Tag Archive: weaving

The third example of Cretan ideograms/logograms, Malia label Mu MA/M Hf, possibly decipherable:

Cretan label Malia Quartier Mu MA M Hf

Click on the label, FRAGRANTICA, for more information about saffron as an ancient aromatic.

This is the third example of Cretan ideograms/logograms, Malia label Mu MA/M Hf. Surprising as it is, this label may be largely decipherable. It is subdivided into 3 sections. The first S1 is blank. The second, S2, appears to spill over from the first side to the second, while the third, S3, is found on the second side alone. The first ideogram in S2 (section 2) is probably the one for “saffron”, while the second is still indecipherable. The third is clearly some sort of representation of a woman. The X, which is indecipherable, is followed by the number 100. S2 continues on side 2, which begins with what is clearly the ideogram for “textiles/cloth”, followed by what appear to be 3 ideograms for “sword(s)”. If these 3 ideograms in fact designate “swords”, they are practically identical to those for “swords” in Linear B. Section 3 (S3) begins with what appears to be an ideogram for “garment(s)”, followed once again by textiles, and followed in turn by an indecipherable ideogram, which might possibly relate to cutting, S3 ending with the number 100.

A partial decipherment might read: aromatic saffron + ? + a weaver or weavers (all weavers were women) weaving 100 rolls of cloth, 3 of which serve to wrap 3 swords in + 100 garments of some kind of (cut) textiles (saffron dyed?).

Minoan Linear whorls unearthed by Heinrich Schliemann at Troy in 1875 & their striking similarity to the Linear A whorls (recto/verso) illustrated here:

Minoan Linear A text whorls and Heinrich Schliemann's finds 1875

As I searched through all of the tablets Prof. John G. Younger has placed online on his superb site, Linear A Texts in phonetic transcription, Minoan Linear whorls unearthed by Heinrich Schliemann at Troy in 1875 are strikingly similar to the Linear A whorls (recto/verso) from his site, which you can view by clicking on the logo for his site:

Linear A Texts in phonetic transcription

(Scroll down to Troy about 80 % down from the top of the page)

Imagine my excitement when I ran across the whorls from Troy with Minoan Linear A text on them from Prof. Youngers site! The similarities are in fact so astonishing that I have decided to go out on a limb (which is typical of me) and dare to decipher the text on the Linear A whorls (recto/verso), where [1] recto appears to mean “the left or outside spindle wheel” and [2] verso would therefore mean “the right or inside spindle wheel”, yielding two spindle wheels on each side of the distaff, just they appear in the illustration of an ancient Greek distaff and spindles (top left). Indeed, the figure of several whorls which the renowned archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, dug up at Troy in 1875 (top right) appear to confirm my findings.

And when we turn our attention to more closely examine the two Minoan words in Linear A, [1] pimitatira2 = pimitatirai & [2] dumitatira2 = dumitatirai, we discover that the words are identical except for the first syllabogram or first syllable, which are [1] pi & [2] du. Of course, it is indifferent to the decipherment whether or not pi designates the left or right spindle wheel and du the right or left spindle wheel, or vice versa, provided that we understand that the wheels are opposite one another on the distaff. This in turn implies that the prefixes (prefixed syllabogram) pi must mean “left” or “outside” and du the opposite, “right” or “inside” or vice versa. But for the sake of expediency, we have settled on the first interpretation, though if you yourself prefer it the other way around, that is fine with me.

But the implications of this discovery go even further. If pi means “left” or “outside” and du the opposite, “right” or “inside”, it is up to us to attempt to verify this hypothesis by scanning through every last Minoan Linear A tablet in Prof. John G. Younger’s database of Linear A texts, searching for the possible recurrence of these same two prefix syllabograms in different contexts. If we do happen to stumble upon such text(s), then not only may we have the means to verify or dismiss our decipherment of the two words here, [1] pimitatira2 = pimitatirai & [2] dumitatira2 = duimitatirai, but also to cross-correlate these two quasi-identical Minoan words (prefixes excepted) with other Minoan Linear A words, which would then serve to confirm or dismiss our hypothetical decipherment, and even allow us to decipher the other quasi-identical twin words, with the sole difference that one word has the prefix pi and other du. Let us fervently hope for such an outcome. You can rest assured that this is precisely what I intend to do, scan Prof. John G. Younger’s database of Linear A texts from top to bottom, and end to end, in the hope of discovering other quasi-twins with the same syllabograms as prefixes.

This brings the total number of Minoan Linear A words (tentatively) deciphered to 55. 


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