Tag Archive: tailor



Linear B tablet at the Ashmolean Museum, An1910_217_O & the supersyllabograms RA = tailor & QE = wicker shield:

Linear B tablet Ashmolean An1910_217_o

You see illustrated here in its actual size the Linear B tablet An1910_217_O at the Ashmolean Museum/British Museum. Like the others we have recently posted, this tablet is concerned with a tailor adding the finishing touches to cloth, more specifically the linen undertunic Mycenaean warriors wore under their breastplates, known as toraka in Mycenaean Linear B or thoraxes in ancient Greek. The first word on the first line after the left-truncated PA is the name of the tailor, Apasakiyo in Linear B. The Greek below the Linear B Latinized text is the translation of the original Linear B text on this tablet. This is followed by the literal & free English translations, with the caveat that I am unable to translate the double syllabogram WE WE following the supersyllabogram QE inside the ideogram for a shield, meaning that the shield is a wicker shield.


Linear B tablet 04-59 D j 13 & the supersyllabograms RA = tailor & QE = wicker shield:

Linear B tablet 04-59 D j 13 and the supersyllabograms RA = tailor & QE = wicker shield

This tablet poses the same problems as the previous ones we have posted on these two supersyllabograms, RA & QE. First off, as I have already said, it is well nigh impossible for me to determine what the two syllabograms WE WE following the second instance of the supersyllabogram QE for wicker shield mean? As I pointed out in the previous post, the double occurrence of WE (WE WE) usually references measurement. But I am unable to harmonize their incidence in this context with terms of measurement. Apart from that, there are two other glitches in the decipherment. What does rawa following the first instance of QE = wicker shield” refer to. The word rawaketa = “leader of the host” or “commander in chief” where “host” = “army”, as we find in Homer as well, is extant on the Linear B tablets. I have derived the subset rawa = “host” from the latter. It may or may not be the correct interpretation in this context. Secondly, if the last syllabogram, truncated right, on the first line is in fact DU, then it may be the first syllable of the word duo = “two”. But this is entirely conjectural. Although the rest of the translation appears to be relatively straightforward, it is still open to question, especially in light of the fact that I am quite unable to decipher WE WE.


Linear B tablet K 04-56 D j 04 and the supersyllabograms RA = tailor & QE = wicker shield:

Linear B tablet K 04-56 and supersyllabograms RA = tailor & QE = wicker shield

This Linear B tablet, which falls within the purview of both the military and textile sectors of the Minoan/Mycenaean economy, presents us with what are certainly 2 of the most unusual of all the supersyllabograms with ideograms in Linear B. Not only do we have the supersyllabogram RA inside the ideogram for “unfinished cloth” = putakariya, but also the supersyllabogram for a wicker shield. Let’s take a look at the supersyllabogram RA. This is the most unusual of all supersyllabograms I have ever encountered. Unusual because the syllabogram RA is incharged inside an ideogram which looks for all the world like that for textiles, but with the left and bottom sides lopped off. Hence  “unfinished cloth”. At least that is what it looks like to me. This supersyllabogram has never been deciphered before my present attempt at translating it.

Next, we find the supersyllabogram QE inside an ideogram which looks vaguely like a shield. And that is what I think it is meant to be. QE indicates that not only is this a shield, but a wicker shield = qero. This supersyllabogram has never been deciphered before,  This is followed by the ideogram for “horn”, hence my translation. There is no known ancient Greek word corresponding to the Linear B “numoro”, which is almost certainly left-truncated at any rate.

There are no fewer than 6 more Linear B tablets with both of these supersyllabograms.

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