Tag Archive: LINEAR B

Linear B tablet KN 702 M b 11, “to all the gods” by Rita Roberts

Knossos tablet KN 702 M b 11

This is one of the most significant of all Linear B tablets, as it refers “to all the gods” . But who are all of these gods in Mycenaean Greek? Beneath the translation all of the Mycenaean gods are listed. We notice that whereas many of them survived into archaic and classical Greek (those tagged with an asterisk * after them), some did not. They simply disappeared after the fall of Mycenae ca. 1200 BCE. However, this does not mean that most of them were not (highly) significant to the Mycenaeans. We cite in particular Potnia or Potnia Theron = Mistress (of the Wild Beasts), Emaha2 (Emahai), Manassa, Presphaion, Qerasiya (Kerasiya) and Tiriseroe.

Brian Wyble’s carved facsimile of Linear B tablet KN 349 J b 12. He made this himself. Amazing!

Brian Wyble's facsimile of Linear B tablet KN 349 J b 12

Linear B text Latinized:

Rukito apudosi + ideogram for “olive oil” 52+ (because it is right



52 + units (probably amphorae) of olive oil, delivery to Lykinthos.

Transliterated into archaic Greek:

n /b / a0mfiforh/#ei e1laia, a0pu/dosij Lu/kinqo.

Brian is our newest student of Linear B. He already has a fundamental understanding of ancient Greek, although I am sure he realizes from the archaic Greek text above that he needs to master archaic Greek. This should come to him in no time flat.

Welcome from all of us to the study of Linear B, Brian!

Rita Roberts’ translation of Knossos Linear B tablet, KN 897 D a 11:

Linear B tablet KN 897 D a 11

Rita Roberts’ translation of Knossos Linear B tablet, KN 897 D a 11 reveals a brilliant insight on her part. She surmises that the single syllabogram PO may actually be the first syllable of Linear B pome poimh/n, which means “shepherd” or “herdsman”, and taht is one brilliant insight! If she is correct — and I believe she is — PO is a brand new supersyllabogram which I have not as yet accounted for.

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

Linear A tablet KN 347 D x 01


In this life or the next… a marvelous translation into ancient Greek and Mycenaean Linear B:

I just received an e-mail today from Brian Wyble, who sent me the inscription in English, ancient Greek and Linear B you see here:

in this life or the next Linear B and Greek620

What is so astonishing about his translation into both ancient Greek and Mycenaean Linear B is that he got both bang on, even though this is his first ever attempt at writing in both scripts. Given that he is just now learning ancient Greek and Mycenaean Greek simultaneously, I am frankly astonished by his amazing achievement. I have invited him to follow Linear A, Linear B, Knossos and Mycenae, and to start learning Linear B in earnest, so that he can soon turn to deciphering Linear B tablets. And believe me, as my colleague Rita Roberts can only too well attest to, he has his work cut out for him, in view of the fact that there are at least 1,000 tablets I can send him for decipherment.

All-new decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 8 (Haghia Triada) dealing with multiple crops:

Linear A tablet HT 8

This is the first time I have attempted to decipher Linear A tablet HT 8 (Haghia Triada), and I have met with considerable success in deciphering it for the most part. It quite clearly deals with multiple crops. Some explanation is in order. On the RECTO, we find the supersyllabogram KI, which means KIRETAI, in Greek kri/qai, meaning barley of which there are 10 units, something like bushels (a mere approximation as we cannot know that the standard units of measurement for crops were either in Linear A or in Linear B). Next comes the supersyllabogram PA3 (PAI), which probably refers to pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi Old Minoan (OM) = millet -or- spelt. KARATI on line 2 is also OM and appears to correspond to Anatolian, karasa = a large jar, which makes sense in context. PA3 (PAI), which probably refers to pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi Old Minoan (OM) = millet -or- spelt is then repeated. Line 3 begins with the supersyllabogram (SSYL) TE, which means tereza, OM for the standard unit of liquid measurement, while qanuma is OM for some kind of pulse crop, any one of broad beans (faba/fava), chick peas, lentils or vetch. On line 4 we find the word SIKIRA si/kera, a sweet-fermented liquor, Cf. Linear B sikero. When we combine this word with KIRETANA kri/qania on line 5 we get SIKIRA KIRETANA, which means of course a barley-like sweet-fermented liquor, in other words, beer, probably sweetened with honey.

VERSO: SUPU2 is a pithos or alternatively sappu, which is Semitic for bowl (practically the same thing). Hence, this decipherment is sound. The SSYL KA probably refers to karasa (Anatolian), meaning a large jar, which reinforces the decipherment of SUPU2. PA3 (PAI) on line 2 again refers to millet or spelt. ZARI- continued on line 3 with – RE is unknown, but has something to do with crops, followed as it is with the symbols for harvesting shares. KAPA karpa/ is ripe crops. PAJARA on line 4 appears to mean indentured land.

All in all, this decipherment is coherent, and holds together well.

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.

CRITICAL POST: Ancient words from 3,000 – 1,200 BCE in modern English:

First the ancient words in modern English, and in the next two posts, how words infiltrate from earlier to diachronically close later languages. These posts are real eye-openers, explaining how words from earlier languages trickle into later, e.g. Akkadian and Sanskrit into Linear A (Minon) and Linear B (Mycenaean) + how all of the ancient words here infiltrate English.

Akkadian/Assyrian (3,000 BCE):


babel babilu = Babylon; gate of God (Akkadian)

bdellium budulhu = pieces (Assyrian)

canon, canyon qanu = tube, reed (Assyrian)

cumin kumunu = carrot family plant (Akkadian)

natron sodium (Akkadian)

myrrh murru (Akkadian)

sack saqqu (Akkadian)

shalom = hello sholom/shlama = hello (also Hebrew)

souk saqu = narrow (Akkadian)

Semitic (2,000-1,000 BCE):

arbiter arbiter (Latin from Phoenician)

byssus bwtz = linen cloth, to be white (Semitic)

chemise gms = garment (Ugaritic)

deltoid dalt (Phoenician)

fig pag (paleo-Hebrew)

iotacism iota (Phoenician)

map (Phoenician)

mat matta (Phoenician)

shekel tql (Canaanite)

Egyptian (2690 BCE):

Egyptian-Papyrus 19k BCE






baboon 5

barge, bark, barque, to embark




chemistry 10

copt, coptic




endive 15





lily 20





myth 25





phoenix 30



sack See also saqqu (Akkadian)


Susan(na), Phineas, Moses, Potiphar, Potiphera 35


stibium = eye paint


uraeus (emblem on the headdress of the pharaoh)39

Sanskrit (2,000 BCE):


aniline nili (Sanskrit)

Aryan aryas = noble, honourable

atoll antala

aubergine vātigagama = eggplant, aubergine

avatar avatara = descent

bandana bandhana = a bond

banyan vaṇij = merchant

basmati vasa

beryl vaidūrya (Sanskrit, Dravidian)

bhakti bhakti = portion

candy khaṇḍakaḥ, from khaṇḍaḥ = piece, fragment

cashmere shawl made of cashmere wool

cheetah chitras = uniquely marked

chintz chitras = clear, bright

cot khatva

cobra kharparah = skull

crimson krmija = red dye produced by a worm

crocus kunkunam = saffron, saffron yellow

datura dhattūrāh = a kind of flowering plant

dinghy dronam = tiny boat

ginger srngaveram, from srngam “horn” + vera = body

guar gopali = annual legume

gunny goni = sack

guru gurus = bachelor

jackal srgalah = the howler

Java/java = island/coffee Yavadvipa= Island of Barley, from yava

= barley + dvipa =island

juggernaut jagat-natha-s = lord of the world

jungle jangala = arid

jute jutas = twisted hair

karma karman = action

kermes kṛmija = worm-made

lacquer lākṣā

lilac nila = dark blue

loot lotam = he steals

mandala mandala = circle

mandarin mantri = an advisor

mantra mantras = holy message or text

maya maya = illusion

Mithras mitrah = friend

mugger makara = sea creature, crocodile

musk mus = mouse

nard naladam = nard

nirvanas nirvanas = extinction, blowing out (candle)

opal upalah = opal

orange narangas = orange tree

pal bhrata = brother

palanquin palyanka = bed, couch

panther pāṇḍara = pale

pepper pippali = long pepper

punch pancha = drink from alcohol, sugar, lemon, water,

tea or spices

pundit paṇdita =learned

rajah rajan = king

rice vrihi-s = rice, derived from proto-Dravidian

rupee rūpyakam =silver coin

saccharin sarkarā

sandal wood candanam = wood for burning incense

sapphire sanipriya = sacred to Shani (Sanskrit) = Greek,


sari sati = garment

shawl sati = strip of cloth

sugar sharkara = ground sugar

swami svami = master

tank tadaga-m =pond, lake pool, large artificial

container for liquid

thug sthaga = scoundrel

tope stupah

yoga yogas = yoke, union

yogi yogin = one who practices yoga, ascetic

zen dhyana = meditation

Linear A (1,800-1,500 BCE):

linear a tablet kh5 khania

cedar keda = cedar

cumin kuminaqe = and cumin See also Linear B kumino

kumi/non Cf. kumunu = carrot family plant


lily rairi (also Egyptian) -or- nila = dark blue


pimento			pimata = pimento
rose				rosa  = rose 
sack				saka sa/kka  <- sa/kkoj = coarse cloth of hair from 
				goats; sackcloth -or- sa/ka <- sa/koj a shield made
				of wicker See also saqqu = sack (Akkadian)

Linear A & Linear B (1,800-1,200 BCE):

Linear B tablet with ideogram

agriculture akara/akaru a1kra (arch. acc.) – or – = end, border

+ akaru a0gro/j = field Cf. Linear B akoro a0gro/j

democracy		dima/dimaru dh=maj <- dh=moj = land, country;
				people Cf. Linear B	damo = village da=moj
				Mother goddess of Mount Ida	Idamate/Idamete
Rhea, goddess of Mount Ida Idarea  0Idar9ea 
healer			ijate i0a/ter = doctor, physician Cf. Linear iyate
calligraphy		karu = ka/llu <- ka/lloj = beautiful, fine,
copper			kaki/kaku xalku/ <- xalko/j = copper, bronze
crimson			punikaso funi/kasoj = crimson, red (of wine)
				Cf. Linear B ponikiya ponikiyo foini/kioj
				= crimson Cf. krmija = red dye produced by a
				worm (Sanskrit)
crocus			kuruku kro/koj = crocus, saffron Cf. crocus
				kunkunam = saffron, saffron yellow (Sanskrit)
Lykinthos			Rukito Cf. Linear B Rukito Lu/kinqoj
minth			mita mi/nqa = mint Cf. Linear B mita 
nard				naridi na/ridi <- na/rdoj = with nard. See also
				naladam (Sanskrit)
new				nea ne/a (feminine) = new Cf. Linear B ne/#a = new     
pistachio-nut		pitakase/pitakesi pista/kesi = with pistachio-nuts
				(instr. pl.) 
Phoenician		punikaso funi/kasoj = crimson, red (of wine)
				Cf. Linear B ponikiya ponikiyo foini/kioj
				= crimson Cf. krmija = red dye produced by a
				worm (Sanskrit)
Phaistos			Paito Faisto/j Cf. Linear Paito 
Rhea			rea r9e/a = goddess, Rhea
sack				saka sa/kka (arch. acc.) <- sa/kkoj = coarse cloth of
				hair from goats; sackcloth -or- sa/ka <- sa/koj
				a shield made of wicker Cf. See also
				saqqu (Akkadian)
sesame			sasame sasa/me = sesame Cf. Linear B sasa/ma
terebinth tree		tarawita = terebinth tree Cf. Linear B kitano 
				ki/rtanoj & timito ti/rminqoj 
thalassian		tarasa = sea Cf. Linear B tarasa qa/lassa
thorax			toraka  qw/rac  = breastplate, cuirass = Linear B
throne			turunu qo/rnoj = throne Cf. Linear B torono
wine 			winu  #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono = wine, vine
wine dedicated to Mother Earth winumatari NM #i/numa/tari = wine
				dedicated	to Mother Earth
yoked			zokutu zogutu/ <- zogwto/j = yoked, with a cross-		
zone				zuma zw=ma girdle, belt; girded tunic 

Mycenaean Linear B (1,600-1,200 BCE):

aeon eo e0wn = being

anemometer anemo a0ne/mwn = wind

angel akero a0ngge/loj = messenger

agora akora a0gora/ = market

axles akosone a1conej = axles

amphorae aporowe a0mfore#ej

armaments amota a3rmo/ta = chariot

anthropology atoroqo a0nqrw/poj = man, human being

aulos (musical instrument)auro a0ulo/j = flute, musical instrument

cardamon kadamiya kardami/a = cardamon

celery serino se/linon = celery

chiton kito xitw/n = chiton

circular kukereu kukleu/j = circle

coriander koriyadana koli/adna

cumin kumino kum/minon Cf. kumunu = carrot family plant


curator korete kore/ter = governor

cypress kuparo ku/pairoj

divine diwo Di/#oj = Zeus

duo dwo du#o/ = two

elephant erepa e0le/faj = ivory (in Mycenaean)

eremite eremo e1remoj = desert

foal poro pw/loj = foal

gynecology kunaya gunai/a = woman

heterosexual hatero a3teroj e3teroj = other

hippodrome iqo i3ppoj = horse

labyrinth dapuritoyo = labyrinth laburi/nqoj

linen rino li/non

lion rewo le/#wn = lion

mariner marineu marineu/j = sailor, mariner

maternal matere ma/ter = mother

Mesopotamia Mesopotomo Mesopota/moj = Mesopotamia

metropolis matoropuro matro/puloj = mother city

nautical nao nau/j = ship

non-operational noopere nwfe/lioj = useless

operation opero o1feloj = operation

paternal pate pa/ter = father

paramedic 		para para\ = beside, from beside, by the side of,
				beyond etc.
pharmaceutical	pamako fa/rmakon = medicine
polypod			porupode polu/pode polu/pouj = octopus
progressive		poro pro\ = in front of 
purple			popureyo pofurei/a = purple
quartet			qetoro tetta/rej = four

schinus kono skoi/noj (flowering pepper)

strategic tatakeu startageu/j = general

stylobate			tatamo staqmo/j = standing post, door post
temenos			temeno (piece of land assigned as an official
				domain (to royalty)
theological		teo qe/oj = god
trapeze			topeza to/rpeza tra/peza = table
tripod			tiripode tri/pwj = tripod
vision			wide #ei/de = to see 
xenophobic		kesenuwiyo ce/n#ioj = stranger

© by Richard Vallance Janke 2017

Wikipedia: History of beer + the Minoan words for beer = zute and kiretaiwinu finally deciphered: 

the supersyllaogram TE in Linear A

From Wikipedia: History of beer

wikipedia the history of beer

As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like beverages were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced as far back as about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran. This discovery reveals one of the earliest known uses of fermentation and is the earliest evidence of brewing to date. In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl.

ancient depictions of beer consumption and brewing a

A 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honouring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread. 

In Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq), early evidence of beer is a 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honoring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, which contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread. Approximately 5000 years ago, workers in the city of Uruk were paid by their employers in beer.

Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat
It is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates.

Beer was part of the daily diet of Egyptian pharaohs over 5,000 years ago. Then, it was made from baked barley bread, and was also used in religious practices. During the building of the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, each worker got a daily ration of four to five liters of beer, which served as both nutrition and refreshment that was crucial to the pyramids' construction.

ancient depictions of beer consumption and brewing b

The Greek writer Sophocles (450 BCE) discussed the concept of moderation when it came to consuming beer in Greek culture, and believed that the best diet for Greeks consisted of bread, meats, various types of vegetables, and beer or zythos as they called it. The ancient Greeks also made barley wine (Greek:  – krithinos oinos, “barley wine” mentioned by Greek historian Polybius in his work The Histories, where he states that Phaeacians kept barley wine in silver and golden kraters.

NOTES: The Old Minoan (OM) equivalent of zythos is zute, while the New Minoan (NM) equivalent of krithinos oinos is kiretaiwinu.

TE = tereza OM = standard liquid unit of measurement confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that tereza, was used to measure fig juice, Old Minoan (OM) supersyllabogram = NI, corresponding to the OM word nira2 (nirai) -or- nita2 (nitai) OM = figs + ideogram = NI (in both Linear A & B), as well as for wine = New Minoan winu NM1 #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono #oi/noj, as well as for beer, for which the Minoan words are deciphered for the first time below. Minoan beer was fermented either from barley (kiretai) or from emmer wheat (kunisu).

TE = tereza on Minoan Linear A tablets

HT 6 fi HT 13 wi HT 17 wi HT 19 wi HT 21 gr HT 40 gr HT 44 gr HT 51 fi HT 62 wi HT 67 fi HT 70 fi HT 96 fi HT 133 gr TH 6 te TH Zb 11 wi

fi 5 (fig juice)

wi 5 (wine)

gr 5 (beer, from barley)

The ancient Greek word for beer was ζῦθος (zythos), which appears as zute in Old Minoan (OM) and also κρίθινος οἶνος – krithinos oinos = barley wine. This means that the Minoan word combination for beer was very likely kireta2 (kiretai) NM1 kri/qai = barley + winu NM1 #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono #oi/noj, hence kiretaiwinu = kri/qai#i/nu

Minoan beer was also produced from emmer wheat, kunisu OM = emmer wheat (derivation: Semitic kunnisu)


Introduction to supersyllabograms on Linear A tablets: PART A

Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B:

The phenomenon of the supersyllabogram in Mycenaean Linear B was first introduced to the world at at the Third Interdisciplinary Conference, Thinking Symbols, on July 1, 2015, at the Pultusk Academy of Humanities, here:

role of supersyllabograms in Linear B Thinking Symbols

Prior to 2015, no researcher had ever identified supersyllabograms in Linear B. But what is a supersyllabogram? A supersyllabogram is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a particular major Mycenaean Linear B word paired with a particular ideogram in any of the major sectors of the Mycenaean economy, agricultural, military, textiles, vessels and pottery. Initially, in 2015, 34 supersyllabograms were identified in this talk, which is brief enough for you to glean a clear conception of what supersyllabograms entail.

By 2016, this number had risen to 36, 35 syllabograms and 1 homophone or logogram (AI), published in Archaeology and Science, Vol. 11 (2015), ISSN 1452-7448, pp. 73-108, published in 2016, here:

Archaeology and Science decipherment of supersyllabograms in Linear B


Here is the abstract of that article:

A supersyllabogram is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a major (never minor) economic indicator combined with a closely related ideogram in the four economic sectors of the Mycenaean economy, agricultural, military, textiles and vessels or pottery. With very few exceptions, change the economic sector and you change the meaning of any particular supersyllabogram. Of some 3,500 tablets and fragments from Knossos, about 800 or 23% contain at least one supersyllabogram and sometimes as many as four or five. The whole point of supersyllabograms is that they are meant to eliminate text on tablets to the greatest possible extent. In a syllabary of 61 syllabograms + one homophone (AI), 36 syllabograms or 59% are supersyllabograms. Supersyllabograms serve to greatly economize on the precious space available on the tiny inventory tablets in Linear B. Any complete decipherment of Linear B must fully account for the supersyllabogram as a unique phenomenon without which any approach to the interpretation of the Linear B syllabary is squarely compromised.

Supersyllabograms in Linear A:

As it turns out, supersyllabograms were not invented by the Mycenaeans, but by the Minoans. They first emerged in Linear A, not Linear B. In a syllabary of 54 syllabograms, 27 or 50 % are supersyllabograms. This compares favourably with the incidence of supersyllabograms in Linear B, in which 36 or 59 % of 61 syllabograms are supersyllabograms.

Linear A base syllabary

620 Table 5 Table of 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A

KEY to supersyllabograms in Linear A:

fi = figs

gr = grains (wheat)

ma = man, person

oo = olives, olive oil

pi = pigs

ra = rams

sh = sheep

te = textiles

ve = vessels

wi = wine & vinegar

Locales where Linear A tablets have been found:

HT = Haghia Triada

KH = Khania

MA = Malia

PE = Petras
PH = Phaistos

TH = Thera

TY = Tylissos

ZA = Zakros

The numeric value of each supersyllabograms is rated as follows:

BOLD: n. e.g. 21. TE = a supersyllabogram for which the definition is either certain or highly probable.

Italics: n. e.g. 1. A = a supersyllabogram for which the definition is possible.

Standard font: n. e.g. 2 = a supersyllabogram for which the definition is unlikely or questionable.

1. A aka = aska = a0ska = wine skin -or- apero PGS a1mpeloj = a vine Cf. Linear B apero -or- aresana NM1 a1leisana <- a1leison = an embossed cup (arch. acc.) = de/paj (Homeric) Cf. Linear B dipa/arisu NM1 a1leisu <- a1leison = embossed cup

HT 2 oo HT 39 ve KH 83 ve MA 10 ve

2. DA dadumata OM = harvesting? -or- grain(s) measured? -or- dadumina/dadumine OM= related to harvesting?

HT 133 gr

3. DI dipa3a (dipaia) PGS di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup -or- dipaja PGS di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup (alternate?)

HT 12 oo HT 14 oo (x2) HT 28 oo (x5) HT 50 oo HT 90 oo HT 116 oo HT 121 oo HT 129 oo

4. E etori NM1 e1tori <- e1toj = for a year?

HT 2 oo HT 21 oo HT 34 gr HT 50 oo HT 58 oo MA 10 (x3)

5. KA kadi MOSE NM1 kadi/ (instr. sing.) <- ka/doj = with a jar or vessel for water or wine

HT 28 wi HT 88 ma HT 100 ma

6. KE ?

HT 26 ve (x2)

7. KI kitina NM1 ktoi/na/ktoina/siaj = border of a plot of land/territory Cf. Linear B kotona kotoina ktoi/na = plot of land?

HT 8 oo HT 9 wi HT 16 oo HT 28 oo HT 44 gr HT 50 oo (x2) HT 91 oo HT 101 oo (x2) HT 116 (x2) HT 125 oo HT 129 oo HT 140 oo? (x2) TY 3 (x3) ZA 18 oo

8. KU?

HT 38 te (x2) HT 61 gr HT 128 gr (x6) PH 31 sh (x7)

9. ME meza NM1 me/za (fem. sing.) = greater, bigger Cf. Linear B mezo me/zwn me/zoj?

TY 3 oo ZA 15 wi

10. MI ? HT 28 oo HT 50 oo HT 58 oo HT 90 oo HT 91 oo (x2) HT 100 oo HT 101 oo HT 116 oo (x2) HT 125 oo HT 137 oo TY 3 oo (x5)

11. NE nea NM1 ne/a = new Cf. Linear B ne/#a = new -or- nere OM = larger amphora size (fem. plural)

HT 23 oo HT 32 oo (x2) HT 100 oo

12. PA pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi OM = millet -or- spelt -or- pa3qe -or- qepa3 i.e. paiqe -or- qepai (+ ideogram for wheat”) LIG = a kind of grain similar to wheat

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

13. QE qera2u/qera2wa OM = a type of grain, probably millet or spelt (inflected) -or-

qeria OM = probably millet or spelt

HT 16 gr HT 28 gr HT 36 gr HT 99 gr HT 101 gr HT 121 oo ZA 11 gr

14. RA ranatusu (agglutinative?) -or- NM1 r9anatusu < – r9anti/zw = to cleanse, purify

rani NM1 r9a=ni/j = anything sprinkled (as in a libation); rain drop See also ratise -or- ratise (ritise?) NM1 = la/tise <- la/taj = with drops of wine (instr. pl.)

HT 44 oo KH 31 ve KH 91 ve ZA 6 wi (x2) ZA 15

15. RI rima NM1 lei=mac = garden -or- lei=mma = remnant, remains -or- lh=mma = income, receipts (dative/instrumental plural)

HT 23 oo HT 35 oo HT 60 oo KH 82 oo

16. RU ruma/rumu/rumata/rumatase lu=matase <- lu=ma = offscourings from grain, i.e chaff?

KH 12 ve (x2) KH 63 ve KH 83 ve KH 84 ve KH 85 ve KH 91 ve

17. SA sato PGS Hebrew sa/ton = Hebrew unit of measurement?

HT 27 gr (x2) wi HT 144 wi HT 131 wi ZA 15 wi

18. SI sika NM1 shka/ (arch. acc.) <- shko/j = fold, enclosure; (sheep) pen; sacred precinct, shrine = <- zhka/zw = to pen in Cf. Linear B periqoro peri/boloj = sheep pen?

HT 27 wi PH 31 pi PH 31 sh ZA 9 sh (x3)

19. SU supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) OM =small cup with handles Cf. Linear B dipa mewiyo

-or- supi/supu/supu2 OM = largest size pithos -or- MOSE NM1 supu/h sipu/h sipu/a i0pu/a = meal

20. MA? 10 ve ZA 5 wi

TA taikama OM tai + NM1 ka/ma = a unit of land, something like an acre? -or- ta2re/ta2reki NM1 sta=rei<- stai=j wheaten flour mixed into dough + tasise sta/sisei -or- tai2si (taisi) NM1 stai=sei <- stai=j = with wheaten flour mixed into a dough (instr. pl.)

HT 28 oo (x2) HT 35 oo KH 19 oo KH 39 KH 55 oo KH 61 oo KH 85 oo

21. TE = teresa OM = liquid unit of measurement

HT 6 fi HT 13 wi HT 17 wi HT 19 wi HT 21 gr HT 40 gr HT 44 gr HT 51 fi HT 62 wi HT 67 fi HT 70 fi HT 96 fi HT 133 gr TH 6 te TH Zb 11 wi

22. TI tisa OM = pottery worker/working on pottery/pottery wheel (tourney)?

KH 10 ve

23. TU ?

HT 23 oo HT 28 oo HT 50 oo HT 101 oo TY 3 oo

24. U uro NM1 ou0=loj = entire, total. Cf. kuro ku=rwn = reaching, attaining i.e. = total ?

HT 2 oo HT 21 oo HT 28 oo HT 40 00 (x3) HT 43 oo HT 58 oo HT 91 oo HT 96 oo HT 100 oo HT 101 oo (x2) HT 125 oo HT 140 oo (x8) TY 3 oo

25. WA HT 27 wi (x2)

26. WI winadu #i1nadu = vineyard Cf. Linear B winado -or- winu NM1 #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono #oi/noj -or- winumatari NM1 #i/numa/tari = wine dedicated to Mother Earth (agglutinative)

27. KH 5 wi

Rita Roberts translation of Linear B tablet KN 911 D e 01 (Knossos):

Linear B KN 911 D e 01

This is one of the most complex Linear B tablets Rita Roberts has ever had to translate. She also provided a running free translation of this tablet, but I have had to omit it for lack of space in the graphics file. In other words, if I had included her free translation, the graphics file would have been much too long to display properly. As it stands, it is already very long. One of the prime characteristics of a small subset of Linear B tablets, mostly from Pylos, but in this case from Knossos, is that they are long lists of names, in this case, shepherds taking care of their sheep. Rita Roberts makes the following observations on this tablet.


This Linear B tablet 911 De 0l (LXX) is a lengthy inventory of hundreds of ewes, billy goats, she goats and rams, I would imagine it is of special interest for Knossos palace. It is difficult to say whether all these animals were brought together at the same time for any specific purpose. If so there are a few reasons to suggest why this could be. The first would be, having to check the stock for health reasons for the possible move to a new pasture. Secondly, it could be that the animals needed to be organized for shearing, also some for slaughter. My final suggestion is, maybe some animals were for possible export. However, these are a few possible reasons for such a large inventory, but on the whole it is a comprehensive inventory for the palace.

I may as well admit that I passed this tablet onto Rita as I am constitutionally lazy when it comes to deciphering long tablets. However, this is not the only reason. It is vital that Rita master (subjunctive) complex tablets that pose a huge challenge. This one certainly does.



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


Linear B numerals 100, 1k and 10k are atemporal, like those in the movie. Arrival:

It is quite clear from the following illustration of the numbers 1-12 in the Heptapod circular language, which correspond to the number of ships landing on earth, that their numbers, occurring in a circle, are similar to the numerals for 100, 1k and 10k in Mycenaean Linear A. This correspondence reveals an intriguing characteristic of these Linear B numerals, namely, that they can serve as ideograms for extraterrestrial communication. In other words, just as the Heptapod numbers serve to communicate from the extraterrestrials, the Linear B numerals can serve to communicate with them or any other extraterrestrial civilization.

movie Arrival heptapod 12 and Linear B 100 1k 10k


How circular language in the movie, Arrival, determines the aspacial/atemporal nature of logograms throughout the ages:

In the movie, Arrival (2016), which chronicles the arrival on earth of 12 mysterious ships, apparently from outer space, the following statements leap out at us:

parsing the language of the heptapods in the movie, Arrival

1. Unlike all written languages, the writing is semiseriographic. It conveys meaning. It doesn't represent sound. Perhaps they view our form of writing as a wasted opportunity.  
2. How heptapods write: ... because unlike speech,  a logogram is free of time. Like their ship, their written language has forward or backward direction. Linguists call this non-linear orthography, which raises the question, is this how they think? Imagine you wanted to write a sentence using 2 hands, starting from either side. You would have to know each word you wanted to use as well as much space it would occupy. A heptapod can write a complex sentence in 2 seconds effortlessly.

The key to all of this is the phrase a logogram is free of time. Allow me to illustrate. Logograms are also often called ideograms, and that is what I prefer to call them. Another word to describe them is icon. When we examine ancient Linear A and B ideograms and compare them with modern ones, the results are astonishing, to wit:




All of the aforementioned examples make it quite clear that ideograms, whether they be as ancient as those in Linear A and Linear B (i.e. about 3,400 years old) or modern ... or for that matter, neolithic or even earlier, all bear a striking resemblance to one another. Take for instance the Linear A ideogram for “scales” and compare it with just one modern one (among so many others), and we see immediately that they are extremely similar. Now take the Linear B ideograms for man” and “woman” and compare these with the washroom symbols for the same and once again the similarity is almost too good to be true. Then there is the Linear B ideogram for a four-spoke wheel compared with a modern one for an eight-spoke wheel. The number of spokes is not relevant to this discussion, only the fact that the ancient Linear B ideogram for “wheel” is practically identical to the modern one.

The implications for the decipherment of ideograms in any language, ancient or modern (let alone Linear A and Linear B) versus those in any modern language are staggering. We can be sure that the ancient ideograms varied little from one language to another, let alone between Minoan and Mycenaean. In fact, the syllabogram TE, which sometimes represents wheat, in Linear A and Linear B is almost identical to the same ideograms in cuneiform!

It is patently obvious that since the distinction between the ancient ideograms and their modern equivalents enumerated above is so thin, all of these ideograms (or logograms or icons) are not only time independent (atemporal) and spatially independent (aspatial), they are also language independent. This is a stunning phenomenon.

The implications for the further decipherment of Linear A are simply overwhelming.

And this is why in the movie, Arrival, the heptapods assert, “There is no time.”

Earth-shattering linguistic data from the Movie, Arrival (2016)


Not too long ago, I had the distinct pleasure of watching what is undoubtedly the most intellectually challenging movie of my lifetime. The movie is unique. Nothing even remotely like it has ever before been screened. It chronicles the Arrival of 12 apparent UFOs, but they are actually much more than just that. They are, as I just said, a unique phenomenon. Or more to the point, they were, are always will be just that. What on earth can this mean? 

The ships, if that is what we want to call them, appear out of thin air, like clouds unfolding into substantial material objects ... or so it would appear. They are approximately the shape of a saucer (as in cup and saucer) but with a top on it. They hang vertically in the atmosphere. But there is no motion in them or around them. They leave no footprint. The air is undisturbed around them. There is no radioactivity. There is no activity. There are 12 ships altogether dispersed around the globe, but in no logical pattern.

A famous female linguist, Dr. Louise Banks  (played by Amy Adams), is enlisted by the U.S. military to endeavour to unravel the bizarre signals emanating from within. Every 18 hours on the mark  the ship opens up at the bottom (or is it on its right side, given that it is perpendicular?) and allows people inside. Artificial gravity and breathable air are created for the humans. A team of about 6 enter the ship and are transported up an immense long black hallway to a dark chamber with a dazzlingly bright screen. There, out of the mist, appear 2 heptapods, octopus-like creatures, but with 7 and not eight tentacles. They stand upright on their 7 tentacles and they walk on them. At first, the humans cannot communicate with them at all. But the ink-like substance the heptapods squirt onto the thick window between them and the humans always resolves itself into circles with distinct patterns, as we see in this composite:

Eventually, the humans figure out what the language means, if you can call it that, because the meanings of the circles do not relate in any way to the actions of the heptapods.  Our heroine finally discovers what their mission is, to save humankind along with themselves. They tell us... There is no time. And we are to take this literally.

circular language from the movie Arrival 2016

I extracted all of the linguistic data I could (which was almost all of it) from the film, and it runs as follows, with phrases and passages I consider of great import italicized.   

1. Language is the foundation of which the glue holds civilization together. It is the first weapon that draws people into conflict – vs. - The cornerstone of civilization is not language. It is science.
2. Kangaroo... means “I don't understand.” (Watch the movie to figure this one out!)
3. Apart from being able to see them and hear them, the heptapods leave absolutely no footprint.
4. There is no correlation between what the heptapods say and what they write.
5. Unlike all written languages, the writing is semiseriographic. It conveys meaning. It doesn't represent sound. Perhaps they view our form of writing as a wasted opportunity.  
6. How heptapods write: ... because unlike speech,  a logogram is free of time. Like their ship, their written language has forward or backward direction. Linguists call this non-linear orthography, which raises the question, is this how they think? Imagine you wanted to write a sentence using 2 hands, starting from either side. You would have to know each word you wanted to use as well as much space it would occupy. A heptapod can write a complex sentence in 2 seconds effortlessly.
7. There is no time.
8. You approach language like a mathematician.
9. When you immerse yourself in a foreign language, you can actually rewire your brain. It is the language you speak that determines how you think.
10. He (the Chinese general) is saying that they are offering us advanced technology. God, are they using a game to converse with... (us). You see the problem. If all I ever gave you was a hammer, everything is a nail. That doesn't say, “Offer weapon”, (It says, “offer tool”). We don't know whether they understand the difference. It (their language) is a weapon and a tool.  A culture is messy sometimes. It can be both (Cf. Sanskrit).
11. They  (masses 10Ks of circles) cannot be random. 
12. We (ourselves and the heptapods) make a tool and we both get something out of it. It's a compromise. Both sides are happy... like a win-win. (zero-sum game). 
13. It (their language) seems to be talking about time... everywhere... there are too many gaps; nothing's complete. Then it dawned on me. Stop focusing on the 1s and focus on the 0s. How much of this is data, and how much is negative space?... massive data... 0.08333 recurring. 0.91666667 = 1 of 12. What they're saying here is that this is (a huge paradigm). 10Ks = 1 of 12. Part of a layer adds up to a whole. It (their languages) says that each of the pieces fit together. Many become THERE IS NO TIME. It is a zero-sum-game. Everyone wins.
NOTE: there are 12 ships, and the heptapods have 7 tentacles. 7X12 = 84. 8 +4 =12. 
14. When our heroine is taken up into the ship in the capsule, these are the messages she reads: 1. Abbott (1 of the 2 heptapods) is death process. 2. Louise has a weapon. 3. Use weapon. 4. We need humanity help. Q. from our heroine, How can you know the future? 5. Louise sees future. 6. Weapon opens time.
15. (her daughter asks in her dream). Why is my name Hannah? Your name is very special. It is a palindrome. It reads the same forward and backward. (Cf. Silver Pin, Ayios Nikolaos Museum and Linear A tablet pendant, Troullous).
16. Our heroine says, * I can read it. I know what it is. It is not a weapon. It is a gift. The weapon (= gift) IS their language. They gave it all to us. * If you learn it, when your REALLY learn it, you begin to perceive the way that they do. SO you can see what’'s to come (in time). It is the same for them. It is non-linear. WAKE UP, MOMMY!

Then the heptapods disappear, dissolving into mere clouds, the same way they appeared out of nowhere in clouds, only in the opposite fashion. There is no time. They do not exist in time.

The implications of this movie for the further decipherment of Linear A and Linear B (or for any unknown language) are profound, as I shall explain in greater detail in upcoming posts.


My article, Lexicon of Chariot Construction in Mycenaean Linear B, has been accepted in advance by the international historical journal, Epohi/Epochs:

Epohi Epochs historical journal

I shall be submitting it to the editor-in-chief, Stefan Iordanov of the Faculty of History of St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo (hence forward referred to as UVT), Bulgaria. The editorial board consists of highly prestigious researchers:

Executive Editor:

Stefan Yordanov, Associate Prof., Ph.D., St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo


Ivan Tyutyundjiev, Prof., Dr. Hab., St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo

Deputy Editors in Chief:

Plamen Pavlov, Prof., Ph.D., St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo

Nikolay Kanev, Associate Prof., Ph.D., St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo


Acad. Vasil Gyuzelev, Prof., Dr. Hab., Member of the Bulgarian Academy of science and President of the Association of Byzantinists and Medievalists in Bulgaria

Demetrios Gonis, Dr. Hab., Professor Emeritus of University of Athens (Greece)

Mirosław Jerzy Leszka, Prof., Dr. Hab., University of Lodz (Poland)

Tatyana Leontyeva, Prof., Dr. Hab., State University of Tver (Russia)

Milko Palangurski, Prof., Dr. Hab., St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo

Petko Petkov, Проф. д-р Петко Петков, St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo

Rumen Yankov, Prof., Dr. Hab., St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo

Mariya Ivanova, Prof., Dr. Hab., St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo

Dan Dana, Chargé de recherche de 1ère classe, Ph.D., Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique – Paris (France)

Issue editors:

Nikolay Kanev, Associate Prof., Ph.D.

Stefan Yordanov, Associate Prof., Ph.D.

Translation of a very tricky Linear B tablet, Knossos KN 913 D k 01 by Rita Roberts:

Knossos tablet KN 913 D k 01 translation by Rita Roberts

The decipherment of this tablet is far from clear-cut, and all because of 1 word, paro, the first on both lines 1 and 2. This word very likely corresponds to the ancient Greek pa/loj (palos) = a lot (cast), meaning a lot cast by one or more people to decide who is obliged to do something, and in this case, which is apparently a religious context, that something is the sacrifice of a billy goat and a she goat. Etowono got the lot for the ram, probably the long stick, if that is what it was, given that we are dealing with a ram here. Komawete got the short one for the she goat. It kind of makes sense, and in fact there would seem to be no other rational interpretation of this tablet. It is one of the trickiest I have ever assigned to Rita, and this aroused her suspicions in the first place. Because she could not possibly have recognized the (archaic or ancient) Greek for paro, I had to delve into that word. Otherwise, her translation is highly commendable, and deserves a full 100 %.


Translation of Linear B tablet Knossos KN 854 K j 11 by Rita Roberts:

Knossos tablet KN 854 K j 11 by Rita Roberts


Translation of Linear B Knossos tablet KN 355 J b 19 by Rita Roberts:

Knossos tablet KN 355 J b 19 by Rita Roberts



Translation of Linear B tablet Knossos KN 346 J a 04 by Rita Roberts:

Linear B tablet KN 346 J a 04 Rita Roberts


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