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Once again, the truth is out! The British Museum should be put on trial at the International Court of the Hague for #Elginism i.e. vandalism!
Originally posted on Things That Never Made It Into Print...:
I hadn’t planned to share my exploits so early, but sometimes necessity forces us to abandon our schedules, and move beyond them, for the purpose of clarification.
About that war I mentioned in my previous post…
Someone just now brought it to my attention—as if I hadn’t noticed—that there is a typographical error on the poster I designed for this war of mine, the one I declared in July of 2009. And to explain the story of that typographical slight I am forced to say something about the business of making words—new words—and how they reach the level of acceptability.
Don’t know about you…
But I was raised on the streets. And the streets provided with me an exemplary education—one usually scrubbed from the halls of academia—as well as the tools I need to survive as a human. Because, as far as I’m concerned, that’s where everything happens. That’s where…
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Absolutely BANG ON! Shame on the British Museum for continuing to keep what does not belong to them. Pure vandalism!
Originally posted on Things That Never Made It Into Print...:
Just a few days ago, the British Guild of Travel Writers, an organization composed of travel journalists, photographers, editors and broadcasters, voted the New Acropolis Museum as the best for the following reasons:
The winner of the Globe Category (receiving more than 250,000 visitors a year), nominated by Nigel Tisdall, was the new Acropolis Museum in Athens (www.newacropolismuseum.gr/eng), built to replace the old museum which has done an admirable job since 1865, but was short of space. In 2001 a competition was held to build a new one ten times larger and fit for the 21st century. It was won by a Swiss architect, Bernard Tschumi, and opened in June 2009.
Bright and spacious, the new museum lies at the foot of the Acropolis and has already attracted over two million visitors – many are amazed by the perfection of its design and the beauty of the artworks…
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In Memoriam Aeternam Corporal Nathan Cirillo, shot to death 9:52 a.m., Oct. 22 2014 (in Linear B, ancient Greek, Latin, French & English): Click to ENLARGE: Yesterday, at 9:52 a.m. a crazed madman stylizing himself as a “jihadist”, a despicable word if ever there was, fired two rounds from a high powered rifle into the back of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at the National War Memorial in our lovely city, Ottawa, the Capital of Canada. The killer then drove in a stolen car straight over to the House of Commons, rushed through the front doors of Parliament, and fired at least 30 shots in the main corridor leading to the Library of Parliament, before being shot to death by the Sargent at Arms, Kevin Vickers. Fortunately, the Members of Parliament were all in caucus at that time. Had the shooter arrived only an hour later, when the corridors were full of M.P.s and other people, the death toll would have been horrendous, in this, the first terrorist attack ever directly on the seat of government in any nation. The shock waves that ran through Canada and all around the world were instantaneous and horrifying. As a devout Canadian, I was so stunned, and then enraged yesterday that even today I cannot get over this brutal act of violence. Shame on radical Muslims, shame on Daesh! You are the very antithesis of civilized people; you are barbaric monsters. We will never forget what you have done to our peaceful nation, and you shall never live this down, so help us God. Please note that I tweeted this eulogy to all of the TV networks above. Richard
In Linear B + The Daesh Have Death in Their Hands & Blood in Their Mouths: Click to ENLARGE: Well before the dastardly terrorist attack on the Canadian Parliament today here in Ottawa, where I live, in which a Canadian soldier on guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was shot to death in the back 4 times, I was sick to death of these monsters, the Daesh, or so-called ISIS, which is a disgusting insult to the Egyptian goddess, Isis & her consort, Osiris; hence the title of my sonnet about these murderous thugs, who are even worse than Nazis, because they slaughter absolutely everyone who does not fall in line with their “brand of Islam”, a dreadful affront to Islam itself, and to all the Faiths of our harried world. I need say no more. My condemnation of these bloodthirsty barbarians cannot be harsh enough. The world must be rid of them, and the sooner the better... for the alternative is too hellish to dare imagine. But I will say it out loud. Europe and the nations of the world buried their heads & ignored Hitler before World War II. We do so again at our greatest peril. If World War III strikes – and to my mind, it looks almost imminent – it will be a long, drawn out, bloody, vicious war of attrition. I may last as long as a decade, for we are faced, not with open enemies as our ancestors were in the Second World War, enemies they could at least see, recognize and fight, but with sickening cowards who hide behind masks, rape women and children, and slaughter countless souls by crucifixion and the most bloodthirsty methods of beheading imaginable. I just saw some of the actual beheadings on the Internet, and they made me sick to my stomach. The Daesh actually saw off their victims’ heads with knives! Nothing could be more barbaric! Even the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution (1792-1794) never descended to such a hellish pit. They used the guillotine, which was swift and clean, for all its horror. But these beasts see otherwise, and act in ways which heap such shame on them that their forfeit their own humanity for the devils they have become. May God have mercy on their souls, because I shall not, even if I am Christian. The sonnet is my own. I have been a poet all my life, although these days I write little poetry. This sonnet, however, came to me in a flash of lightning, and I mean every word of it. NOTE that the Greek text is in archaic Greek. Richard
Cross-Correlation of Linear A with Linear B Syllabograms. Does it all add up or not? What is Linear A? What if? We need to take a long hard look at this. Let’s take a look at this cross-comparative table of Linear A “syllabograms” which look (almost) identical to their Linear B counterparts, and let’s generously assume that they all have the same phonetic values in both syllabaries. Why not? Almost everyone has anyway. Click to ENLARGE: Still, ever since I first started comparing the Linear A with the Linear B syllabary, I found myself seriously questioning how and, more significantly, why most ancient language linguists specializing in these two scripts have assumed that, just because deciphered syllabograms in Linear B all bear a specific phonetic value, consequently the so-called “syllabograms” - if indeed all are just that, syllabograms – ought to or, if we push the envelope, must have the same values in Linear A. But, being the doubting Thomas I am, I have serious reservations about the hypothetical premises underlying such a tailor-made assumption. My reasons are several: 1. Since the Minoan language is completely undeciphered, and contains considerably more syllabograms, logograms & ideograms (or whatever else) than Linear B, how can we be reasonably sure that even those characters (whatever they are) in Linear A, which look (almost) identical to their Linear B counterparts, are in fact identical? Given that the Minoan language has stubbornly evaded any attempt whatsoever at decipherment, what is plainly unproven is just that, and nothing more. The fundamental assumption almost all researchers espouse, who posit value for equal value in both scripts as being unquestionably “correct”, is open to serious cross-examination. In the face of lack of scientific evidence, supportive or even partially supportive, this cannot possibly be confirmed with any degree of reasonable accuracy. I for one simply cannot accept on faith alone the hypothesis that comparison of specific values of a known syllabary should inevitably lead to the conclusion that in all instances A=A, B=B etc. Far from it. This is not to say that there is still a high probability that what strongly looks like a syllabogram in Linear A exactly corresponding to a known syllabogram in Linear B is in fact the same syllabogram in both scripts. I am more than willing to concede that in all probability A in Linear A is A in Linear B etc. But there is simply no way of proving this; so we have to take the whole matter with a grain of salt. 2. Now if it ever turns out that evidence can be forwarded that even a few of the so-called “syllabograms” in Linear A which look exactly like their counterparts in linear B are in fact syllabograms, but with entirely different phonetic values or, in the worst case scenario, not syllabograms at all, such a turn of events would throw a huge wrench into the fundamental premise, widely espoused by the community of linguists specializing in Linear A and Linear B taken together, that they form a contiguous continuum. And that would be very bad news for future attempts at deciphering the Minoan language. Again, I stress, I am not at all saying that the current widely espoused theory is in essence wrong. In fact, it is probably I who am wrong, possibly even completely out of step. But there still remains a possibility, however slim (and I for one do not think it is that slim), that there are likely to be real problems with cross-correlation of Linear A characters (whatever they are) with their so-called counterparts in Linear B. In the meantime, I am more than willing to reserve judgement on this question, and to follow the herd, with this caveat, that I remain and shall always remain the doubting Thomas, until and unless I can be even somewhat assured that the presumed cross correlations can stand the acid test as they are. 3. Now what really makes me wonder what on earth is going on with “everything is fine just as it is, so why reinvent the wheel?” is this. Some researchers already assign different phonetic values to the “same” characters in Linear A. That is worrisome in and of itself. Take for instance that the so-called syllabograms TE, TU & SI appear in more than one way in Linear A. Yes, it is true that the one version of TE looks a lot like the other. But when we come to TU & SI, things get positively messy. To illustrate my point, take a look at this chart: Click to ENLARGE Yes, a great many researchers delving into Linear A will say, “Well, that is to be expected. The script was bound to evolve over such a long period of time – more than a millennium.” Fair enough. But the difficulty remains that, whereas Linear A was apparently in use from ca. 2500-1500 BCE, neither Linear B nor Linear C evolved in any real sense, even though the former was in continual use from ca. 1600-1200 BCE & the latter from 1100-400 BCE (a much longer period!). Given the considerably longer timeline for Linear A, it is more than likely that the appearance and possibly even the phonetic values of certain characters was bound to change. This sort of scenario falls neatly in line with the significant changes Egyptian hieroglyphics underwent over their long history. The fact that Linear A is a much earlier script than either Linear B or Linear C lends further credence to its apparent fluidity. After all, the English alphabet changed dramatically over a relatively shorter timeline (ca. 700 AD – 1500 AD), some 300 years less. On the other hand, Linear C did not change at all over 700 years, almost as long as the evolution of the English alphabet. So I am not quite sure what to make of all this, except to say, once again, I remain the doubting Thomas. 4. Is the Linear A Syllabary strictly a syllabary, or does it contain Hieroglyphics as well? Linear A has considerably more characters (syllabograms, homophones, logograms and ideograms, if indeed all of these are just those) than Linear B, which again raises the question, which characters are syllabograms, which homophones, which logograms and which ideograms. There is simply no way to substantiate which are which. Again, the monster rears its ugly head. Since there are quite a few more “ideograms” - if that is what they really all are – in Linear A than in Linear B, what on earth can the ideograms in Linear A which have no counterparts in Linear B possibly mean? And I have to ask out loud, are they even all ideograms, or could some of them even be hieroglyphics? This is no idle matter. Let us not conveniently “forget”, or more to the point, blithely brush aside the fact that the Linear A syllabary was immediately preceded by an even earlier Minoan script with one particularly telling characteristic: Most early writing systems have their origins in iconographic systems and likewise Cretan Hieroglyphs most likely evolved out of non-linguistic symbols on seal stones from the late 3rd and early 2nd millennium BCE. Cretan Hieroglyphs was the first writing of the Minoans and predecessor to Linear A. And again: The first written scripts of the Minoans resemble Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Phaistos Disk which is now exhibited in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum and dates back to 1700 BC, is an example of such (a) script. And again: Minoan Hieroglyphic Scripts: The earliest Minoan writing is the Cretan hieroglyphic script used on seal stones and clay accounting documents (Packard 1974). This early syllabic script evolved by 1900 BC during the Middle Minoan period, and was used through the destruction of the Minoan palaces ca.1450 BC. Oh, and for your enlightenment – and mine too, here are a few examples of early Cretan-Minoan hieroglyphics: Click to ENLARGE Now isn’t this just a mind-bender? One of the Cretan-Minoan hieroglyphics  is identical to its Linear A counterpart (whatever it is), while the first Cretan-Minoan hieroglyphic  is flipped right side up in Linear A. The other two  &  are (almost) identical, except for degree orientation. But the most astonishing thing is that  = the syllabogram DA in Linear A & B and TA in Linear C, lasting with very little change for 2,100 years! (2,500 BCE – 400 BCE). In other words, what began as a Cretan-Minoan hieroglyphic gradually transformed into a syllabogram, at least in the later development of Linear A, and again as a syllabogram in both Linear B & Linear C. TA in Linear C is in fact the exact same syllabogram as DA in Minoan Linear A & Mycenaean Linear B, since Arcado-Cypriot Linear C has no D+vowel series. Now, let’s just carry my novel hypothesis to its all but inexorable conclusion. What if just a few of the hieroglyphics in the pre-Linear A hieroglyphic scripts just happened to slip into Linear A, without anyone caring much either way? If the earliest Linear A scribes still found it convenient to continue using even a few of the earlier Cretan-Minoan hieroglyphics, why wouldn’t they? After all, when the Linear B scribes devised their syllabary for Mycenaean Greek, they swiped scores and scores of characters, syllabograms and ideograms lock-stock-and-barrel from Linear A without even thinking twice of it. So here is my hypothesis, for what it is worth – and that may very well be something – what if... again, I say, what if some of the Linear A characters are still hieroglyphic? Well, there is one sure way to test this hypothesis, and that is to directly compare, i.e. cross-correlate, every last character in the Linear A syllabary with the hieroglyphics in its immediate predecessor, the Cretan-Minoan hieroglyphs... which is exactly what I intend to do. But it does not even end there. Has anyone ever bothered to compare the total number of Linear A characters – whatever they are – with the total number of Egyptian hieroglyphics, though there are plenty of the latter? If not, why not? Well, don’t worry, because I intend to do just that as well. Now, if even two or three Linear A characters turn out to look (almost) exactly like certain Egyptian hieroglyphics, of which the phonetic values and the meaning are already known to us, we may be onto something, though I hasten to add that this does not at all mean that the Minoan language is related in any way to the Egyptian, or even that the similar characters in Linear A are still hieroglyphics. Dangerous assumption.... though of course they very well may be. Confused? That’s OK too, since confusion is the first step towards scepticism, and scepticism in turn the next step on the path to investigation. Richard
Generously retweet from fellow researchers and aficionados of ancient Greece and watch what happens! Click to ENLARGE: Thanks to timely assistance from my colleague and fellow Linear B researcher, Rita Roberts in Herakleion, Crete, right next door to Knossos, who showed me how to insert photos, charts and translations of Linear B tablets, I was suddenly able to increase the number of photos etc. on my Twitter account: from only 13 to 115 illustrations in just 3 days! This finally gave me the confidence to start retweeting similar tweets from fellow researchers into ancient Greece, ancient Greek and the ancient world in general, and even to post those illustrations of mine which I was quite sure would appeal to each person I retweeted, as well as favoriting their tweets. The result has been nothing short of astonishing! Suddenly, the number of my followers jumped from 620 to 668 in just 3 days, while the number of visits to our Blog have concomitantly risen from an average of about 60-75 per day to almost double that, clocking in at around 120-180 per day. I never expected that, but it sure is very encouraging. To the extent that we support our fellow researchers and aficionados of ancient Greece and Greek, we soon find ourselves rewarded by reciprocal endorsement from our new friends. Karma. Besides, 668 followers for something as esoteric and far-out as Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C is rather impressive, if you ask me. So allow me, my new friends on Twitter, to extend my gratitude and thanks for your reciprocal support. Richard
Isis DAESH ARE a gang of thugs and monsters!!! Be sure to comment on this post, folks! The things those creeps will do to precious antiquities are enough to make one sick to ones stomach! Richard
Originally posted on Clio Ancient Art & Antiquities:
Glazed terracotta tile. Nimrud. 875-850 BCE
Protective spirit. Northwest Palace at Nimrud. 865 BCE
Human headed winged lion, formerly flanking a doorway in the Northwest Palace at Nimrud. Time of Ashurnasirpal I, 865 BCE
The Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, showing scenes of tribute bearers from many lands. 858-824 BCE
Gates from Shalmaneser III’s palace at Balawat. Embossed bronze strips over wood (reconstructed). 858-824 BCE.
Winged human headed spirits. Northwest Palace at Nimrud. These may have guarded the entrance to the King’s private apartments. 865 BCE.
Horses & grooms leaving Sennacherib’s palace at Nineveh, 700 BCE
Protective spirits, Nineveh, 645-635 BCE. These figures are not fighting but are protecting against any evil that might approach from two directions.
My Translation of lines 474-510 of “The Catalogue of Ships” in Book II of the Iliad: Click to ENLARGE This is Part 1 of 9 Parts of my running translation of the “The Catalogue of Ships”, lines 474-815 in Book II of the Iliad. The cardinal aim of our translation is to underscore the close relationship between the most archaic vocabulary in the Iliad, almost all of which appears in Book II, and primarily in “The Catalogue of Ships”, with both of the earlier Mycenaean Greek & Arcado-Cypriot dialects. With this in mind, I expect to be able to regressively extrapolate derived (D) vocabulary in the Mycenaean Greek & Arcado-Cypriot dialects from archaic vocabulary found in “The Catalogue of Ships” in Book II of the Iliad. Derived vocabulary (DV) in Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C is not to be found on any extant tablets in either script. Vocabulary on extant tablets is designated as attested (AV). I am quite convinced that it will be possible for us to derive a considerable number of Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot words, which are presently nowhere attested. This derived vocabulary (DV) should appreciably expand the corpus of Mycenaean and Arcado-Cypriot vocabulary in Linear B and Linear C respectively. My research colleague, Rita Roberts, and I expect to eventually be able to compile a truly comprehensive topical English-Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C Lexicon, which may very well double the existing vocabulary in Mycenaean Greek, and supplement somewhat the already considerable vocabulary of Arcado-Cypriot, which appears in both in Linear C and in alphabetic Greek. Our Lexicon, which should appear in PDF sometime in 2016 will prove to be greatly superior to the Mycenaean (Linear B) – English Glossary, currently available on the Internet. This glossary should be consulted with the greatest caution and wariness, as it was so poorly proof-read that its entries in Linear B, alphabetic Greek and English are riddled with well over 100 errors. In fact, I would strictly advise anyone who is familiar with either or both Linear B & ancient Greek to double-check every single entry for errors. On the other hand, Chris Tselentis’ Linear B Lexicon, which can be downloaded in PDF format from the net, is a reliable source of considerable merit of Mycenaean Linear B vocabulary. It has the additional advantage of including a large number of eponyms and toponyms, which play a formative rôle on extant Linear B tablets, regardless of provenance. Richard
Linear B Syllabograms, Logograms & Ideograms Compared with Modern Chinese Ideograms: Click to ENLARGE While I know nothing of modern Chinese, and consequently cannot understand what any of the ideograms on this sign mean, I decided to compare either whole Chinese ideograms or components of them with their Linear B counterparts, simply to illustrate how similar writing systems from two cultures as remotely spaced both in time and space can and often do make use of very similar, and even occasionally almost identical strokes to create their characters. It so turns out that my own boyfriend, Louis-Dominique, took this photo just for me, when he was in China at the end of September and beginning of October this year (2014). I have no intention of analyzing any of the characters or ideograms in either Linear B or in Chinese, except in so far as I am able to translate those that are in Linear B. The photograph pretty much illustrates the similarities without need for further comment, but some similarities leap right out. For our Oriental visitors who are unfamiliar with the first 2 scriptural phenomena, a syllabogram is merely a syllable consisting of one consonant followed by one vowel, as in YA, MO, NE, PO, QE, RE, SO & TO, all of which appear on the photograph. Logograms in Linear B & other syllabic scripts are a combination of two syllabograms, one superimposed on the other, as in MERI = “honey”, which appears in the previous post. In both Linear B & Chinese, an ideogram is an ideogram is an ideogram. There are almost 150 ideograms in Linear B, which is a considerable number, considering that Linear B is primary a syllabary. In fact, there are more ideograms in Linear B than there are both syllabograms and logograms! To highlight just a few of the more remarkable similarities:  Especially striking is the Linear B syllabogram RE  on the photograph, which looks exactly like the four signs, two on top and two underneath the Chinese ideogram at the far right top of the sign. It also appears upside down on the Chinese ideogram immediately underneath.  Variants of the Linear B syllabogram MO appear as components 4 in Chinese ideograms, all tagged . For those of you who are Chinese, if you refer yourself to the Linear B words tagged with  & , bottom left, you can actually see for yourself that the syllabogram MO closely resembles the ideogram component I have flagged.  Likewise, a minor variant of the Linear B syllabogram TO  appears on one Chinese ideogram & in the Linear B word, bottom left. So that makes two components of Chinese ideograms incorporating elements strikingly alike Linear B syllabograms.  The component at the centre bottom of Chinese ideogram  closely resembles the Linear B syllabograms PO & SO in the 2 counterpart Linear B sentences , bottom right.  The Chinese ideogram component  looks exactly like the Greek alphabetic lambda (L), upside down. This is the sole instance in which a component of a Chinese ideogram looks like a Greek alphabetic letter rather than a Linear B syllabogram. Anyway, there are no L+vowel syllabograms in Linear B. My whole point is simply this, that Chinese ideograms frequently use strokes which incorporate elements which are (almost) identical, primarily to Linear B syllabograms, and sometimes Linear B logograms or ideograms. Thus, a component of an ideogram in Chinese can either closely resemble or actually be almost identical to a Linear B syllabogram, which are two different scriptural phenomena in two entirely unrelated languages. Likewise, an entire Chinese ideogram, as for instance, that for “elephant” in the previous post can be, and in that instance, is practically identical to the Linear B logogram for “honey”. Finally, the Chinese ideogram for “month” is the mirror image of the exact same ideogram (“month”) in Mycenaean Linear B, again as seen the previous post. Those of us who are Occidentals are going to draw own own conclusions reflecting the values of the West from the observations I have made above, while those who are Orientals will doubtless see things from a somewhat different perspective. I welcome any observations, comments or corrections from anyone fascinated by these correlations, especially from our Oriental friends who can translate the Chinese ideograms where these are (almost) identical to their Linear B counterparts. The stark differences in meaning can sometimes be hilarious, as for example in the previous post the logogram for “honey” In Mycenaean Greek looks almost identical to the Chinese ideogram which means “elephant”. This phenomenon recurs in alphabetical scripts, where for instance, both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabets are offshoots of the Greek alphabet. While most letters in these three alphabets are strikingly different, a number of letters are (almost) identical. I do not intend to illustrate these (dis)similarities here, since we are not concerned with alphabetic scripts. Richard