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Source: Colors in Linear B Texts
Ms. Leonhardt’s analysis of colours in Linear B is first rate.
Originally posted on Konosos:
ka-na-ko | κνακό(ς) (knakos) | tawny white, Carthamus tinctoria
ka-na-ko | κνηκό(ς) (knekos) | tawny white, Carthamus tinctoria
ka-na-ko | χνηχό(ς) (khnekhos) | tawny white, Carthamus tinctoria (attested)
MY Ge 602, 603+, 605+, 606+…
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Reblogged on WordPress.com Source: The Archaeology News Network: Important finds at two excavations in Laconia
My translation of Knossos tablet KN 1548 O k 02 (xc) with original and facsimile: Click to ENLARGE While the text of this fascinating tablet is largely straightforward, the word “tirisate” at first posed problems for me. But even at first glance, I could see that “tirisate” had the prefix “tiri”, which almost certainly means “three”, and I quickly deduced that the second part of the word, “sate” was a verbal form. Consulting Liddell & Scotts' Greek-English Lexicon (1986), I was rewarded with the translation you see for this word, which I take indeed to be the present participle of the verb, “to arm, furnish, equip”. Hence the translation. This is not the first time I have encountered compound lexemes in Mycenaean Greek, which were rendered into separate components (words) in later ancient dialects in the Greek alphabet. NOTE: we have now exceeded 900 posts on our blog! Richard
Abstract of the study, COMPOSITE BOWS IN AEGEAN BRONZE AGE WARFARE, by Spyros Bakas, Archaeological Institute of the University of Warsaw: Click on this banner to read the study: ABSTRACT: Archery played a dominant role in Bronze Age, especially in later period. The technological evolution to the composites was a significant factor that affected the Warfare in several ways. The composite was introduced into Egypt by the Hyksos in the 18th century BCE. However we do not have any archaeological examples from the Aegean Bronze Age world. This brief study will try to approach the issue of the use of composite bows in the Minoan and Mycenaean Warfare attempting to include all the possible archaeological iconographical and textual evidence that could support this argument. There is a large number of smiths in Pylos tablets. These are aligned with the bureaucratic and centralized structure of the Mycenaean palatial centers. The word “to-ko-so-wo-ko”, which appears five times in the tablets, refers to the profession of the “bow-maker”. Based on the evidence from the Pylos “chariot –tablets”, we do know that this Palatial centre could field hundreds of chariots while also there is a record that there are 6010 arrows stored in this particular place. It seems more likely that the Palatial centers would need those “bow makers” mostly for military purposes rather than just for hunting. Therefore, the construction of composite bows – as weapons of the Mycenaean aristocrats – seems to be the most possible occupation of those craftsmen. Mycenaean bronze scaled corselets would have been constructed for and against the composite bows. Bronze Age cultures valued the composite bow as a highly advanced and efficient weapon, offering solutions to both mobility and firepower in conflict. It is certain that the composite bow wasn’t commonplace in Minoan and Mycenaean world. It was a prestige item with high cost owned by the elite warriors and aristocrats. The weapon was in use by the Minoans probably from the early Neopalatial period and continued to play a dominant role in Aegean battlefields till the 13 century BC following the decline of chariot archery. This study will be published in the upcoming Volume IV of the Archaeological Journal, Syndesmoi, University of Catania, Italy NOTE: We have also provided a direct link to this fascinating study by Spyros Bakas here at LBK&M and on our twitter page. Scroll down to the bottom of this page for our link to his study, and you can also see the link posted on our twitter account here:
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Rita Robert's translation of Knossos tablet KN 1540 O k 01 (xc) “so many swords” Click to ENLARGE: As is usual with Mrs. Roberts, she once again finesses another translation of the many military-related tablets in the Knossos armoury. She has chosen military affairs as her primary area of interest in her first year of university studies. She certainly has her hands full, as there are scores of tablets from Knossos focusing on this sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy. What intrigues me most is her marked ability to home in on the most significant details of the tablets in this particular series, as in fact she does with any tablets she translates, regardless of sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy. She notes for instance that: (a) The scribe is actually tallying the “total” number of swords. That is what the formulaic phrase “so many” boils down to on all Linear B tablets which give totals, regardless of provenance (Knossos, Pylos etc.) (b) Only the totals for the number of swords on each one of the tablets running in a straight series vary. The text does not. It is fossilized, i.e. formulaic to the extreme. (c) As Rita herself pointed out to my during one of our chats on Skype, the phrasing on every single one of these tablets is formulaic, down to the last word (totals only varying). This finding is extremely significant where it comes to the translation of tablets in Mycenaean Greek, regardless of time frame (i.e. ca. 1450 BCE at Knossos or ca. 1300-1200 BCE at Pylos, Mycenae etc.) (d) Extrapolating these findings to practically all tablets in Linear B, we discover, not to our surprise, that formulaic phrasing is the established scribal practice, regardless of the sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy with which they are concerned and regardless of provenance (Knossos, Pylos etc.) (e) This finding can hardly be surprising to us or anyone who stops to think about it, given that inventories, ancient and modern, are always standardized and always formulaic. As we document each of Rita's translations of the tablets in this series, we shall soon enough realize that the formulaic standards imposed by the scribal guilds are universal, once again regardless of economic sector or provenance. This is one of the most salient key characteristics of tablets in Linear B, and I strongly suspect of the tablets in Minoan Linear A before them... which leads me to my next observation, namely, that the formulaic practice also likely underlying all such tablets in Minoan Linear A as well may be a crack, however small, in the doorway opening up to at least a partial decipherment of the Minoan language. Richard
THIS you just have to read, my friends, mes amis!
A breakthrough in the decipherment of Minoan Linear A? Is puko the word for a tripod in Linear A? This is my latest published paper on academia .edu. If you wish to read it in its entirety, you may download it here: It is one of three (3) papers which I am having published this year, the other two being: 1. An Archaeologist’s translation of Pylos Tablet TA 641-1952 (Ventris), with an introduction to supersyllabograms in the vessels & pottery Sector in Mycenaean Linear B, shortly to appear in the peer-reviewed European archaeological journal, Archaeology and Science / Arheologija I Prirodne Nauke (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448 for which you can read submission guidelines and examples of articles in this PDF file: Click on the link below to read it Archaeology and Science guidelines & for which the following information is now available: ABSTRACT In partnership with The Association of Historical Studies, Koryvantes (Athens), our organization, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae (WordPress), conducts ongoing research into Mycenaean archaeology and military affairs and the Mycenaean Greek dialect. This study centres on a fresh new decipherment of Pylos tablet TA 641-1952 (Ventris) by Mrs. Rita Roberts from Crete, who brings to bear the unique perspectives of an archaeologist on her translation, in all probability the most accurate realized to date. We then introduce the newly minted term in Mycenaean Linear B, the supersyllabogram, being the first syllabogram or first syllable of any word or entire phrase in Linear B. Supersyllabograms have been erroneously referred to as “adjuncts” in previous linguistic research into Mycenaean Linear B. This article demonstrates that their functionality significantly exceeds such limitations, and that the supersyllabogram must be fully accounted for as a unique and discrete phenomenon without which any approach to the interpretation of the Linear B syllabary is at best incomplete, and at worse, severely handicapped. Keywords: Mycenaean Linear B, syllabograms, logograms, ideograms, supersyllabograms, adjuncts, Linear B tablets, Pylos, Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris), decipherment, translation, pottery, vessels, tripods, cauldrons, amphorae, kylixes, cups, goblets & 2. The Rôle of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B Presentation by Richard Vallance Janke at the Pultusk Academy of the Humanities, Pultusk, Poland, July 1 2015, TBP (to be published) late 201r or early in 2016. Richard
2 Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B, archaic Greek, English & French on the Mycenaean invasion of Troy: Click to ENLARGE = 2 haïkou en linéaire B, en grec archaïque, en anglais et en français sur l’nvasion mycénienne de Troie: Cliquer pour ELARGIR The latinized Linear B texts of these haiku read as follows: soteria * aneu Akireyo mene Toroya Omero Toroyade peree * Note that the archaic dative termination -i- does not appear in Mycenaean Greek.
PART D: Cross-correlation of the surcharged syllabograms on Linear B tablet Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris) with those on Linear A tablets HT 31 and another in the Ay Nikolaus Museum, Greece: Given that the premise affirming it is possible and even feasible to cross-correlate the incidence of syllabograms incharged, surcharged or supercharged on ideograms for pottery and vessels in Mycenaean Linear B with the same phenomena in Minoan Linear A — and I believe it is — I see no reason why we cannot take this procedure a step further. Linear A tablet HT 31 supports words identifying vessels either (a) immediately to the left of and immediately adjacent to their ideograms or (b) supercharged or surcharged on the ideograms with which they are associated. On the other hand, the Linear A tablet in the Ay Nikolaus Museum, Greece, is inscribed only with ideograms for vessels incharged with supersyllabograms, with no accompanying explanatory text. It is not only possible but entirely feasible to cross-correlate the syllabograms and ideograms on these two, not just with those for vessels on Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris) but also with each other. The case for the second approach may well prove to be as convincing as that for the first. Boiling it all down to the essentials, we seriously need to ask ourselves the crucial question whether or not either of the elements (syllabograms and ideograms) on each and every one of the tablets we have under discussion (Pylos Tablet TA 641-1952 in Linear B & Linear A tablets HT 31 & the one with 5 incharged supersyllabograms) overlap with and any or even all of their counterparts on any of the others. First, let us take a closer look at the Linear A tablet from Ay Nikolaus Museum, Greece, since on it we observe 5 Linear A syllabograms clearly inscribed inside the ideograms they modify in a particular way: Click to ENLARGE We have been able to isolate one element and one only, which overlaps on these two Linear A tablets, as illustrated here in Table 1: Click to ENLARGE Observe the incidence of (a) the word supaira, a type of vessel (no. 5 on Linear A HT 31) and (b) the incharged supersyllabogram su tagged as item 1 in white font — if that is what it is — on the extract from Linear A tablet in colour we introduced in previous posts. Assuming that the incharged SSYL on the latter is in fact the Linear A syllabogram su, we now find ourselves face to face with what appears at the very least to be an amazing coincidence. Both designations,(a) the word supaira spelled out in full on HT 31 and (b) the single syllabogram (probably) su on the second tablet appear to delineate one and the same vessel type. But is this mere coincidence? I think not, for the following reasons: Names of vessel types adjacent on the left to their corresponding ideograms: (a) in Linear B: to the left but generally not immediately adjacent Earlier in this article, we posited the distinct possibility of the two syllabaries, Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B, largely sharing the practice of designating vessels types by name to the left of the ideograms which represent them. In the case of Mycenaean Linear B, the name of the vessel type, for instance, tiripo(de), qeto or dipa (anowe) appears the the left of inserted text denoting an associated process or of at least one of its attributes, and not immediately adjacent to the ideogram upon which it depends. For instance, as can be seen from Rita Roberts’ erudite decipherment of Pylos tablet TA 641-1952 (Ventris): Click to ENLARGE we have: tiripode Aikeu keresijo weke + the ideogram for tripod 2 = Aigeus is working on 2 tripods of the Cretan style, where tiripode is separated from its ideogram by the inserted 3 word phrase, Aikeu keresiyo weke. So tiripode is deliberately set not immediately adjacent to the left of its ideogram. This is an example of an active (verbal) associated process, since the subject, Aigeus, is working on the tripod. + dipa mewijo qetorowe + ideogram for (a very large) vase = a pithos 1 = 1 very large vase (pithos) with four handles, where dipa is separated from its ideogram by the inserted 2 word phrase, mewijo qetorowe. Once again, dipa is not immediately adjacent to the left its ideogram. This is an example of attribution, given that that the 4 handles are an attribute of both the word and the ideogram for dipa. These two incidences alone of Linear B words explicitly spelling out the vessel types in proximity with their ideograms, in conjunction with the phenomenon of supersyllabograms incharged in ideograms for pottery and vessels in Mycenaean Linear B, well serve to illustrate the extreme sophistication of the Linear B syllabary with its 100 + ideograms to massage inventoried items. (b) in Linear A: immediately adjacent if to the left -or- supercharged/surcharged on the ideogram to which it is bound: Turning our attention to Linear A tablet HT 31, we witness a variation of the same phenomenon. Here all of the vessels are accounted for by name ( and type?), and situated either (a) immediately adjacent and to the left of or (b) surcharged or (c) supercharged on top of their bound ideogram: Click to ENLARGE In line 1, puko, the Linear A word for tripod, is to the left of and immediately adjacent to the ideogram with which it is explicitly bound. In line 2, qapai is supercharged, i.e. affixed onto the top of its bound ideogram, while in lines 3 5 & 6, kadapai (if that is what the spelling is), supaira & pataqe are surcharged. The Linear A scribe is apparently experimenting with various methods of specifically identifying each type of vessel he is inventorying. In other words, the practice of naming items in inventories in Minoan Linear A is in flux. No standard has yet been established. At variance with Linear B, the only constant appears to be the utter absence of intervening associative or attributive text between the vessel type identified by name in Linear A and its ideogram, which on HT 31 appears either immediately adjacent to the left, or supercharged or surcharged on top of its ideogram. This does not necessarily imply that the Minoan Linear A scribes never resorted to the more complex formula in Linear B, viz: vessel type spelled out in the LB syllabary + intervening associative or attributive text + corresponding ideogram + the number of vessels, algebraically expressed as: vt + (as or at) = ideogram (vt) n – where n is the total no. of vessels itemized It merely means that there are no instances on extant Minoan Linear A tablets of the more complex approach to inventorying vessels so frequently instanced in Mycenaean Linear B. It is conceivable that a few Linear A tablets may be unearthed in the future confirming this hypothesis, but because the Linear A practice for words identifying vessels is itself in such flux, I am very much inclined to doubt it. Such is far from being the vase with Mycenaean Linear B, in which the practice of identifying each type of vessel on numerous inventories is standardized, formulaic and fossilized. It seems quite clear that the Mycenaean Linear B scribes inherited the practice from their Minoan forbears, sticking with what they considered to be the best practices for enumerating vessel types, and tossing the rest overboard. (c) Cross-correlation of supercharged and surcharged syllabograms on Linear B tablet HT 31 with the incharged supersyllabograms on Linear A tablet from the Ay Nikolaus Museum, Greece: With reference to Table 1 above, things get downright intriguing. If we cross-correlate the Minoan Linear A word for the vessel type, supa3ra or supaira, on tablet HT 31 with the (presumed) incharged syllabogram a.k.a. supersyllabogram su on the second Linear A tablet illustrated above, we discover that they apparently refer to one and the same vessel type. Recall however the conundrum we are faced with on HT 31. There are 3 separate words in Minoan Linear A, all of which appear to refer to vessel types for which there is only one equivalent in Mycenaean Linear B, that being, dipa, a cup or kylix with handles or dipa anowe, a cup without handles, sup*56 or supaira being one of them, and qapa3 or qapai? + pataqe the other two. But, as I said before, Minoan, unlike Mycenaean Greek, might very well have differentiated among at least 3 types of cups with or without handles. All that aside, I am left with the distinct impression that the Minoan scribe who adroitly resorts to inscribing the (super)syllabogram su incharged in the ideogram to which it is explicitly bound has in effect devised a clever shortcut for the same description in full text used by the scribe who identifies supaira as a cup with handles on Linear A tablet HT 31, it too apparently equivalent to dipa anowe in Mycenaean Linear B. If this premise is sound, then what we have here is a finding nothing short of astounding concerning scribal scribal practices in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B. If so, we should be able draw the following conclusions: Hypothesis: First, Minoan Scribes writing in Linear A and later, Mycenaean scribes writing in Linear B appear to have both made use, not only of: (a) words spelled out identifying pottery and vessel types either (nearly) adjacent to the left side or supercharged or surcharged onto the ideograms with which they are associated on some tablets, but (b) also of syllabograms a.k.a. supersyllabograms bound (incharged) inside the same or very similar ideograms on others, both in their own syllabary and the other (Minoan Linear and Mycenaean Linear B). The scribes have identified the selfsame vessel types — either way — six of one, half a dozen of the other. Take your choice. They did. In either case, the end result is the same. In Minoan Linear A, the vessel type under consideration is identified, while in Mycenaean Linear B it is further delineated by class (tripods and cauldrons versus vases, cups etc.) and size through the medium of the text intervening between the vessel type named and its corresponding ideogram. Since in Mycenaean Linear B the identification of the vessel type is clear cut even on those tablets where an incharged syllabogram (supersyllabogram) identifies it in the complete absence of descriptive text, as we see here in Table 3: Click to ENLARGE we may infer that this practice runs in parallel with the same two, albeit less sophisticated, practices of denominating vessel types in Minoan Linear A. If that is the case, then the Mycenaean Linear B scribes ostensibly inherited both practices from their Minoan forbears. Not only that, by flinging out the non-essential fluctuating Minoan scribal practices, they greatly streamlined and fully standardized these procedures. What was experimental in Minoan Linear A has become fossilized in Mycenaean Linear B. We are faced here with nothing so much as two primary standard, universal & formulaic accounting practices for inventories in Mycenaean Linear B which were applied across the board, regardless of the sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy with which they were concerned or the provenance of Linear B tablets, Knossos, Pylos, Phaistos etc. You can count on it. And the Mycenaean scribes owed it all to their Minoan ancestors. The implications of this finding, should corroborative evidence from other Linear A tablets, extant or yet to be discovered in the future, prove its potential validity, are nothing short of profound for the eventual decipherment of at least a portion of Linear A, however minimal. Moreover, I believe we already have at our disposal the linguistic skills and tools to enable to us to take this ball farther still. More on this in a future installment. Post-script: These four posts are shortly to be published as a full research paper, replete with references and notes + bibliography, on my academia.edu account. Richard
This is an excellent post about the use of lenses in the ancient world! Yes, they had them! The ancients were amazing. So many things we thought were discovered so much later in history date to ancient times! Amazing! Richard
Originally posted on Ritaroberts's Blog:
The ancient Linear B tablets which I have been working on are so very small, that I often wondered how the Minoan scribes were able to see to write them, let alone read each others scripts, until I came across this wonderful article about Ancient Lenses.:
To date, the earliest lenses identified in context are from the IV/V Dynasties of Egypt, dating back to about 4,500 years ago (e.g; the superb ‘Le Scribe Accroupi’ and ‘ the Kai ‘ in the Louvre; added fine examples are located in the Cairo Museum) Latter examples have been found in Knossos (Minoan Heraklion Museum); ca 3,500 years ago). Another, possibly 5th century BC, lens was found in a sacred cave on Mount Ida Crete. It was more powerful and of better quality than the Nimrud lens which is the oldest lens in the world now in the British Museum.
The Nimrud Lens The oldest Lens in the world.
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