The third supersyllabogram PE = periqoro = a sheep pen, the “magic bullet”!

The third supersyllabogram PE = periqoro = a sheep pen, the “magic bullet”!

the magic bullet Linear B periqoroyo

The third supersyllabogram PE = periqoro = “a sheep pen” is truly the “magic bullet”! Linear B tablet KN 1232 E d 462 gives it all away!

Linear B tablet KN 1232 E d 462 the code breaker for PE = periqoro = sheep pen

It contains no supersyllabogram at all, but that is just the point. What it does is spell out the word periqoroyo, which is the genitive singular of periqoro, corresponding to the Athenian Greek word, peribolos (here Latinized), which means “an enclosure”. But how does that work out to mean “a sheep pen” in Mycenaean Linear B, you ask? As we recede further and further into the past in any (ancient) language, the words which are generally abstract or at the very least generically concrete, as is peribolos “an enclosure” in Attic Greek become ever more concrete as the timeline regresses. Since Mycenaean Greek is the very earliest of the East Greek dialects (of which the much later Attic Greek is also a member ) it stands to reason that the meaning of the word periqoroyo (genitive on this tablet) or periqoro (nominative) is almost certain to mean “a livestock pen” and in the even more specific context of sheep husbandry “a sheep pen”. Which is precisely what it does mean.

I repeat. The scribe has not used a supersyllabogram (namely, PE) on Linear B tablet KN 1232 E d 462 at all. He has chosen to write out the word in full. This is just the stroke of luck I was fervently dreaming of when I was in the early stages of deciphering supersyllabograms in the agricultural sector of the Minoan/Mycenaean economy, since I desperately needed at least some circumstantial evidence that what I chose to call supersyllabograms were in fact the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a Linear B word or phrase. And this tablet gave it all away. An obliging Linear B scribe had, on this tablet alone of the 3,000+ tablets and fragments from Knossos, actually written out in full the word the supersyllabogram PE symbolized. The word periqoroyo is in the genitive singular on this tablet, which literally means  “from a sheep pen”. In other words, all of the 23 rams and 27 ewes on this tablet come from a sheep pen, or if you like, were originally in a sheep pen. Must have been great fun!

But, you must be asking, how does this tablet prove that the supersyllabogram PE actually means “from a sheep pen” or “in a sheep pen”? It does so because every other tablet, including the very next one in this series, KN 1233 E n 224

Linear B tablet KN 1233 E n 234 the real Mccoy

do not spell out the word periqoro(yo), but instead deliberately substitute the supersyllabogram PE for it. And there are some 20 tablets in the series!

There is no other instance anywhere on any other Linear B tablets, regardless of provenance (Knossos, Pylos etc.) where the supersyllabogram is spelled out in full on one tablet in a given series and then replaced by its supersyllabogram,  except in this sole case where one tablet does spell the word out in full, only to be followed by its paradigmatic SSYL PE in the next and the next and the next tablet... and so on, and indeed on the tablets preceding it. 


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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

4 thoughts on “The third supersyllabogram PE = periqoro = a sheep pen, the “magic bullet”!”

  1. LB tablet KN 1232 E d 462

    Wondering why Tirito translates out as Tylinthos? Tirito/Triton is mentioned, if memory serves me right by Apollodorus or the scholist on Apollodorus, and is sited by him near Knossos, Arkhanes, and Anemospilia. It is a river, actually, called Triton [Ti-ri-to?] in ancient times and is now called the Karteros River. It originates in the Psiloritis and runs to the sea near Amnisos. It would make for lovely pasture land in places.

    I’m just a Mythologist, but some things stick in my mind for thirty years or so.

    BTW, Love all of the work being done here. Makes sense of so much. Thank You ALL for your Passion and Expertise!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tirito translates to Tylinthos because (a) there are no “y”s in Linear B, only “i”s. Also there is no “l” series of syllabograms. The Linear B scribes had to use “r” for “l”. Finally, the “t” series had to stand in for ancient Greek “t” AND “th”. Also, liquid consonants like “n” before plosives like “t” were omitted. Linear B was unable to end words with consonants. Hence:


      Triton is also a possible alternative interpretation, but I have never seen any allusion to Triton by the Minoans and Mycenaeans.

      Hope this helps.



  2. Just in case you are going to ask me what we have not come across before. It is the Linear B word written out in full. The scribe was unusually thorough wasn’t he.


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