Partially Restored Translation of Knossos Tablet KN 536 R j 01, a Real “Patch Job” for Textiles! Click to ENLARGE:

Knossos tablet KN 536 R i 01

Any attempt at translating this messed up tablet is bound to be only a partial success or something of a partial failure, depending on whether or not you see the glass as half full or half empty. Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that my philosophy runs to for half full glasses. At any rate, this damn tablet posed plenty of little headaches for me, all of them annoying like mosquitoes, but none of them really challenging, except for the fact that no matter what any Linear B translator does to decipher this tablet, plenty is left in the doldrums.

The copious notes in our illustration of this tablet above are pretty much self-explanatory. About the only thing left for me to explain is the nature of ideograms which contain their supersyllabograms inside of them, as in the case of every last supersyllabogram in the context of textiles or cloth, versus supersyllabograms which either precede or follow the ideogram which they modify, as is the case with all of the SSYS related to sheep, rams, ewes, pigs, sows, bulls and cows, i.e. to all agricultural livestock. They are emphatically not the same.

SSYS which appear either before or after the ideogram which they modify are invariably environmental, which is to say that they describe something about the land, pasturage or what have you surrounding the livestock, such as KI = KITIMENA, a plot of land, O = ONATO, a leased field, PE = PERIQORO, an enclosure or sheep pen, etc. On the other hand, SSYs which appear inside their ideograms, as is the case with all SSYs dealing with textiles or cloth, are invariably attributive, i.e. they describe an attribute or quality of the textiles or cloth to which they refer. So in the context of textiles or cloth, the supersyllabogram inside the ideogram modifies the meaning as follows: PA = “dyed cloth”, PU is a kind of cloth, TE = “well prepared” or possibly “well spun” cloth & WE is another kind of cloth. I have been unable to decipher the remaining 3 SSYs for textiles, KU, SA & ZO. It is clear from all of these examples that the SSYs all take on an adjectival value, modifying the noun PAWEA = textiles or cloth, in other words, they lend an attributive value to the ideogram, which is otherwise simply the noun, PAWEA if the ideogram is blank. This just so happens to be the default for the majority of the ideograms for textiles. They are just blank. However, the Linear B scribes would have to throw a monkey wrench into the ideogram by modifying it with at least one of the aforementioned supersyllabograms, and not so infrequently as you might think.

Richard