Tag Archive: honey wine



Linear A tablets Zakros ZA 11 & ZA 15 with wine adding up to  same amounts (twice!) on both tablets:

Zakros Linear A tablets ZA 11 and ZA 15

Linear A tablets Zakros ZA 11 & ZA 15 apparently reference two different types of wine adding up to the exact same amounts on both tablets. On ZA 11 we have kana and on ZA 15 kadi. But the passingly strange thing about these two tablets is that the totals for kana on ZA 11 & kadi on ZA 15 are exactly the same (3). Not only that, the grand total for all of the items mentioned on both of these tablets also adds up to the exact same amount (78)! This in spite of the fact that ZA 11 is loaded with text, whereas ZA 15 contains no text whatsoever apart from the name of the wine = kadi, and its total = 3 + the grand total, kuro = 78.

Upon re-examination of Zakros ZA 11, I also just happened to notice that the first word apparently denoting a type of wine, kunasa (RECTO), which I previously defined as possibly meaning “honey wine” has to its immediate left the logogram for “gold” (at least that is what it means in Linear B, so I have little doubt that it cannot mean anything else in Linear A). Now since honey wine is obviously gold in colour, this additional bit of information tends to confirm, albeit not very strongly, that kunasa does mean “honey wine”.

But this still leaves us frustrated with dilemma, why are there two different words for what appear to be wine types on ZA 11 & ZA 15? This one stumped me for a very long time. No matter how I wracked my brains, I could not extricate myself from the apparent impossibility that two different words existed for the same type of wine, which would very likely have to be a fine quality wine, given that there are only 3 of each type, or alternatively that each word referenced a different type of fine wine.. But as it turns out, I was entirely on the wrong track. Notice that kana and kadi both begin with the same syllabogram, KA. Now this is truly odd, if the two words both designate a kind of fine wine. In Mycenaean Linear B, no such distinctions are ever made. So I simply could not accept this interpretation.

What alternatives was I left with? Finally, the solution hit me right between the eyes. It would appear that kana refers to the first item in a list, and kadi to the next in a series. So these are the meanings I have assigned to each in turn: kana = first (in a series) and kadi = next. It is highly unlikely that kana = first and kadi = second,  because in almost all languages the numbers 1 & 2 are distinctly different. So I assume that the same scenario obtains with Minoan Linear A. 


Linear A tablet Zakros ZA 11, kana = Linear B meri = honey + wine = honey wine? no. 28:

Linear A tablet Zakros ZA 11 kana or kunasa  honey wine

Linear A tablet Zakros ZA 11 original and facsimile

By cross-correlating Linear A tablet Zakros ZA 11, I have intuited that the word kana on the VERSO may possibly mean “honey”, and since it is followed by the ideogram for “wine”, which is precisely the same formula we find on Linear B tablet Pylos TA Un 718 L for “honey wine” (See Zakros ZA 11 above for the comparison), I believe I may be onto something here. But there is a bit of a problem.  The word, ?kunasa appears on the RECTO, also immediately followed by the ideogram for “wine”. This throws a wrench into the decipherment. However, I am more inclined to the former word, kana, because it is followed by a tabulation of the number of amphorae? of  (honey?) wine = 3.  The word ?kunasa on the RECTO may itself in fact mean “wine”... or vice versa. How confusing! Take your choice!

Following Linear A tablet Zakros ZA 11 is the Mycenaean Linear B fragment KN 718, which clearly illustrates that a female slave (doera) is bringing honey (meri) to be poured into an amphora to her mistress. 

Linear B tablet KN 718 M a 01 honey wine

What with our reaching Minoan word no. 28, we have almost doubled our Linear A vocabulary from 16 a week ago.


							
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