Tag Archive: supersyllabograms

Translation of Linear B Tablets KN 515 R r 11 & KN 516 Rs 12 by Rita Roberts:

Linear B tablets KN 515 & 516

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

KN 529 R x 11

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

KN 527 R l 51

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

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



Translation of Knossos tablet KN 700 Mi 01 by Rita Roberts:

KN 700 M 01


John Chadwick recognized the Linear B supersyllabograms ZE & MO:

chadwick reading the past linear b 37 ZE zeugesi

chadwick reading the past linear b 38 MO mono

It is quite obvious from the excerpts above from Chadwick’s masterful, Reading the Past: Linear B and Related Scripts, © 1987 that he clearly recognized the supersyllabograms ZE, corresponding to (archaic) Greek zeu/gesi = yoked and MO mo/noj = single. This being the case, it is also more than likely that he was aware of the existence of at least some of the 39 supersyllabograms in Linear B, and this is significant, because it was he who first latched onto Michael Ventris’ amazing discovery in 1952 that the Linear B syllabary was in fact the script of a very ancient and archaic Greek dialect, which we now know as Mycenaean. This raises the question, did Michael Ventris himself know about supersyllabograms? Brilliant as he was, I am greatly inclined to believe he did, but his untimely death at the young age of 34 in a terrible car accident in 1956 never gave him the chance to further develop and refine his initial decipherment of Linear B in 1952. So we shall never know. But very the idea that he may have known is truly tantalizing.

Linear A nodule on weighing emmer wheat with 3 supersyllabograms:


This rare Linear A nodule is of particular interest because it contains 3 supersyllabograms, JE SE & U. I am unable to decipher JE and SE, but U appears to be the first syllabogram, actually a vowel, i.e. the first syllable of the word it represents, which in this case would appear to be the Mycenaean-derived word, udoro = u3droj = a water flask. But this interpretation may not make sense in the context of weighing KUNI(SU) or emmer wheat, unless a certain standardized amount of water in a water flask were poised at the other end of the scale measuring the emmer wheat. This is surely open to speculation.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS: 5 major articles by Richard Vallance Janke,  Spyros Bakas and Rita Roberts

In a major new development in the international dissemination of 5 papers by Spyros Bakas, Rita Roberts and Richard Vallance Janke, the following 5 articles are now universally available on WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, with 47,480,622 files:

Wikimedia Commons

These articles are:
CLICK on each logo to download each article:

1. Vallance Janke, Richard. “An Archaeologist’s Translation of Pylos Tablet TA  641-1952 (Ventris) with an Introduction to Supersyllabograms in the Vessels & Pottery Sector in Mycenaean Linear B”, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade). Vol. 11 (2015) ISSN 1452-7448. pp. 73-108

Wikimedia commons Pylos tablet PY641-1952620
2. Vallance Janke, Richard. “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B”, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade). Vol. 11 (2015) ISSN 1452-7448. pp. 73-108 

Wikimedia commons decipherment of supersyllabograms620
3. Vallance Janke, Richard. “The Mycenaean Linear B  “Rosetta Stone” for Linear A Tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) Vessels and Pottery”, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade). Vol. 12 (2016) ISSN 1452-7448. pp. 75-98  

Wikimedia commons Mycenaean Rosetta Stone for Linear A620
4. Vallance Janke, Richard and Bakas, Spyros. “Linear B Lexicon for the Construction of Mycenaean Chariots”, Epohi/Epochs. Vol. XXIV (2017), Issue 2. pp. 299-315 

Wikimedia commons Linear B Lexicon for the construction of Mycenaean chariots
5. Roberts, Rita & Janke, Richard Vallance, consulting editor.
The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire

Wikimedia commons Minoan and Mycenaean620

The appearance of these articles on WIKIMEDIA COMMONS greatly enhances their international profile. 

Richard Vallance Janke
June 19 2018

Academia.edu THESIS The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire by Rita Roberts:

Click on this logo to download her thesis:

minoan and mycenaean main

We are proud to announce that Rita Roberts has fulfilled the requirements of her second year of university, and has passed with a mark of 85 %. We have awarded her 90 % for thesis, The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire, which is a finely researched document I highly recommend to any and all. It deals in great detail with every conceivable aspect of Minoan and Mycenaean agricultural trade via their trade routes in the Mycenaean Empire, ca. 1600-1450 BCE. We congratulate Rita on her splendid achievement, and we look forward to her fuflling the exacting requirements of her third and final year of university which commences on July 1 2018, Canada Day. Once she has completed her third year, she will have earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Minoan and Mycenaean studies.

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.


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

Linear B tablet KN 160a J j 11 wine

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

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


Linear B tablet KN 930 Dl 1, dealing with the production of wool:

Linear B tablet KN 930 Dl 1, dealing with the production of wool. Alexandre 

Solcà has asked me to translate this tablet, and here it is:

LB tablet KN D1 1 930


Article, Linear B Lexicon for the Construction of Mycenaean Chariots just published on academia.edu:

Click on the TITLE to view and download the article:

aEpochs title

just uploaded to my academia.edu account at the link above. To download it, click the green DOWNLOAD button on the right side of the document.

Illustrations from the article:

bNew Kingdom chariot

c4 spoke chariots

dcomposite parts Mycenaean chariots

eMycenaean Chariots Lexicon

gKnossos tablet KN 894

This Lexicon is the only one of its kind in the entire world. To date, no one has ever published a Linear B Lexicon on a subject as focused as the Construction of Mycenaean Chariots.

This article has just been published in the prestigious European journal, Epohi (Epochs), Vol. 25, Issue 2 (2017), published bi-annually by the Department of History of St. Cyril and St. Methodius, University of Veliko, Tarnovo, Bulgaria. I have been invited by the Editor-in-Chief, Stefan Iordanov, to publish new papers in the near future (sometime in 2018) and again in 2019. Considering that the Editor-in-Chief, Stefan Iordanov, solicited me to submit this article sight unseen, you can be sure I shall submit more papers to the journal.

Translation of Linear B tablet KN 894 Do 04 by Rita Roberts:

KN 898 D o 04 opxen ZE

Here we have Rita Roberts translation of Linear B B tablet KN 894 Do 04, which I find quite fascinating, even though it is so short. This is because of the supersyllabogram ZE, which literally means “yoked with a pair of or as Rita Roberts puts it a team of oxen”. In addition, we have the enclitic QE following the name Tomako, which means “and”, implying that there was another herdsman mentioned before Tomako; hence, the tablet is left-truncated as well as right-truncated.

The supersyllabogram PA pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi OM = millet -or- spelt -or- pa3qe, paiqe (+ ideogram for wheat) LIG = a kind of grain similar to wheat:

millet or spelt

The supersyllabogram PA pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi OM = millet -or- spelt -or- pa3qe, paiqe (+ ideogram for wheat) LIG = a kind of grain similar to wheat appears on all of these tablets from Haghia Triada (HT), Petras (PE), Tylissos (TY) and Zakros (ZA)

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

all of which which deal with grains, with the exception of HT 125, dealing with olive oil. The decipherment of millet or spelt (one or the other) is confirmed. It is impossible to decipher PA in the instance of olive oil.

The supersyllabogram ME meza NM1 me/za (fem. sing.) probably means greater, bigger Cf. Linear B mezo me/zwn me/zoj

Knossos, Iraklion, Crete

It appears on Tylissos tablet TY 3 oo, dealing with olive oil and on Zakros tablet ZA 15 wi, dealing with wine. It would seem to imply that the vessels in which these commodities are stored are larger than usual.

The supersyllabogram KI kitina in Linear A probably means a border of a plot of land/territory Cf. Linear B kotona kotoina ktoi/na = plot of land?


The supersyllabogram KI kitina NM1 ktoi/na/ktoina/siaj probably means a border of a plot of land/territory Cf. Linear B kotona kotoina ktoi/na = plot of land. There is no way of substantiating this claim. However, it does make sense, given that it appears on all of rhe following Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada (HT), on one from Tylissos (TY) and one from Zakros (ZA):

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

All of these tablets except one apparently deal with olive trees, rather than olive oil. The one exception is HT 44, which deals with grain, another crop which is grown on plots of land.

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.

The supersyllabogram NE in Linear A = nere larger amphora size (fem. pl.)

amphorae Knossos

NE nere OM = larger amphora size (fem. plural)

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

This supersyllabogram is found on 3 tablets from Haghia Triada, all of which deal with olive oil. This would seem to confirm our interpretation.

the supersyllabogram SU in Linear A, a small cup with handles & the largest pithos size:

Minoan Pithos and small cup with a handle

The supersyllabogram SU in Linear A has two meanings, context dependent. The first is:

1. SU = supa3 (supai)/supa3ra (supaira) OM = a small cup with handles Cf. Linear B dipa mewiyo. The word depa/depu PGS de/paj de/pu (acc.?) = cup occurs in Linear A. Cf. Linear B dipa di/paj & Homeric de/pa

and the second is:

2. SU = supi/supu/supu2 OM = largest size pithos;

but not MOSE * NM1 supu/h sipu/h sipu/a i0pu/a = meal tub. MOSE * = decryption by Prof. Yuriy Mosenkis. This interpretation flies in the face of context on any Linear A tablet or fragment. It is all fine and well to conjecture a proto-Greek or Mycenaean-derived Greek word, but if you check your decipherment against extant tablets, then you may find it invalidated. This must always be done. Otherwise, you will end up with a meaning which is simply out of the question.

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