Minoan Winnie the Pooh with His Pots of Honey! Honestly, I Am-phor-a Him.

Minoan Winnie the Pooh with His Pots of Honey! Honestly, I Am-phor-a Him.

Minoan Winnie the Pooh! Click to ENLARGE for a really good laugh!


In case you were wondering whether or not Winnie the Pooh was Minoan or Mycenaean, I can tell you without equivocation that he was Minoan and that he lived in Knossos ca. 1450 BCE. After all, those bloody Mycenaeans were much too warlike for Pooh Bears. So, as the story always goes when it comes to Pooh Bears, while all the scribes were frantically scribbling away their tablets on amphorae of honey, our Minoan Winnie the Pooh would surreptitiously sneak in (at least as surreptitiously as a Pooh bear can, which isn’t very surreptitiously at all), grab as many amphorae and pots of honey as he could, and then dash off like mad, with a gang of thoroughly freaked out scribes chasing after him. And just as they were about to nab him, he scrambled up the nearest tree, hauling up his treasures behind him, and then began to voraciously gobble as much honey as he could (which was all of it!) before they (the scribes, of course) got a ladder and scrambled up to nab him again... by which time he was already running back to the vaults of amphorae and pots filled with delicious honey, bamboozling them all over. You just can’ t win, unless you are a Minoan Pooh Bear! Bully for Winnie the Pooh, Minoan or Roman, Winnie ille Pooh or our modern day descendant, Winnie the Pooh. May all the Winnie the Poohs from time immemorial triumph in the hunt for the most delicious honey they can find! MERI MERI MERI!

In case you are wondering (which I am sure you are!), “What on earth is the whole point of this silly story?”, you need only ask Christopher Robin, or failing that opportunity, me, and I can easily explain why. And here is why. It just so happens that all those thoroughly frustrated Minoan scribes at Knossos, fed up as they were with their Minoan Winnie the Pooh snatching all their honey in amphorae (and pots, of course!) and running off with them, decided to label their tablets with the logogram for “honey” (MERI) and with the supersyllabogram for “amphorae” (Linear B A), in the vain hope that this would somehow prevent our Minoan Pooh from absconding with them. A through waste of time!  He did steal off with them (the pots of honey, not the scribes!), but he was such a “sweet” little Pooh Bear that he always returned the pots and amphorae he had snatched (empty of course), in the full realization, in spite of the fact that he had no brain, that they (the scribes) would just have to insist that the honey merchants refilled the same old amphorae and pots all over, with the predictable results we have already witnessed. Live but don’t learn, eh. The human condition, eh.  

But, to get serious, if it is at all possible to do so at this point, let us examine how our busy-body scribes labeled tablets which dealt with amphorae. The simplest way was simply to use the plain ideogram for “amphorae”, as illustrated on this tablet – Click to ENLARGE:

KN 712 M p 01 TEYO amphorae 542 olive oil

I suppose they must have done this in the (again, vain) hope that if they did not label the amphorae as being just what they were, amphorae, and left out the logogram for honey, Minoan Winnie the Pooh would be fooled. But because he had no brain, he could not be fooled, and stole the amphorae with the blank ideogram anyway, in the (sure and certain) hope that they would be filled with honey... as if!

Since this hopeless ploy never worked anyway, the scribes, being realistic and practical as scribes always were (and are) just went ahead and labeled the amphorae as amphorae, with the supersyllabogram A, which happens to be the first vowel of that wonderful word, in case you haven’t yet noticed!  And just to make certain that they (the scribes) realized what he, Minoan Winnie the Pooh, already knew, they also, rather stupidly, methinks, labeled the same amphorae with a great big logogram for honey... as if Minoan Winnie didn’t already know that too!

So their honey pot tablets would end up looking exactly like this! Click to ENLARGE:

KN 703 M a 04 34+ amphorae of honey

If ever there was a wide open invitation to Minoan Winnie the Pooh to abscond with all their honey, this had to be it! Poor buggers. Lucky Winnie!

As you can imagine, the honey pot sector of the Minoan economy suffered irreparable damage, while Minoan Winnie the Pooh criminally lived off the proceeds from their losses. Sigh!

Oh and wait until you see the next Tablet in the next post! Rita Roberts and I recently unearthed this sweet find on dark, stormy, rainy night when all the archeologists were at home drinking Retsina. I think it was last...



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Historical linguist, Linear B, Mycenaean Greek, Minoan Linear A, Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, ancient Greek, Homer, Iliad, only Blog ENTIRELY devoted to Linear B on Internet; bilingual English- French, read Latin fluently, read Italian & ancient Greek including Linear B well, Antikythera Mechanism

One thought on “Minoan Winnie the Pooh with His Pots of Honey! Honestly, I Am-phor-a Him.”

  1. This post is great ,as it all makes perfect sense. When working with the shards of Amphorae we often found the residue evident on the inside of what was actually transported or stored in them.


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