Tag Archive: Military



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


Cretan pictograms – 41-52: military and textiles (possibly/probably/definitely) known:

Cretan military and textiles pictograms

Cretan pictograms dealing with the military and textiles/cloth are the last of the possibly/probably/definitely known pictograms out of a grand total of around 165, thus accounting for 31.5 % of all Cretan pictograms. So the number of possibly/probably/definitely known pictograms is significantly higher than had been previously thought. Of the military + textiles/cloth pictograms, 41. 42. 48. & 51. are definite, the remainder being probable/possible.


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?).


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.


So-called Cretan hieroglyphs are not hieroglyphs at all. Example 2

Cretan symboic writing ideograms b

These 2 palm-leaf tablets incised with Cretan symbols are the second example of why so-called Cretan hieroglyphs are not hieroglyphs at all. We note right off the top that there are only 12 symbols, all of which are in fact ideograms or logograms. The numeric symbols, 20, 60 and 100 on the fist tablet do not conform to Linear A and B standards.

As for the ideograms, they all appear to be indecipherable, but it is perhaps possible to assign meanings to a few of them. 2., which looks like Linear B ZU, may be a grain crop, possibly barley. 4. looks like some kind of animal, possibly a horse. 5. and 6. could be separate logograms, or put together, the could constitute one, in which case it could be a scythe. 7 is perhaps another kind of crop. 8 is probably an olive tree. 10. looks a great deal like 4., and may be the same ideogram. 11. looks like the Linear A syllabogram PA3 (PAI), but is indecipherable. 12 appears to be somewhat like the Linear A vowel E, and it may be a boars tusk helmet, but there is no way of telling for certain.


So-called Cretan hieroglyphs are not hieroglyphs at all. Example 1

Cretan symbolic writing ideograms a

These 2 palm-leaf tablets incised with Cretan symbols are the first example of why so-called Cretan hieroglyphs are not hieroglyphs at all. We note right off the top that there are only 6 symbols, all of which are in fact ideograms or logograms. The numeric symbols, 40 and 100 on the fist tablet and 50, 10 & 80 on the second, do not conform to Linear A and B standards. In Linear A & B, decimals to the tens (10…90) are represented by horizontal bars, 1 for 10, 2 for 20, 8 for 80 etc. It appears instead that the dots on these tablets represent decimals to the tens. This is partly because the figure for 100 on the first tablet accords with Linear A & B practice, making it more likely that the dots are indeed in the tens.

Some other symbols are clearly identifiable. No. 1. is definitely the ideogram for an adze or labrys, which in Linear A and B is metamorphosed into the syllabogram for the vowel A. 2. is more likely to represent olive tree(s) rather than olive(s), for reasons which will become apparent in upcoming examples. 5. is very likely the ideogram for helmet, because it is very similar to same ideogram in Linear B.

So what are these palm-leaf tablets about? The first appears to be primarily military, te second primarily agricultural, with the sole exception of the ideogram for helmet, which appears out of place. But perhaps it is not. Perhaps the olive tree crops are being defended by the military. We shall never know.


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

Editor-in-Chief:

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

Editors:

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.


 

Another Linear A tablet bites the dust… Troullos TL Za 1… horsemanship and hunting:

Troullos tablet TL Za 1

This tablet or nodule completely eluded me for over 2 years. Then tonight, all of sudden, its meaning literally burst wide open. The first hint came when I began to decipher the obvious Linear words, all of which happen to be Mycenaean-derived New Minoan NM1. The most obvious word, which stands out like a sore thumb, is WAJA = #ai/a in Mycenaean-derived Greek, in other words land. The rest of the Mycenaean-derived words were more difficult to extract from the agglutinated text, since in an agglutinative language such as Minoan, words which would otherwise be separate in a fusional or inflected language, such as ancient or modern Greek or German, are simply strung together in long strings. So it is difficult to know where one word ends and another begins … but far from impossible. Because so many words on this tablet are agglutinated, it presents a particularly challenging target for decipherment. But decipher it I did, as you can see below.

If we break apart the agglutinated words, meanings start to surface. For instance, ATAI*301 appears to mean 0astai= from oastei=a, meaning of the town, community.

Moving on, we have QARE0 = ba/lei ba/loj = at the threshold (locative singular). For the time being, I do not know what OSU, which is almost certainly Old Minoan, means but I am confident I shall soon figure it out. If we then decipher the first 2 agglutinated words ATA*301WAJA. OSUQARE, we get something along these lines (OSU being omitted for the time being), on the … threshold of community of town, i.e. on the … outskirts of the community or town

The the next two agglutinated words are UNAKANASI. UNA is Old Minoan. KANASI is instrumental plural Mycenaean-derived New Minoan (NM1) for ka/nnasi (instr. plural) = made of reeds, i.e. wicker. This almost certainly refers to the chariot itself, which like almost all Mycenaean chariots, is probably made of wicker, as illustrated below. If my hunch is correct, given that KANASI means made of wicker, then UNA must necessarily mean chariot, hence a chariot made of wicker. Remember: UNAKANASI is a composite agglutination of 2 words, first Old Minoan (UNA) and the second Mycenaean-derived New Minoan (NM1) = KANASI.

Troullos tablet original with Mycenaean horse and chariot and modern horse halter

IPINAMASIRUTE is another agglutination, this time consisting of 3 words, all of them Mycenaean-derived New Minoan (NM1). The tablet or nodule above provides us with the full translation, which in its actual order reads, with horsemanship + running + (towards) prey. In other words, we have a charioteer, whose name is JASASARAME, clearly a highly skilled charioteer and hunter, whose ridership or horsemanship allows him to run towards his prey, and at a fast pace at that, given that NAMA always refers to something flowing fast, usually a stream, but in this context, clearly horses, 2 of them, of course, since Mycenaean chariots always have two horses.

So the free translation runs along these lines, and very well indeed,

Jasasarame, the hunter-charioteer, in his chariot made of wicker, is exercising his (considerable) ridership skills, by running at break-neck speed (or: running by a stream) towards the wild prey he is hunting on the outskirts of his town (community).

This decipherment, which is almost entirely in Mycenaean-derived New Minoan (NM1) hangs together admirably well. It is a major breakthrough in the ongoing saga of the decipherment of Linear A. It is also buttressed by the fact that the tablet or nodule actually looks like a horses halter. While the word halter appears, at least at first sight, not to figure in the text, this is of little consequence. The tablet itself makes it quite clear enough that here we have two horses (always two with Mycenaean chariots) and that a well-heeled, and most likely aristocratic or warrior-class charioteer, Jasasarame, is at the reins.

I rest my case.


T. Farkas’ brilliant decipherment of Linear B tablet KN 894 Nv 01:

Knossos tablet KN 984 Nv 01

Linear B transliteration

Line 1. ateretea peterewa temidwe -ideogram for wheel, SSYL ZE for set or pair tablet broken off (i.e. right truncated)

Line 2. kakiya -ideogram for wheel, SSYL ZE for set or pair 1. kakodeta -ideogram for wheel, SSYL ZE for pair or set tablet broken off (i.e. right truncated)

Line 3. kidapa temidweta -ideogram for wheel, SSYL ZE for set or pair 41 tablet broken off (i.e. right truncated)

line 4. odatuweta erika -ideogram for wheel, SSYL ZE for set or pair 40 to 89 tablet broken off (i.e. right truncated)

Translation (my knowlege of Greek grammar is not sufficient at present to write out proper sentences [NOTE 1] but I have looked up and know the Greek equivalents for the Linear B words which I will write here.)

Line 1. Pair/set of inlaid/unfinished? elmwood chariot wheel rims

Οn your blog you have translated ateretea as “inlaid” from the Greek ἀιτh=ρeς. I found these words ατελείωτος , ατελεις … that means “unfinished” Do you think that could work? Either way I get that ateretea is an adjective that describes the wheel rims [2].

α)τερεδέα/ατελείωτος πτελεFάς τερμιδFέντα ζευγάρι a1ρμοτα, (sorry for the mishmash Greek [3]).

Line 2. 1 Copper [4] set or pair of wheel fasteners , bronze set or pair of wheel fasteners

I looked around the net and some say copper was used as a band or even as a tire and as leather tire fasteners on bronze age chariot wheels.

Since the deta on kakodeta refers to bindings perhaps this line is refering to sets of types of fasteners of both copper and bronze for wheels? (hubs, linch pins, nails, etc…) [Richard, YES!]

χαλκίος ζευγάρι α1ρμοτα, χαλκοδέτα ζευγάρι α1ρμοτα

Line 3. 41 Sets or pairs of “kidapa” chariot wheel rims

Looked around the net didn’t find and words to match kidapa…I did take note that you think ― like L.R. Palmer ― that it means ash-wood.

κιδάπα τερμιδFέντα ζευγἀρι α1ρμοτα

Line 4. 40 to 89 ? sets of toothed/grooved willow-wood chariot wheels.

Ive looked at many diagrams and pictures of chariot wheels… but none that I could find were clear enough to really understand what might be meant by toothed [5]… Ι even watched a documentary where an Egyptian chariot is built. It is called building Pharaoh’s Chariot. Perhaps one day I’ll happen upon some chariot wheels somewhere and finally understand what is meant.

ο0δατFέντα ε0λικα ζευγἀρι α1ρμοτα 40 -89 ?

Comments by our moderator, Richard Vallance Janke:

This is absolutely brilliant work! I am astounded! 100 % hands down. This is one of the most difficult Linear A tablets to decipher. I too take kidapa to mean ash wood, as it is a tough wood. It is also probably Minoan, since it begins with ki, a common Minoan prefix:

kida/kidi 
kidapa OM = ash wood? (a type of wood) Appears only on Linear B tablet KN 894 N v 01
kidaro MOSC NM1 kidaro ke/dron = juniper berry-or- kedri/a = oil of cedar Cf. Linear B kidaro
kidata OM = to be accepted or delivered? (of crops) Cf. Linear B dekesato de/catoj
kidini
kidiora

See my Comprehensive Linear A lexicon for further details I imagine you have already downloaded the Lexicon, given that at least 16 % of Linear A is Mycenaean-derived Greek. This decipherment alone of an extremely difficult Linear B tablet entitles you to a secondary school graduation diploma, which I shall draw up and send to you by mid-August.

Specific notes:

[1] Thalassa Farkas declares that … my knowlege of Greek grammar is not sufficient at present to write out proper sentences… , but the actual point is that it is not really possible to write out Greek sentences in Mycenaean Greek, in view of the fact that sentences are almost never used on Linear B tablets, given that these are inventories. Grammar is not characteristic of inventories, ancient or modern. So it is up to us as decipherers to reconstruct the putative “sentences which might be derived from each of the tabular lines in an inventory. So long as the sentences and the ultimate paragraph(s) make sense, all is well.

[2] wheel rims is an acceptable reading.

[3] This is hardly mishmash Greek. It is in fact archaic Greek, and archaic Greek in the Mycenaean dialect, absolutely appropriate in the context.

[4] In Line 2, kakiya (genitive singular of kako) might mean copper, but is much more likely to mean “(made of) bronze” (gen. sing.), given that copper is a brittle metal, more likely to shatter under stress than is bronze. Copper tires would simply not hold up. Neither would pure bronze ones. Either would have to be re-inforced, and in this case by kidapa = ash-wood. That is the clincher, and that is why the word kidapa appears on this tablet.

[5] In Line 5, temidweta does not mean with teeth, but the exact opposite, with grooves” or “with notches. After all, if we invert teeth in 3 dimensions, so that they are inside out, we end up with grooves. This can be seen in the following illustration of a Mycenaean chariot in the Tiryns fresco of women (warrior) charioteers:

Tiryns fresco women charioteers

On the other hand, scythes, which are after all similar to teeth, were commonplace on ancient chariots, including Egyptian, a nice little clever addition to help cut or chop up your enemies. Still, it is unlikely that Mycenaean chariots would be reinforced by scythes, in view of the fact that there are far too many of them even on fresco above. That is why I take temidweta to mean indentations” or “notches”. But temidweta could refer to “studs”, which like notches, are small, even though they stick out.

Richard

 

 


Linear A haiku: the hollow ships on the vermilion sea:

Linear A haiku hollow ships on the vermilion sea

 

 


Minoan Linear A poetic vocabulary (11 pages):

goddesses on signet Minoan prince saffron goddess

Thematic:

Agriculture/crops:

adara/adaro/adaru = having to do with the measurement of grain crops 
ade/adu = large unit of measurement for grains, something like bales?
adureza = dry unit of measurement, usually for grains
akara/akaru a1kra (arch. acc.) - or - = end, border + akaru a0gro/j = field

akiro a1kairoj = not in season, unseasonable -or- a1grioj = living in the fields; uncultivated, unreclaimed

amaja a3maca= wagon
arura a0rou/ra = unit of land -or- plough Cf. Linear B arura 
arudara a1lutra <- a1lutron = threshing instrument (arch. acc.) 
asesina = sowing or harvesting
asadaka a1staxa (arch. acc.) <- a1staxu (Minoan nom. sing.)= ear of corn
Asara2 TOP = Linear B Asaro A0sa/roj -or- may refer to Assur, hence Assyria -or- asara2 (asarai) = without flax
atare a0ta=lei/ <- a0ta=lo/j = tender; delicate (of crops?) -or- a0qa/lei <- a0qa/loj = without a branch, twig; without an olive branch -or- a9dro/j = full-grown – or – a0qa/rh = groats, meal, green fodder, forage, provender Cf. kupari = galingale
atiru a0te/lu <- a0te/loj = without boundaries 
dame/dami/daminu OM dame = a type of grain -or-  da/mei = in the village
data2 (datai) = olive
datu = olive tree 
dideru = einkorn wheat Cf. Linear B didero
durare = a type of grain, durum wheat?
dureza/durezase = unit of dry measurement? (variation of: adureza?)
ero e0llo/j = young deer, fawn 
etori e1tori <- e1toj = for a year 
itaja = unit of liquid volume for olive oil? (exact value unknown)
kami ka/mi (dat./instr. sing.) <- ka/ma = (on a) unit of land Cf. Linear B ka/ma 
kasaru = surviving? (drought)
kasitero kasite/loj = boundary of...?
kikadi = cicada (cricket) 
kireta2 (kiretai) kri/qai = barley
kiretana kriqani/aj = like barley, barley (attributive)
kiro/kirisi/kiru = owed Cf. Linear B oporo = they owed
kunisu = emmer wheat (derivation: Semitic kunnisu) 
madi = a ram? (probably, because it appears to be masculine and is used in conjunction with the ideogram for sheep 
maru/maruku/maruri mallo/j = flock of wool Cf. Linear B mali mali/ = wool 
meza me/za (fem. sing.) = greater, bigger Cf. Linear B mezo me/zwn me/zoj
minute (sing. minuta2 – minutai) = type of grain – or – Mi/nute\ <- Mi/noste\ = and Minos
mireja mhle/a = apple tree -or- mh/leia (gen. sing.) = belonging to a sheep
miru mh=lon = a sheep or goat -or- mh1lon = apple, tree fruit 
mirutarare = sheep pen? -or- apple orchard?  
naka na/ka (arch. acc) <- na/koj = sheep’s fleece    
nea ne/a = new Cf. Linear B ne/#a = new                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi =  millet -or- spelt 
pa3qe -or- qepa3 i.e. paiqe -or- qepai  (+ ideogram for wheat”) = a kind of grain similar to wheat
paja/pajai/pajare = contracted, indentured, hired?
para para\ = beside, from beside, by the side of, beyond etc.
pasarija = pa=sa + rija = all-encompassing, international? 
pura2 = a type of grain 
qanuma = a type of grain
qareto = lease field? Cf. Linear B onato
qaqisenuti xalkei/a=senuti = with bronze craftsmanship 
qera2u/qera2wa = a type of grain, probably millet or spelt
qeria = probably millet or spelt
reza = standard unit of linear measurement
rima lei=mac = garden -or- lei=mma = remnant, remains -or- lh=mma = income, receipts  (dative/instrumental plural) 
ruma/rumu/rumata/rumatase lu=matase <- lu=ma = offscourings from grain, i.e chaff
sara2 (sarai)/sarara/saru = flax
saro/saru/sarutu sa/ron = broom, threshing floor
sato sa/ton = Hebrew unit of measurement.
sedina = celery Cf. Linear B serino se/linon
seikama = seika/ma = a unit of land dedicated to a/the goddess
setamaru  = something to do with wool/spun wool?
sika  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 
Sikine TOP loc. sing. of Sikinos -or- OM = a type of grain
simita = mouse (arch. acc.) simito/simitu PGS  = zmi/nqoj mouse 
sitetu See situ below
situ si/tu si/tun = wheat Cf. Linear B sito si/ton 
suniku (common) su/noiku <- su/noikoj  living together, joint inhabitant,  dweller
suzu su/zuc = yoked together; paired Cf. Linear B zeukesi zeu/gesi = yoked (instr. pl.)
taikama taika/ma = a unit of land, something like an acre?
ta2re/ta2reki sta=rei<-  stai=j wheaten flour mixed into dough + tasise sta/sisei
tai2si (taisi) stai=sei <- stai=j = with wheaten flour mixed into a dough (instr. pl.)
teke/teki = small unit of measurement for wine @ 27 1/2 units per tereza
tereza = liquid unit of measurement
terikama te/leika/ma = extent of land, i.e. something like acreage, lit. land to its extent or boundary 
tero/teroa te/loj = end, boundary 
Tumitizase TOP -or- = linen Cf. Linear B rino li/non
udiriki u3driki <- u3droj = with water 
ukare = sowing or harvesting
Uminase TOP  Cf. Linear B Aminiso = harbour 
waja #ai/a = earth, land

Flowers/fruit/spices etc:

adakisika a0dakissi/ka = adorned with ivory
adoro a1doroj = receiving no gifts; unpaid; giving no gifts
akumina a0ku/mina = without cumin? (arch. acc.)
amawasi a3mai#asi = with violets
asidatoi a0si/datoi = without pomegranate (dat. sing.)
atade a1ttade = from father 
ditamana = dittany
dudama = a kind of fruit = dates? (found in context with figs)
ia i0a/  (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets/ija See i0a/ (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets (variation) 
kanaka kna/ka (arch. acc. of respect) = saffron Cf Linear B kanako kna/koj
kapa/kapaqe/kapate/kapi  karpa/ (arch. acc.) + karpa/te\ = fruit, and fruit, with fruit -or- kara 
kera/kero ke/raj = horn (ivory) -or- khr/oj = bees-wax Cf. Linear B kera
kikina = some kind of fruit, quite likely grapes (from context)
kireza = measurement of figs = 1 basket of figs carried on a shoulder
kitai/kitei = kestai/ kestei/ = embroidered (lit.), but in context = basketry, basket(s)
kupari ku/pairi (instr. sing.) <- ku/pairoj = marsh-plant used to feed horses, galingale or ginger
kuruku kro/koj = crocus, saffron
mera mela/j = black  - or – me/la (arch. accus.) = honey 
merasasaa/merasasaja (very common) = something to do with honey/ honeycomb or honey drink? 
meto mesto/j = full, filled
mireja mhle/a = apple tree -or- mh/leia (gen. sing.) = belonging to a sheep
miru mh=lon = a sheep or goat -or- mh1lon = apple, tree fruit 
mirutarare = sheep pen? -or- apple orchard? 
mita  mi/nqa = mint Cf. Linear B mita 
muru mu/ron = sweet oil extracted from plants; sweet oil; unguent; perfume Cf. Linear B musaja
nira2 (nirai) -or- nita2 (nisai) OM = figs + ideogram = NI (in both Linear A & B)
oteja o1steia <- o1streia = oyster pigment; oyster purple Cf. Linear B otawero o1streioj 
para para\ = beside, from beside, by the side of, beyond etc.
patane OM = lentils? (fem. pl.)
pimata PGS = pimento
pita/pitaja pista/kion = pistachio-nut 
pitakase/pitakesi pista/kesi = with pistachio-nuts (instr. pl.) 
punikaso funi/kasoj = crimson, red (of wine) Cf. Linear B ponikiya ponikiyo foini/kioj = crimson 
ra2ri (rairi) = lily 
rima = lei=mac = garden -or- lei=mma = remnant, remains -or- lh=mma = income, receipts  (dative/instrumental plural)
rimisi See above (instr. pl.) 
rosa = rose 
rosirasiro = rosebush? 
sasame sasa/me = sesame Cf. Linear B sasa/ma
sedina = celery Cf. Linear B serino se/linon
tuma/tumei/tumi qumi/a = incense
turunu qo/rnoj = throne Cf. Linear B tono qo/rnoj 
unana = penny royal?
uro ou0=loj = entire, total. Cf. kuro ku=rwn = reaching, attaining i.e. = total
waja #ai/a = earth, land

Military:
ia i0a/  (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets/ija See i0a/ (n. pl.) = an arrow (sing.) & i1a (n. pl.) = violets (variation) 
ima i9ma/c = leather strap, thong; lash of a whip 
ira2 i1la=i = troops, companies, squadrons
kara kara/ = head Cf. Linear B kara(pi) kara/afi
kipisi ci/fisi <- ci/foj = with swords (instr. pl.) 
kito xitw/n = chiton Cf. Linear B kito
koiru koi/ru <- koi/roj = hollow (ships) 
koru ko/ruj = helmet Cf. Linear B koru
kuro/kurotu ku=roj = supreme power, authority & ku=rwn = reaching, attaining i.e. = total Cf. Linear B tosa to/sa
kuto/kutu ku/toj = shield, cuirass
qaro ba=lo/j = threshold 
qero be/loj = arrow, dart
radu r9a/bdu <- r9a/bdoj = rod, switch; spear-staff or shaft
ra2ti (raiti) r9aisth/r = a hammer, crusher
sama/samaro sama/ro = burial ground Cf. Linear B Sama/ra sama/ra = place name -or- monument -or- grave mound OR sa/meron = today
sere -or- rese seirei/ <- seira/ = with a cord or rope (instrumental sing.)
tarasa = sea Cf. Linear B tarasa qa/lassa
toraka qw/rac  = breastplate, cuirass = Linear B toraka
toro tau/roj = bull -or- qolo/j = dome or circular vault; vaulted building
zuma zw=ma girdle, belt; girded tunic

Pottery/vessels:

aresana a1leisana <- a1leison = an embossed cup (arch. acc.) = de/paj (Homeric) Cf. Linear B dipa/arisu  a1leisu <- a1leison = embossed cup 
daqera = a type of vase? 
darida = large vase, slightly smaller than a pithos
daropa = stirrup jar 
depa/depu de/paj de/pu (acc.?)= cup Cf. Linear B dipa di/paj & Homeric de/pa
dipa3a (dipaia) di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup 
dipaja di/paia <- di/paj de/paj = from a cup (alternate?)
ipinama/ipinamina i0pneume/na (fem. sing.) = baked (bread)

itisapuko i1tija = round + pu/coj = box-wood -or- NMOM i1tija = round + puko = tripod = round tripod Cf. puko below

kadi kadi/ (instr. sing.) <- ka/doj = with a jar or vessel for water or wine
kadusi ka/dusi <= ka/doj = with buckets or pails (instr. pl.) 
kairo kairo/j = due measure 
kaki/kaku xalku/ <- xalko/j = copper, bronze
kakunete = bronze alloy - or – crafted in bronze 
karopa2 (karopai) = kylix with 2 handles-or-   ka/rdoph = wooden vessel/vase
kataro ka/nqa=roj = scarab (Egyptian) + drinking cup
kera/kero ke/raj = horn (ivory) -or- khr/oj = bees-wax Cf. Linear B kera
meto mesto/j = full, filled
meza me/za (fem. sing.) = greater, bigger Cf. Linear B mezo me/zwn me/zoj
nere = larger amphora size (fem. plural) 
posa po/sa= (arch. acc.) <- poi/si=j = drink(ing), beverage -or- po/sa <- po/soj = how great, how much, of what value?  
posi -or- sipo posi/ = on, upon Cf. Linear B posi -or- sipo = si/fwn = reed, straw, siphon
puko= tripod Cf. Linear B pukoso pu/coj = box-wood. Apparently unrelated 
qapa3 (qapai)  = (large) handle-less vase or amphora
qapaja/qapajanai qapaja (genitive sing. of qapa3 (qapai))
qaqisenuti xalkei/a=senuti = with bronze craftsmanship
qedi = a flagon (for wine) 
qeti (instr. sing.)/qetiradu = a very large pot, pithos Cf. Linear B PGS qeto pi/qoj
supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) =small cup with handles Cf. Linear B dipa mewiyo
supi/supu/supu2 = largest size pithos -or-   supu/h sipu/h sipu/a i0pu/a = meal tub = suropa = some kind of vase?
tisa = pottery worker/working on pottery/pottery wheel (tourney)

Religious:

ara a0ra/ = a prayer 
araju a0ra=u <- a0ra=oj = prayed for 
arati a0ra=ti/ <- a0ra/toj = with something unblessed Cf. makarite  below
atanate a0qa/na=te = with an immortal (instr. sing.) 
damate Da/mate = Damater Cf. Linear B Damate -or- da/matei = in the village 
dare da=lei/ <- da=lo/j = (with) a firebrand or torch/daro LIG  da=lo/j = firebrand
dewa -or- wide de/#a = goddess? 
dija/dije Di/ #a Cf. Linear B Diwija Di#i/a = priestess of Zeus
dumitatira2 (dumitatirai) = left or right side of a spindle? (or verso) 
dura2 dou/lai = slaves (fem.) Cf. Linear B doera doe/la 
esija e3sti/a = hearth of a house 
Idamate/Idamete  0Idama/te = Mother goddess of Mount Ida
Idarea  0Idar9ea = Rhea, goddess of Mount Ida 
ijate i0a/ter = doctor, physician Cf. Linear iyate  i0a/ter
iruja i0e/ruia = priestess Cf. Linear B iyereya i0e/reia
jamauti i1amauti = as a means of healing <- i1ama i1amatoj = healing, remedy
jarisapa  = some kind of dress? Cf. Linear B sapa
jasaja  0Ia=sai/a <-  0Ia=sw/ of/from the goddess of healing and health  
jasidara i0a=sida=la/ = healing torch/firebrand (arch. acc.) 
jate/jateo i0a=th/r = physician 
jatimane i0a=th/j mannei= = with the bread of healing  
mana/manapi (common) Hebrew manna= = (of spiritual food) bread from heaven, the supernatural food eaten by the Israelites in the desert  
maza/mazu  ma=za  = kneaded or unbaked bread, barley bread/cake
miturea mi/toj 9Re/a= thread of a warp for Rhea 
narepirea narepir9e/a = Rhea, goddess of the snake/ snake goddess?   
pimitatira2 (pimitatirai) = right of left side of a spindle? -or- verso  
qajo ba/i"on = a palm branch (Kafkania pebble)
ranatusu (agglutinative?) -or-  r9anatusu < - r9anti/zw = to cleanse, purify 
rani r9a=ni/j = anything sprinkled (as in a libation); rain drop See also ratise
ratise (ritise?) = la/tise <- la/taj = with drops of wine (instr. pl.)
rea r9e/a = goddess, Rhea
sea/sei se/a se/ei (dat. sing.) = snake goddess (from K. Bouzanis)
seikama= seika/ma = a unit of land dedicated to a/the goddess
taro tau=roj = bull
tejai qei/ai = goddesses
tuma/tumei/tumi qumi/a = incense
turunu qo/rnoj = throne Cf. Linear B tono qo/rnoj
wanaka = king 
wireu #i0eru/ <- #i0ero/j = priest Cf. Linear B iyero i0ero/j

Textiles:

arako a0ra/c = weaver Cf. Linear B arakateya a0laka/teiai = weavers

arakokuzu = weavers establishment?

Trees:

datu = olive tree
keda = cedar
kidapa = ash wood? (a type of wood) Appears only on Linear B tablet KN 894 N v 01
kidaro kidaro ke/dron = juniper berry-or- kedri/a = oil of cedar Cf. Linear B kidaro
kitanasija/kitanasijase kitanisija (gen. sing.) ki/rtanasia <- ki/rtanoj = terebinth tree Cf. Linear B kitano ki/rtanoj 
tarawita = terebinth tree Cf. Linear B kitano ki/rtanoj & timito ti/rminqoj 
tarina qalli/na (arch. acc.) <- qallo/j = a young shoot, twig; festive olive-branch 

Wine:

aka -or- kaa a0ska/ (arch. acc.) <- a0sko/j = leather bag, wine skin
apero a1mpeloj = a vine  Cf. Linear B apero 
kupazu kou/fazu <- kou/fazoj = light (of wine) 
kuqani = a type of (fine) wine
kuwa -or- waku ku/#a = girl Cf. Linear B kowa ko/#a – or – #a0sku/ <- #a0sko/j = leather bag or wineskin 
punikaso funi/kasoj = crimson, red (of wine) Cf. Linear B ponikiya ponikiyo foini/kioj = crimson 
qesizue (plural) = wine goblets? 
ratise (ritise?) = la/tise <- la/taj = with drops of wine (instr. pl.)
unaa oi0nai/a = wine vessel, wine jug, wine jar
winadu #i1nadu = vineyard Cf. Linear B winado
winu #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono  #oi/noj
winumatari #i/numa/tari = wine dedicated to Mother Earth


ONOTOP:

Adunitana 
Akanu/Akanuzati  OP A0rxa/nej = Archanes (Crete) 
Arenesidi 
Asasumaino
Asasumaise 
Asuja Cf Linear B Asiwiya A0si/#ia
Demirirema 
Dawa = place name Cf. LB dawo Da/#oj / Da/#on 
Dikate = Mount Dikte Cf. Linear B Dikatade Diktai/oj 
Dupu3re Cf. Linear B Dupu2razo Dupurai/zoj 
Ida/Idaa/Idada/Idapa3  = Mount Ida
Idunesi
Ikurina  
Inajapaqa
Itinisa = female resident of Itanos?
Izurinita
Kana/kanatiti/kanau Kanna
Kanijami Kaniamis (female name)?
Ketesunata
Kina Kinna
Kiso Kissos
Kosaiti Cf. Linear B Kutaito Ku/taistoj (not necessarily the same place) 
Masuja
Mekidi Megi/di <- Me/gaj = the Great
Mesenurutu
Midemidiu
Pamanuita
Raja/Raju  9Rai/a = Raia Cf. Linear B Raja 
rea PGS r9e/a = goddess, Rhea
Rujamime
Rukito
Seimasusaa 
Setoija 
Sewaude  
Sezanitao
Sikira/Sikirita 
Sima
Suria 
Tainaro 
Ta2rimarusi
Tejare TOP Cf. Linear B Tejaro qei/aroj = place of the gods?
Tita = Ti=ta/n
Uminase
Waduna 
Wadunimi 

Wasatomaro

Zadeu


RESEARCH paper: Supersyllabograms in the agricultural sector of the Mycenaean economy, by Rita Roberts academia.edu:

This essay constitutes Rita Robert’s first foray into major research in ancient Mycenaean linguistics on academia.edu. Rita has composed this highly scholarly article as the major component of her mid-term examination in her second year of university, exactly half way to her degree. Keeping up this pace, she is bound to perform outstandingly in her final essay of her second year, and in her third year thesis paper, which will be considerably more demanding than this study, and about twice as long.

I strongly recommend you to download this study here:

supersyllabograms in agriculture in Linear B academia.edu

It makes for engaging reading in ancient linguistics research.

You can reach Rita’s academia.edu account here to view her other papers:

rita roberts academia.edu

 


Proposed decipherment of a Trojan roundel in Linear A illustrating a bronze shield:

Trojan roundel in proposed Mycnaean-derived Linear A

This is my proposed decipherment of a Trojan roundel in Linear A illustrating a bronze shield. It is highly probable that a roundel of Trojan origin inscribed in Linear A would have been entirely composed in Mycenaean-derived New Minoan Linear A, since after all the Trojan War occurred near the end of the Mycenaean Era (ca. 1250-1200 BCE). Given the late date, it is improbable that it would have been inscribed in Old Minoan. Why it is inscribed in Linear A rather than in Linear B, which would have been the expected syllabary, remains a mystery. However, there is evidence that Mycenaean scribes switched back and forth between Linear A and Linear B indiscriminately.


A convincing contextualized decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 1 (Haghia Triada):

Linear A tablet HT 1 Haghia Triada

While decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 1 (Haghia Triada) appears at first sight beyond reach, this may not actually be the case. Of the 6 words on this tablet, only 3 are likely to be Mycenaean-derived, qera2u (qeraiu), kiro and kupa3nu (kupainu), while the other 3, zusu, didizake and aranare, are almost certainly Old Minoan, i.e. written in the original Minoan language. As I have pointed out over and over, a number of Linear A tablets appear to be inscribed in a combination of the Mycenaean-derived superstratum and of the Minoan substratum, as is almost surely the case here.

But even if 3 of the words on this tablet are probably Mycenaean-derived, 2 of them, qera2u (qeraiu) and kupai3nu (kupainu) require further analysis. How can it be that qeraiu is derived from gerron (Greek Latinized) = shield and kupainu from kuparissinos (Greek Latinized) = made of cypress word”, when the orthography of the Mycenaean-derived words diverges from the original Greek, especially in the case of kupainu, which does not exactly appear to resemble kuparissinos? But there is an explanation and it is this. The orthography of the Greek words must be adjusted to meet the dictates of Minoan spelling in each and every case in which Mycenaean-derived words are imported into the Minoan language.

This phenomenon is analogous to the imposition of the Norman French superstratum on English pursuant to the Norman conquest of England in 1066 CE. The Mycenaean conquest of Knossos and Crete or, failing that, of their all but absolute suzerainty over these territories ca. 1500-1450 BCE appears to have had a similar outcome, namely, that much of the vocabulary of the source language of the invaders, the Mycenaeans, found its way into the target or original language, Minoan. But in so doing, the originally Mycenaean vocabulary would have had to be adjusted to standard Minoan orthography.

Allow me to illustrate this through comparison with the influx of some 10,000 French words into English between ca. 1100 & 1450 CE. The French vocabulary could not be assimilated into English without undergoing a metamorphosis in orthography permitting the original French vocabulary to be adjusted to the dictates of English spelling. Examples running into the thousands abound. So we should not be at all surprised at this metamorphosis of orthography from the superstratum (Mycenaean derived vocabulary) to the substratum (Minoan vocabulary derived from the Mycenaean superstratum). After all, when superstratum French words are imported into English, their orthography undergoes the same metamorphosis. For instance, we have:

French to English:

albâtre = alabaster
amical = amicable
bénin = benign
ciprès (from Old French cipres) = cypress (See below for Minoan kupainu)
cloître = cloister
dédain = disdain
dédoublé = doubled up
doute = doubt
entrée = entrance
fanatique = fanatic
gobelet = goblet
jalousie = jealousy
loutre = otter
maître = master
plâtre = plaster
retenir = retain
soldat = soldier
similitude = similarity

and on and on ad nauseam. This phenomenon applies to every last substratum language upon which a superstratum from another language is imposed. So in the case of Old Minoan, it is inevitable that the orthography of any single superstratum Mycenaean derived word has to be adjusted to meet the exigencies of Minoan orthography.

The most striking example of this metamorphosis is the masculine singular. Mycenaean derived words in Minoan must have their singular ultimate adjusted to u from the Mycenaean o. There are plenty of examples:

Akano to Akanu (Archanes)
akaro to akaru (field)
kako to kaku (copper)
kuruko to kuruku (crocus/saffron)
mare (mari) to maru (wool)
Rado to Radu (Latos)
simito to simitu (mouse)
suniko to suniku (community)
Winado to Winadu (toponym)
woino to winu (wine)
iyero to wireu  (priest)

And on this particular tablet we find the Mycenaean-derived Minoan spellings:

qera2u (qeraiu), which if Latinized would be gerraiu, from Greek gerron and

kiro, which if Latinized, is kilon, almost the exact equivalent of the Greek keilon. And kupa3nu (kupainu), Latinized = kupainu (kupaino) at least approximates the Greek kuparissinos, but with the the syllables rissi dropped. Compare this last entry with French-English similitude = similarity and you can see at once that orthographic metamorphoses even as divergent as these are possible. So chances are that kupainu may in fact be equivalent to kuparissinos, although there is no way to verify this with any certainty, except for one thing. Context.

Since we know from line 1 that we are dealing with 192 shields and lances * (i.e. arrow shafts *), it is not too much of a stretch to conjecture that kupainu does correspond to the Greek kuparissinos, because we know from archaeological and historical evidence that Minoan and Mycenaean shields were of wicker work. And it is well within the realm of reason to suppose that such wicker shields were constructed of flexible, pliant cypress wood. Cypress wood is smooth grained and lightweight and has natural built in preservatives or oils that make cypress long lasting and resistant to water damage. It could be combined with bronze and leather on Mycenaean and ancient Greek warrior shields. And according to Wikipedia, The word cypress is derived from Old French cipres, which was imported from Latin cypressus, Latinized from the Greek κυπάρισσος (kuparissos). Ergo.

However, we are still left with the puzzle, what do the Old Minoan words, zusu, didizake and aranare, mean? Once again, context comes to the rescue. It is entirely reasonable to suppose that a Linear A tablet dealing with cypress shields and lances would also cover other military paraphernalia essential to self-defence. The most obvious candidates are spears and swords, for zusu and aranare respectively, though in which order we cannot say for certain. The inclusion of swords as one of the alternatives is well justified, since pakana, i.e. swords, frequently appear on Linear B tablets. As for didikaze, I will not speculate, although it too more likely than not references military apparel, perhaps signifying armour.

Aranare (knives?) is plural, singular = aranarai. Since the word is diminutive feminine, the decipherment knives clearly makes sense in context.
Nevertheless, any decipherment of  zusu, didizake and aranare is by nature problematic. Assumptions are always dangerous, even in the case of a tablet such as this one, where context would appear to support such conclusions. But as I have so often repeated, appearances can be and often are deceptive.

Complete decipherment of the Kafkania Pebble, ca. 1700 BCE. Is this the first ever inscription in proto-Greek?

Linear A Kafkania pebble 1700 BCE

This medallion is particularly striking, insofar as it actually appears to be inscribed entirely in proto-Greek. So even though this medallion dates from the Middle Helladic or Middle Minoan era (ca. 1700 BCE), the text appears not to be Minoan at all, but proto-Greek! If this is the case, this is by far the earliest inscription ever unearthed actually inscribed in proto-Greek. The decipherment makes perfect sense. Moreover, the presence of the king is clearly implied in this inscription. And what is even more astonishing is this: the Royal Seal of Malia, equally archaic, inscribed in Cretan hieroglyphics, appears to describe in no uncertain terms the word, wanaka!

the Royal Seal of Malia with wanaka inscribed

If this is true, then wanaka, which as we all know means “king” in Mycenaean Greek, in other words, in a language which came to the fore much later than the Minoan language, is in all probability either a Minoan word or, failing that, in the pre-Greek substratum. It is just as conceivable that all of the words on the Kafkania Pebble fall within the pre-Greek substratum, in other words, that all of these terms were to be taken over by the Mycenaeans at least a century later (ca. 1600 BCE at the earliest).

This is an amazing discovery, to say the very least.


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Archaeology and Science annual: the Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, the last & most formidable frontier in the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B:

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For the past 65 years since Michael Ventris first deciphered Linear B, one phenomenon has eluded historical linguists and philologists. This is the supersyllabogram, which is always a single syllabogram, being the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a particular Mycenaean word in any one or more of the major economic sectors of the Mycenaean economy: agriculture, military, textiles and the vessels and pottery sector, along with a few religious supersyllabograms. Supersyllabograms are always independent; they always stand alone on extant Linear. My discovery, isolation and classification of supersyllabograms represents the final frontier in the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B. Some 800 tablets from Knossos alone contain primarily supersyllabograms, with a subset of these incised with supersyllabograms and nothing else. It is difficult to decipher the former, and impossible to decipher the latter without fully accounting for the presence of supersyllabograms. The decipherment of supersyllabograms accounts for the last and most difficult remaining 10 % of Mycenaean Linear B to be deciphered.

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You may also download The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B here:

archaeology-and-science-download

This article is 35 pages long (pp. 73-108) in a 29 cm. x 22 cm. format, which is far oversized compared with the standard north American format for research journals (ca. 20 cm. vertical), meaning that if it had been published in the standard north American format, it would have run to some 50 pp., which is the size of a small book.

The Editorial Board consists of 21 peer reviewers, all of them matriculated professors and researchers at the Ph.D. level or higher, from Ancona, Belgrade, Belgium, Bologna, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A., Moscow, Münich, Philadelphia, U.S.A., Rome, Warsaw & Trieste. Every author must pass muster with the majority of these peer reviewers if his or her article is to be published in Archaeology and Science. That is one tall hurdle to overcome.

Note also that I am ranked in the top 0.5 % of all researchers and publishers on academia.edu

richard-vallance-on-academia-edu

 


9 new Minoan Linear A words under U-WI, all of but 1 of which are probably of proto-Greek origin:

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The 9 new Minoan Linear A words under U-WI are all probably of proto-Greek origin. As for those terms beginning with the syllabograms WA & WI, I have come to the conclusion that they all begin with digamma, meaning that digamma is even more common in Minoan Linear A than it is in Mycenaean Linear B. If we take into account that every last one of the Minoan Linear A words beginning with digamma would appear without digamma in Mycenaean Linear A, they all are equivalent to their Mycenaean Linear B and ancient Greek counterparts (the latter having dropped digamma for good). For instance, [3] TERA is almost certainly the ancient volcanic island of Thera, now Santorini, while [5] WAJA is equivalent to archaic Greek aia = earth, land and [7] WIJA is fem. pl. = arrows. The only word I have been unable to satisfactorily decipher is [6], of which I was able to decipher the first 2 syllabograms. You have to read the table to see my translation.

With this, we have come full circle to the end of our remarkable journey towards the decipherment of Minoan Linear A. Now that I have deciphered every last word I believe is of proto-Greek, proto-Hebrew, proto-Semitic or proto-Scythian origin, I have reached a cumulative grand TOTAL of 62 new Minoan Linear A words, expanding my original Minoan Linear A Glossary of 107 words = 21.5% of the total extant Linear B lexicon of 510 terms by my arbitrary count to a TOTAL = 169 words = 33 % of the total Minoan Linear A lexicon, which is exactly the sum and percentage I had predicted! This amounts to what is demonstrably a workable decipherment of the Minoan language, including of its grammar, which had evaded me before.

Now all I have to do is to decipher as many of the 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A, beyond the 9 I have already deciphered. Now that I am armed with 62 new Minoan Linear A words, I am quite sure that I shall be able to decipher quite a few more of the supersyllabograms, and with that goal accomplished, I shall have effectively and once and for all deciphered the Minoan language.

 


KEY POST: A significant advance in the decipherment of Minoan Linear A: 7 new Minoan Linear A words under NE of possible, even probable proto-Greek origin for a total of 140 terms to date:

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Under the syllabogram NE in Minoan Linear A, we find no fewer than 7 new Minoan Linear A words of possible proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean origin. Of these 7 terms, 4 [1] [3] [6] & [7] are probably of proto-Greek origin. [2] & [3] may be on target, but they are less convincing than the previous 4.  [4] may also be valid, but since the Mycenaean Linear B equivalent to nemaruja, which is epididato, is not a match, this casts some doubt on the decipherment of “distributed” in Minoan Linear A, especially in light of the fact that I have already posited an alternative decipherment of this exact word in my current version of the Glossary of Minoan Linear A terms, that word being kaudeta. While [5] nesa is almost a perfect match with the ancient Greek for “duck”, this decipherment is rather fanciful, even funny, as I have to wonder what possible interest Minoan Linear A, let alone Mycenaean Linear B, scribes would have had in ducks! But you never know. Perhaps they kept track of the number of ducks served at royal feast for the king and queen and company.  Weird, but hey, why not?

The most striking thing about the cumulative effect of the total number of Minoan Linear A words of putative proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean origin, already tallied at 33, even though we have only arrived at the syllabogram NE in Minoan Linear A (the last being ZU) is this:
The cumulative number of Minoan Linear A terms in our REVISED Minoan Linear A Glossary has already reached 140, i.e. 27.5 % of all 510 attributed Minoan Linear A terms by my arbitrary count, up from the original count of 107 or 21.5 % of 51o. Since this trend is bound to result in a somewhat exponential increase in the summative total of all Minoan Linear A terms I am bound to extrapolate by the time I reach the syllabogram ZU, it is well within the realm of reason that we will end up with at least 160 terms or about 31.5 % of all 510 extant Minoan Linear A terms. That would represent a substantial chunk of the Minoan Linear A lexicon. Potentially, this implies that we shall be able to posit the conclusion that we shall have deciphered, more or less accurately, not just a relatively small portion of the Minoan language, but almost 1/3 of it!

This would account for a substantive leap in the potential decipherment of Minoan Linear A.  And as everyone will see by the time I publish my second article on the partial, though significant, decipherment of Minoan Linear A, to be published in the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science in around 2018 or 2019, I shall have made signal inroads into the eventual almost complete decipherment of Minoan Linear A.  


Illustrations of 5 Minoan Linear A tablets (Figures) in Archaeology and Science (2016):

a-figure-1-linear-a-ht-31-pavel-serafimov-anton-perdih

b-figure-2-linear-a-ht-13-translation-by-richard-vallance-janke

figure-3-linear-a-tablet-19-puko-tripod

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Above are 5 illustrations of some (not all) of the Minoan Linear A tablets, reduced to 620 pixels, as they will appear as Figures (with the Figure nos. assigned only to Figures 1 & 2, other Figure nos. not yet assigned) in my upcoming article, “Pylos Tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the ‘Rosetta Stone’ for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in the prestigious international annual Archaeology and Science, Vol. 12 (2016) ISSN 1452-7448. This is to be the third major article in a row which I will see published in Archaeology and Science.

This paper represents the first genuine breakthrough in the decipherment of Minoan Linear A vocabulary (not the language!) in the 116 years since the first Linear A tablets were unearthed by Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos in 1900.

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