Knossos Tablet KN 935 G d 02 & the Ideogram for “Wool” (Click to ENLARGE):

Knossos Tablet KN 935 G d 02

As we come to master Linear B, we soon discover, to our great relief, that it is actually quite easy to translate the substance at least of a great many Linear B tablets, for the simple reason that these tablets use ideograms only, and no syllabograms. Of course, it should come as no surprise to anyone relatively adept at translating Linear B tablets, regardless of provenance (Knossos, Pylos, Phaistos etc.) that the Linear B scribes were so keen on using ideograms to replace syllabograms as often as they possibly could, to save valuable space on the small tablets they had to inscribe their texts, inventories, statistics and varia on. So if anything, this tablet in particular is nothing short of a breeze to translate. 

However, whenever we are confronted with any Linear B tablet using ideograms alone, reconstructing the syntax of such a tablet is quite another matter. In the case of this tablet in particular, the precise meaning of the two (2) sentences on this tablet (if indeed there are two, one on each line) somewhat eludes us. On the other hand, whatever translation we assign to a tablet such as this one, that translation is more than likely to reflect the original sense of the tablet (as its scribe understood it) fairly accurately.

On a final note, observe that the Linear B words for “ram” KIRIO or KIRIYO and “ewe” POROQETO do not appear on any extant Linear B tablet, but are in fact derivative constructs I have derived from their alphabetical ancient Greek descendants. As such, they may not be technically “correct”, but as far as I am concerned, that is neither here nor there. As I always say, better to take a stab at it than do nothing.

In this light, we shall eventually be compiling a topical English to Mycenaean Linear B Lexicon, which is to include not only the vast majority of Linear B vocabulary on extant tablets, but a significant number of derived [D] words, such as the two I have provided here. Our ground-breaking lexicon is due to be published in PDF format sometime in 2015 or early 2016. Rita Roberts, my Linear B co-researcher and I shall be working as a team to produce this magnificent Lexicon, which we sincerely hope will leave the shoddily edited Mycenaean (Linear B) – English Glossary in the dust, where it belongs, and will equal or even surpass Chris Tselentis’ well conceived, highly comprehensive Linear B Lexicon.  

Richard