Imagine my utter astonishment when I just now revisited a rare Minoan Linear A tablet from Malia, and deduced that it may be written in proto-Greek! And here it is, complete with a fairly complete decipherment, except for the word puwi, which utterly escapes me: As I have just pointed out in the illustration of this tablet above, the implication for the eventual (all but complete?) decipherment of Minoan Linear A are nothing short of staggering ! The first time I attempted to decipher this tablet, I got absolutely nowhere, but this time round the story is quite different. Compare the decipherment of this rare Minoan Linear A tablet with my decipherment of a Minoan Linear A medallion, on which is inscribed what appears to be the Linear A ideogram for “man”, but in fact is not. I have explained this in some detail in the preview of my article, “The Mycenaean Linear B “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A Tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) Vessels and Pottery”, to be published in Vol. 12 (2016) of the prestigious international journal, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448 (the article being currently under wraps until it is eventually published, probably early in 2018), and which will run to at least 50 pages.
Stunning frescoes from Knossos, Third Palace, Late Minoan III b (ca. 1450 BCE) Post 1 of 2
Knossos, Queen’s Megaron restored, Third Palace, Late Minoan IIIb (ca. 1450 BCE) Post 3 of 3:
Knossos, Queen’s Megaron restored, Third Palace, Late Minoan IIIb (ca. 1450 BCE) Post 2 of 3:
POST 1,100: Knossos, Queen’s Megaron restored, Third Palace, Late Minoan IIIb (ca. 1450 BCE) Post 1 of 3:
There is only one building on the site of the ruins of Knossos which has been fully restored, and that is the so-called magnificent “Queen’s Megaron”. It is an edifice of startling beauty, and contains the first known throne in any ancient palace in Europe.
The Throne Room is adorned with stunning frescoes of griffins, as illustrated here:
Knossos, Bull Portico photos, Third Palace, Late Minoan IIIb (ca. 1450 BCE) Post 2 of 2:
Knossos, Bull Portico photos, Third Palace, Late Minoan IIIb (ca. 1450 BCE) Post 1 of 2:
Here you see the first 3 photos of the Bull Portico photos, Third Palace, Knossos, Late Minoan IIIb (ca. 1450 BCE). The architecture is simple, but magnificent. The fresco of the bull is stunning. The bull was the standard symbol of almost all ancient Occidental civilizations, and that of Persia as well, until later into Antiquity. I wish to draw your attention specifically to the incredibly accurate circular designs on the frieze. As with all Greek architecture, the proportions are absolutely perfect, from one circle to the next.
Even the Parthenon of Athens was flanked by bulls at its entrance, as illustrated here:
More photos from Knossos (stairs and foundations): Post 2 of 2
More photos from Knossos (stairs and foundations): Post 1 of 2
More photos from Knossos (upper Agora, Hall of the Double Axes):
Columns from the Late Minoan IIIb Palace (ca 1450 BCE) Post 2 of 2:
Columns from the Late Minoan IIIb Palace (ca 1450 BCE) Post 1 of 2:
Windows from the Late Minoan IIIb Palace (ca 1450 BCE):
Doors from the Late Minoan IIIb Palace (ca 1450 BCE):
A series of 5 Linear B fragments on vessels (pottery) with 2 beautiful illustrations of amphorae: There can be no surprise that 4 these 5 fragments follow one another serially, while the last one is in the same numeric series (700s). I do not understand why 708b just shows the number 8 but has no framework in which it is supposed to be set (i.e. no fragment). Fragment 709 M m 01 appears to have originally been a longer tablet, since there is text (? na) left-truncated prior to the ideogram and right-truncated (ya) after it. It is impossible to recover the “absent” meaning of the word of which these syllabograms a a part. 776a M f 01 is very peculiar. The “amphora” at the top is clearly unfinished, and even the one on the bottom is rudimentary. This is uncharacteristic of Linear B scribes. Was he alseep at the switch? Was it the end of the day? Was the tablet started, only to be discarded? If so, why? We shall never know. Examples of exquisite Minoan amphorae from Knossos:
Knossos building with perfect circular rosettes on its frieze! More of the same!
Knossos building with perfect circular rosettes on its frieze! This building is remarkable for the typically Greek (or if you prefer, Minoan) simplicity of its architecture. What really struck me while I was visiting Knossos on the afternoon of May 2 2012 was that the circular rosettes on its frieze are perfectly circular, each one exactly identical to the next. It seems the Greeks inherited the mania for geometric simplicity fro their forbears, the Minoans. More photos follow in the next post.
More photos of the Third Palace, Knossos, Late Minoan III (ca. 1450 BCE), general views from the net:
versus photos of ancient Chinese architecture:
Third Palace, Knossos, Late Minoan III (ca. 1450 BCE), general views from the net:
In this post and the next two, you can see several illustrations and paintings of the ancient palace and city of Knossos in its full glory in the Late Minoan III period (ca. 1450 BCE).
Notice in this beautiful painting of ancient Knossos (population ca. 55,000, a huge city for the ancient world) the arches beneath the causeway leading to the city. And we thought arches were a Roman invention!
What is so remarkable about Middle and Late Minoan architecture is that it looks so modern, even to us in the twenty-first century. The architecture is simple and streamlined, no extravagant frills. This sets Knossos in stark contrast to practically every other ancient civilization, except Classical Athenian (the acropolis and Parthenon, ca. 430-400 BCE). Almost all other ancient civilizations went in for the extravagant and the excessive, much like Baroque architecture in the seventeenth century AD, all of which I cannot abide. In order to set the stark contrast between Minoan and Mycenaean architecture and that of Persepolis and ancient China, for instance, I am also including photos from the latter civilizations. The architecture of Persepolis is particularly gaudy and distasteful to me.