Tag Archive: Minoan language

Linear B tablet HT 93 (Haghia Triada). What happens when there are not enough Mycenaean-derived words to decipher a Linear A tablet:

Linear A tablet HT 93 Haghia Triada

While it is a relatively straightforward matter to decipher Linear A tablets which contain a substantial portion of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary, the situation rapidly deteriorates the fewer Myenaean-derived words there are on the tablet or inscription. In fact, there is a point of no return in all too many cases. This is not quite the situation we are faced with when confronted with Linear A tablet HT 88 (Haghia Triada). But we are getting close to the precipice. There appear to be only 4 Mycenaean-derived words on this tablet, SERE = a corn silo, ASE = surfeit, OTI = with handles and KIRO, which seems to be a scribal error, since this word appears on the VERSO of the tablet with the large number 165 + fraction following it. So I suspect the scribe meant to inscribe KURO. As for the later archaic or classical Greek words to which these four words correspond, see the actual figure of the tablet above.

As for the remainder of the tablet, most of the vocabulary simply eludes us, with the exception of one word, DARIDA (HT 10, HT 85, HT 93 and HT 122), an old Minoan (OM) word, appearing in the Minoan substrate language, which definitely refers to some kind of vase. And if our interpretation of OTI is correct, then the vase is two-handled. The decipherment of OTI as two-handled is buttressed by the presence of the ideogram for a vase with two handles nearly adjacent to it. As for the rest of the tablet, with the exception of SARA2, which is ancient Semitic for barley or a similar grain crop, your guess is as good as mine. However, I suspect that QAQARU is another type of (large) vase, which in this case is used to store SARA2.

Linear A tablet HT 18 (Haghia Triada) is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets with a Mycenaean-derived superstrate:

Linear A tablet HT 18 Haghia Triada

Linear A tablet HT 18 (Haghia Triada) is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets with a Mycenaean-derived superstrate, because by means of supersyllabograms only, ie. QE + the ideogram for wheat/barley, KI + the ideogram for barley and NI + the ideogram for “figs and take special note of this! with NI incharged in a square, it conveys in the most condensed manner possible every possible interpretation of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary appearing on the tablet. There can be little or no doubt but that KI is the supersyllabogram for KIRETANA/KIRETA2 = barleykriqani/aj and that NI, and this is the clever little trick the scribe employs, represents fig trees in a field, since the supersyllabogram NI (for figs) is enclosed in a square, representing a field, in other words not just figs, but fig trees, are in a field.


Preliminary Roster of Editors, Aux Éditions Konoso Press, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Konoso Press on academiaedu

Richard Vallance Janke, University of Western Ontario, Emeritus


Alexandre Solcà

Associate Editor-in-Chief, Université de Genève

Spyros Bakas,

Chief Associate Editor, University of Warsaw

Associate Editors:

Julia Binnberg, University of Oxford, Classical Archaeology

Nic Fields, University of Newcastle, England

Roman Koslenko, National Academy of Sciences, Ukraine

Xaris Koutelakis, Kapodistrian University of Athens

Philipp Schwinghammer, Universität Leipzig, Historisches Seminar

Olivier Simon, Université de Lorraine

Editors Credentials and Degrees, plus their academia.edu pages or home pages will appear in the Forward to each monograph published. Aux Éditions Konoso Press, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, will publish online monographs only, from 20-100 pages long, each with its own unique ISBN (International Standard Book Number). We shall be accepting our first submissions from the summer of 2018 onward. The first monograph will probably be published in early 2019. If you are interested in becoming an Associate Editor of our already prestigious board of editors, please contact Richard Vallance Janke at: vallance22@zoho.com

supplying your credentials and degrees, and the name of the institution from which you obtained your highest degree.

Thank you

Richard Vallance Janke,

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

April 2018


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Linear A Lexicon 2018 vocabulary only, no definitions: PART 3: entries 801-1166

Linear A Lexicon 2018 entries 801-1116

This lexicon adopts the conventions followed by L.R. Palmer in his ground-breaking work on Linear B, The Interpretation of Mycenaean Greek Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, © 1963, 1998. ix, 488 pp. ISBN 0-19-813144-5 (1998). For Palmers glossary, which follows these conventions, see pp. 402-473.  We have adopted these conventions to make the vocabulary of Linear A accessible to any and all, from lay persons not yet familiar with Linear A and non-linguists (somewhat) familiar with Linear B and/or A all the way to professional linguists adept in Linear B, and possibly also in Linear A, in order that everyone, regardless of education or scholastic background may readily access our Linear A Lexicon and come to familiarize him- or herself with at least the rudiments of Linear A, or in the case of professional linguists, with the intricacies of the syllabary.    

This Lexicon represents all of the vocabulary Alexandre Solça and I myself have compiled, plus around 100 additional exograms deciphered by Peter van Soebergen in his superb 4 volume set, Minoan Linear. Amsterdam, Brave New Books, © 2016. ISBN 9789402157574  
Originally published 1987 

801. rosa  
802. rosasiro 
803. rotau  
804. roti 
805. rotwei 
806. rua 
807. rudedi 
808. ruiko 
809. Rujamime 
810. ruka/rukaa/ruki/rukike 
811. Rukito 
812. ruko
813. rukue
814. ruma/rumu/rumata/rumatase
815. rupoka
816. ruqa/ruqaqa 
817. rura2 (rurai)
818. rusa/rusi
819. rusaka
820. rutari 
821. rutia 
822. ruzuna

823. sadi
824. saja
825. sajama/sajamana
826. sajamadi
827. sajea 
828. saka 
829. samidae 
830. samuku 
831. sanitii 
832. sapo/sapi
833. saqa
834. saqeri 
835. sara2 (sarai)/sarara/saro/saru 
836. saradi
837. sarara
838. sareju 
839. saro/saroqe
840. saru/sarutu 
841. sasaja
842. sasame 
843. Sasara(me)  
844. sasupu 
845. sato/sata 
846. sea/sei 
847. sedina 
848. sedire 
849. seikama 
850. Seimasusaa  
851. seitau
852. Sejarapaja 
853. Sejasinataki
854. Sekadidi 
855. Sekatapi 
856. sekidi  
857. Sekiriteseja 
858. sekutu 
859. semake
860. semetu 
861. senu 
862. sepa
863. sere -or- rese 
864. sesapa3
865. Sesasinunaa
866. sesi -or- sise
867.  setamaru 
868.  Seterimuajaku
869.  Setira 
870.  Setoija 
871. sezami 
872. sezanitao 
873. sezaredu 
874. sezatimitu 
875. sia 
876. side/sidi/sidare
877. sidate/sidatoi 
878. sidija
879. sii/siida/siisi 
880. siitau 
881. sija 
882. Sijanakarunau
883. sika 
884. siketapi
885. sikine 
886. Sikira/Sikirita 
887. sima 
888. simara 
889. simeki
890. simita 
891. sina
892. sinada
893. sinae  
834. sinakanau
895. sinamiu
896. sinatakira
897. sinedui
898. sipiki 
899. sipu3ka 
900. sire/siro/siru/sirute
901. siriki 
902. sireneti
903. sirumarita2 (sirumarita1)
904. sita2 (sitai) -or- ta2si (taisi) 
905. sitetu 
906. situ 
907. situra2re 
908. siwamaa
909. sodira
910. sokanipu
911. sokemase  
912. sudaja
913. suja 
914. sukinima
915. Sukirita/Sukiriteija  
916. suniku 
917. supu2ka
918. supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) 
919. supi/supu/supu2 (supui) 
920. sure  
921. suria
922. suropa 
923. sutu/sutunara
924. suu 
925. suwaresu
926. suzu 

923. taa
924. tadaki/tadati
925. tadeuka 
926. taikama 
927. Tainaro 
928. tainuma
929. tainumapa 
930. Ta2merakodisi (Taimerakodisi)
931. ta2re (raire)
932. ta2reki /ta2riki (aireki/tairiki)
933. Ta2rimarusi (Tairimarusi) 
944. tai2si (taisi) 
945. ta2tare
946. ta2tite
947. ta2u 
948. tajusu
949. takaa/takari 
950. taki/taku/takui
951. Tamaduda 
952.  Tanamaje
953.  Tanarateutinu 
954.  tanate/tanati  
955.  Tanunikina 
956.  tamaru 
957. tami/tamia/tamisi 
958. tani/taniria/tanirizu 
959. tanika
960. taniti 
961. Tanunikina
962. tanurija
963. tanuwasa... 
964. tapa
965. tapiida
966. tapiqe
967. tara/tare
968.  tarasa 
969.  tarawita
970. tarejanai
971. tarikisu 
972. tarina (tawena)
973. taritama 
974. taro 
975. tasa/tasaja 
976. tasaza
977. tasise 
978. tata/tati 
979. tatapa3du (tatapaidu)
980. ta2tare (taitare)
981. ta2tite (taitite)
982. Tateikezare... (truncated)
983. tedasi/tedatiqa 
984. tedekima 
985. teepikia 
986. teizatima
987. teja(i)/teija
988. teijo
989. tejare 
990. tekare
991. teke/teki 
992. tekidia 
993. temada/temadai
994. temeku
995. temirerawi 
996. tenamipi 
997. tenata/tenataa 
998. Tenatunapa3ku
999. tenekuka
1000. teneruda 
1001. teniku 
1002. tenita(ki) 
1003. tenu/tenumi 
1004. tepi
1005. tera/tere
1006. teraseda 
1007. tereau 
1008.  tereza 
1009.  teri (tewe)/teridu
1010.  terikama 
1011.  tero/teroa 
1012.  terota -or- rotate -or- tatero
1013. terusi 
1014.  tesi/tesiqe  
1015. Tesudesekei 
1016. tetita2 (tetitai)
1017. tetu 
1018. Tewirumati  
1019. Tidama  
1020. tidata 
1021. tidiate
1022. tiditeqati
1023. tiduni/tiduitii
1024. tiisako 
1025. tija
1026. tika 
1027. titiku 
1028. tikiqa 
1029. tikuja 
1030. tikuneda
1031. timaruri/timaruwite
1032. timasa 
1033. timi 
1034. timunuta 
1035. tina
1036. Tinakarunau 
1037. tinata/tinita  
1038. tinesekuda 
1039. Tininaka
1040. tinu/tinuka/tinuja 
1041. tinusekiqa 
1042. tio 
1043. tiqatediti
1044. tiqe/tiqeri/tiqeu 
1045. tiraduja 
1046. tira2
1047. tirakapa3 (tirakapai)
1048. tire 
1049. tisa 
1050. tiri 
1051. tiriadidakitipaku
1052. tisiritua
1053. tisudapa
1054. tita 
1055. titema 
1056. titiku 
1057. titima 
1058. titisutisa 
1059. tiu
1060. tiumaja 
1061. tizanukaa
1062. toipa 
1063. tome 
1064.  toraka 
1065. toreqa
1066. toro
1067. totane 
1068. tuda
1069. tui 
1070. tujuma 
1071. tukidija
1072. tukuse 
1073. tuma/tumei/tumi 
1074. tumitizase 
1075. tunada
1076. tunapa
1077. tunapa3ku
1078. tunija

1079. tunu/tunuja

1080. tuqenu… (truncated)

1081. turunu 
1082. Tupadida
1083. tuqe
1044. turaa 
1085. turunuseme 
1086. turusa
1087. tusi/tusu 
1088. tusupu2
1089. tute/tutesi 

1090. udami/udamia
1091. udeza
1092. udimi 
1093. udiriki 
1094. ukanasi... (truncated) 
1095. ukare 
1096. Ukareasesina 
1097. uki 
1098. uminase 
1099. unaa 
1019. unadi 
1100. unakanasi
1101. unana 
1102. unarukanasi/unarukanati
1103. upa 
1104. uqeti 
1105. urewi 
1106. uro 
1107. uso/usu 
1108. uta/uta2 (utai) 
1109. utaise
1110. utaro 
1111. Utinu 

1112. waduko
1113. waduna
1114. Wadunimi 
1115. waja 
1116. wanai 
1117. wanaka
1118. waomi 
1119. wapitinara2 
1120. wapusua  
1121. wara2qa (waraiqa)

1122. wasato

1123. Wasatomaro

1124. + wasukinima

1125. watepidu 
1126. Watumare
1127. wazudu 
1128. weruma/werumati
1129. wetujupitu
1130. widina 
1131. widui 
1132. widunimi 
1133. wija 
1134. Wijasumatiti 
1135. winadu
1136. winipa 
1137. winu
1138.  winumatari 
1139. wiraremite 
1140. wireu 
1141. wirudu 
1142. wisasane 
1143. witejamu 
1144. witero

1145. zadeu
1146. adeujuraa 
1147. zadua 
1148. zakisenui
1149. zama/zame
1150. zanwaija
1151. zapa 
1152. zare/zaredu
1153. zareki
1154. zaresea 
1155. zasata 
1156. zirinima
1157. zokupa
1158. zokutu 
1160. zukupi 
1061. zuma 
1062. zupaku 
1163. zurinima
1164. zusiza 
1165. zusu HT 1
1166. zute 


Linear A Lexicon 2018 vocabulary only, no definitions: PART 2: entries 440-800

Linear A Lexicon 2018 entries 440-800

This lexicon adopts the conventions followed by L.R. Palmer in his ground-breaking work on Linear B, The Interpretation of Mycenaean Greek Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, © 1963, 1998. ix, 488 pp. ISBN 0-19-813144-5 (1998). For Palmers glossary, which follows these conventions, see pp. 402-473.  We have adopted these conventions to make the vocabulary of Linear A accessible to any and all, from lay persons not yet familiar with Linear A and non-linguists (somewhat) familiar with Linear B and/or A all the way to professional linguists adept in Linear B, and possibly also in Linear A, in order that everyone, regardless of education or scholastic background may readily access our Linear A Lexicon and come to familiarize him- or herself with at least the rudiments of Linear A, or in the case of professional linguists, with the intricacies of the syllabary.    

This Lexicon represents all of the vocabulary Alexandre Solça and I myself have compiled, plus around 100 additional exograms deciphered by Peter van Soebergen in his superb 4 volume set, Minoan Linear. Amsterdam, Brave New Books, © 2016. ISBN 9789402157574  
Originally published 1987 

440. maa
441. madadu 
442. madati
443. madi HT 3
444. mai/maimi 
445. majutu 
446. makai/makaise 
447. makaita 
448. makarite  
449. mana/manapi 
450. maniki 
451. Manirizu 
452. manuqa
453. maro/maru/maruku/maruri 
454. masa/masaja 
455. masi/masidu 
456. Masuja 
457. masuri 
458. matapu
459. mateti 
460. mati/matiti 
461. matizaite 
462. maza/mazu  
463. medakidi  
464. Mekidi 
465. mesiki -or- sikime – or - kimesi 
466. mepajai
467. mera 
468. merasasaa/merasasaja 
469. mesasa
470. Mesenurutu
471. meto 
472. Meturaa
473. meza 
474. mia
475. midai 
476. midani 
477. midamara2 (midamarai) 
478. midara
479. midemidiu 
480. mie
481. miima  
482. Mijanika
483. mijuke
484. mikidua 
485. mikisana/mikisena
486. minaminapii 
487. minedu
488. mini 
489. miniduwa 
490. minumi
491. minute (sing. minuta2 – minutai) 
492. mio/miowa 
493. mipa
494. mireja
495. miru 
496. mirutarare  
497. misimiri
498. misuma
499. mita 
500. miturea 
501. mizase
502. Mujatewi
503. muko 
504. mupi 
505. murito 
506. muru HT 3

507. naa 
508. nadare
509. nadi/nadiradi/nadiredi 
510. nadiwi
511. nadu
512. Nadunapu2a 
513. Naisizamikao 
514. naka  
515. nakiki 
516. Nakininuta
517. nakuda 
518. Namarasasaja
519. Namatiti
520. nami  
521. namikua/namikuda
522. namine 
523. nanau 
524. nanipa3
525. napa3du
526. nara/naru 
527. narepirea
528. naridi 
529. narita
530. naroka 
531. nasarea
532. nasekimi 
533. nasi 
534. nasisea
535. nataa/nataje 
536. Natanidua
537. natareki 
538. nati
539. nazuku/nazuru 
540. nea 
541. neakoa  
542. nedia
543. nedira
544.  neka/nekisi 
545. nemaduka 
546. Nemaruja
547. nemi -or- mine 
548. Nemiduda 
549. Nemusaa 
550. Nenaarasaja 
551. neqa 
552. Neramaa 
553. nerapa/nerapaa 
554. nere 
555. nesa/nesaki/nesakimi 
556. Nesasawi 
557. Nesekuda  
558. neta 
559. netapa
560. netuqe
561. nidapa
562. nidiki/nidiwa 
563. niduti
564. nijanu
565. niku/nikutitii 
566. nimi
567. nipa3 
568. nira2 (nirai) -or- nita2 (nitai) )
569. niro/niru 
570. nise/nisi 
571. nisudu 
572. nisupu
573. niti/nitinu 
574. nizuka
575. nizuuka
576. nua
577. nude 
579. nuduwa
580. nuki/nukisikija
581. numida/numideqe
582. nupa3ku 
583. nupi 
584. nuqetu 
585. nuti/nutini 
586. Nutiuteranata
587. nutu
588 nuwi 

589. odami/odamia 
590. okamiza
591. Okamizasiina
592. opi  
593. ora2dine (oraidine) 
594. osuqare 
595. otanize
596. oteja 

597. pa/paa
598. padaru
599. padasuti
600. pade
601. padupaa
602. pa3a/pa3ana 
603. pa3da 
604. pa3dipo
605. pa3e
606. pa3karati 
607. pa3kija
608. pa3ku 
609. pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi 
610. pa3pa3ku
611. pa3qa 
612. pa3qe -or- qepa3 i.e. paiqe -or- qepai
613. pa3roka
614. pa3sase 
615. pa3waja 
616. paiki... (truncated right) 
617. Paito 
618. paja/pajai
619. pajare 
620. paka 
621. paku 
622. Pamanuita
623. para 
624. parane 
625. paroda
626. parosu 
627. pasarija 
628. pase
629. paseja 
630. pasia
631. pasu 
632. pata/patu 
633. patada
634. patane  
635. pataqe
636. pazaku
637. pia/pii 
638. pija/pijani/pijawa 
639. piku/pikui/pikuzu 
640. pimata 
641. pimitatira2 (pimitatirai)
642. pina/pini 
643. pirueju
644. pisa 
645. pita/pitaja 
646. pitakase/pitakesi  
647. pitara/pite(ri) 
648. piteza
649. pitisa
650. piwaa
651. piwaja
652. piwi
653. posa 
654. posi -or- sipo 
655. potokuro
656. pu2juzu
657. pu2ra2 (pu2rai)
658. pu2reja
659. pu2su/pu2sutu 
660. pu3pi
661. pu3tama
662. puko 
663. punikaso
664. puqe
665. pura2 (purai)
666. pu2reja... (truncated)
667. pusa/pusi
668. pusuqe
669. putejare

670. Qara2wa 
671. Qa2ra2wa 
672. qajo
673. qaka 
674. qakure
675. qanuma  
676. qapa3 (qapai) 
677. qapaja/qapajanai 
678. qaqada  
679. Qaqaru 
680. qara2wa (qaraiwa)
681. qareto 
682. qaqisenuti
683. qaro  threshold 
684. qasaraku 
685. qatidate 
686. qati/qatiju/qatiki 
687. qedi 
688. qedeminu 
689. qeja 
690. qeka 
691. qekure
692. Qenamiku
693. qenupa
694. qepaka
695. qepita
696. qepu 
697. qequre 
698. qera2u/qera2wa/qera2ja HT 1
699.  qeria/qeriu 
700. qero 
701. qerosa 
702. qesidoe
703. qesite
704. qesizue 
705. qesupu
706. qesusui
707. qeta2e (qetaie)
708. qeti 
709. qetune/qitune 
710. qisi
711. qoroqa 
712. quqani 
713. raa
714. rada/radaa/radakuku/radami 
715. radarua 
716. radasija
717. radizu 
718. radu/rade 
719. ra2ka (raika) 
720. Ra2madami (raimadami)
721. ra2miki (raimiki)
722. ra2natipiwa (rainatipiwa)
723. ra2pu/ra2pu2 (raipu/raipu2)
724. ra2ri (rairi) 
725. ra2rore
726. ra2ru 
727. ra2saa 
728. ra2ti (raiti)
729. Raja/Raju 
730. raka/rakaa
731. ranatusu
732. rani
733. raodiki 
734. rapa/rapu 
735. rapu3ra 
736. raqeda
737. rarasa
738. raride... (truncated right) 
739. rarua
740. rasa/rasi 
741. rasamii 
742. rasasaa/rasasaja 
743. rata/ratapi 
744. ratada
745. ratise (ritise?)
746. razua 
747. rea 
748. reda/redana/redasi 
749. Redamija
750. redise 
751. reduja 
752. reja/rejapa 
753. rekau 
754. rekotuku 
755. reku/rekuqa/rekuqe
756. rema/rematuwa
757. remi
758. renara/renaraa 
759. renute
760. repa
761. Repu2dudatapa 
762. repu3du
763. reqasuo
764. reradu 
765. Rera2tusi (Reraitusi)
766. Reratarumi 
767. rerora2 (rerorai)
768. rese/resi/resu  
769. retaa/retada 
770. retaka 
771. retata2
772. retema 
773. reza 
774. rezakeiteta 
775. ria 
776. ridu 
777. rikata 
778. rima 
779. rimisi 
780. ripaku
781. ripatu 
782. riqesa
783. rira/riruma
784. rirumati 
785. risa
786. Risaia3dai 
787. Risumasuri 
788. ritaje 
789. rite/ritepi 
791. ritoe
792. rodaa/rodaki 
793. roe 
794. roika 
795. roke/roki/roku 
796. romaku
797. romasa
798. ronadi
799. rore/roreka
800. rorota -or- taroro

New interpretation of Linear A tablet HT 10 (Haghia Triada):

Linear A tablet HT 10 Haghia Triada

A few months ago I posted my first interpretation of Linear A tablet HT 10 (Haghia Triada). Since then, I have made a few small tweaks. These are (a) the Linear A word kunisu, which is derived from Semitic kunissu, definitely means “emmer wheat”. (b) The supersyllabogram PA stands for Linear A pa3ni (paini) (noun)/pa3nina (painina) (adjective), which means either “millet” or “spelt”, since these two grain crops are the second most common grains cultivated everywhere in the Bronze age after kunisu “emmer wheat” and didero “einkorn wheat”. (c) the translation “offscourings/chaff” for ruma/rumata/rumatase (noun, adjective, noun in the instrumental plural) makes sense in context. (d) dare probably means “with a firebrand or torch”, since the tablet appears to deal with drought, when dead crops, i.e. grains in this case, are burnt. (e) Although tanati resembles the dative singular of the ancient Greek work qa/natoj, but this interpretation is doubtful.

The supersyllabogram WI in Linear A winu, winadu, winumatari

Minoan wine presses

The supersyllabogram WI in Linear A means any of the following,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). The most likely interpretation is winu = wine, but the other two are not out of the question. This supersyllabogram appears on only one tablet, Khania KH 5 wi.

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

Astonishing commentary on my Exhaustive Linear A lexicon, comparing my achievements to those of Albert Einstein!

In the past week since I first uploaded my Exhaustive Linear A Lexicon, it has received 410 hits, i.e. downloads, as of 5:00 pm., Monday 7 August 2017. This amounts to almost 60 downloads a day. To download it, click below. You will then be taken to the next page, where you simply click the green DOWNLOAD button.

Exhausitve Linear Lexicon Richard Vallance Janke academia.edu

The lexicon has catapulted me from the top 5% to the top 0.1% of academia.edu users.
Comments and commendations have been pouring in. Unquestionably, the most astonishing is this one:

Linear A research by Richard Vallance Janke related to Albert Einstein and Coliln Renfrew

Other comments include:

wonderful topic... 

Inspired by your new perspective on one of the most studied cultures in the world.

Yes when you see their artifacts and the technology needed to create such items is amazing... Thanks for the reply and keep up the great work 


Linear B syllabograms, homophones and special characters missing from the Linear A syllabary:

Linear B syllabograms and homophones not in Linear A

A considerable number of Mycenaean Linear B syllabograms, homophones and special characters missing from the Linear A syllabary. But the same can be said for a fairly large number of Linear A syllabograms, homophones and special characters missing from Linear B. Thus, students of both syllabaries must master, first the overlap, which accounts for most of the characters in both syllabaries, and secondly, the discrepancies, of which there are scores. There is simply no way around it. If you are a student of both Linear A and Linear B you have to learn the syllabograms, homophones and special characters found in one of the syllabaries but missing in the other.

Notably, the O series of syllabograms in Linear B suffers from several lacunae in Linear A. This is simply because Linear A has an aversion the ultimate O, and nothing more. Words which terminate in O in Linear B, which is to say, masculine and neuters, much more commonly end in U in Linear A. And this includes a great many exograms which are common to both syllabaries.

Above all else, the masculine and neuter genitive singular always terminates in O in Linear B, and always in U in Linear A. The feminine genitive singular ultimate in Linear A, just as we find in Linear B, appears to be ija, and there are plenty of examples (for instance, jadireja, kiraja, kupa3rija, musajanemaruja, namarasasaja, nenaarasaja, nemaruja, nenaarasaja, nukisikija, sejarapaja, sidija, sudaja and Sukirteija, to cite just a few) . The problem is that no examples of masculine or neuter genitive singular with the ultimate ijo exist. Only a few words terminate in iju, (aju, araju, kumaju, kureju, pirueju and sareju), but these are almost certainly masculine and/or neuter genitive singular, hence likely validating the notion that the feminine genitive singular is ija.

Haiku in Linear A, Zadeu the priest, reminding us of Handel’s Zadok the Priest: 

Minoan Linear A haiku Zadeu wireu Zadeu the priest

Handel Zadok the priest score

Did the archaic nominative and/or genitive singular feminine ending in ja/ya in Mycenaean Greek derive from the Minoan language?

teal banner feminine nominative or genitive

In the glossary below of:
A: masculine Mycenaean Linear B words ending in jo
B: feminine Mycenaean Linear B words ending in ja
C: Minoan Linear A words ending in ja

These are the keys:
nom. = nominative
gen. = genitive

All Linear B entries are drawn Latinized as is from Chris Tselentis’ Linear A Lexicon. 
A: Most Linear B nouns in jo are nominative:

A-da-ra-ti-jo Adrastios nom.
ai-ki-a2-ri-jo aigihalios = coastal, of the coast gen.
a-ka-ta-jo Aktaios nom.
a-ke-re-wi-jo Agrevios nom.
akorajo= used for communal purposes + for the marketplace gen.
a-mi-ni-si-jo Amnisos nom.
a-pi-no-e-wi-jo ethnic name of Amphinoevioi gen.
arejo = areios (divine epithet)nom.
a-te-mi-ti-jo = Artemitios nom.
da-ja-ro = Daiaros nom.
da-mi-ni-jo = Damnios nom.
da-ta-ja-ro = Dataiaros nom.
da-wi-jo = ethnic name of Davios gen.
de-u-ka-ri-jo = Deukalion nom.
di-ka-ta-jo = Diktaios Cf. Linear A nom.
di-u-jo + diwijo = belonging to Zeus gen.
du-ni-jo = Dynios nom.
dwo-jo = of two gen.
e-to-ni-jo = etonion = free-hold nom.
e-wi-ta-jo = ethnic name of Evitaios nom.
kakijo = made of copper gen
ku-te-se-jo = kyteseios = made from ebony gen.

B: Most Linear words in ja are nominative:

a-ko-ra-ja= used for communal purposes + for the marketplace gen.
a-mo-te-wi-ja armothevia = description of a pot (gen. sing.?)gen.
a-ne-moi-ere-ja = priestess of the winds nom.
a-ni-ja = ania = reins (neut. pl.) nom.
a-pa-ta-wa-ja = ethnic name of Aptarfaia nom.
a-ra-ka-te-ja = alakateiai = weavers nom.
a-ra-ru-ja = ararya = bound, equipped nom.
a-re-ja = areia (divine epithet) nom.
a-si-ja-ti-ja = Asiatiai nom.
a-si-wi-ja = Asivia nom.
a-te-re-wi-ja = Atreivia nom.
da-wi-ja = ethnic name of Davia gen.
de-di-ku-ja = dedikyia = being apprenticed adjectival
di-pi-si-ja = ethnic name of Dipsia gen.
di-u-ja = diyia = priestess of the god Zeus nom.
e-qe-si-ja = related to a follower gen.
e-ru-mi-ni-ja = elymniai = roof beams nom.
e-sa-re-wi-ja = Esalevia nom.
e-to-ki-ja = entoihia = fittings for insertion in walls nom.
e-wi-ri-pi-ja = ethnic name of Evripia gen.  
i-je-re-ja = priestess nom.
i-ni-ja = personal name = Inia nomm.
i-pe-me-de-ja = personal name =Iphemedeia nom.
ka-da-mi-ja = somee product related to garden cress nom.
ka-ki-ja/ka-ke-ja = made of copper = khalkia gen.
ka-pi-ni-ja = kapnia = chimney nom.
ke-ra-me-ja = personal name = Kerameia nom.
ke-ro-si-ja = geronsia = council of elders nom. + gen.
ke-se-ne-wi-ja = xenwia adjectival
ko-ki-re-ja = kolhireia = shell=shaped, spiral adjectival
ko-no-si-ja = Knosia = ethnic name of Knossos gen.
nu-wa-i-ja = numfaia = kind of textile of water-lily colour nom. + gen.
pa-ta-ja = paltaia =  arrow nom.
po-si-da-e-ja = Posidaeia nom.
pu-ka-ta-ri-ja = type of cloth nom.
pu2-te-ri-ja = phuteria = planted, cultivated adjectival
qe-ra-si-ja = Kerasia (name of goddess) nom.
ra-e-ja = laheia = made of stone gen.
ra-ja = Raia nom.
ri-ne-ja = lineiai = flax workers nom.
ro-u-si-je-wi-ja = Lousieveia = originating in/from Lousos gen.
se-to-i-ja = Setoia nom.
si-to-po-ti-ni-ja= sitopotnia = goddess of grain nom. + gen.
te-o-po-ri-ja = Theophoria = religious feast nom.
ti-ri-ja= tria = three nom.
we-a-re-ja = vealeia = made of glass adjectival + gen.

C: what are all the Minoan Linear A words below ending in ja supposed to represent? Are all or even some of them either nouns or adjectives? Just because they are in Mycenaean Linear B does not constitute proof that they are in Linear A. Nevertheless, they could be.    

NOTE that it is highly unusual, if not inexplicable, for there to be 57 words with the ultimate ja in Linear A, but none whatsoever ending in jo. This leads me to believe that it is extremely risky to assume that all of these Minoan words with ultimate ja are either nominative or genitive feminine singular. Just because they are in Mycenaean Linear B does not at all necessarily imply that they are so in Linear A. That would be jumping to conclusions. Nevertheless, there may be a case for assuming that Minoan Linear A words with ultimate ja may possibly be either nominative or genitive feminine singular, in which case it would appear that the Mycenaean nominative or genitive feminine singular words with the ultimate ja may possibly be derived from their Minoan precedents. But there is no way of proving this.

C: 57/988 Minoan Linear A words with the ultimate ja:

dija Cf. LB di-u-ja = diyia = priestess of the god Zeus
jadireja 10
kupa3rija *
masaja (of larger? L&S 426)
masuja 20
mireja (belonging to a sheep? L&S 443) 
nukisikija *
paja 30
pasarija *
radasija *
redamija *
reduja 40
sidija *
tikuja 50
waja (land)
zanwaija 57

These 57 Minoan Linear A words may be either:
1 the primordial nominative singular feminine
2 the primordial genitive singular feminine
3 neither

The last scenario is just as probable as the first two.

Minoan Linear A tablet HT 14 (Haghia Triada) almost completely deciphered + the 4 categories of Linear A tablets:

Linear A talbet HT 14 Haghia Triada

Here you see Minoan Linear A tablet HT 14 (Haghia Triada), which I have been able to decipher almost completely. This is because the tablet is comprised mostly of ideograms, making it much easier to reconstruct the original text. In addition, I have already translated the supersyllabogram TE = tereza (on the first line) as being a large unit of liquid measurement, which in the case of wine might be something like “a flask”,  “a jug” or something along the lines of  “a gallon”, on the explicit understanding that there was no such thing as a gallon in Minoan times; this is merely an approximation.  The supersyllabograms PU & DI are unknown, i.e. indecipherable, at least to date. Likewise, the Old Minoan word, apu2nadu (apunaidu) is also unknown, but it might mean  “harvest”. The units of wheat are probably equivalent to something like a bushel. The supersyllabogram MI = mini signifies  “for a month” (dative) or “monthly”, and is New Minoan, i.e. a word of Mycenaean origin superimposed on Linear A.

The rest of the decipherment is self-explanatory.

Decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablets falls into four (4) categories:

1. Tablets on which we find only Old Minoan words, or on which the vast majority of words are Old Minoan. These tablets are pretty much indecipherable.
2. Tablets on which we find a combination of Old Minoan and New Minoan (words of Mycenaean origin). The more New Minoan words on a tablet, the more likely we are going to be able to decipher it. Ideally, there should be more New Minoan (Mycenaean) words than Old Minoan (the original Minoan substratum), in order to divine the meanings of Old Minoan words immediately adjacent to New Minoan words. This is of course contextual analysis. Such tablets are at least partially decipherable.
3. Linear A tablets containing ideograms almost exclusively are susceptible to decipherment. HT 14 (Haghia Triada) falls into this category.
4. A very few Linear A tablets are written mostly, almost entirely and in one case only, entirely in New Minoan (the Mycenaean superstratum). These tablets can be be mostly and in some cases entirely deciphered.     

Can quantum computers assist in the decipherment of Minoan Linear A?” Keynote article on academia.edu

(Click on the graphical link below to download this ground-breaking article on the application of potentially superintelligent quantum quantum computers to the decipherment, even partial, of the ancient Minoan Linear A syllabary):


This is a major new article on the application of quantum computers to the AI (artificial intelligence) involvement in the decipherment of the unknown ancient Minoan Linear A syllabary (ca. 2800 – 1500 BCE). This article advances the hypothesis that quantum computers such as the world’s very first fully functional quantum computer, D-Wave, of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, may very well be positioned to assist human beings in the decipherment, even partial, of the Minoan Linear A syllabary. This article goes to great lengths in explaining how quantum computers can expedite the decipherment of Minoan Linear A. It addresses the critical questions raised by Nick Bostrom, in his ground-breaking study, Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies (Oxford University Press, 2014),


in which he advances the following hypothesis:

Nick Bostrom makes it clear that artificial superintelligence (AS) does not necessarily have to conform to or mimic human intelligence. For instance, he says:
1. We have already cautioned against anthropomorphizing the capabilities of a superintelligent AI. The warning should be extend to pertain to its motivations as well. (pg 105)
and again,
2. This possibility is most salient with respect to AI, which might be structured very differently than human intelligence. (pg. 172) ... passim ... It is conceivable that optimal efficiency would be attained by grouping aggregates that roughly match the cognitive architecture of a human mind. It might be the case, for example, that a mathematics module must be tailored to a language module, in order for the three to work together... passim ... There might be niches for complexes that are either less complex (such as individual modules), more complex (such as vast clusters of modules), or of  similar complexity to human minds but with radically different architectures. 

... among others respecting the probable advent of superintelligence within the next 20-40 years (2040-2060).

This is a revolutionary article you will definitely not want to miss reading, if you are in any substantial way fascinated by the application of supercomputers and preeminently, quantum computers, which excel at lightning speed pattern recognition, which they can do so across templates of patterns in the same domain, to the decipherment of Minoan Linear A, an advanced technological endeavour which satisfies these scientific criteria. In the case of pattern recognition across multiple languages, ancient and modern, in other words in cross-comparative multi-language analysis, the astonishing capacity of quantum computers to perform this operation in mere seconds is an exceptional windfall we simply cannot afford not to take full advantage of.  Surely quantum computers’ mind-boggling lightning speed capacity to perform such cross-comparative multi-linguistic analysis is a boon beyond our wildest expectations.

Under the syllabogram RE in Minoan Linear A, there appears to be only one word of possible proto-Greek origin and it is...


This table is self-explanatory.

6 more Minoan Linear A putative proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean words: DA-DI. But are they proto-Greek at all?


As we forge our way through Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon, in which he Latinizes the orthography of Minoan Linear A words,  we now arrive at Linear A words beginning with the syllabograms DA through to DI.  It is absolutely de rigueur to read the Notes in the table above; otherwise, my tentative decipherments of 6 more Minoan words in Linear A as being possibly proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean will not make any sense at all.  The table also draws attention to those words which are of moderate frequency (MF) on Minoan Linear A tablets and fragments, with the far greater proportion of them appearing on mere fragments. I cannot emphasize this point enough. In view of the fact that the vast majority of Minoan Linear A extant remnants are just that, remnants or fragments and nothing more, it is of course next to impossible to verify whether or not the 6 words I have extrapolated (or for that matter any other so-called proto-Greek words)  as possibly being  proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean are that at all. 

Add to this caveat that researchers and linguists specializing in ancient Greek often hypothesize that, and I quote verbatim:

It is possible that Greek took over some thousand words and proper names from such a language (or languages), because some of its vocabulary cannot be satisfactorily explained as deriving from the Proto-Greek language (italics mine). Among these pre-Greek substratum words we find Anatolian loanwords such as:
dépas ‘cup; pot, vessel’, Mycenaean di-pa, from the Luwian = tipa = sky, bowl or cup, one of the pre-Greek substratum words right in the table above! 
+ eléphas ‘ivory’, from Hittite lahpa;
+ kýmbachos ‘helmet’, from Hittite kupahi ‘headgear’; 
+ kýmbalon ‘cymbal’, from Hittite huhupal ‘wooden percussion instrument’; 
+ mólybdos ‘lead’, Mycenaean mo-ri-wo-do, from Lydian mariwda(s)k ‘the dark ones’ etc.

But there is more, significantly more. Wikipedia, Greek language:


has this to say about Greek vocabulary.


Greek is a language distinguished by an extensive vocabulary. Most of the vocabulary of Ancient Greek was inherited, but it includes a number of borrowings from the languages of the populations that inhabited Greece before the arrival of Proto-Greeks. (italics mine) [25] Words of non-Indo-European origin can be traced into Greek from as early as Mycenaean times; they include a large number of Greek toponyms. 

Further discussion of a pre-Greek substratum continues here:


Where, in addition to the pre-Greek substratum words I have already cited above, we find, and again I quote verbatim:

The Pre-Greek substrate consists of the unknown language or languages spoken in prehistoric Greece before the settlement of Proto-Greek speakers in the area (italics mine). It is thought possible that Greek took over some thousand words and proper names from such a language (or languages), because some of its vocabulary cannot be satisfactorily explained as deriving from the Proto-Greek language  

Possible Pre-Greek loanwords
Personal names: Odysseus; 
Theonyms: Hermes; 
Maritime vocabulary: thálassa = sea; 
Words relating to Mediterranean agriculture: elai(w)a = olive & ampelos = vine 
Building technology: pyrgos = tower; 
Placenames, especially those terminating in -nth- : Korinthos, Zakynthos
& in -ss- : Parnassos & in and -tt- : Hymettus

And, to ram my point home, one of the pre-Greek substrata identified is the Minoan language itself. It is on this basis and upon this foundation, among others, that I posit the following hypothesis:

Pre-Greek substratum words are both proto-Greek and not, simultaneously!

The assumption that certain Minoan words in Linear A appear to be proto-Greek or even proto-Mycenaean (if we wish to stretch the notion one small step further, which I believe is entirely justified) does not in and of itself necessarily imply that some or even quite possibly most of them are de facto actually of proto-Indo-European proto-Greek origin, when quite plainly (so) many of them are not of such origin. In other words, we find ourselves face to face with an apparent contradiction in terms, a dye-in-the-wool linguistic paradox: some, many or even most of the so-called pre- + proto-Greek words we encounter in Minoan Linear A are likely to be proto-Greek, but only insofar as they crop up again and again in later ancient Greek dialects, right on down from the earliest East Greek dialect, Mycenaean, through Arcado-Cypriot on down to Ionic and Attic Greek and beyond, while simultaneously being of non-Indo-european origin, if you can wrap your head around that notion... which I most definitely can.  

So if anyone dares claim that all of those words in Minoan (of which there seem to be quite a substantial number) are de facto proto-Greek, that person should think again. Think before you leap. It is much too easy for us to jump to spurious conclusions with respect to the supposed proto-Greek origin(s) of many words in Minoan Linear A.

To compound the matter further, let us consider the situation from the opposite end of the spectrum. It is widely known, by both intellectual non-linguists, i.e. intelligent native speakers of any given language, and by professional linguists alike, that pretty much every modern language borrows not just thousands, but tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of words from prior languages. The one modern language which exemplifies this phenomenon par excellence is non other than English, in which we find hundreds of thousands of loanwords from ancient Greek, Latin and Norman French.

Now it goes without saying that all languages, ancient and modern, follow the same pattern of accumulating some and even as many as thousands of loanwords. Ancient Latin did so with ancient Greek. And here lies the rub. So must have Mycenaean Greek with the Minoan language. In Chris Tslentis Linear B  Lexicon, we find many words which cannot possibly be accounted for as being proto-Greek, but which must be of some other origin. And one of the most likely origins for a relatively large subset of these words is probably the Minoan language itself. Allow me to cite just a few of the more glaring examples:

adete = binder 
Akireu = Achilles
Aminiso = Amnisos harbour (Cf. Linear A, Uminaso)
Damate = Demeter (Cf. Linear A, Idamate)
dipa = cup (Cf. Linear A, depa)
erepa = ivory
kama = a unit of land
kanako = safflower, saffron (Cf. Linear A, kanaka)
kidapa = (ash) wood?
mare/mari = wool (Cf. Linear A, maru)
opa = workshop?
serino = celery (Cf. Linear A, sedina)
tarasa = sea

Now if even most of the so-called Mycenaean Greek terms listed here are actually Minoan, then it is stands to reason that Mycenaean Greek inherited them from the Minoan language itself, and ergo, that they are not necessarily proto-Greek words at all.  It is as if we were in a flip-flop. Either way, whether or not any of the words which we have flagged (and shall continue to tag) as possibly being proto-Greek in the Minoan language or the other way around, whether or not certain words in Mycenaean Greek are not proto-Greek at all, and not even of proto-Indo-European origin, we find ourselves floundering in a Saragossa Sea of linguistic incertitude from which we really cannot extricate ourselves.

So to all those researchers, past and present, into the Minoan language who make the claim, categorical or not, that much of the vocabulary of the Minoan language is proto-Greek, I say Beware! lest you fall into a trap from which you cannot reasonably hope to extricate yourselves.

Is the Minoan Linear A labrys inscribed with I-DA-MA-TE in Minoan or in proto-Greek? PART A: Is it in the Minoan language?

In my previous post on the Minoan Linear A labrys inscribed with I-DA-MA-TE, I postulated that the word Idamate was probably either the name of the king or of the high priestess (of the labyrinth?) to whom this labrys has been ritually dedicated. But in so doing I was taking the path of least resistance, by seeking out the two most simplistic decipherments which would be the least likely to prove troublesome or controversial. In retrospect, that was a cop-out.

No sooner had I posted my two alternate simplistic translations than I was informed by a close colleague of mine in the field of diachronic historical linguistics focusing on Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B that at least two other alternative decipherments came into play, these being:

1. that the term Idamate may be the Minoan equivalent of the Mycenaean Linear B Damate, which is apparently an early version of the ancient Greek, Demeter, who was the goddess of cereals and harvesting:



2. that the term Idamate may be Minoan for Mount Ida, in which case, the word Mate = “mount”, such that the phrase actually spells out  “Ida mount(ain)” :


Since both of these decipherments make eminent sense, either could, at least theoretically, be correct.
But there is a third alternative, and it is far more controversial and compelling than either of the first two. 

3. It is even possible that the four syllabograms I DA MA & TE are in fact supersyllabograms, which is to say that each syllabogram is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a word, presumably a Minoan word. But if these 4 supersyllabograms represent four consecutive Minoan words, what on earth could these words possibly signify, in light of the fact that we know next to nothing about the Minoan language. It appears we are caught in an irresolvable Catch-22.

Yet my own recent research has allowed me to tease potential decipherments out of 107 or about 21 % of all intact words in Prof. John G. Youngers Linear A lexicon of 510 terms by my own arbitrary count. Scanning this scanty glossary yielded me numerous variations on 3 terms which might conceivably make sense in at least one suppositious context. These terms (all of which I have tentatively deciphered) are:

1. For I: itaja = unit of liquid volume for olive oil (exact value unknown)

2. FOR DA: either:
daropa = stirrup jar = Linear B karawere (high certainty)
datara = (sacred) grove of olive trees
data2 (datai) = olive, pl. date = Linear B erawo
datu = olive oil
daweda = medium size amphora with two handles

3. For TE:
tereza = large unit of dry or liquid measurement
tesi = small unit of measurement

But I cannot find any equivalent for MA other than maru, which seemingly means “wool”, even in Minoan Linear A, this being the apparent equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B mari or mare.  The trouble is that this term (if that is what the third supersyllabogram in idamate stands in for) does not contextually mesh at all with any of the alternatives for the other three words symbolized by their respective supersyllabograms.

But does that mean the phrase is not Minoan? Far from it. There are at least 2 cogent reasons for exercising extreme caution in jumping to the conclusion that the phrase cannot be in Minoan. These are:    
1. that the decipherments of all of the alternative terms I have posited for the supersyllabograms I DA & TE above are all tentative, even if they are more than likely to be close to the mark and some of them probably bang on (for instance, daropa), which I believe they are;
2. that all 3 of the supersyllabograms I DA & TE may instead stand for entirely different Minoan words, none of which I have managed to decipher. And God knows there are plenty of them!  Since I have managed to decipher only 107 of 510 extant intact Minoan Linear A words by my arbitrary count, that leaves 403 or 79 % undeciphered!  That is far too great a figure to be blithely brushed aside. 

The > impact of combinations of a > number of Minoan Linear A words on their putative decipherment:


To give you a rough idea of the number of undeciphered Minoan words beginning with I DA & TE I have not been able to account for, here we have a cross-section of just a few of those words from Prof. John G. Younger’s Linear A Reverse Lexicon:
which are beyond my ken:


For I:

For DA:

For MA:

For TE:

But the situation is far more complex than it appears at first sight. To give you just a notion of the enormous impact of exponential mathematical permutations and combinations on the potential for gross errors in any one of a substantial number of credible decipherments of any given number of Minoan Linear A terms as listed even in the small cross-section of the 100s of Minoan Words in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon, all we have to do is relate the mathematical implications of the  chart on permutations to any effort whatsoever at the decipherment of even a relatively small no. of Minoan Linear A words:

CLICK on the chart of permutations to link to the URL where the discussion of both permutations and combinations occurs:


to realize how blatantly obvious it is that any number of interpretations of any one of the selective cross-section of terms which I have listed here can be deemed the so-called actual term corresponding to the supersyllabogram which supposedly represents it. But, and I must emphatically stress my point, this is just a small cross-section of all of the terms in the Linear B Reverse Lexicon beginning with each of  the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE in turn.

It is grossly obvious that, if we allow for the enormous number of permutations and combinations to which the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE must categorically be  subjected mathematically, it is quite out of the question to attempt any decipherment of these 4 supersyllabograms, I DA MA & TE, without taking context absolutely into consideration. And even in that eventuality, there is no guarantee whatsoever that any putative decipherment of each of these supersyllabograms (I DA MA & TE) in turn in the so-called Minoan language will actually hold water, since after all, a smaller, but still significant subset of an extremely large number of permutation and combinations must still remain incontestably in effect.

The mathematics of the aforementioned equations simply stack up to a very substantial degree against any truly convincing decipherment of any single Minoan Linear A term, except for one small consideration (or as it turns out, not so small at all). As it so happens, and as we have posited in our first two alternative decipherments above, i.e.
1. that Idamate is Minoan for Mycenaean Damate, the probable equivalent of classical Greek Demeter, or
2. that Idamate actually means “Mount Ida”,

these two possible decipherments which do make sense can be extrapolated from the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE, at least if we take into account the Minoan Linear A terms beginning with I DA & TE (excluding TE), which I have managed, albeit tentatively, to decipher.

However, far too many putative decipherments of the great majority of words in the Minoan language itself are at present conceivable, at least to my mind. Yet, this scenario is quite likely to change in the near future, given that I have already managed to tentatively decipher 107 or 21 % of 510 extant Minoan Linear A words, by my arbitrary count.  It is entirely conceivable that under these circumstances I shall be able to decipher even more Minoan language words in the near future. In point of fact, if Idamate actually does mean either Idamate (i.e. Demeter) or Ida Mate (i.e. Mount Ida), then:
(a) with only 2 possible interpretations for IDAMATE now taken into account, the number of combinations and permutations is greatly reduced to an almost insignificant amount &
(b) the actual number of Minoan Linear A words I have deciphered to date rises from 107 to 108 (in a Boolean OR configuration, whereby we can add either  “Demeter” or “Mount Ida” to our Lexicon, but not both).  A baby step this may be, but a step forward regardless. 

Are there “adjuncts” a.k.a. Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A? Apparently so... at least in the pottery and vessels sector of the Minoan economy. But what do they mean?

Part A: Preamble

I recently searched Google for as many Minoan Linear A tablets as I could find which might conceivably support the phenomenon I refer to as supersyllabograms, a.k.a as “adjuncts” in the research literature on Mycenaean Linear B, and to my utter surprise and astonishment I discovered one rather long intact Linear A tablet fitting the bill. There are on it what appear to be several “incharged adjuncts”, which is a contradiction in terms when you stop to think about it, since an adjunct, an element adjacent to an ideogram in either Mycenaean Linear B or (possibly) Minoan Linear A cannot be bound inside said ideogram, because if it were so, it would no longer be an adjunct, i.e. adjacent. Among other reasons, this is why I have chosen to refer to so-called “adjuncts” in Linear B as supersyllabograms. I have defined this term over and over on our blog, and if you wish to learn what a supersyllabogram is, I urge you to go to the section, Supersyllabograms, flagged here at the top of our blog. Just click on the word to jump to that section: Click to ENLARGE

LBKM menu
Now if we turn our attention to supersyllabograms in the pottery and vessels sector alone in Mycenaean Linear B, here is what we find: Click to ENLARGE
10 Supersyllabograms in the Vessels Sector of Mycenaean Linear B
Without our delving nto details re. the specific meaning of each and every one of these 10 supersyllabograms out of a total of 35 which I have discovered to date in all sectors of the  Minoan-Mycenaean economy, we can still see that each one clearly delimits the actual type of vessel with which the incharged supersyllabogram is concerned. For instance, the syllabogram di incharged in the ideogram for a two-handled kylix indicates that this is a libation vessel either to Poseidon or Potnia, two major Minoan/Mycenaean gods, whole so incharged in its vessel would in all probability indicates that this is a funerary urn.

Now when turn to we examine the Minoan Linear A you see illustrated here: Click to ENLARGE: 

Linear A Ay. Nikolaos Mus
from the site: Study Questions: Biers, Chapter 1: "Archaeology in Greece" and Biers, Chapter 2: "The Minoans" , which you can visit here:

site with tablet

we at once see that it too contains a total of 6 syllabograms, all of which are incharged in the ideograms for pottery or vessels which they represent. By “incharged” I mean that the supersyllabogram is bound inside the ideogram with which it is associated. In Mycenaean Linear B at least, all incharged supersyllabograms without exception are attributive, that is to say, they describe an actual (adjectival) attribute of the ideogram within which they are found.

The question is, what do they mean? In other words, (a) how does each of these incharged syllabograms delimit the vessel they are attributes of to one and one only specific type of vessel? This leads us directly to the next obvious question, (b) what can each of these incharged supersyllabograms mean? Can we glean from each of them the actual meaning, i.e. the type of vessel with which they are concerned? — because if there is even a chance that we can, then we shall have discovered for the first time ever the actual meanings of  a possible maximum of 6 Minoan words, and that would constitute a breakthrough, however minimal, in the decipherment of the Minoan language, which has to date resisted all attempts whatsoever at decipherment.

Two of the characters, 2 and 5 on this tablet may not be Linear A syllabograms. I am unable to identify them as such. 1 appears to be the syllabogram su, but I cannot be sure. 3 is definitely the syllabogram for the vowel u, while 4 appears to be that for po. 6 is definitely the syllabogram for  the vowel a. Even though this syllabogram clearly signifies an amphora in Mycenaean Linear B, no such conclusion can be safely drawn for Minoan Linear A, since the language is not Greek — unless the word for amphora is pre-Greek, which is highly unlikely. But the question remains, what kinds of vessels do the Minoan syllabograms su & po (which are tentative on this tablet), and u and a, which are certain, signify?  With reference to the so-called certainty of the syllabograms a in u in Minoan Linear A, we of course have to rely on the premise that all or at least the vast majority of syllabograms in Minoan Linear A are either  identical or nearly identical to their Mycenaean Linear B counterparts. But unfortunately even that is not so certain, although most linguists and researchers into Minoan Linear A believe this to be the case. For the sake of uniformity and consistence with the prevailing views on the actual phonemic value of each Minoan Linear A syllabogram, let us assume this is the case. If this scenario is indeed tenable, I propose in the next 3 posts to unravel the putative meanings of a maximum of 4 types of vessels as found on the Minoan Linear A tablet illustrated above, down to a minimum of one, the word for “tripod” in Linear A, perhaps the only one for which the definition would appear to be sound.


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