Category: Measurement



Minoan Linear A tablet HT 14 (Haghia Triada) almost completely deciphered + the 4 categories of Linear A tablets:

Linear A talbet HT 14 Haghia Triada

Here you see Minoan Linear A tablet HT 14 (Haghia Triada), which I have been able to decipher almost completely. This is because the tablet is comprised mostly of ideograms, making it much easier to reconstruct the original text. In addition, I have already translated the supersyllabogram TE = tereza (on the first line) as being a large unit of liquid measurement, which in the case of wine might be something like “a flask”,  “a jug” or something along the lines of  “a gallon”, on the explicit understanding that there was no such thing as a gallon in Minoan times; this is merely an approximation.  The supersyllabograms PU & DI are unknown, i.e. indecipherable, at least to date. Likewise, the Old Minoan word, apu2nadu (apunaidu) is also unknown, but it might mean  “harvest”. The units of wheat are probably equivalent to something like a bushel. The supersyllabogram MI = mini signifies  “for a month” (dative) or “monthly”, and is New Minoan, i.e. a word of Mycenaean origin superimposed on Linear A.

The rest of the decipherment is self-explanatory.

Decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablets falls into four (4) categories:

1. Tablets on which we find only Old Minoan words, or on which the vast majority of words are Old Minoan. These tablets are pretty much indecipherable.
2. Tablets on which we find a combination of Old Minoan and New Minoan (words of Mycenaean origin). The more New Minoan words on a tablet, the more likely we are going to be able to decipher it. Ideally, there should be more New Minoan (Mycenaean) words than Old Minoan (the original Minoan substratum), in order to divine the meanings of Old Minoan words immediately adjacent to New Minoan words. This is of course contextual analysis. Such tablets are at least partially decipherable.
3. Linear A tablets containing ideograms almost exclusively are susceptible to decipherment. HT 14 (Haghia Triada) falls into this category.
4. A very few Linear A tablets are written mostly, almost entirely and in one case only, entirely in New Minoan (the Mycenaean superstratum). These tablets can be be mostly and in some cases entirely deciphered.     
 

A ‘fairly accurate’ rendering of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 86a, according to Gretchen Leonhardt:

a partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A HT 86a
This Linear B tablet clearly deals with various crops, with the lead in crop being grains or wheat, just as one would expect on either a Mycenaean Linear B tablet. By the same token, there is no reason to suppose that a Minoan Linear A tablet dealing with crops would not deal first and foremost with grains and wheat. The units of measurements identified on this tablet accord with those tentatively tabulated by Andras Zeke on the

minoan-language-blog

Ms. Gretchen Leonhardt of

Konosos.net

has duly advised me that (and I quote) “your "recto" tablet is a fairly accurate rendering of HT 86a, but your "verso" tablet is an inaccurate rendering of HT 87.... ” She is of course entirely correct in informing me that the so-called verso side is not the same tablet at all, but is in fact, HT 87 (Haghia Triada). I am nevertheless astonished that she would accord me a fair degree of accuracy in my decipherment of HT 86 a, in view of the fact that  (a) I do not even know what the Minoan language is;
(b) Ms. Leonhardt claims to have conclusively deciphered the Minoan language as being proto-Japanese, categorically stating as she does that “overwhelming evidence keeps me steadfast in this view...”, a claim which I intend shortly to refute in no uncertain terms, by bringing to bear on it reasonable circumstantial, though not conclusive, evidence to the contrary and;
(c) she concedes that my decipherment of HT 86 A is fairly accurate, in spite of the fact that I am apparently flailing in the dark, since I know nothing of the Minoan language. Yet if I am, how on earth did I manage to achieve even a fairly accurate decipherment, I have to ask her.

Although Ms. Leonhardt claims that my knowledge of Linear A is “in its infancy” (as everyone’s, including her own, must of necessity be), as a historical philologist specializing in the decipherment of ancient syllabaries such as Linear A, Linear B and Linear C, and unlike Ms. Leonhardt along with numerous other researchers who purport to have definitely deciphered the Minoan language, I neither have ever made nor would ever make the rash and untenable claim that I have deciphered it, given the exiguous size of the lexical database with which we have to work. I have said as much over and over, as for instance in this citation from one of my own works to be published in the next year or so, and I quote:

Conclusions concerning the many failed attempts at deciphering Minoan Linear A:

The worst of all the pretensions of the authors of the aforementioned monographs and tractata are their untenable claims that they have in fact deciphered Minoan Linear A. How is it even remotely possible that these soi- disant decipherers of Minoan Linear A can claim to have discovered the so-called magic bullet in the guise of the proto-language upon which their decipherment has been based, when the proto-languages they invoke are soà wildly disparate? These decipherers have turned to a number of proto-languages, some of them Indo-European (such as proto-Greek and Proto-Slavic), others non proto-Indo-European, running the gamut from Uralic (proto-Finnish), proto-Niger Congo to proto-Semitic and Sumerian all the way through to proto-Altaic and proto-Japanese. While it is patently impossible that all of these proto-languages could be at the base of the Minoan language, it is nevertheless remotely conceivable that one of them just might be. But which one? Given the tangled  mass of contradictions these so-called decipherments land us in, I am left with no alternative but to pronounce that none of these so-called proto-languages is liable to stand the test of linguistic verisimilitude. All of this leaves me with an uneasy feeling of déjà vu.

Instead, I have adopted the unique approach of declaring that it does not matter what proto- language Minoan derives from, or for that matter, whether or not it, like modern Basque, is a language isolate, meaning a natural (spoken) language, ancient (dead) or modern (alive) with no demonstrable genealogical or genetic relationship with any other language whatsoever or alternatively, a language that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor common with any other language in the world. (italics mine).

and again:

In an article of this nature, which is the first of its kind in the world ever to deal with the partial, but by no means definitive, decipherment of Minoan Linear A, I must of necessity focus on those Minoan Linear A terms which offer the greatest insight into the vocabulary of the language, but not the language itself. Anyone who dares claim he or she has “deciphered” the Minoan language is skating on very thin ice. Any attempt to decipher the Minoan language is severely trammelled by the incontestable fact that no one knows what the language is or even what language class it belongs to, if any.


1 Minoan Linear A word under SA-SE of putative proto-Hebrew origin, sato = saton?

1-minoan-linear-a-word-under-sa-se-of-apparent-proto-hebrew-origin

There appears to be a single word under the syllabograms SA-SE in Minoan Linear A, which is of putative proto-Hebrew origin, and it is sato, which apparently is the equivalent of (proto-) Hebrew saton, a unit of measurement.


Guess what! All 17 of the conjectural units of measurement in Minoan Linear A panned out!

To my great surprise and definite relief, it appears that all 7 of the conjectural units of measurement in Minoan Linear A have panned out. Looks like I hit gold in the Klondike!


klondike-gold-rush-map


Measurement of 17 conjectural units total of dry and liquid volume & weight in Minoan Linear A:

Each entry below is classified by UNIT of measurement + amount + tablet + measurement type (dry or liquid + volume or weight):

GRAINS:

adaru 40 ARKH 5 volume or weight
adu 680 HT 92 dry volume LARGE
(a fair candidate for a unit of measurement)
dame 20 HT 86 + 74 HT 120 dry volume
kidata 134 HT 40 dry volume LARGE
(a good candidate for a unit of measurement)
kunisu 20 HT 86 weight
kupaja 16 HT 116 weight
nudu*331 207 HT 40 dry volume LARGE
(a good candidate for a unit of measurement)
pa3nina 12 HT 93 dry volume + darida = vase
pase 20 HT 18 weight
pura2 (purai) 40 HT 116 volume or weight
pitakase 161 HT 21 dry volume LARGE
(a good candidate for a unit of measurement)
qanuma 12 HT 116 weight
sara2 (sarai) 5 HT 121 + 10 HT 114 + 20 HT 90 + 41 HT 101 + 976 HT 102 volume
(the most likely candidate for a true unit of measurement)
sikine 12 HT 116 weight
(a good candidate for a unit of measurement)
tuqirina 40 HT 129 volume or weight

OLIVES:

itaja 10 HT 28 liquid volume

WINE:

ra*164ati 38 HT 17 liquid volume

I have extracted all 17 of these conjectural units of measurement, dry in the case of grains (barley and wheat), and liquid in the case of olives and olive oil and wine from all of the Minoan Linear tablets I isolated from the total store of relatively intact Linear A tablets I meticulously scanned from Prof. John G. Younger’s Lexicon of Minoan Linear A tablets and fragments (mostly the latter, which I of course naturally omitted as completely unreliable sources of any terminology whatsoever in Minoan Linear A). I have omitted any so-called unit of measurement which occurs 5 times or less on the Linear A tablets I scanned, as these are much more likely not to relate to measurement at all. 

The total number of these putative units of measurement compares favourably with total number of 16 units of measurement in Mycenaean Linear B, as illustrated in the table below.

all-mycenaean-standard-potential

However, it must be stressed that all 17 of the Minoan Linear A apparent units of measurement are spelled out in full, whereas all 16 of the Mycenaean Linear B units are represented by symbols, the exact opposite practice. To complicate matters further, Minoan Linear A uses symbols to represent very small (fractional) units of measurement,

minoan-fractional-units

again in a practice appositive to Mycenaean Linear B, in which the units of measurement are > unity and usually (quite) large. This introduces the distinct possibility that a few, some or even all of 17 the so-called units of measurement in Minoan Linear A I have isolated above are not units of measurement at all.

I shall have to thoroughly investigate the inevitable ramifications of this real dilemma before I even dare add a single, let alone more than one of these so-called units of measurement to the Glossary of 110 Minoan Linear A words I have compiled. At most, I doubt that more than 4 or 5 of the 17 terms in this list are likely to qualify for inclusion in the Minoan Linear A Glossary, although this estimate may turn out to be too conservative. We shall soon see.   


KEY POST: 2 vastly different decipherments of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada). Does either measure up?

In this post we compare two vastly different decipherments of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada). The key question here can be posed in three different ways:

1. Does one of these two decipherments measure up significantly more than the other?
2. Does either measure up? 
3. Does neither measure up?

Here are the two decipherments, first that of Pavel Serafimov and Anton Perdih:

Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 Slavic

and secondly, my own decipherment:

Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 by RIchard Vallance Janke

According to option 3 above, it is of course possible that neither of these translations forms a faithful semantic and semiotic map of the original Linear A text (whatever it actually means). On the other hand, it is much more likely that option 1. above is applicable, namely that only one of the two decipherments at least approaches a faithful semantic and semiotic map of the original Linear A text , although we can never really know how faithfully until such time as Minoan Linear B is properly and fully deciphered. And that will not happen anytime soon, due to the extreme paucity of extant Linear B tablets and fragments (< 500), of which the vast majority are fragments, and thus ineffectual in providing any impetus to even a partial decipherment of Minoan Linear A. However, all is not lost. Far from it. There quite a few (almost) full intact Minoan Linear A tablets, all of which are very much more susceptible to contributing positively to at least a partial decipherment of Linear A. To date, the Linear A tablets which I have been able to decipher, more or less accurately, are HT 13, HT 14, (HT 17), HT 21, HT 31, HT 38, HT 91, HT 92, HT 94 and HT 132 (all from Haghia Triada)
ZA 1 ZA 8 ZA 10 (Zakros) 
GO Wc 1 (Gournia) 
and the Troy spindle whorls

I have also managed to decipher one or two words on several other tablets from Haghia Triada, Zakros and elsewhere, without however being able to decipher the remainder of the integral text, which utterly escapes me, and is therefore still to be considered undecipherable, at least for the time being. There is no telling whether or not either I myself or someone else will be able to decipher more words from the rest of these tablets or even some of the tablets entire in the near future. Only time will tell, but I believe the prospects are much better now than they were even a few months ago, i.e. prior to May 2016, when I embarked on the exciting journey to decipher as much of Minoan Linear A as I could. It is no small achievement, I believe, for me to have been able to decipher at least the 12 Linear A tablets listed above, if indeed my decipherments approach cohesive accuracy, both internally and by means of cross-correlative regressive extrapolation from almost identical to similar Mycenaean Linear B tablets.

With respect to my own decipherment of HT 13 (Haghia Triada) above, I wish to make the following highly pertinent observations. I leave it up to you to decide for yourself (yourselves) whether or not the assumptions I have meticulously made with specific reference to what appear to be derivational standard units of measurement in Minoan Linear A are in fact that. Immediately pursuant to my highly accurate decipherment of HT 31 (Haghia Triada) on vessels and pottery, for which Mycenaean Linear B tablet Pylos Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris) is the quasi Rosetta Stone (as I have re-iterated many times since that decipherment), I turned my attention to three words which appeared over and over on several Minoan Linear A tablets, these being reza, adureza & tereza. Philologists such as Andras Zeke of the Minoan Language Blog had previously and consistently “deciphered” these three terms as being toponyms or place names, but I was immediately suspicious of such an interpretation, given that both adureza and tereza have the prefixes adu and te prepended to what strikingly appears to be their own root, reza. Subsequent research revealed two more terms most likely derived from the root, reza = the standard unit of linear measurement in Minoan Linear A (as far as I can tell... more on this to come). These are dureza and kireza. So the total number of terms relative to measurement of large, not minute, quantities in Minoan Linear A appear to be 5. That is quite a tally.

+ units of measurement in Minoan Linear A: exact values unknown

reza = standard unit of measurement (linear)
adureza = dry unit of measurement (something like a “bushel”)
dureza = unit of measurement (unknown) [1]
kireza = dry measurement for figs (a basket) [2]
tereza = liquid unit of measurement (something like “a gallon” or at the bare minimum “a litre” [3]  

NOTES:
[1] While I have been utterly unable to surmise what standard unit of measurement dureza is supposed to represent, even the standard units for reza, adureza & tereza are mere approximations. For more on this see the concluding paragraph of this post.  
[2] While I am virtually certain that kireza is the standard unit for the measurement of a basket of figs, this still begs the question, what size is the basket? At any rate, it is pretty obvious that the basket size cannot be larger than can reasonably be carried on one shoulder, since that is the way baskets are carried in practically every culture, ancient or modern. So in this case, the approximation for the standard unit of measurement figs, kireza, is considerably more accurate than all of the others.      
[3] Obviously, in light of [1] above, my guesstimates for the standard units of dry and wet measurement (adureza and tereza respectively) are just that, and nothing more.   

rawa tiri wanaka

Now if we compare the variables in the prefixes to the root, reza (adu, du, ki & te) with the similar practice of suffixes appended to word roots in Mycenaean Linear B, which is the direct opposite practice we have just propounded for Minoan Linear A, we nevertheless discover that the same level of consistency and coherence applies equally to both languages, as clearly illustrated by the following table, in which the prefixes listed above for Minoan Linear A appear at the end, preceded by no fewer than three roots (which are invariable) and appear in front of highly variable suffixes in Mycenaean Linear B. The roots are, respectively, raw, which references anything to do with people, tri, which references anything related to the number 3 and wana, which references any connotation of kingship or royalty in Mycenaean Greek.

While the practices for affixing are appositive in Minoan Linear A (which prepends affixes to the root) and in Mycenaean Linear B (which appends suffixes to the root or stem), the procedure the two languages follows is one and the same, flipped on its head either way you view it, i.e. from the perspective of Mycenaean Linear B or vice versa, from that of Minoan Linear A. The underlying principle which defines this procedure is the cognitive frame, as propounded by my colleague and friend, Eugenio R. Luján. So let us simply call the procedure (whether from the perspective of Minoan Linear or its opposite in Mycenaean Linear B) just that, the cognitive frame, which is also the template for the procedure, actually proceeding forward in both languages, each in its own way. Either way, the procedure works like a charm. As Eugenio R. Luján so succinctly summarizes it in his article, Semantic Maps and Word Formation: Agents, Instruments, and Related Semantic Roles, in Linguistic Discovery (Dartmouth College), Vol 8, Issue 1, 2010. pp. 162-175, and I quote:

... The methodology of semantic maps has been applied mainly to the analysis of grammatical morphemes (affixes and adpositions) pg. 162

and again,

Previous work on semantic maps has shown how the polysemy of grammatical morphemes is not random, but structured according to underlying principles....

Although the semantic map methodology has not been applied to the analysis of word formation patterns, there is no reason to suppose that derivational morphemes behave differently from grammatical morphemes. In fact, taking into account the findings of the intensive work done in the field of grammaticalization in the last thirty years or so, we know now that lexical and grammatical morphemes constitute a continuum, and their meanings are organized in the same way—inside a cognitive frame,... pg. 163 

and most significantly,

In contrast to the lexicon, the number of derivational morphemes and word
formation patterns in any given language is limited. pg. 163.

I wish to lay particular stress on this last observation by Eugenio R. Luján, because he is right on the money. In terms of the way I have expounded my own explanation of how the procedure of the cognitive frame works, as I see it, what he is actually saying here is this: the derivational morphemes (i.e. the prefixes in Minoan Linear A and the suffixes in Mycenaean Linear B) is limited, and in fact very limited in comparison with the orthographic and grammatical lexicon in either language, or for that matter, in any language, ancient or modern.

All of this brings us full circle back to my own original assumption, namely, that adureza, dureza, kireza and tereza are all derivational morphemes of reza in Minoan Linear A and that the suffixes appended to the roots raw, tri and wana in Mycenaean Linear B are also derivational morphemes. The gravest problem with the decipherment of HT 13 (Haghia Triada) advanced by Pavel Serafimov and Anton Perdih is that it does not take the cognitive frame or map of derivational morphemes into account at all. So instead, the authors advance entirely different meanings for each of these terms (reza, adureza, dureza, kireza & tereza), entirely oblivious to the the fact that they all share the same root, reza. This factor alone throws profound doubt on their decipherment.

On the other hand, my own decipherment of HT 13 (Haghia Triada) takes the procedure of the cognitive frame or map of derivational morphemes fully into account, with the very same procedure applied to derivational morphemes in Mycenaean Linear B, though in the opposite direction). For the sake of consistency, let us refer to the the cognitive frame or map of derivational morphemes in Minoan Linear A as regressive, given that the variables (the prefixes, adureza, dureza, kireza & tereza) precede the root, reza, and the same frame as progressive in Mycenaean Linear B, in light of the fact that the root or stem is followed by the variable suffixes (derivational morphemes). Be it as it may, prefixes and suffixes are both classed under the umbrella term, affixes, and again, I repeat, the procedure is the same either way. An affix is an affix is an affix, whether or not it comes first (prefix) or last (suffix).

For this reason alone I am convinced that my decipherment of HT 13 is on the right track, even if it is not totally accurate... which it cannot be anyway, in light of the fact that the standard units of measurement for large quantities in Minoan Linear A (reza, adureza, dureza, kireza and tereza) will never be known with any measure of accuracy, given that we can have no idea whatsoever that the “standard” units for anything in either Minoan Linear A or Mycenaean Linear B can ever be really determined. The farther we as philologists or historical linguists go back diachronistically in the historical timeline, the less determinable are units of measurement or, for that matter, different kinds of textiles or pottery, few of which we can know with any measure of certainty either in Minoan Linear A or Mycenaean Linear B.

     

Basic units of measurement in Mycenaean Linear B & Minoan Linear A chart of fractions:

Basic units of measurement in Mycenaean Linear B:

units-of-mesurement-in-mycenaean-linear-b1

Minoan Linear A chart of fractions:

LinearA_Fraction_Chart



Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada) & wine:

HT 13

I was previously unable to decipher Minoan Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada) which deals with wine, since the words kaudeta, kuzini and dasi eluded me. However, upon re-examination of this tab let, I have concluded that kaudeta just may mean “to be distributed”. Given that other Minoan Linear A terms ending in “ta” which I have already deciphered appear to be future participles passive, I am assuming the same for kaudeta. This means that kaudeta is not an exact equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B epididato, which is an aorist participle passive.

As for kuzini, there is a distinct possibility this is a type of wine, given the context of this tablet. Finally, while dasi eluded me before (even though I found it on another Linear A tablet), this time round I find myself in a better position to decipher it more or less accurately. This is because on this tablet (HT 13) the word appears right in front of the ideogram for “scales”. So it seems as though it either means “scales” or  “weight”. At least the possibility is not out of the question.

Idunesi is apparently Minoan Linear A for Mycenaean Linear B Amnisos.

These three words bring the total number of Linear B terms I have managed to decipher, more or less accurately, to 133.


A Glossary of 134 Minoan Linear A words more or less accurately deciphered to date (the largest ever glossary of Linear A) accounting for 26.7 % of all intact Minoan Linear A terms in Prof. John G. Youngers Linear A texts in phonetic transcription = 510:

Minoan Linear A Glossary134 

KEY:

Minoan Linear A words deciphered with a high level of certainty (75-100%) are in BOLD.
Minoan Linear A words deciphered with a moderate degree of certainty (60-75%) are in italics.
Minoan Linear A words for which the decipherment is uncertain (< 50%) are in plain text.

All terms in Minoan Linear A and in Mycenaean Linear B have been Latinized for ease of access to persons not familiar with these syllabaries. 

NOTE that words which share the same prefix, suffix or internal syllabograms have these underlined. Such words are clearly inter-related.

*47nuraja = “ to all the gods”? (See also iqa*118) – 1 of these may mean the same thing as pasiteoi “to all the gods” in Mycenaean Linear B
adaro = barley = Linear B kirita
adu = so much, so many, all (persons, things, esp. grain/wheat), referencing all  accounts relevant to them. In the case of grains & wheat, adu would refer to all the “ bushel-like” units of wheat accounted for. In the case of the men measuring the wheat, it would appear that they are surveyors or comptrollers. Cf. Linear B, toso, tosa.
adureza = unit of dry measurement (grain, wheat, barley, flour)
aka = wineskin (two syllabograms overlaid)
akipiete = (in) common, shared, allotted, allotment = Cf. Linear B kekemena ktoina = small plot of land
akii = garlic
apu2nadu = grain workers/measurers? Cf. dadumata = Linear B sitokowo
ase (plural) = bushels?
asasumaise = cattle-driver or shepherd = Linear B qoukoro -or- qorokota 
atare = grove of fig trees -or- figs overseer -or- fig gatherer (See also, datara & uta2 (utai) ?  = Linear B opisuko
atade = gold? leaves? gold leaf? = Linear B kuruso? (See also, noja)
awapi -or- tasaza = silver Cf. Linear B akuro
dadumata = grain/wheat measurer? = Linear B sitokowo
daminu = messenger? = Linear B akero?
darida = large vase  
daropa = stirrup jar = Linear B karawere
daru = scales?
datara= figs overseer -or- fig gatherer (See also, atare & uta2 (utai) – 1 of these 3 = Linear B opisuko
datu = small olives See also qatidate = olive trees = Linear B erawa
daweda = medium size amphora with two handles
dikise = a type of cloth = Linear B any number of types of cloth
ditamana = dittany (medicinal herb)
dumitatira2 (dumitatirai) = right or inner spindle wheel on one side of the distaff
dureza = unit of measurement (unknown amount)
iqa*118 = “to all the gods”? (See also *47nuraja) – 1 of these may mean the same thing as pasiteoi “to all the gods” in Mycenaean Linear B
jedi = man/men = Linear B atoroqo. See also kupa3nu = kupainu 
kadi = next (in a series) (Zakros ZA 15)  
kana = first (in a series) (Zakros ZA 11)
kanaka = saffron = Linear B kanako
kapa = follower or (foot) solder = Linear B eqeta
karopa3 (karopai) = kylix (with two handles & smaller than a pithos) 
keda = cedar
kidaro = municipality? = Linear B damo -or- watu? 
kidata = to be accepted (for delivery to) = Linear B dekesato
kidema*323na = type of vessel (truncated on HT 31)
kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis
kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto
kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket
kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed 
kita2 (kitai) = scented olive oil?
kukani = (deep) red wine Cf. Linear B wono mitowesa
kunasa = (honey) wine?
kunisu = bushel? (Cf. ase)
kupa -or- sa*301ri = planter = Linear B pu2te/pute  
kupa3nu = kupainu = person =  See also jedi. Linear B atoroqo. 
kura = large amount of wine = Linear B pithos+ wono?
kuro = total
kuruku = crocus
idamate = king or god? Or may be the name of said persona Cf. Linear B wanaka
maru = wool (syllabograms superimposed) = Linear B mari/mare
mitu = a type of cloth 
nasi = a type of cloth
nere = larger amphora size
nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza
noja = gold? leaves? gold leaf? = Linear B kuruso? (See also, atade)
nudu*331 = flax? = Linear B rino?  
orada = rose 
pa3ni (paini) = amphora for storing grain?
pa3nina = grain or wheat stored in an amphora for grain
pajare = in pay, hired = Linear B emito
pazeqe = small handle-less cups = Linear B dipa anowe, dipa anowoto
pimitatira2 (pimitatirai) = left or outer spindle wheel on one side of the distaff
pitakase = harvested or field of = Linear B akoro
puko = tripod = Linear B tiripode (100 % certain)
qajo = double-edged axe or labrys = Linear B dapu
qaqaru = crop yield?
qapa3 = qapai = large handle-less vase or amphora 
qatidate = olive trees See also datu = small olives = Linear B erawa
qareto = Linear B onato = “lease field
quqani = medium size or smaller amphora
ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) 
rairi = lily 
reza = 1 standard unit of measurement
sajamana = with handles = Linear B owowe
samaro = bunch of (figs, grapes etc.)
sa*301ri -or- kupa = planter = Linear B pu2te/pute  
sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre
saru = large olives
sata = a type of cloth
sedina = celery
supa3 (supai) = small cup = Linear B dipa mewiyo
supu = very large amphora
tarawita = terebinth tree
tasaza -or- awapi = silver Cf. Linear B akuro
tejare = a type of cloth
teki = small unit of measurement for wine @ 27 1/2 per tereza
tereza = larger unit of liquid measurement (olive oil, wine)
teri = offering -or- being delivered (to the gods) = Linear B dedomena, dosomo, qetea (due to the gods)
tesi = small unit of measurement
tisa = description of pot or pottery = Linear B amotewiya/yo
ti?redu = spice(s) (coriander)
udimi = a type of cloth 
usu = a type of cloth
uta2 (utai) = figs overseer -or- fig gatherer (See also, atare & datara) – 1 of these 3 = Linear B opisuko 

Eponyms:

Adunitana
Akaru
Asasumaise = name of cattle-driver or shepherd
Asiyaka
Dadumine
Danekuti
Daqera
Idamate = king or god? Or may be the name of said persona (bis)
Ikurina
Kaudeta? (See also toponyms)
Kanajami
Kosaiti
Kukudara
Kuramu
Kureju
Makarita
Mirutarare
Qami*47nara
Qetiradu
Qitune
Sidate
Sirumarita2 = Sirumaritai
Tateikezare
Tesudesekei
Tiditeqate
Turunuseme
Watumare

Toponyms:

Almost all the toponyms do not require decipherment as they are either identical or almost identical in Mycenaean Linear B:

Akanu = Archanes (Crete)
Dame
Dawa (Haghia Triada)
Dikate = Mount Dikte
Idaa = Mount Ida
Idunesi
Kato = Zakoro (Linear B)
Kaudeta? (See also eponyms)
Kudoni = Kydonia
Kura
Meza (= Linear B Masa)
Paito = Phaistos ( =Linear B)
Qeka 
Radu = Lato (= Linear B Rato)
Setoiya = Seteia (= Linear B) 
Sukirita/Sukiriteija = Sybrita
Winadu = Linear B Inato

COMMENTARY:

This Glossary accounts for 26.7 % of all intact Minoan Linear A terms.

The principle of cross-correlative cohesion operates on the assumption that terms in Minoan Linear A vocabulary should reflect as closely and as faithfully as possible parallel terms in Mycenaean Greek vocabulary. In other words, the English translations of Minoan words in a Minoan Linear A Glossary such as this one should look as if they are English translations of Mycenaean Greek terms in a Linear B glossary. I have endeavoured to do my best to achieve this goal, but even the most rational and logical approach, such as I take, does not and cannot guarantee reciprocity between Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B terms. It is precisely for this reason that I have had to devise a scale of relative accuracy for terms in this Linear A Glossary, as outlined in KEY at the top of it.

The best and most reliable Linear B Lexicon is that by Chris Tselentis, Athens, Greece. If you wish to receive a  copy of his Lexicon, please leave a comment in Comments, with some way for me to get in touch with you.

Mycenaean Linear B accounting list


Mycenaean Linear B accounting list:

Mycenaean Linear B accounting list


Minoan Linear A tablet HT 19 & dadumata = Linear B sitokowo = grain/wheat measurers?

HT 91 b dadumata  rain measurers

Does dadumata on Minoan Linear A tablet HT 19 = Linear B sitokowo = grain/wheat measurers? It is a long shot, but at least I am willing to take it. The likelihood that this decipherment is correct is < 50%.

This is term 108 in Minoan Linear A I have deciphered more or less accurately (in this case, less).


Minoan Linear A tablet HT 17 (Haghia Triada) & ra*164ti  = approx. 5 litres (of wine):

ra164ati wine litres gallons

Close examination of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 17 (Haghia Triada), on which 38 units of wine + the supersyllabogram TE = tereza, which is the standard unit for liquid measurement in Minoan Linear A, appears ra*164ti  = approx. 5 litres (of wine), reveals that this total (38) would amount to something in the order of 190 litres of wine, which is a pretty substantial amount. An equally close look at the heading of this tablet, the illustration of the wine magazines at Knossos, would seem to validate our findings. All we need to do is compare the amount of 190 litres or so on this tablet with the sizes of the 11 amphorae in this magazine to get a fair idea of which of these 11 amphorae is most likely to contain 190 litres or so. That is the one which I have flagged. I cannot be sure whether that amphora is the closest in size to 190 litres or so, because I have never had occasion to fill any amphora of any size with wine. Perhaps one of our archaeologist friends can carry out this experiment (or may have already done so for a certain amount of litre-like units of measurement for amphorae). Such a person would be in a solid position to enlighten us on this account. I am thinking, for instance, of our archaeologist colleague Rita Roberts, who may be willing to fill a few small amphorae with 190 litres of water until she finds the one that does not spill over... if she can find enough small amphorae to carry out such an experiment. Just a thought.

Caveat: as is the usual case, we can never be sure what the standard liquid unit of measurement for wine or other liquids was in Minoan or Mycenaean times, particularly at Knossos, but this approximation will do.

This is term 105 I have deciphered, more or less accurately in Minoan Linear A. Since I am reasonably confident of this definition, I am assigning it a scalar value of 60% +.

For the table of standard dry and liquid units of measurement in Mycenaean Linear B by Andras Zeke, click on the figure below:

Mycenaean-measurement-system




Minoan Linear A tablet KH 10 (Khania/Chania) & akipiete = Mycenaean Linear B kekemena = “common, shared, allotted”:

Linear A KH 10 akipiete = shared plot of land Linear B ktonia

Minoan Linear A tablet KH 10 from Khania/Chania contains the word akipiete, which is very likely the equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B kekemena = “common, shared, allotted”. Note the number 90 following the number of “bushel-like” units of wheat. That number is too small to refer to anything other than something rather small in common, or if you like, shared or allotted to an equally small number of farmers or (more likely) tenant farmers sharing a rather small plot of land = ktoina. I had previously defined akipiete as “harvest”, but such an interpretation is quite out of the question in light of the small no. of “bushel-like” units of wheat = 90. Such a piddly amount of wheat would never be sufficient to victualize all of the inhabitants of Khania/Chania, not even for a month! So we have no alternative but to greatly reduce the number of people who can reasonably be fed by 90 bushels to a few farmers or more likely tenant farmers on a small plot of land.

It is crucial to understand that the number of items following any object on a Minoan Linear A tablet is a critical factor determining the definition of said object. This factor will become clearer when I publish my draft article on our Minoan Linear A Glossary on academia.edu.

This is term 105 I have deciphered, more or less accurately. I feel comfortable enough assigning a scalar value of 60%+ to this term, indicating a reasonable degree of accuracy.


Minoan Linear A ADU on tablets dealing with grain & wheat refer to the TOTAL harvest:

Minoan Linear A ADU = ALL units grains wheat   &amp; ALL men

Minoan Linear A ADU on tablets dealing with grain & wheat apparently refer to the TOTAL harvest. After spending the past three months wracking my brains out over this term, ADU, I have finally settled on its being the approximate, if not exact, equivalent of the Mycenaean Linear B terms, toso, tosa, as illustrated in the figure above. All this amounts to nothing more or less than taking into account the total harvest of grains or wheat, as seen on tablets HT 92, with no fewer than 680 “bushel-like” units of wheat! I say “bushel-like” because there is no way on earth that we in the twenty-first century can ever know what the standard unit for measuring wheat was for the Minoans. But there can be little doubt but that these tablets all deal with the standard unit for measuring grans and wheat, because the first two use the term tereza and the last one reza, which are the actual Minoan standard units for measuring large quantities.  On the first two tablets (HT 92 & HT 133) the total number (ADU) refers to the actual  large units of wheat measured (something like our modern “bushels”). But on Linear tablet HT 92. we are faced with a different scenario. Here ADU refers to all the men who are carrying out the measurement of 55 large “bushel-like” units of grains or wheat. So it is quite reasonable to assume that the occupational title (so to speak) of these folks would be something like surveyor or comptroller, since these are in fact the métiers of people who undertake such measurements. But remember. We are not just dealing with some of the comptrollers measuring the 55 large units of wheat. We are dealing with all 20 of them. In other words, ADU is the approximate, if not exact, equivalent of the Mycenaean Linear B term toso (masc. sing. & pl. & neut. sing.) and tosa (neut. pl.), which correspond precisely with the same forms of the ancient Greek words meaning all you see in the figure above. 

This brings the number of Minoan Linear A words I have deciphered, more or less accurately, to an even 100.


Minoan Linear A tablet HT 14 (Haghia Triada), apu2nadu = “grain or wheat distributed” or “grain measurers”:

Haghia Triada HT 14 apu2nadu = grain or wheat distributed

Minoan Linear A tablet HT 14 (Haghia Triada) apu2nadu may mean either “grain or wheat distributed” or “grain measurers”. I am not sure which of the two best fits the context, but I prefer the first decipherment. The supersyllabogram TE = tereza = a very large unit of dry measurement, which  appears in line 1, appears to reference the grain/wheat rather than the wine, and if so, it tells us that 30 large units of grain, something along the lines of our modern “bushel”, are under consideration. Whether or not tereza also applies to the 3 units of olive oil I cannot say, but I rather doubt it. But it probably also refers to the apu2nadu = “grain or wheat distributed” in line 3, in which case 45 “bushels” (so to speak) are in play.

This is the sixty-ninth (69) decipherment I have attempted, with more or less accuracy.


Stunning Minoan fresco, Akrotiri, figs & Linear A tablet Zakros ZA 1, kireza = measurement of figs by the basket:

KIREZA 42 ZQ q Zakros KIREZA figs unit of measurement for figs

This stunning fresco from Akrotiri, featuring the typical Minoan “blue monkey” motif, fanciful animals on a celestial backdrop of figs is truly amazing! It is one of my favourite Minoan-style frescoes by far.  Immediately below it we find Linear A tablet Zakros ZA 1, on which the word kireza is inscribed. This word is so strikingly similar to the standard Minoan Linear A units of measurement,

reza = standard unit of (linear) measurement
adureza = standard unit of dry measurement
tereza = standard unit of liquid measurement (e.g. Wine)

that it is rather difficult to imagine it could be anything but a unit of measurement. However, I have only seen it used in conjunction with figs on any Minoan Linear tablet, and in fact, this is the only Minoan Linear A tablet on which kireza appears. Now the question is, what is the base unit of measurement of figs kireza refers to?  Given that the number of kireza on this tablet is 42, it would appear that it is a relatively large standard unit of measurement. And the unit which leaped to my mind was (and is) a basket of figs, by which I mean a basket which can be carried on one’s shoulders.  Additionally, as can be inferred from the Akrotiri fresco, women were tasked with gathering figs.    

This is the fifty-sixth (56) word in Minoan Linear A I have deciphered more or less accurately.


Another Minoan Linear A word tentatively deciphered: sara2 = sarai = a small unit of measurement?

Minoan Linear A sara2 = sarai = approx. kilogram or litre

While I have encountered enormous challenges deciphering scores and scores of Minoan Linear A words which are not accompanied by an ideogram, being quite unable to decipher any of them at all, sara2 = sarai is a rare exception. I have tentatively assigned it the value of a small unit of dry measurement for wheat and barley (crops) and of wet measurement for olive oil or wine. Since it is impossible for us today to determine with any degree of accuracy what each unit of a sara2 = sarai actually was, I have had to resort to approximations, correlating the unit of dry measurement with the modern metric kilogram (more or less) and the unit of wet measurement with the metric litre (more or less). It is the best we can hope for. My decipherment is based entirely on the gross amounts of sara2 = sarai reported on several Minoan Linear A tablets with the ideograms for “grain/wheat”, “barley” or “olive oil”. The numbers on the following tablets range from a low of 1 (olive oil) on HT 28  to 2 (grain) on HT 125 to 10 (grain) on HT 18 and HT 114, to 20 (grain) on HT 28 & HT 90 to 41 (grain) on HT 101 to 976 (grain !) on HT 102. The totals for sara2 = sarai on all of these tablets from Haghia Triada = 1070 units, of which 1069 are small units of dry measurement for “grain/wheat” or “barley”. The remaining 1 shows 1 small unit of liquid measurement for “olive oil”.

The only thing which troubles me with this tentative translation is that, although the total figures for dry and liquid measurement are sky high,  there is only 1 unit of liquid measurement on HT 28 (olive oil) and there are only 2 units of dry measurement on HT 125 (grain, wheat or barley). I find it difficult to believe that a Minoan scribe would tally only 2 small dry units (approx. = to 2 kg.) and 1 small liquid unit (approx. = 1 litre) on these two tablets. What is the point of that? On the other hand, all of the other figures for units of measurement range from a respectable low of 20, to 41 to the enormous amount of 976 on HT 102. These latter figures would appear to lend some credence to my tentative decipherment of sara2 = sarai. All this is not to say that I will necessarily adhere to this initial decipherment in the near to not so near future. Should reasonably reliable evidence arise to contradict this decipherment, I shall take it into close consideration,  and if the need arises, I may have to scrap this initial decipherment. 


The lengthy and highly informative Linear B tablet Pylos Py Er 312 from Chris Tselentis’ Linear B Lexicon:

Pylos tablet PY TA Er 312 Linear B

Pylos tablet PY TA Er 312 Linear B Latinized and translation
Linear B tablet Pylos Py Er 312 which Chris Tselentis deciphered in his superb Linear B Lexicon is presented above. This tablet runs the gamut from wheat and wheat seeds, to the measurement of olive oil to a number of references to the gods and sacred cults. Since Linear B tablets from Pylos tend to be significantly larger than those from Knossos, they are often a richer source of information applicable to the decipherment, not only of Linear B tablets, but of Minoan Linear A tablets as well.  You can be sure that I shall rely a good deal lon this tablet in my efforts towards the further decipherment of Minoan Linear A. Since Chris Tselentis has done all the work for us, I have simply translated it into English, without troubling myself with appending the text in Archaic Greek.  


Another Linear B tablet from Amnisos referencing olive oil and barley dedicated to all the gods, not once but twice:

Linear B tablet Knossos KN 48 J f 12 olive oil and barley to all the gods

Here we have yet another Linear B tablet from Amnisos referencing olive oil and barley dedicated to all the gods, but this time it flags the signal importance to the scribe as well as to the palace administration at Knossos by stressing twice the necessity of offering up olive oil and barley as sacrifices to all the gods. We have already accumulated four (4) tablets referencing offerings of olive oil or olive trees and barley to all the gods, and there are two more to come from Pylos, for a grand total of 6, making such offerings the most frequently mentioned on Linear B tablets which are to be cross-correlated with Minoan Linear A tablets. So apudosi = “delivery” and Keresiya (feminine) = “Cretan” with 3 references each now have to take a back seat to pasiteoi = “to all the gods”, mentioned twice as often as I had expected. I would like to stress as well that if the Minoan Linear A tablets on olive oil and barley contain a phrase as long as pasiteoi, it is more likely than not that such a phrase means the same thing in the Minoan language as it does in Mycenaean Greek. But this is not necessarily the case, given that the Minoan tablets in Linear A may divide the phrase into two words, which is what we would expect. We shall soon see.

In addition, the frequent mention of units of dry measurement on previous Linear B tablets I have posted relating to olive oil and and barley strongly suggest that my earlier translations of reza, adureza and tereza, which refer to (linear) measurement, dry measurement and liquid measurement (of wine) respectively are probably correct after all. I was in considerable doubt of their meanings until I started deciphering the Linear B tablets on olive oil and barley, most of which directly reference dry measurement. These tablets seem to confirm that my initial decipherment of reza, adureza and tereza in Minoan Linear A are on the mark after all. 
 

Knossos tablet with all sorts of references to olive oil and barley:

Knossos tablet 1 j olive oil barley etc

This tablet is a real hodgepodge of references to olive oil, olive oil trees and barley, ranging from references the port of Amnisos, to units of dry measurement (which also frequently occur on Minoan Linear A tablets), to all the gods and to the goddess Erinu in particular. Not only that, it also tabulates bales of barley, even down to single units of dry measurement of barley. So this tablet serves as a real cornucopia for olive oil, olive oil trees and barley. Thus, it adds one more reference to every single facet of these commodities. I shall tally the totals for all references to each commodity when I have finished translating as many Linear B tablets as I can referencing olive oil.

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