Tag Archive: Linear B syllabary



Overlap between Linear A and Linear B syllabaries is so high that the latter should be considered a refinement of the former, and not a new syllabary:

Minoan Linear A keyboard assignments620

In the keyboard assignments for Linear A syllabograms above, I have indicated where Linear A and Linear B syllabograms (almost) coincide with the tag lb just below and slightly to the right of each LA syllabogram for which the Linear B equivalent is (almost) identical or very similar. As it turns out, in the Linear A syllabary of 54 syllabograms, 48 ! are either (almost) identical or very similar to their Linear B counterparts. This leads me to draw the inexorable conclusion that the Linear B syllabary is not a new syllabary at all, but that it should rather be considered a refinement of the Linear A syllabary. The Linear B syllabary standardized several syllabograms which had first appeared in the Linear A syllabary, and eliminated perhaps as much as 100 ideograms, logograms and ligatures originally found in Linear A, replacing some (but far from all) of the latter by new ideograms, logograms and ligatures (in Linear B). Nevertheless, the high statistical overlap between the Linear A and Linear B syllabaries argues in favour of a single syllabary in evolution. Of the 54 syllabograms in Linear A, 48 are either (almost) identical or very similar to their Linear B counterparts, and of the 61 in Linear B, again 48 fall into the same zone.

So is Linear A a new syllabary, or is it merely a refinement and standardized version of Linear A? You may draw your own conclusions. I have already drawn mine.

The implications of this hypothesis for the further decipherment of Linear A are staggering.


The third example of Cretan ideograms/logograms, Malia label Mu MA/M Hf, possibly decipherable:

Cretan label Malia Quartier Mu MA M Hf

Click on the label, FRAGRANTICA, for more information about saffron as an ancient aromatic.

This is the third example of Cretan ideograms/logograms, Malia label Mu MA/M Hf. Surprising as it is, this label may be largely decipherable. It is subdivided into 3 sections. The first S1 is blank. The second, S2, appears to spill over from the first side to the second, while the third, S3, is found on the second side alone. The first ideogram in S2 (section 2) is probably the one for “saffron”, while the second is still indecipherable. The third is clearly some sort of representation of a woman. The X, which is indecipherable, is followed by the number 100. S2 continues on side 2, which begins with what is clearly the ideogram for “textiles/cloth”, followed by what appear to be 3 ideograms for “sword(s)”. If these 3 ideograms in fact designate “swords”, they are practically identical to those for “swords” in Linear B. Section 3 (S3) begins with what appears to be an ideogram for “garment(s)”, followed once again by textiles, and followed in turn by an indecipherable ideogram, which might possibly relate to cutting, S3 ending with the number 100.

A partial decipherment might read: aromatic saffron + ? + a weaver or weavers (all weavers were women) weaving 100 rolls of cloth, 3 of which serve to wrap 3 swords in + 100 garments of some kind of (cut) textiles (saffron dyed?).


Special post for Linear B students: how to convert from Linear B to the ancient Greek alphabet and vice versa:

The following tables illustrate how to convert from Linear B to the ancient Greek alphabet and vice versa.

A: Linear B to ancient Greek:

linear b syllabary with ancient Greek alphabet correspondences

B: ancient Greek to Linear B:

ancient greek alphabet with Liniear B correspondences

 

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