Linear A fragment, Tylissos TY Zb 4, possibly an (embroidered) basket

Linear A fragment, Tylissos TY Zb 4, possibly an (embroidered) basket:


Linear A fragment, Tylissos TY Zb 4 possibly deals with an (embroidered) basket, or simply with a basket, though we cannot be certain. The apparent Mycenaean-derived KITAA is doubtful and certainly unconfirmed.


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8 thoughts on “Linear A fragment, Tylissos TY Zb 4, possibly an (embroidered) basket”

  1. I doubt mycenaean derived Kitaa mainly because the inscription is on a pithos and it would make no sens to store baskets in a pithos.

    What I find interesting here is the ending A-A. There is 2 other minoan words with this ending : i-da-a (mount ida?) from a libation and u-na-a from a pithos. It could be a case ending but since there is only 3 words with that ending it is difficult to prove.

    ki-ta is more common but not in that form. It is usually followed by na : ki-ta-na-si, ki-ta-na-si-ja-se or ki-ta-na-te(from kitan?) at (a-ta) and tan (ta-na) are common in Minoan, especially in the so called libation formulae, and so does the a-si/a-se ending.

    For the first part a-*301 (301 is more probable than 87 I beleive) it only exist in this form on KH 58 a-*301[. It appears on ZA 11 as sa-*301-ri and PK Za 9 ja-u-pa-ma-i-da-*301-di. The sign 301 is also very common in libation formulae a-ta-i-*301 and ta-na-i-*301

    So what do we have here? A libation pithos?


    1. Yes, you are right. I never thought of that. So I will have to go back to the drawing board, ha ha! The word kitanisi = with terebinth trees (locative plural), so kitaa just might be an early form of this word. kitanisi corresponds directly with Linear B kitano, meaning the same thing (nominative)…



      1. I did not know the word kitano and it’s meaning. If the words are related it can help to translate the inscription.

        This is pure speculations : If the sign *301 has jo as phonetic value the inscription is read as aio kitaa. We know that kitaa means terebinth tree and that the inscription is on a pithos. What if the inscription is about what the pithos contained; oil, terebinth tree oil. The greek word for oil/olive oil is έλαιον and it is a pre-greek word. I think that it might be plausible here the word aio means oil. Also, it has been proposed that the etruscan word aiu means oil. It could be pronounced aio or aiu because etruscans made no differences between o/u.

        Hopefully this make sens and it’s not my brain overthinking stuff ha.



        1. Yes, well, I am still not sure about KITAA, because the spelling is kind of off. But since this is an EARLY Minoan inscription, it still may fly. I am loathe to equate Linear A with Etruscan because it is so much later. Aio is not all that good a spelling match with eliaon anyway. But you never know. Thanks again for your insightful comments!




          1. I tend not to compare linear A to anything but linear B but with etruscan it was too tempting.

            In lin B is oil e-ra-wo. The word is similar to one for olive e-ra-wa. These words are pre-greek according to beek’s etymological dictionary of greek. I am confident that they do not come from Minoan but both Minoan word and greek word may have a common origin.

            This is only hypothetical and I am aware that I 100% dead wrong


          2. Hi Jean-Philippe. It is not even remotely possible that a Linear B word could come from Etruscan, as that is the language Michael Ventris first attributed LB to for 2 years! before it finally dawned on him it was a no-go. And if the Linear A word cannot be derived from Etruscan, you can be sure that no Linear A word could be too, especially since Etruscan dates from so much later than either Linear A or Linear B.


          3. I agree that no linear B word can come from etruscan and same for Lin A. Etruscan is much more later but seeing the word aiu compared to aio you know too easy to wonder if they have the same meaning. To make this clear this can only if sign 301 have the phonetic value of jo and that kitaa means terebinth. And even then it could just be a coincidence since the words are only 3 letters long!

            Sorry if I wasn’t clear enough in the first place.



          4. Yes, I can see that. They probably do have the same meaning. But then again, possibly just co-incidental, I suppose.

            🙂 🙂 🙂

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