Google image search, “Minoan Linear A decipherment”, multiple hits from our site on page 1: As you can see from the composite just above, there are multiple on a Google image search “Minoan Linear A decipherment” from our site, Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae. Four months ago, when I first embarked on the gruelling task of attempting at least a partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A, there was nothing on a Google image search from our site. Plenty of progress since then, I dare say.
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Glossary of 134 words & Partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A : a rational approach from Mycenaean Linear B (final version): First the Glossary, with Minoan Linear A terms extrapolated from the highly professional Mycenaean Linear B Lexicon by Chris Tselentis. A Glossary of 134 Minoan words: a rational approach to a partial decipherment based on principles derived from Mycenaean Greek Linear B: Introductory Remarks: This Glossary is soon to be published in a major draft paper, Partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A & Glossary of 134 words : a rational approach from Mycenaean Linear B, on my academia.edu account. But before publishing it here, I shall post it in five (5) instalments here on Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae. This paper will eventually appear in the prominent international annual, Archaeology and Science, Vol. 12 (2016), to be published in the spring of 2018. This Glossary accounts for 26 % of all intact Minoan Linear A terms (=510) indexed by Prof. John G. Younger in his lexicon, Linear A texts in phonetic transcription. The principle of cross-correlative cohesion operates on the assumption that terms in Minoan Linear A vocabulary should reflect as closely and as faithfully as possible parallel terms in Mycenaean Greek vocabulary. In other words, the English translations of Minoan words in a Minoan Linear A Glossary such as this one should look as if they are English translations of Mycenaean Greek terms in a Linear B glossary. I have endeavoured to do my best to achieve this goal, but even the most rational and logical approach, such as I take, does not and cannot guarantee reciprocity between Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B terms. It is precisely for this reason that I have had to devise a scale of relative accuracy for terms in this Linear A Glossary, as outlined in KEY at the top of it. The best and most reliable Linear B Lexicon is that by Chris Tselentis, Athens, Greece. If you wish to receive a copy of his Lexicon, please leave a comment in Comments, with some way for me to get in touch with you. A Glossary of 134 Minoan Linear A words more or less accurately deciphered to date (the largest ever glossary of Linear A) accounting for 26 % of all intact Minoan Linear A terms in Prof. John G. Younger?s Linear A texts in phonetic transcription = 510: KEY: Minoan Linear A words deciphered with a very high level of certainty (75-100%) are in BOLD. Minoan Linear A words deciphered with a moderate degree of certainty (60-75%) are in italics. Minoan Linear A words for which the decipherment is uncertain (< 50%) are in plain text. All terms in Minoan Linear A and in Mycenaean Linear B have been Latinized for ease of access to persons not familiar with these syllabaries. adaro = barley = Linear B kirita adu = so much, so many, all (persons, things, esp. grain/wheat), referencing all accounts relevant to them. In the case of grains & wheat, adu would refer to all the “ bushel-like” units of wheat accounted for. In the case of the men measuring the wheat, it would appear that they are surveyors or comptrollers. Cf. Linear B, toso, tosa. adureza = unit of dry measurement (grain, wheat, barley, flour) aka = wineskin (two syllabograms overlaid) akipiete = (in) common, shared, allotted, allotment = Cf. Linear B kekemena ktoina = small plot of land akii = garlic apu2nadu = grain workers/measurers? Cf. dadumata = Linear B sitokowo ase (plural) = bushels? Cf. kunisu asasumaise = cattle-driver or shepherd = Linear B qoukoro -or- qorokota atare = grove of fig trees -or- figs overseer -or- fig gatherer (See also, atade = gold? leaves? gold leaf? = Linear B kuruso? (See also, noja) awapi -or- tasaza = silver Cf. Linear B akuro dadumata = grain/wheat measurer? = Linear B sitokowo darida = large vase daropa = stirrup jar = Linear B karawere dasi = weight -or- scales datara= overseer of olive trees or olive oil -or- harvester of olives from olive trees datu = olives See also qatidate = olive trees = Linear B erawa daweda = medium size amphora with two handles dikise = a type of cloth = Linear B any number of types of cloth ditamana = dittany (medicinal herb) dumitatira2 (dumitatirai) = right or inner spindle wheel on one side of the distaff dureza = unit of measurement (unknown amount) jedi = man/men = Linear B atoroqo. kadi = next (in a series) (Zakros ZA 15) kana = first (in a series) (Zakros ZA 11) kanaka = saffron = Linear B kanako kapa = follower or (foot) solder = Linear B eqeta karopa3 (karopai) = kylix (with two handles & smaller than a pithos) kaudeta = to be distributed (fut. part. pass.) approx. = Linear B, epididato = having been distributed (aorist part. pass.) keda = cedar kidata = to be accepted (for delivery to) = Linear B dekesato kidema*323na = type of vessel (truncated on HT 31) kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed kukani = (deep) red wine Cf. Linear B wono mitowesa kunisu = bushel(s)? (cf. ase) 15 kupa -or- sa*301ri = planter = Linear B pu2te/pute kura = large amount of wine = Linear B pithos+ wono? kuzuni = a type of wine? kuro = total kuruku = crocus idamate = king or god? Or may be the name of said persona Cf. Linear B wanaka maru = wool (syllabograms superimposed) = Linear B mari/mare mitu = a type of cloth nasi = a type of cloth nere = larger amphora size nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza noja = gold? leaves? gold leaf? = Linear B kuruso? (See also, atade) nudu*331 = flax? = Linear B rino? orada = rose pa3ni (paini) = amphora for storing grain? pa3nina = grain or wheat stored in an amphora for grain pajare = in pay, hired = Linear B emito pazeqe = small handle-less cups = Linear B dipa anowe, dipa anowoto pimitatira2 (pimitatirai) = left or outer spindle wheel on one side of the distaff pitakase = harvested or field of = Linear B akoro puko = tripod = Linear B tiripode qajo = double-edged axe or labrys = Linear B dapu qapa3 = qapai = large handle-less vase or amphora qatidate = olive trees See also datu = olives = Linear B erawo qareto = Linear B onato = “lease field” quqani = medium size or smaller amphora ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) rairi = lily reza = 1 standard unit of measurement sajamana = with handles = Linear B owowe samaro = bunch of (figs, grapes etc.) sa*301ri -or- kupa = planter = Linear B pu2te/pute sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre sata = a type of cloth sedina = celery supa3 (supai) = small cup = Linear B dipa mewiyo supu = very large amphora tarawita = terebinth tree tasaza -or- awapi = silver Cf. Linear B akurotejare = a type of cloth teki = small unit of measurement for wine @ 27 1/2 per tereza tereza = larger unit of liquid measurement (olive oil, wine) teri = offering -or- being delivered (to the gods) = Linear B dedomena, dosomo, qetea (due to the gods) tesi = small unit of measurement 85tisa = description of pot or pottery? = Linear B amotewiya/yo? ti?redu = spice(s) (coriander) udimi = a type of cloth uminase = harbour, port = Linear B Amnisos (Cf. French, le Havre, name of a major maritime French city, which translates as “the Harbour”) usu = a type of cloth Eponyms: Adunitana Akaru Asasumaise = name of cattle-driver or shepherd Asiyaka Dadumine Danekuti Daqera Idamate = king or god? Or may be the name of said persona (bis) Ikurina Kaudeta? (See also toponyms) Kanajami Kosaiti Kukudara Kuramu Kureju Makarita Mirutarare Qami*47nara Qetiradu Qitune Sidate Sirumarita2 = Sirumaritai Tateikezare Tesudesekei Tidiate Turunuseme Watumare Toponyms: Almost all the toponyms do not require decipherment as they are either identical or almost identical in Mycenaean Linear B: Akanu = Archanes (Crete) Dame Dawa (Haghia Triada) Dikate = Mount Dikte Idaa = Mount Ida Idunesi Kato = Zakoro (Linear B) Kaudeta? (See also eponyms) Kudoni = Kydonia Kura Meza (= Linear B Masa) Paito = Phaistos ( =Linear B) Qeka Radu = Lato (= Linear B Rato) Setoiya = Seteia (= Linear B) Sukirita/Sukiriteija = Sybrita Uminasi (= Linear B Amnisos) Winadu = Linear B Inato COMMENTARY: It is noteworthy that in Minoan Linear A a significant proportion of the terms we have managed to decipher to date, more or less accurately, begin with the letter K. Referencing our Glossary of 133 Minoan Linear A words, we find that 20/134 or 15 % begin with K. This is rather striking, in light of the fact that a correspondingly large number of words in ancient Greek begin with K, even though the two languages are in no way related. In other words, since the word kidapa on Linear B tablet KN 894 N v 01 begins with K, that is another reason to conjecture that it might very well be Minoan. This Glossary accounts for 26 % of all intact Minoan Linear A terms. For the past 116 years, ever since Sir Arthur Evans first began excavations at Knossos in the spring of 1900, several people have attempted to decipher Minoan Linear A, but none with any success. Almost all of these philologists have relied on the assumption that, because Minoan Linear A had to belong to some class of languages, whether or not proto-Indo-European, proto-Finnic, Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, proto-Uralic, Sino-Tibetan, Sumerian, any other class of languages not listed here. But this approach has always come up empty-handed, with the possible sole exception of proto-Japanese as a subset of proto-Altaic, as proposed by Gretchen Leonhardt:
Mycenaean palace administrative hierarchy (POST 1,300): Although we will never know the exact details of the Mycenaean palace administrative hierarchy, the table above gives us a pretty good idea of the power-base hierarchy from the King or wanax on down to the higher administrative officials, the mid-level officers and lower-level administrators, followed by the subaltern freemen, craftsmen and farmers and finally by the slaves. The names of each of the positions top-down follow in Latinized Linear B: 1. wanaka = King. The official residence of the King, or the Palace was called the wanakatero. 2. rawaketa = Leader of the Host, i.e. Commander-in-Chief. Sometimes, as in the case of Agamemnon, the General who lead the host (i.e. the army) into the Trojan War, the King and Commander-in-Chief are the selfsame person. 3. qasireu = prince potentate (slightly below the wanax & the rawaketa in the power hierarchy. 4. eqeta = the followers, professional foot soldiers and the personal guard of the wanax and the rawaketa. Cf. the Praetorian Guards of the Roman emperors. 5. teretai = aristocrats, called aristoi = the best people in later ancient Greek. These are the wealthy, upper class people protected by the wanax and rawaketa. 6. konosia rawaketa = (literally) the palace of Knossos for the Commander-in-Chief, i.e. his official residence, but in Knossos only. In Mycenae, his official residence would have been called the rawaketero. 7. konosia qasireu = (literally) the palace of Knossos for the prince potentate, but in Knossos only. In Mycenae, his official residence would have been called the qasireuo. AT THE NEXT LEVEL, we find the mid-level administrators: 8. porokorete = the district governors, meaning the rulers of the districts in the Mycenaean Empire, such as the district of Mycenae itself, and the districts of Knossos, Phaistos, Pylos and the Hither Provinces (the closer provinces, such as Tiryns, Pylos, Argos, Lerna etc.) and of the Farther Provinces (Thebes, Orochomenos, Eutresis etc.) 9. korete = so-called mayors or chief administrators of cities or primary settlements, such as Knossos, and the centres of the Hither and Farther Provinces. These officials reported directly to the porokorete. AT THE NEXT LEVEL, we find 10 the freemen or woko of the cities or primary settlements, such as craftsmen, artisans, farmers and tenant farmers, fishermen and finally, AT THE LOWEST LEVEL 11. chattel (privately owned workers) doeroi = slaves, temple slaves = rawaiai or temenoio doeroi and nawoio doeroi = galley slaves. P.S. This one is specially for you, Rita!
Minoan Costume History synopsis: a wonderful site! You simply have to check this site out! I have never seen such an in-depth study on Minoan costume, female and male alike, on the Internet. Here is just a small excerpt: An era of great development, contemporaneous with the civilization of ancient Egypt and Phoenicia, and which may be dated about 2000-1500 B.C., had preceded the civilization that came from Asia Minor into Crete and Greece. Such fragments of Cretan culture as have come down to us reveal a beauty of technique and a delicate sense of form to which no contemporaneous civilization provides any parallel. (italics mine). It is certainly true that the Minoans were far more style-conscious than people of any other contemporaneous civilization, such as the Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Hittites. No question about it. Owing to the lack of written records, the processes and methods of manufacture are still wrapped in obscurity, but although we are thus reduced to surmise regarding the materials used, the dress of that time is of the highest interest in view of its connexion with the costumes of other peoples. Our attention is especially attracted by the dress worn by the women. The slim, wiry figures of the men are clothed almost universally with a loincloth, richly patterned and splendidly decorated. Here and there we see wide cloaks that clothe the whole body, giving it a large appearance. Women also, it would seem, wore the short loincloth, but we find them wearing in addition skirts put together in an almost fantastic manner that betrays a highly developed knowledge of the technique of dressmaking. These skirts are constructed in tiers, separated by strips of rich ornamentation. Illustrations from this site (there are many more, just as striking as these!)
Gretchen Leonhardt’s commentary on Minoan Linear A noduli: Gretchen Leonhardt has posted her comments on Minoan Linear A noduli on her site, Konosos.net: Although I do not agree with all of the points she raises in her analyses of these noduli, her explanation of the transposition of morae (which in Minoan Linear A amount to two adjacent syllabograms within a word) is right on the money. In fact, this phenomenon does occur in Minoan Linear A. It was first identified by Andras Zeke on the Minoan Language Blog as ligatures: However, we cannot be sure whether or not the supposed transpositions actually occurred in Minoan Linear A. In other words, while kasi may be interchangeable with sika, and sere with rese, this is by no means guaranteed. It may have been that the Minoans meant kasi to mean kasi alone or vice versa, i.e. that sika was the actual meaning. Likewise, sere alone may have been attributed to the overlay of the syllabogram se on re, or on the other hand, rese may have been the sole meaning. We shall never know. We can operate on the assumption that the ligatures or morae were interchangeable, but that is all it is, an assumption. In the event, we fully acknowledge Ms. Leonhardt’s invaluable contribution to the furtherance of our understanding of Minoan Linear A.
Mycenaean Linear B fragments from the Ashmolean Museum (British Museum):
Thalassa Farkas, Canada, our newest blog member and fan!
Gretchen Leonhardt’s translation of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 117 (Haghia Triada): a lot to be learned here HT 117 (a Trade Inventory): I dare say I find Gretchen Leonhardt’s correlation of Minoan Linear A with proto-Japanese intriguing. However, I am somewhat mystified over why she has chosen to link Minoan Linear A with Okinawan, which she herself typifies as linguistically different from Yamato Japanese, while at the same time contending that the two, though distinct, share a common proto-language. I look forward to Ms. Leonhardt clarifying these distinctions for us. I have made several comments on Ms. Leonhardt’s decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 117 (Haghia Triada) in the illustration above. However, a few clarifications are in order. RE NOTE:  I am astounded that kuro in Minoan Linear A is almost the exact equivalent of its (proto-)Japanese counterpart. This is just one of the amazingly convincing translations which Ms. Leonhardt lights upon in her cross-correlation of Minoan Linear A with (proto-)Japanese, adding substantial weight to her theory.  &  Minoan Linear A makarite can conceivably be the equivalent of (proto-)Japanese makarideru (infinitive) = “to leave” or makara = “serpentine sea creature”, but certainly not both. As far as I am concerned, the only translation which can make any real sense in Minoan Linear A is the first, makarideru (infinitive) = “to leave”, at least if we are to believe that there is any substantive cross-correlation between Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B, which as you all know I do believe.  Certainly her renditions of Linear A kiro and kairo as either “crossroad” , “sea” or “sea route” both make sense in the context of Minoan Linear A, especially in light of cross-correlation with Mycenaean Linear B tarasa = “sea”:  I am attracted by her decipherment of uminasi as “harbour” or “port”, apparently equivalent to the Japanese minato. In addition, she appears to forward the idea that Uminasi may be the Minoan Linear A word for Amnisos, something I have never considered myself. I knew it was a toponym, but never suspected it could be Amnisos, which is so close to Uminasi that it really makes one think twice.  Likewise, her decipherment of Linear A mitu, equivalent to the Japanese mitsu = “mead” makes eminent sense in the context of HT 117.  On the other hand, her rendition of Linear kuramu, which she correlates with Japanese kuramu = “to become lost” or “to become dark” makes little or no sense in the context. Moreover, she identifies Kuramu with Kalamos in Greece, while at the same time admitting that “The reason for the destination is unclear”. Indeed. I thought she had previously said, in her introduction to Linear A, that the Minoans had migrated from Crete to Japan, and not the other way around. So the “reason” for the destination appears downright absurd. If the Minoans travelled one way only, i.e. to Japan, why would they turn around and find their way back to Kalamos? Beats me. However, what with the overlaps between some of Ms. Leonhardt’s decipherments and some of my own, I am of the opinion that she and I may have more than something in common to share. I would even go so far as to propose to her that I add several of her decipherments as alternatives to our Minoan Linear A Glossary, which is soon to be published on may academia.edu account as part of my new paper there, Partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A & Glossary: a rational approach. One thing is certain. I fully intend to credit Ms. Leonhardt as being the only other researcher into the partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A who appears to be on the “right” track, even though her track is on a different line than my own. I congratulate Ms. Leonhardt on her impressive achievements in the partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A.
Gretchen Leonhardt’s novel and apparently effective approach to the partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A: Introduction While I am quite convinced that Ms. Gretchen Leonhardt would completely agree with me that our respective approaches to the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B tablets are polar opposites, I am sure that the same cannot be said to be true for her intriguing approach to the partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A. Here I find myself frequently in agreement with her on several counts, even though our approaches are, once again, very different. While I rely exclusively on the 5 principles of retrogressive extrapolation from Mycenaean Linear B: Ms. Leonhardt seems convinced that there is a direct link between Minoan Linear A and proto-Japanese, the latter of which is in the Altaic class of languages. And I believe she may have a pretty strong point here. It particularly strikes me that, although our methodologies are so unalike, the translations we come up with occasionally mesh, sometimes (almost) perfectly. So it would appear that, while neither of us has a clear monopoly on rational approaches to the partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A, both of us appear to be on a “right track”, even though our tracks are definitively not linguistically parallel. So kudos to Ms. Leonhardt for her telling insights into the linguistic family to which Minoan Linear A may possibly belong, namely, the Altaic. She is one step ahead of me on that count! I have no clue whatsoever what class of language Minoan Linear A belongs to.
Basic units of measurement in Mycenaean Linear B & Minoan Linear A chart of fractions: Basic units of measurement in Mycenaean Linear B: Minoan Linear A chart of fractions:
Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada) & wine: I was previously unable to decipher Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada) which deals with wine, since the words kaudeta, kuzini and dasi eluded me. However, upon re-examination of this tab let, I have concluded that kaudeta just may mean “to be distributed”. Given that other Minoan Linear A terms ending in “ta” which I have already deciphered appear to be future participles passive, I am assuming the same for kaudeta. This means that kaudeta is not an exact equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B epididato, which is an aorist participle passive. As for kuzini, there is a distinct possibility this is a type of wine, given the context of this tablet. Finally, while dasi eluded me before (even though I found it on another Linear A tablet), this time round I find myself in a better position to decipher it more or less accurately. This is because on this tablet (HT 13) the word appears right in front of the ideogram for “scales”. So it seems as though it either means “scales” or “weight”. At least the possibility is not out of the question. Idunesi is apparently Minoan Linear A for Mycenaean Linear B Amnisos. These three words bring the total number of Linear B terms I have managed to decipher, more or less accurately, to 133.
Mycenaean Linear B: a very English genius: Michael Ventris (in 8 Parts)! These 8 videos taken all together bring us a full movie on the incredible accomplishments of Michael Ventris, who in June & July 1952 finally deciphered Mycenaean Linear, after 52 years of vain attempts by many other researchers to accomplish this truly remarkable feat! I myself have watched the entire film in 8 parts, and I found it thrilling!
This one is a real hoot... very funny! first UTube video on Mycenaean Linear B, all about Michael Ventris’ remarkable success in deciphering the syllabary in June-July 1952. AND very poetic! Once I have mastered the technique of posting videos on UTube, I shall begin posting my own videos on key aspects of Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, including their decipherment.
Someone Will Succeed in Deciphering Minoan, by Cyrus H. Gordon: I certainly cannot claim that I have done that! But what I can assert is that I have done my utmost to achieve at least a partial decipherment of the vocabulary of Minoan Linear A, if not of the language itself or of its syntax and grammar. Like everyone else who has attempted to decipher Minoan Linear A to date, I have no clue whatsoever what language it is, nor what class of languages it belongs to (proto-Indo- European or other). Nor do I care. All I have attempted to do is, to the best of my abilities, to decipher, more or less accurately (less accurately almost as often as more) as many Minoan Linear A terms as I possibly can. To date, I have managed 134 Minoan Linear A words, which account for 26.7 % of all the intact Linear A words in John G. Younger’s Linear A Lexicon (510). That is about as far as I have been able to go. To view my glossary, please click here: