The composite supersyllabograms E & KO with the ideogram for horse in Linear B:
This is one of only two tablets in the entire corpus of Mycenaean Linear B tablets, on which two (2) supersyllabograms modify their ideogram, in this case, the one for horse. It is particularly intriguing that these two supersyllabograms are framed on each side with the numeral 1. If this looks peculiar at first sight, I can hardly blame you. Yet there is an explanation which is more than likely sound. We note that there is only 1 chariot. This would mean that there has to be a team of 2 horses. Yet it appears that this factor is not taken into account. In fact, far from it. The scribe has in fact written the number 2, one 1 one on each side of the two supersyllabograms. This would seem to imply that the scribe is referring to 2 sets of a part of the harness, probably the bridle and of the cross-bar. This in turn implies that there is a team of horses to whom these parts are assigned. Even though the supersyllabogram ZE = a team of horses does not appear on this tablet, it looks very much like that is what the scribe intends us to understand, given that there are two sets of the parts assigned, this appears to confirm that there is a team of horses.
Note that the ideogram for armour follows that for one (1) chariot and precedes the two supersyllabograms E & KO. This is the standard formulaic position for the ideogram for armour. This ideograms does not imply that the chariot is armoured, but rather that the driver of the chariot is armoured, hence my translation.
Prior to my discovery of this phenomenon of composite supersyllabograms, no researcher past or present has ever before identified it.
4 thoughts on “The composite supersyllabograms E & KO with the ideogram for horse in Linear B”
Well, I can see the horse! If this is complicated for Rita, you can only imagine how helplessly I search for understanding. We are all fortunate to have such scholars as you to interpret the writings of the past.
Love this one Richard although a little complicated for me at the moment.
Trust me, it was tricky for me too! This is the one and only Linear B tablet on which 2 supersyllabograms appear, and not just one. I had to really put my thinking cap on to work my way through this one! Of course, you will HAVE TO understand it by the end of this term. Ha ha!
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