Tag Archive: Sumerian

Total number of words derived from languages antecedent to Linear A in Linear A: 

banner antecedents to Linear A in Linear A
Below we find the potential total of the number of words derived from languages antecedent to Linear A in Linear A. This figure = 87 or 8 % of Linear A may need to be revised downwards upon re-checking each word against each and every Linear A tablet on which it may appear.
This is also true of the total of 305 = 28 % of the Greek-like words in the previous post. It is likely that the grand total of 36 % will thus also eventually need to be revised downwards. I will only be able to verify the final results after the exercise of cross-correlation with Linear A tablets, prior to the publication of the Revised Linear A Lexicon early in 2018.

Akanu/Akanuzati  PGS TOP A0rxa/nej = Archanes (Crete) – or- a large bowl, from Semitic akanu
akara/akaru = akaras/akarus NM a1kra - or - = end, border + akaru a0gro/j = field, from Hittite, akkala = furrow  
ama OM = armas = moon? (Hittite/Luwian origin?)
ana not NM a0na/ ana = upwards, above, through; according to etc. OM = tin, from Hittite, anna, Akkadian, anaku 
api NM a0spi/j = shield – or- OM plough, from Hittite apin  = 5
Arenesidi  ONO = for Nesidis (Hittite)
ari/arinita OM = flower? + arinata = flowery, from Hittite alil 
arisu OM = cow or bull or ox, permuted. See also qaqaru, riruma
asadaka asadakas MOSE NM a1staxa <- a1staxu (Minoan nom. sing.)= ear of corn
asamune OM = goblet, from Semitic assummun 
Asara2 TOP = Linear B Asaro A0sa/roj -or- may refer to Assur, hence Assyria -or- asara2 (asarai) = without flax – or- OM = white, from Hittite asara = 10
asasarame NM? Used in conjuction with the Mycenaean attempt to translate the name of the Minoan goddess, Atana, Greek Athena A-ta-no-dju-wa-ja – or- Asherah (Semitic) 
asijaka – used in conjunction with – uminasi – OM asijaka = entrance to a port? - or- Sfardak = from Sardis (Luwian)
asona = possibly Asona peoples of Africa, whose totem is a crow or snake, thus possibly snake. atu NM a1stu/ = town See also Luwian atiwati = in the town
daka/daki/daku/dakuna/dakusene(ti) (last agglutinative) OM = black? (Luwian, dakkuis) + Dakusene OM ONO Cf. Takusenni (Khurritic)
damate PGS NM Da/mate = Damater Cf. Linear B Damate Cf. damate = Earth Mother = 15 (Pelasgian) - or- da/matei = in the village 
darunete – See also dirunete. See also Hittite, daru = tree, wood
depa/depu PGS de/paj de/pu= cup Cf. Linear B dipa di/paj & Homeric de/pa (Luwian = bowl, cup)
dideru OM PGS = einkorn wheat – or- oats (Semitic) Cf. Linear B didero
etori NM? e1tori <- e1toj = for a year – or – OM = food, from Hittite etri
Idamate/Idamete PGS ONO  0Idama/te = Mother goddess of Mount Ida  Cf. Idaian Mother (Pelasgian) = 20
ija OM = ram from Hittite iya
jako/jaku/jakute OM = grain? from Hittite, halki
Kanijami ONO Kaniamis fem. (Ugaritic)
kanuti OM ONO = Kanuties (Phrygian)
karopa2 (karopai) OM = kylix with 2 handles-or- MOSE NM ka/rdoph = wooden vessel/vase – or – karpu = vessel name (Semitic) = 25
kataro NM ka/nqa=roj = scarab (Egyptian) + drinking cup
kiro/kirisi/kiru OM = deficit, owed Cf. Linear B oporo = they owed Cf. kilu, kalum = deficit (Semitic)
kunisu OM = emmer wheat (derivation: Semitic kunnisu) 
kupa/kupi NM ku=fa/ ku=fi/ <- ku=fo/j = bent, curved, with something bent, possibly a scythe. See also – kupaja (genitive singular) – below – or – OM cypergrass, henna (Semitic)
Kupa3nu OM ONO (Ugaritic) = 30
kupari OM = legume. Cf. gopali = annual legume (Sanskrit)
kuro/kurotu NM ku=roj = supreme power, authority & ku=rwn = reaching, attaining i.e. = total Cf. Linear B tosa to/sa Cf. kol = total (Semitic)
mana/manapi (common) PGS Hebrew manna= = (of spiritual food) bread from heaven, the supernatural food eaten by the Israelites in the desert, or simply bread” -or- Mana = Minos (Luwian)   
maro/maru/maruku/maruri NM  mallo/j = flock of wool Cf. Linear B mali mali/ = wool  = 410
masa/masaja NM ma/=ssa  ma/=ssaia <= ma/=sswn = larger, bigger  - 0r – OM = goat, from Hittite, mas = 35
matiti OM = with a mat? (instrumental sing.) Cf. matta (Phoenician)
Mekidi ONO Megi/di <- Me/gaj = the Great – or – OM = income, revenue, from Hittite melkitu 
mesiki -or- sikime -or- kimesi etc. LIG  Cf. Hittite, mekki = much, many  
midai OM = red, from Hittite mida = red, ochre
minute (sing. minuta2 – minutai) OM = pulse crop, any one of broad beans (faba/fava), chick peas, lentils or vetch (permuted) See minutum = standard type of grain (Semitic) = 40
nesa/nesaki/nesakimi + OM nesidi = Hittite (Pelasgian) 
Paito NM1 Phaistos Faisto/j = Phaistos Cf. Linear Paito Faisto/j See also Payata (Luwian) = paka OM =  (very common)/paku (very common)/pakuka Cf. pancha  = drink from alcohol, sugar, lemon, water, tea or spices (Sanskrit) – or – OM = whole, entire, from Hittite, panku
paku NM paxu/j = great, large; rich, wealthy – or- OM, paku, = holy, sacred from Hittite, parkui
para NM para\ = beside, from beside, by the side of, beyond etc. - or- viceroy, prince -or- double axes (Luwian)
pata/patada/pataqe/patu OM = small handle-less cups Cf. Linear B dipa anowe, dipa anowoto Cf. pataqu = wine cup (Semitic) = 45
pisa OM TOP?  Cf. Luwian, Pisaru = Pisaros
potokuro NM poto/n +  ku/rwn = reaching a full drink, a full draught (agglutinative) – used with no. 65 – or – OM = grand total Cf. putu kol = grand total (Semitic)
punikaso PGS NM funi/kasoj = crimson, red (of wine) Cf. Linear B ponikiya ponikiyo foini/kioj = crimson Cf. Phoenician
qaqaru OM = a livestock animal, probably a cow or bull or ox – or – talent (gold) (Pelasgian)
qati/qatiki OM = portion Cf. bhakti = portion Sanskrit)
qera2u/qera2wa/qera2ja... (truncated)  OM = a type of grain, probably millet or spelt (inflected) – or – toasted grain, from Semitic qalu = 50
qeria/qeriu OM = probably millet or spelt – or - – or – toasted grain, from Semitic qalu
qero NM be/loj = arrow, dart -or- beryl	vaidūrya (Sanskrit, Dravidian)
qeti (instr. sing.)/qetiradu OM/PGS = a very large pot, pithos Cf. Linear B PGS qeto pi/qoj
qetune/qitune OM = linen, from kutum (Semitic)   
raki/rakii/rakisi/raku OM = lacquer Cf. lākṣā (Sanskrit)
ruqa/ruqaqa (common) OM = to kindle? from Hittite ruki ?
saka sakas NM sa/kka <- sa/kkoj = coarse cloth of hair from goats; sackcloth -or- sa/ka <- sa/koj a shield made of wicker See also saqqu (Akkadian) See also – saqa – below = 55
saqa saqas OM = sack Cf. saqqu (Akkadian)
saro/saru/sarutu NM sa/ron = broom, threshing floor -or- flax (inflected) – or- barley, from saru (Semitic)
sasaja OM = of a seal, from Luwian, sasa = seal
sasara(me) OM ONO = Sasarah (a god) from Asherah (Lycian)  
sato/sata PGS Hebrew sa/ton = Hebrew unit of measurement = 60
semetu PGS ONO= Semitic?
sija NM si/a <- si/a = goddess – or- seed, from Hittite siya
suniku (common) NM su/noiku <- su/noikoj  living together, joint inhabitant,  dweller
supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) OM =small cup with handles Cf. Linear B dipa mewiyo – or -   sapu = vessel name  (Semitic)
supi/supu/supu2 OM = largest size pithos but not MOSE NM supu/h sipu/h sipu/a i0pu/a = meal tub, because no tablet justifies this interpretation – or- sappu = bowl (Semitic)
takaa/takari = large container for liquid Cf. tadaga-m (Sanskrit) = 65
taki/taku/takui NM ta=xei/ <- ta=xu/j = quick, swift, speedy -or- with a large container
for liquid (instr. singular) Cf. tadaga-m (Sanskrit) – or – OM = tax, from Hittite taksessar = tax
tara = possibly a cat/also zatara,  found in modern English

taro MOSE NM tau=roj = bull – or- OM = tree, from Hittite, taru = tree

tenita(ki) OM Tanit, Tinnit (Semitic) = 70
teri/teridu OM = three, from Hittite teriyas
terota -or- rotate -or- tatero etc. LIG – variation of the above?
terusi OM = delivery (Akkadian/Luwian) (extremely common) 
tiditeqati (agglutinative) rel. Cf. qati above 
tinata (common)/tinita OM =  tithe (Luwian)  = 75
titiku OM = ONO = Titiku = Titis (Pelasgian)
toreqa OM = ball of wool? (from Luwian, tolype?) 
Utinu OM ONO = personal name Cf. itti (Proto-Canaanite) 
Wadunimi TOP = the place or town of Waduna? (locative sing.?) Cf. Badunimis (Pelasgian)

wasato NM #a/stu a1stu = town Cf. Lnear B wato #a/stu. See also, Luwian, ati wati = in the town) = 80

winu NM #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono  #oi/noj Cf. Luwian wainu & Hittite, wiyana
witero = with, found in modern English
zute NM  zu=qe <- ζῦθος = with beer  See also Hittite, sessar= beer

TOTAL number of words from languages antecedent to Linear A in Linear A = 83/1076
Percentage of of words from languages antecedent to Linear A in Linear A = 8 %
TOTAL  percentage of all words (Greek-like) and from languages antecedent to Linear A in Linear A = 28 % + 8 % = 36 %

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

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

Akkadian/Assyrian (3,000 BCE):


babel babilu = Babylon; gate of God (Akkadian)

bdellium budulhu = pieces (Assyrian)

canon, canyon qanu = tube, reed (Assyrian)

cumin kumunu = carrot family plant (Akkadian)

natron sodium (Akkadian)

myrrh murru (Akkadian)

sack saqqu (Akkadian)

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

souk saqu = narrow (Akkadian)

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

arbiter arbiter (Latin from Phoenician)

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

chemise gms = garment (Ugaritic)

deltoid dalt (Phoenician)

fig pag (paleo-Hebrew)

iotacism iota (Phoenician)

map (Phoenician)

mat matta (Phoenician)

shekel tql (Canaanite)

Egyptian (2690 BCE):

Egyptian-Papyrus 19k BCE






baboon 5

barge, bark, barque, to embark




chemistry 10

copt, coptic




endive 15





lily 20





myth 25





phoenix 30



sack See also saqqu (Akkadian)


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


stibium = eye paint


uraeus (emblem on the headdress of the pharaoh)39

Sanskrit (2,000 BCE):


aniline nili (Sanskrit)

Aryan aryas = noble, honourable

atoll antala

aubergine vātigagama = eggplant, aubergine

avatar avatara = descent

bandana bandhana = a bond

banyan vaṇij = merchant

basmati vasa

beryl vaidūrya (Sanskrit, Dravidian)

bhakti bhakti = portion

candy khaṇḍakaḥ, from khaṇḍaḥ = piece, fragment

cashmere shawl made of cashmere wool

cheetah chitras = uniquely marked

chintz chitras = clear, bright

cot khatva

cobra kharparah = skull

crimson krmija = red dye produced by a worm

crocus kunkunam = saffron, saffron yellow

datura dhattūrāh = a kind of flowering plant

dinghy dronam = tiny boat

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

guar gopali = annual legume

gunny goni = sack

guru gurus = bachelor

jackal srgalah = the howler

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

= barley + dvipa =island

juggernaut jagat-natha-s = lord of the world

jungle jangala = arid

jute jutas = twisted hair

karma karman = action

kermes kṛmija = worm-made

lacquer lākṣā

lilac nila = dark blue

loot lotam = he steals

mandala mandala = circle

mandarin mantri = an advisor

mantra mantras = holy message or text

maya maya = illusion

Mithras mitrah = friend

mugger makara = sea creature, crocodile

musk mus = mouse

nard naladam = nard

nirvanas nirvanas = extinction, blowing out (candle)

opal upalah = opal

orange narangas = orange tree

pal bhrata = brother

palanquin palyanka = bed, couch

panther pāṇḍara = pale

pepper pippali = long pepper

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

tea or spices

pundit paṇdita =learned

rajah rajan = king

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

rupee rūpyakam =silver coin

saccharin sarkarā

sandal wood candanam = wood for burning incense

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


sari sati = garment

shawl sati = strip of cloth

sugar sharkara = ground sugar

swami svami = master

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

container for liquid

thug sthaga = scoundrel

tope stupah

yoga yogas = yoke, union

yogi yogin = one who practices yoga, ascetic

zen dhyana = meditation

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

linear a tablet kh5 khania

cedar keda = cedar

cumin kuminaqe = and cumin See also Linear B kumino

kumi/non Cf. kumunu = carrot family plant


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


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

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

Linear B tablet with ideogram

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

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

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

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

aeon eo e0wn = being

anemometer anemo a0ne/mwn = wind

angel akero a0ngge/loj = messenger

agora akora a0gora/ = market

axles akosone a1conej = axles

amphorae aporowe a0mfore#ej

armaments amota a3rmo/ta = chariot

anthropology atoroqo a0nqrw/poj = man, human being

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

cardamon kadamiya kardami/a = cardamon

celery serino se/linon = celery

chiton kito xitw/n = chiton

circular kukereu kukleu/j = circle

coriander koriyadana koli/adna

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


curator korete kore/ter = governor

cypress kuparo ku/pairoj

divine diwo Di/#oj = Zeus

duo dwo du#o/ = two

elephant erepa e0le/faj = ivory (in Mycenaean)

eremite eremo e1remoj = desert

foal poro pw/loj = foal

gynecology kunaya gunai/a = woman

heterosexual hatero a3teroj e3teroj = other

hippodrome iqo i3ppoj = horse

labyrinth dapuritoyo = labyrinth laburi/nqoj

linen rino li/non

lion rewo le/#wn = lion

mariner marineu marineu/j = sailor, mariner

maternal matere ma/ter = mother

Mesopotamia Mesopotomo Mesopota/moj = Mesopotamia

metropolis matoropuro matro/puloj = mother city

nautical nao nau/j = ship

non-operational noopere nwfe/lioj = useless

operation opero o1feloj = operation

paternal pate pa/ter = father

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

schinus kono skoi/noj (flowering pepper)

strategic tatakeu startageu/j = general

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

© by Richard Vallance Janke 2017

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

the supersyllaogram TE in Linear A

From Wikipedia: History of beer

wikipedia the history of beer

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

ancient depictions of beer consumption and brewing a

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

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

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

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

ancient depictions of beer consumption and brewing b

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

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

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

TE = tereza on Minoan Linear A tablets

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

fi 5 (fig juice)

wi 5 (wine)

gr 5 (beer, from barley)

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

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


Tablet, Malia Palace MA/P Hi 02 in so-called Cretan hieroglyphs, dealing with crops and vessels (pottery):

Cretan tablet Malia Palace MAP hi 02

Tablet, Malia Palace MA/P Hi 02 in so-called Cretan hieroglyphs, which are not hieroglyphs at all, but rather ideograms and logograms, is highly intriguing. Actually, this tablet is partially decipherable. The front side definitely deals with the produce of olive trees, i.e. olive oil and also with wheat crops. If anyone is in any doubt over the meaning of the logogram 5. TE, which looks exactly like the Linear A and Linear B syllabogram TE, this doubt can easily be swept away by mere comparison with the logogram/ideogram for wheat in several ancient scripts, some of which are hieroglyphic, such as Egyptian, others which are cuneiform and yet others which bear no relation to either hieroglyphs or cuneiform, or for that matter, with one another, as for instance, the Harrapan and Easter Island exograms.

comparison of Cretan TE with symbol for wheat or barley in various ancient scripts

In fact, the recurrence of an almost identical ideogram/logogram across so many ancient scripts is astonishing. It is for this reason that I am in no doubt over the interpretation of 5. TE as signifying what in the Cretan script.

Next up, we have 3a. & 3b., which I interpret, and probably correctly, as signifying “ewe” and “ram” respectively. In fact, the resemblance of 3b. to a ram’s head is uncanny. What is passingly strange is this: the ram’s head figures so prominently on the second side of the tablet, being much larger than any other ideogram/logogram on the tablet. Why is this so? There simply has to be a reason. But for the time being, I am stumped. Since 3a. & 3b. Relate to sheep, it stands to reason that 6. is another type of livestock. My money is on “pig”. 7. and 9. are both vessels, 7. probably being either a wine or water flask and 9. being a spice container, as it is strikingly similar to the Linear B ideogram for the same. 8. looks like some kind of grain crop, and so I take it to be so.

As for the rest of the ideograms/logograms, they are still indecipherable.

How can so-called Cretan hieroglyphs be hieroglyphs when there are only 45 of them?

Until now most researchers have simply assumed that the 45 Cretan symbols (by my count), exclusive of numerics, must be hieroglyphs. But the evidence appears to gainsay this hypothesis. As the table below makes quite clear, there are only 45 Cretan symbols, to which

only 27 may possibly/probably/definitely be assigned meanings.

possible or probable or definite known Cretan hieroglyphs

The significance of the remaining 18 are currently beyond the bounds of decipherment:

ALL unknown Cretan seal symbols

So this lands us with a total of only 45 Cretan symbols. If and when we compare this number with the approximately 1,000 Egyptian hieroglyphs, the whole notion that the Cretan symbols are hieroglyphs comes apart at the seams and is shattered.

sample of 1000 Egyptian hieroglyphs

And that is not the end of it. There are anywhere between 600 and 1,000 symbols in Cuneiform.


So once again, the massive proliferation of symbols, i.e. hieroglyphs, in Egyptian, and of symbols in Cuneiform make a mockery of the notion that the Cretan symbols are hieroglyphs. But if they are not hieroglyphs, what are they? It would appear that they are ideograms or logograms on seals and nodules which serve to tag the contents of the (papyrus) documents they seal. This hypothesis makes a lot of sense, since almost all Cretans and Minoans, administrators, merchants and consumer, were illiterate. These people were probably able to master the minimal number of 45 ideograms and logograms which we find on 100s of surviving seals. But while the illiterate hoy polloi could not read the script on the sealed papyrus (or leaf tablets sometimes), the scribes most definitely could. This leaves us open to yet another hypothetical question? What is the script of the texts? How many symbols or syllabograms (if the latter yet existed) would have been required to write the papyrus or inscribe the leaf tablets? Was this script, if script it was, an early form of Linear A, such as Festive Linear A? Or was it actually Linear A? This question or hypothesis demands further investigation.

NOW on academia.edu: The application of geometric co-ordinate analysis (GCA) to parsing scribal hands: Part A: Cuneiform

geometric co-ordinate analysis CGA applied to cuneiform
Geometric co-ordinate analysis of cuneiform, the Edwin-Smith hieroglyphic papyrus (ca. 1600 BCE), Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C can confirm, isolate and identify with precision the X Y co-ordinates of single characters or syllabograms in their respective standard fonts, and in the multiform cursive “deviations” from their fixed font forms, or to put it in different terms, can parse the running co-ordinates of each character, syllabogram or ideogram of any scribal hand in each of these scripts. This procedure effectively encapsulates the “style” of any scribe’s hand. This hypothesis is at the cutting edge in the application of graphology a.k.a epigraphy based entirely on the scientific procedure of geometric co-ordinate analysis (GCA) of scribal hands, irrespective of the script under analysis.


The application of geometric co-ordinate analysis (GCA) to parsing scribal hands: Part A: Cuneiform


I propose to demonstrate how geometric co-ordinate analysis of cuneiform, the Edwin-Smith hieroglyphic papyrus (ca. 1600 BCE), Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C can confirm, isolate and identify with great precision the X Y co-ordinates of single characters or syllabograms in their respective standard fonts, and in the multiform cursive “deviations” from their fixed font forms, or to put it in different terms, to parse the running co-ordinates of each character, syllabogram or ideogram of any scribal hand in each of these scripts. This procedure effectively encapsulates the “style” of any scribe’s hand, just as we would nowadays characterize any individual’s handwriting style. This hypothesis constitutes a breakthrough in the application of graphology a.k.a epigraphy based entirely on the scientific procedure of geometric co-ordinate analysis (GCA) of scribal hands, irrespective of the script under analysis.


cuneiform font
Any attempt to isolate, identify and characterize by manual visual means alone the scribal hand peculiar to any single scribe incising a tablet or series of tablets common to his own hand, in other words, in his own peculiar style, has historically been fraught with difficulties. I intend to bring the analysis of scribal hands in cuneiform into much sharper focus by defining them as constructs determined solely by their relative positioning on the X Y axis plane in two-dimensional Cartesian geometry. This purely scientific approach reduces the analysis of individual scribal hands in cuneiform to a single constant, which is the point of origin (0,0) in the X Y axis plane, from which the actual positions of each and every co-ordinate on the positive planes (X horizontally right, Y vertically up) and negative planes (X horizontally left, Y vertically down) are extrapolated for any character in this script, as illustrated by the following general chart of geometric co-ordinates (Click to ENLARGE):

A xy analysis
Although I haven’t the faintest grasp of ancient cuneiform, it just so happens that this lapsus scientiae has no effect or consequence whatsoever on the purely scientific procedure I propose for the precise identification of unique individual scribal hands in cuneiform, let alone in any other script, syllabary or alphabet  ancient or modern (including but not limited to, the Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Semitic & Cyrillic alphabets), irrespective of language, and even whether or not anyone utilizing said procedure understands the language or can even read the script, syllabary or alphabet under the microscope.    

This purely scientific procedure can be strictly applied, not only to the scatter-plot positioning of the various strokes comprising any letter in the cuneiform font, but also to the “deviations” of any individual scribe’s hand or indeed to a cross-comparative GCA analysis of various scribal hands. These purely mathematical deviations are strictly defined as variables of the actual position of each of the various strokes of any individual’s scribal hand, which constitutes and defines his own peculiar “style”, where style is simply a construct of GCA  analysis, and nothing more. This procedure reveals with great accuracy any subtle or significant differences among scribal hands. These differences or defining characteristics of any number of scribal hands may be applied either to:

(a)  the unique styles of any number of different scribes incising a trove of tablets all originating from the same archaeological site, hence, co-spatial and co-temporal, or
(b)  of different scribes incising tablets at different historical periods, revealing the subtle or significant phases in the evolution of the cuneiform script itself in its own historical timeline, as illustrated by these six cuneiform tablets, each one of which is characteristic of its own historical frame, from 3,100 BCE – 2,250 BCE (Click to ENLARGE),

B Sumerian Akkadian Babylonian stamping
and in addition

(c)  Geometric co-ordinate analysis is also ideally suited to identifying the precise style of a single scribe, with no cross-correlation with or reference to any other (non-)contemporaneous scribe. In other words, in this last case, we find ourselves zeroing in on the unique style of a single scribe. This technique cannot fail to scientifically identify with great precision the actual scribal hand of any scribe in particular, even in the complete absence of any other contemporaneous cuneiform tablet or stele with which to compare it, and regardless of the size of the cuneiform characters (i.e. their “font” size, so to speak), since the full set of cuneiform characters can run from relatively small characters incised on tablets to enormous ones on steles. It is of particular importance at this point to stress that the “font” or cursive scribal hand size have no effect whatsoever on the defining set of GCA co-ordinates of any character, syllabogram or ideogram in any script whatsoever. It simply is not a factor.

To summarize, my hypothesis runs as follows: the technique of geometric co-ordinate analysis (GCA) of scribal hands, in and of itself, all other considerations aside, whether cross-comparative and contemporaneous, or cross-comparative in the historical timeline within which it is set ( 3,100 BCE – 2,250 BCE) or lastly in the application of said procedure to the unambiguous identification of a single scribal hand is a strictly scientific procedure capable of great mathematical accuracy, as illustrated by the following table of geometric co-ordinate analysis applied to cuneiform alone (Click to ENLARGE):

C geometric co-ordinate analysis of early mesopotamian cuneifrom

The most striking feature of cuneiform is that it is, with few minor exceptions (these being circular), almost entirely linear even in its subsets, the parallel and the triangular, hence, susceptible to geometric co-ordinate analysis at its most fundamental and most efficient level. 

It is only when a script, syllabary or alphabet in the two-dimensional plane introduces considerably more complex geometric variables such as the point (as the constant 0,0 = the point of origin on an X Y axis or alternatively a variable point elsewhere on the X Y axis), the circle and the oblong that the process becomes significantly more complex. The most common two-dimensional non-linear constructs which apply to scripts beyond the simple linear (such as found in cuneiform) are illustrated in this chart of alternate geometric forms (Click to ENLARGE):

D alternate geometric forms
These shapes exclude all subsets of the linear (such as the triangle, parallel, pentagon, hexagon, octagon, ancient swastika etc.) and circular (circular sector, semi-circle, arbelos, superellipse, taijitu = symbol of the Tao, etc.), which are demonstrably variations of the linear and the circular.
These we must leave to the geometric co-ordinate analysis of Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, all of which share these additional more complex geometric constructs in common. When we are forced to apply this technique to more complex geometric forms, the procedure appears to be significantly more difficult to apply. Or does it? The answer to that question lies embedded in the question itself. The question is neither closed nor open, but simply rhetorical. It contains its own answer.

It is in fact the hi-tech approach which decisively and instantaneously resolves any and all difficulties in every last case of geometric co-ordinate analysis of any script, syllabary or indeed any alphabet, ancient or modern. It is neatly summed up by the phrase, “computer-based analysis”, which effectively and entirely dispenses with the necessity of having to manually parse scribal hands or handwriting by visual means or analysis at all. Prior to the advent of the Internet and modern supercomputers, geometric co-ordinate analysis of any phenomenon, let alone scribal hands, or so-to-speak  handwriting post AD (anno domini), would have been a tedious mathematical process hugely consuming of time and human resources, which is why it was never applied at that time. But nowadays, this procedure can be finessed by any supercomputer plotting CGA co-ordinates down to the very last pixel at lightning speed. The end result is that any of an innumerable number of unique scribal hand(s) or of handwriting styles can be isolated and identified beyond a reasonable doubt, and in the blink of an eye. Much more on this in Part B, The application of geometric co-ordinate analysis to Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C. However strange as it may seem prima facie, I leave to the very last the application of this unimpeachable procedure to the analysis and the precise isolation of the unique style of the single scribal hand responsible for the Edwin-Smith papyrus, as that case in particular yields the most astonishing outcome of all.

© by Richard Vallance Janke 2015 (All Rights Reserved = Tous droits réservés)



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