b. Relate to sheep, it stands to reason that 6. is another type of livestock. My money is on “pig”. 7. and 9. are both vessels, 7. probably being either a wine or water flask and 9. being a spice container, as it is strikingly similar to the Linear B ideogram for the same. 8. looks like some kind of grain crop, and so I take it to be so.

As for the rest of the ideograms/logograms, they are still indecipherable.


The first two examples of so-called Cretan hieroglyphs appear to be 4 separate palm-leaf tablets, but are in fact one 4 sided-bar:

Knossos 4 sided bar in Cretan hieroglyphics or not

The first two examples of so-called Cretan hieroglyphs appear to be 4 separate palm-leaf tablets, but are in fact one 4 sided-bar from Knossos. This is of great significance, because if I am right and the text is sequential, from start to finish, and runs dextrograde on each side (which it almost certainly does) then a clear pattern emerges. 5 distinct links are found on the four sides. These are clearly marked on the facsimile of this 4 sided bar (Knossos Hh (04) 03). Consequently, we can assume that this bar tallies contents, for which 5 key ideograms recur, signifying that there is a distinct coherence to the contents they tag. The four-sided bar appears to inventory not only agricultural items, namely, the produce of olive trees (olive oil) and some kind of grain crop, symbolized by the logogram which looks like the Linear A & B syllabogram ZU, but military ones as well. The ideogram for adze or labrys, which is the origin of the syllabogram A in Linear A and B, appears on face 1. Then we have what looks like a helmet on face 2 and a boars tusk helmet (L5) on face 4. (the latter the precursor, it would seem, of the Linear A & B syllabograms for E). Finally, we find an ideogram (L4) which looks like some kind of animal, and my bet is that it is a horse. All of these ideograms and logograms lend credence to a military interpretation.


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. 


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

 

 

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