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Wisconsin stone tablet unearthed.

Wisconsin stone tablet unearthed..

Wisconsin stone tablet unearthed.

Can anyone interpret this tablet?

I have other artifacts from this small site.tablet

Photo of the Labrys or double Axe Fresco at Mycenae I took in May 2012 & description of the same by Sir Athur Evans in Scripta Minoa:

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pottery and shield of the Labrys or Double Axe, Museum Mycenae May 3 2012

The Labrys or Double Axe was common to both Mycenae and Knossos, and indeed there is a large room of the Double Axes which I saw when I was there in May 2012.  

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description of Labrys or double axe from Scripta Minoa Sir Arthur Evans

The text of this entry in Scripta Minoa is really fascinating. This statement in particular caught my eye.

The diameter of this huge labrys (double axe) is 7 MC (1.20 m.). the 7 and especially 7-1, have been used in the geometry of many ancient monuments (see, for example, the geometry of the Parthenon and Stonehenge.)    


2 impressive photos of the entrance to the famous Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae I took in May 2012.

2 impressive photos of the entrance to the famous Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae I took in May 2012:

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Treasury of Atreus b

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Treasury of Atreus a


2 photos of goddesses & pottery in the museum at Mycenae I took in May 2012:

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These are of the Mycenaean Earth goddess, possibly also called Pipituna, and possibly equivalent to Erinu = Erinys mentioned in Knossos fragment KN 390J f 21, ERINU, the Avenging Deity:

Mycenaean Earth Goddesses Mycenae Museum May 3 2012

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Mycenaean pottery pitchers and bowls, Mycenae Museum May 3 2012

Mycenaean pottery, pitchers and bowls


2 photos of goddesses & pottery in the museum at Mycenae I took in May 2012:

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Mycenaean Earth Goddesses Mycenae Museum May 3 2012

These are of the Mycenaean Earth goddess, possibly also called Pipituna, and possibly equivalent to Erinu = Erinys mentioned in Knossos fragment KN 390J f 21, ERINU, the Avenging Deity, here:   

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Mycenaean pottery pitchers and bowls, Mycenae Museum May 3 2012

Mycenaean pottery, pitchers and bowls


2 photos of Frescoes at Mycenae I took in May 2012:

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fresco horses and cavalry museum Mycenae May 3 2012

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Mycenaean Fresco of priestess and acolyte, Mycenae Museum May 3 2012


2 sweeping photos of Mycenae I took in May 2012:

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View of rhe famous acropolis of Mycenae May 2012)

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at the summit of Mycenae acropolis with famous mountain May 2012


2 more beautiful photos I took of famous frescos at Knossos in May 2012!

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The simply stunning Griffin Fresco in the Throne Room of the Queen's Megaron. To my mind, this is one of the loveliest of all Minoan frescoes, if not one of the loveliest frescos in the entire history of art. I think it is. 

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Octopus Fresco Knossos May 2012

The Octopus Fresco, another amazing work of art. There is humour in this one, a trait found in more than just a few works of Minoan art and craftsmanship, as in pottery as well. 


2 more beautiful photos I took of famous frescoes at Knossos in May 2012!

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The simply stunning Griffin Fresco in the Throne Room of the Queen's Megaron. To my mind, this is one of the loveliest of all Minoan frescoes, if not one of the loveliest frescos in the entire history of art. I think it is. 

Click to ENLARGE:

Octopus Fresco Knossos May 2012

The Octopus Fresco, another amazing work of art. There is humour in this one, a trait found in more than just a few works of Minoan art and craftsmanship, as in pottery as well. 


Some beautiful photos I took of famous frescos at Knossos in May 2012!.

Some beautiful photos I took of famous frescos at Knossos in May 2012!

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Bull fresco Knossos May 2012

The famous bull leaping fresco.

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Knossos Spectators Fresco Bull Leaping May 2012

The famous spectators fresco, folks probably watching bull leaping. I love this one!


Linear B Basic Values & the 13 Supersyllabograms (Click to ENLARGE):

Linear B syllabary basic values with supersyllabograms

This table is a modified version of the Linear B Basic Values table, with which many of you are already familiar. I have flagged in green font all 13 of the supersyllabograms isolated so far. There may be more, and there probably are. Complementing the supersyllabograms are the meanings, some of them firm, some of them likely to be correct, and others putative (at best).

You should keep this table on hand if you are at all interested in learning supersyllabograms.
All of the supersyllabograms have been fully illustrated by tablets bearing them in previous posts, so if you are serious about actually mastering sypersyllabograms yourself, you probably should read all of these posts, infra.


Prof. Thomas G. Palaima Isolates 5 Single Syllabograms as Cities & Settlement Names (Click to ENLARGE):


When Prof. Thomas G. Palaima translated Heidelburg Tablet HE FL 1994, he hit upon something truly revelatory, namely, that 5 syllabograms in a row, as illustrated in the facsimile of this tablet above, were single syllabograms, which were in actuality the first syllable of the word each represented, and that each of these words was to prove to be the name of a major Minoan/Mycenaean city or settlement. These places, Knossos, Zakros, Palaikastro (or possibly Phaistos), Pulos & Mycenae, all played a key role in Minoan/Mycenaean economy and society.

The real question is, why did the scribe who inscribed this tablet, use abbreviations consisting of the first syllabogram, which is always the first syllable of a Linear B word to represent the entire word?  Was this a phenomenon limited to Heidelburg tablet HE FL 1994, or could it be found on other tablets, and if so, how many... just a few or many? As it turns out, I have discovered this phenomenon occurring on not just a few Linear B tablets, not even a fairly wide cross-section, but — hold your breath — on literally hundreds of tablets. So what is going on here? Why would the Linear B scribes resorted to using single syllabograms on hundreds of tablets over and over again, unless they had very good reason to do so? But that is exactly what they did, and with astounding frequency. It is critical to recognize here that no Linear B scribe alone, let alone so many scribes, would resort to using just one single syllabogram just for the fun of it. That single syllabogram must have meant something, in fact, must have meant a very great deal, and have been a big deal; otherwise, the scribes would not have used them so very often.

The next obvious question is why did they resort to using single syllabograms so often?... & to represent what?  Prof. Palaima’s translation of Heidelburg Tablet HE FL 1994 makes it abundantly clear that what these syllabograms represent is entire words, in the case of this tablet, names of Minoan/Mycenaean cities and settlements. 

But, as it turns out, when I went to investigate several other single syllabograms (8 in all), I discovered to my astonishment that they could and did represent much more than just the names of cities and settlements.  Of the 8 new syllabograms of this type or class, I was able to at least tentatively decipher 6 of them, and I found that none of these represented merely city or settlement names, but something quite different. I recognized a specific word, one word and one word only, in a specific context, in that context and that context alone, for each and every one of the syllabograms I was able to decipher, even if my decipherment was not necessarily “correct”, whatever that is supposed to mean. What was astounding was this: in the specific context which each of these syllabograms appeared in, the word they represented always fits the context like a glove. For instance, the syllabogram for O stands for the word “onaton” = lease field, the syllabogram for KI stands for “kitimena” = plot of land & the syllabogram PE for “periqoro” = enclosure or pen, i.e. a sheep pen, and I emphatically stress, all three of them in the specific context of sheep. In this context and this context alone all three of these translations fit like a glove. For this reason, although my decipherment or translation of each one of these syllabograms (O, KI & PE) may be viewed as tentative by some, I truly believe that they have gone beyond that point, and may in fact be entirely sound, having the very meaning which I have assigned them. 

Now, since single syllabograms such as these are all, without exception, the first syllable by default of the Mycenaean Greek word in Linear B which of which they are the abbreviation, I feel obliged to assign them a name, calling them “supersyllabograms”.  As it now stands, my co-researcher and I have isolated 8 sypersyllabograms, of which we have managed to tentatively decipher 6, in addition to the 5 sypersyllabograms identified by Prof. Thomas G. Palaima, for a total of 13.


The Supersyllabogram PA... a huge challenge but... (Click to ENLARGE):

d1342 RATOYO PAITO ram

If I thought the other supersyllabograms we have “deciphered” to date (O, DI, KI, PE, ZA & ZE) were a challenge, I had better think again! Before I show you the possible “translations” for this sypersyllabogram (PA) — there are 3 of them — I should first explain my somewhat unorthodox methodology. Faced with the fact that nowhere does there appear the full word which this pesky little sypersyllabogram (PA) can account for on any extant Linear B tablets or in any currently available Linear B Lexicon, I was completely stumped... at first. But then the light came on. I simply had to bite the bullet, and thoroughly scan every single entry in Liddell È& Scott, 1986, beginning with the Greek letters transliterated into Latin as PA, and encompassing no less than 37 pages of this voluminous lexicon (pp. 511-538), in the desperate hope that something, anything, might miraculously pop up and rescue me from my conundrum. And a few, a very few, words did. These are all to be found on the illustration of this tablet above.

Although all of these alternatives make at least some sense in the specific context of sheep (rams and ewes), I eventually had to narrow down my choices from 6 (actually 5) to 3. This is how I did it. The putative translation “furnishing, supplying” is, after all, a bit of a stretch in the context of sheep, unless of course someone has supplied all of the sheep listed on this tablet (i.e. 300 of them all told), not just 3 of them. That doesn’t really make much sense. It is either all of them or none of them supplied, at least as far as I am concerned. The translation “by the sea” must also fall by the wayside, for the same reason. Why would 3 rams be by the sea, and the other 297 not?

That leaves: [1] rams who have wandered off, wandered back, and are thus safely recovered, combining the first two meanings in the list below the tablet (see above) into one, since in effect they do constitute one meaning, amounting one and the same thing: if the 3 rams have wandered off and wandered back, then they are safely recovered. [2] then we have 3 rams enclosed by a fence, which makes an awful lot of sense in the context of sheep, especially when we recall the supersyllabogram PE, PERIQORO, which means virtually the same thing, (in) an enclosure or a pen or sheep pen. This is the most tenable translation, as it almost perfectly matches the translation we easily found for all the tablets using the supersyllabogram PE (and there are plenty of them). [3] off a trodden or beaten way or beaten path. This translation matches up well with [1], and is therefore admissible. In fact the tablet could feasibly be saying that these 3 little rams had wandered off on a trodden or beaten path, and wandered back safe & sound. Makes perfect sense in the context. However, given a choice, I prefer [2], for the simple reason that it matches the 2 syllabograms PA & PE into a unified field (pardon the pun!).

We should also be sure to take note that on all of the Linear tablets using this syllabogram PA,s the number of sheep (all rams) it refers to is always very small (no more than 10), usually out of 100s, which makes the preceding translations all the more tenable.

However, in spite of the apparent cleverness of all three of these translations, all of which nicely fit the bill, a strong word of caution. Caveat: since there exists no word in the extant Linear B lexicon, whether from the extant tablets themselves, or in the two major lexicons currently available online, this opens my interpretations or so-called “translations” to (serious) doubt. I can perfectly understand that a considerable number of researchers in the field of Linear B will protest my choices (some somewhat loudly). This is perfectly reasonable. On the other hand, I would have been remiss, had I not made a valiant attempt to come up with any kind of feasible translation(s) in the context of sheep. But I did this, because that is my way. Better venture into unknown territory, and possibly be right (on 1 of 3 counts, but which one is anybody’s guess). After all, someone can and, I believe, should take this risk, and that someone is me. 

On the other hand, we should take into account that the discovery of new Linear B tablets in the future may just possibly supply a word or two to fill the gap and truly account for our little faux PAs, in a funny sort of way. Folks will surely object, the chances of that ever happening are pretty slim, if you ask me. And again, they would be right. But nothing ventured, nothing gained, I always say.

Anyway, of these 3 translations, the one referring to our 3 little rams being fenced in has a remarkable ring of plausibility to it, especially in light of the much sounder translation of the sypersyllabogram PE, infra:



The Supersyllabogram ZA with no less than 3 others, O, KI & PE! Knossos Tablet KN 927 F s 01 (Click to ENLARGE):

Knossos Tablet KN 927 F a 01 rams

Although this tablet looks a little confusing (messy?) at first, it really is not all that difficult to translate, when you come down to it. We just need to separate the men from the boys, or the mature rams from the young ones, so to speak. This tablet (above) illustrates exactly how I accomplished this without too much fuss. A small word of explanation: if 3 rams have just been introduced to the flock this year, I presume that that they are young rams, otherwise why would there be so few of them to introduce. And that is why I rendered the text the way I did.

It is astonishing but also really space saving, that the scribe had the presence of mind to use 4 supersyllabograms on one tablet! Now that is what I call saving precious space on what is admittedly a small tablet, as most Linear B tablets are. Yet again, this tablet is a superb example of how (some) Linear B scribes resorted to sypersyllabograms in a big way, as a shorthand, making shorthand a notable characteristic of Linear B (let alone with its prolific use of logograms and ideograms).       


ISS Panels, Telegraph Poles, Pot, Table, Poodles & Teepee: More Fun Learning Syllabograms in Linear B

Want to have fun learning syllabograms in Linear B?  It’s easy with mnemonics (memory cues). Take for instance these little teasers Click to ENLARGE:

fun learning syllabograms in Linear B




Introducing the Supersyllabogram O (ONATO) lease field (Click to ENLARGE):

163 447 K j TA person DAMINISO ram

We have now come to our sixth supersyllabogram, O. Again, I hear you protesting, “Aren’t you being quite arbitrary assigning this value (this word) to the supersyllabogram O?” And again, my answer has to be, “Not really, not at all”. Once again, by the simple process of elimination of absurdities and irrelevant words having nothing to do with agriculture, let alone, rams (or sheep), we are able to narrow down our choices for the actual meaning of this syllabogram to the following:

1 According to the Mycenaean Linear B – ENGLISH Glossary, only the following words are potentially sound candidates for the Mycenaean Greek word the supersyllabogram O is meant to convey. These are, onato (lease field), opiara2 (coastal), oriko (few), oudidosi (not giving), ouqe (neither) and ouruto (guard). However, from all of these choices, ONATO alone appears to be best fit in the specific context of sheep (rams & ewes), especially in light of the fact that we already know that the supersyllabograms KI means KITIMENA, plot of land, and PE means PERIQORO = enclosure or pen (i.e. sheep pen). Given those interpretations, ONATO, lease field, fits like a glove.

2 Turning to Chris Tselentis’s much more substantial linear B Lexicon, we find, in addition to the words already mentioned above, and excluding the numerous names of places and persons, the following: onatere (leasees), ono (payment), opero (debt, liability), orei (mountain) and ouwoze (not working). Here again, most of these words make some sense in the context of sheep, but still the best best by far is ONATO (lease field), and this is precisely why I have assigned this value to the sypersyllabogram O, given (a) the specific context of sheep & (b) our previously defined sypersyllabograms KI = KITIMENA or plot of land & PE = PERIQORO or enclosure or pen. I should also point out in passing that variations on the actually acceptable word a supersyllabogram stands in for are also possible, provided that they are directly derived from the accepted word (root). Thus, in this case, the word onatere (leasees) is probably also valid as an alternative to onato (lease land).

Not only that, you are about to discover, in the next post, that these sypersyllabograms are often combined to produce an even more specific meaning to the context. We have already seen this anyway with the combination of NE = newa (new) & KI = kitimena (plot of land). In that instance, the two sypersyllabograms work in tandem to give us the very precise phrase, “a new plot of land.”   


Introducing the Supersyllabograms KI (KITIMENA, plot of land) & NE (NEWA, new):

I have assigned the values KITIMENA (plot of land) to the sypersyllabogram KI and NEWA (new) to the sypersyllabogram NE.  I can hear you protesting, “How can you get away with that?  You are just guessing.”  Not really, not at all.  Due to the paucity of the extant Mycenaean Greek vocabulary, or if you will, lexicon, it was actually quite easy to come to this conclusion by the simple process of elimination.

Consulting both The Mycenaean Linear B – ENGLISH Glossary and the much more comprehensive Linear B Lexicon by Chris Tselentis, and putting all the words I found under KI and PE in the specific context of sheep, I was quickly able to determine which words to automatically eliminate, since they did not make any sense whatsoever in this particular context. As if turns out, it was to prove to be almost all of the Mycenaean Greek words beginning with KI and PE in Linear B.

As for Ki, the only viable candidates remaining after winnowing out the obviously ridiculous or non relevant words are: kitita (barley), kitano (terebinth tree), kitiyesi (they cultivate) & finally, kitimena (plot of land). Under NE, in both of these sources, all I could find was a single word, newa (new), all the other words under NE being nothing but personal names. So that narrows our choices down potentially to only 1 adjective and 1 of 3 nouns and 1 verb. However, our choices are even more circumscribed by the fact that “newa” is feminine, meaning that we must eliminate kitano and kitiyesi. That leaves only newa “newa kitita”, new barley and “newa kitimena”, new plot of land. Now I have rarely ever heard of anyone talking of “new barley” as such... fresh barley, harvested barley etc., yes, but not new barley. Besides, in the specific context of sheep, the only remaining word that makes sound sense with the feminine adjective “newa” is the feminine noun “kitimena”, giving us the completely transparent phrase “newa kitimena”, a new plot land. If anything makes perfect sense in the context of sheep, it has to be this. So be it.

Thus, as far as I am concerned, the supersyllabograms KI and NE almost certainly mean “new” and “plot of land” respectively, Given these values, this translation of the tablet makes perfect sense. Click to ENLARGE:

Knossos Tablet 1240 F k 01
 This brings the number of supersyllabograms we have so far defined to 5: DI, KI, NE, PE & ZE.  Richard 
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