Tag Archive: Linear B Tablets

Translation of Linear B tablet KN 536 R i 01 by Rita Roberts:

KN 536 R i 01

Translation of Knossos tablet KN LD (1) 573 by Rita Roberts:

Knossos tablet KN 573 textiles

This tablet presents several difficulties. While a literal translation is adequate, we must use our imagination to render a fluent translation. For instance, in line 1.we translate “delivered free” as “tariff free”, since in line 2. the cloth is “foreign”, i.e. “imported”, as well as being “decorated”  or more accurately “embroidered”. In addition in 3. the supersyllabogram WI can mean either simply “leather” or “made of leather”, implying that there is a piece made of leather to go with the imported embroidered cloth. So as we can see, this is far from being a straightforward translation. It is in fact one of the most difficult tablets Rita Roberts has ever had to translate. 

Translation of Linear B tablet, KN 581a R ? 03, Knossos, by Rita Roberts:

KN 581 a R 03

Translation of  Knossos Linear B tablet KN 552 R o 03 by Rita Roberts:

knossos linear b tablet kn 552 r o 03

Translation of Linear B tablet KN 525 R l  24 by Rita Roberts

linear b tablet kn 525 r l 24 knossos

It is to be noted that the supersyllabogram TE, which appears in the text tagged 2. refers to the Linear B word TETUKUOWA = tetu/xu #oa, which literally translated means “well prepared” or “ready”, in other words “finished”  cloth or textile, in this case “finished wool”.

Translation of Linear B tablet KN 594 R b 10 on textiles by Rita Roberts:

Linear B tablet KN 574 R b 10

Translation of Knossos tablet KN 529 R x 11 by Rita Roberts:

KN 529 R x 11

Translation of Knossos tablet KN 527 R l 51 by Rita Roberts:

KN 527 R l 51

Translation of Linear B tablet KN 528 R l 22 by Rita Roberts:

KN 528 R l 22

translation of Knossos tablet fragments KN 775 M g 03 & KN 776b M f 01 by Rita Roberts:

Knossos tablets KN 775 M 6 03 & KN 776b M f 01



Translation of Knossos tablet KN 712 M p 01 by Rita Roberts:

Linear B tablet KN 712 M p 01


Knossos fragment KN 874 M k 111 according to Sir Arthur Evans as translated by Rita Roberts:

Knossos fragment KN 874 M k 111 according to Sir Arthur Evans



Translation of Knossos tablet KN 711a M h 01 according to Sir Arthur Evans by Rita Roberts:

KN 711 a M h 01

This translation pretty much speaks for itself. Rita amazed me by mastering the archaic ancient letter digamma #.

Translation of Linear B tablet Knossos KN 710 Ma 05 by Rita Roberts:

Linear B tablet KN 710 MA 05 by Rita Roberts

This translation is self-explanatory. The translation of the supersyllabogram O on top of the water jug is entirely appropriate. Notice that Rita Roberts is beginning to master the (archaic) ancient Greek alphabet.

Rita Roberts, translation of Linear B tablet KN 701 Mm 01:  

Linear B fragment KN 709 M m 01 two-handled cup

This is the first ever translation of a Linear B vessels or pottery fragment by Rita Roberts for her third, and final, year of university. In her third year, she is expected to master, first, Linear B tablets and fragments dealing with pottery and vessels, and secondly, tablet and fragments on textiles. The first category is the easier of the two to master, and so Rita will be concentrating on vessels and pottery tablets and fragments for the first quarter of her third year.

Linear B - KN Dd1171, article by Peter J. Keyse on academia.edu 

Click on this graphic to view Keyse’s article:

Linear B - KN Dd1171

Peter J. Keyse provides a thorough analysis of Linear B tablet  KN Dd 1171 in this fascinating article, which is well worth reading for anyone who is familiar with the Linear B syllabary, and certainly for anyone who is studying Linear B in depth. His article is not without errors. For instance, he deciphers PoRo as the name of someone in what he calls the PoMe “worker class” = a shepherd,

Linear B - KN Dd1171 PORO

but his interpretation of of PORO is clearly incorrect, as this word  has 3 distinct meanings, one of which is the Linear B word for “a foal”, as demonstrated by Chris Tselentis in his Linear B Lexicon, here:

Tselentis PORO

(The other 2 meanings of POME offered by Tselentis do not fit the context)

while POME is quite obviously Mycenaean Greek for “shepherd”:

Tselentis POME

Keyse also notes that Michael Ventris identified 3 major styles for incisions - those at Knossos, Pylos and Mycenae. In his own words: The vertical lines are quite faint scratches and not easily seen. The cuts in the clay are ‘under-cut’ i.e. pushed in at an angle . This preoccupation with Linear B scribal hands recurs in a great many articles on Linear B. Keyse also covers the what he ascertains to be the phonetic sounds of the numerics on this tablet. He also emphasizes the nature and particulars characteristics of the scribal hand on this tablet.

But it his conclusion which is most fascinating. He says,

In conclusion: 

What would Dd1171 sound like if read aloud? Po-Ro. 20 OVISm, 72 OVISf. Pa-I-To. Pa 8 OVISm. While it reasonable to say that Linear B was no more the spoken language of its day than ‘double-entry bookkeeping’ speak is for accounting clerks today it is also true to say that accountants do on occasions talk in journals and double-entry (and not only when at dinner parties and down the pub) and they certainly call over inventories to each other. It is clear that Linear B had a sound but perhaps it is unlikely that we can fairly reproduce it today. Considering the importance of numbers within the Linear B archive I find it surprising that no phonic system has been devised to represent them or if devised is not clearly documented in the literature. 

COMMENT by Richard Vallance Janke on the sound, i.e. the general pronunciation of Linear B. In actuality, we probably do have some idea of how Mycenaean Greek was pronounced. Its closest cousin was Arcado-Cypriot, represented both by its own syllabary, Linear C, and by its own archaic alphabet. The Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot dialects were much closer phonetically than even Ionic and Attic Greek. Phonological details of the archaic Arcado-Cypriot dialect appear in C.D. Buck, The Greek Dialects, © 1955, 1998. ISBN 1-85399-566-8, on pg. 144. He provides even more information on Arcado-Cypriot on pp. 7-8, and classifies it as an East Greek dialect, pg. 9. This is highly significant, because if Arcado-Cypriot is East Greek, ergo Mycenaean Greek also is. This places both of the archaic East-Greek dialects, Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot, firmly in the camp of all East Greek dialects, including Arcadian, Aeolic, Lesbian, Cyprian, Pamphylian, Thessalian, Boeotian, and the much later Ionic and Attic dialects. So it is probably fair to say that we may have at least an idea, even if somewhat inaccurate, of how Mycenaean Greek was pronounced. And this has huge implications for the further study of Mycenaean Greek phonology.

KEY POST! How to download all of Scripta Minoa!

This procedure works only in Firefox, but can be readily adapted to other browsers. To download Scripta Minoa, Vol. 1, in Firefox, 

1. First go to the Google.com search page, as seen here:

google home

2. Secondly, copy this address in your Google.com HTML search bar, which in Firefox looks like this:


google search Script Minoa Vol 1620

And click the right arrow above, to open the file:

3. which will now appear on your desktop, at the LINK above, like this in Firefox:

Scripta Minoa Vol 1620

4. next, to the far right of the document displayed above, you will see the navy blue DOWNLOAD button, with the DOWNLOAD arrow in white. Click on it to download the file:

download the file
The DOWNLOAD Button is immediately above.

5. When you click on this button, the next thing you should see is this: 

save fle

CLICK: Save File, to save this file on your computer. You must then open your Downloads Folder, and open this file. Since the procedure to open Downloads in the Downloads Folder varies according to your operating system (Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 10, Apple) you will have to download and save this file according to your system. I cannot help you with this step. If you need help with this step, consult the HELP files for downloading files on your computer.

6. AFTER you have successfully downloaded this file to your computer, open your Downloads Folder and SAVE the file to your computer, preferably on your desktop.

7. Then open Adobe Acrobat, and open the file on your desktop (or wherever you saved it) in Adobe Acrobat. Adobe Acrobat will open the file far far quicker than the online download, in fact, in a matter of seconds.

To download and open Scripta Minoa, Vol. 2, repeat all of the steps above, except that in:

Step 2, Secondly, copy this address in your Google.com HTML search bar, which in Firefox looks like this:


google search Script Minoa Vol 2620

And click the right arrow above, to open the file:
And then you should see this page: 

Scripta Minoa Vol 2620

This is the Google address for Scripta Minoa, Vol. 2, which is not quite the same as the Google address for Scripta Minoa, Vol. 1.

NOTE that certain details in Steps 1-7 above will vary from browser to browser. We did not provide instructions for Internet Explorer, as we only use Firefox. So if you are using a browser other than Firefox, you may have to adjust some of the input(s) for each step above.

Please NOTE that the Linear B fragments and tablets appear in Scripta Minoa, Volume 2, not Volume 1. You can see this for yourself when you open Scripta Minoa, Volume 2, in your Adobe Acrobat Reader. SCROLL DOWN the file until you see this page, the first page of the fragments and tablets in Vol. 2.:

first tablets from scripta minoa vol 2620

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


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

Rita Roberts translation of Knossos tablet KN 160a J j 11, dealing with wine, corrected:

Linear B tablet KN 160a J j 11 wine

Rita Roberts translation of Knossos tablet KN 160a J j 11, dealing with wine, corrected, is trickier than the previous one she has translated to fulfill the requirements for her second year of university, KN 906 Da 02, dealing with livestock. Because this tablet is damaged, truncated left and right, it can be more difficult to establish meaning for certain terms. But not necessarily so. Rita struggled gainfully with this tablet. And this is understandable. What determines everything in the decipherment of any tablet, Linear A or B, is CONTEXT. If we cannot determine what any given word(s) mean in the actual context of the tablet, we sometimes fail to grasp the meanings of these words. But in the end, everything falls into place, and a relatively convincing translation can be gleaned from it, as we see in the illustration above.

The only character which occasions real difficulty is the supersyllabogram PE, which usually stands for seed(s). But if this the meaning to be extracted, it does not really make all that much sense, since grape seeds do not contribute much to wine, only the grapes do. The only explanation I can muster here is this: the grape seeds had to be extracted, i.e. removed, from the grapes to produce the wine. That makes sense. Finally, we find the ideogram for “olive oil” on this tablet, but how olive oil mixes with wine is a mystery to me, unless the olive oil is being served with bread along with the wine. But there is no mention of bread on this tablet. So some issues remain unresolved.


Rita Roberts translation of Knossos tablet KN 906 Da 02 corrected, livestock from the marketplace:

Linear B KN 906 D a 02

This is one of three tablets which Rita Roberts had to translate to qualify for her second year of university. This tablet is the easiest of the three, on an ascending scale of difficulty. Rita achieved the excellent mark of 91 % = A + for this tablet. Congratulations, Rita!

The other two tablets are extremely challenging, even for experts in Linear B.

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