Category: SUPERSYLLABOGRAMS



Archaeology and Science annual: the Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, the last & most formidable frontier in the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B:

cover-as-2015

For the past 65 years since Michael Ventris first deciphered Linear B, one phenomenon has eluded historical linguists and philologists. This is the supersyllabogram, which is always a single syllabogram, being the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a particular Mycenaean word in any one or more of the major economic sectors of the Mycenaean economy: agriculture, military, textiles and the vessels and pottery sector, along with a few religious supersyllabograms. Supersyllabograms are always independent; they always stand alone on extant Linear. My discovery, isolation and classification of supersyllabograms represents the final frontier in the decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B. Some 800 tablets from Knossos alone contain primarily supersyllabograms, with a subset of these incised with supersyllabograms and nothing else. It is difficult to decipher the former, and impossible to decipher the latter without fully accounting for the presence of supersyllabograms. The decipherment of supersyllabograms accounts for the last and most difficult remaining 10 % of Mycenaean Linear B to be deciphered.

inset-as-2015

editors-as-2015

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You may also download The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B here:

archaeology-and-science-download

This article is 35 pages long (pp. 73-108) in a 29 cm. x 22 cm. format, which is far oversized compared with the standard north American format for research journals (ca. 20 cm. vertical), meaning that if it had been published in the standard north American format, it would have run to some 50 pp., which is the size of a small book.

The Editorial Board consists of 21 peer reviewers, all of them matriculated professors and researchers at the Ph.D. level or higher, from Ancona, Belgrade, Belgium, Bologna, Madison, Wisconsin, U.S.A., Moscow, Münich, Philadelphia, U.S.A., Rome, Warsaw & Trieste. Every author must pass muster with the majority of these peer reviewers if his or her article is to be published in Archaeology and Science. That is one tall hurdle to overcome.

Note also that I am ranked in the top 0.5 % of all researchers and publishers on academia.edu

richard-vallance-on-academia-edu

 


Revisiting & deciphering 2 (TE & DA) of the 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A in light of the decipherment of 69 additional Minoan words:

Last year (2016), I isolated and categorized all 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A. This was an extremely exhaustive task, as I had to scan through all the extant Linear A tablets and fragments in order to tally them all. This took at least a month. It is important to understand that the Minoans, and not the Mycenaeans, invented supersyllabograms. A supersyllabogram is defined as the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of any given specific Minoan word, economic sector dependent. In other words, when we cross from one economic sector to another, the meaning of any single supersyllabogram can and often does change. The exact same phenomenon recurs in Mycenaean Linear B. For the past year and a half, I have thoroughly covered and deciphered all 36 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, and I have as well tentatively deciphered 9 or 33 % of the 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A. Yet in spite of my initial attempts at decipherment, I was unable to assign any proto-Greek significance to any of them.

But since I have now deciphered 69 new Minoan Linear A words of putative proto-Greek, proto-Hebrew, proto-Semitic and proto-Scythian origin, I have been able to revisit at least 2 of the 27 supersyllabograms, namely, DA & TE & I have discovered that a proto-Greek reading of them on at least one Minoan Linear A tablet, HT 133, makes perfect, unified sense in translation, as seen in this table:

adu-te-da-tenai-to-cut-dainai-to-distribute

The only observation I should make is the following: the supersyllabogram TE, which is the first syllabogram of the middle voice TENAI = archaic Greek teinai, appears first in the list, because the 55 standard units grains or wheat must be cut down first before they are distributed. For this reason, the middle voice DAINAI (of which the ultimate NAI is identical with that of TENAI), meaning “they are distributed” (i.e. the 55 standard units of grains or wheat). So the word order is entirely rational, and intuitive to the Minoan language. Cut the 55 units of grains or wheat first, and then distribute them. In short, the word order is identical to English. This should come as no surprise in view of the fact that both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B generally read from left to right, just as does modern English.

This new development raises the number of Minoan Linear A supersyllabograms tentatively deciphered from 9 to 11 or 40.8 % of all 27 Linear A supersyllabograms.


What do all those supersyllabograms in Linear B associated with the ideogram for “saffron” mean?

In response to a recent query by a research colleague of mine regarding the use of 4 key supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B (A, TI, RO & WE) related to the harvesting and production of saffron, I am reposting this table:

ssyls-in-linear-bassociated-with-saffron

It is clear that each of these 4 supersyllabograms functions in its own unique way. I sincerely hope that this reposting clears up any ambiguities that may have previously persisted.


Is the Minoan Linear A labrys inscribed with I-DA-MA-TE in Minoan or in proto-Greek? PART B: OR is it in proto-Greek?What?” I hear you asking, “... is that even even remotely possible?” The keyword here is remotely. Remotely, yes, but only remotely. Recall that in the last post, in which I postulated that the four consecutive supersyllabograms ID + DA + MA + TE might conceivably stand for the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of 4 consecutive Minoan Linear A words, though which ones among God knows how many possibilities it is exceedingly difficult to determine.

On the other hand, the four consecutive supersyllabograms ID + DA + MA + TE might conceivably stand for the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of 4 consecutive proto-greek Greek words, most likely proto-Mycenaean. If that is the case — and, mark  my words, it is far more likely than not that it is not the case — we are once again confronted with a myriad of combinations and permutations of proto-Greek words which have the potential, however thin, of standing in for the 4 consecutive supersyllabograms I + DA + MA +TE. So be forewarned. The putative decipherment of these 4 supersyllabograms into the one possible decipherment I have arbitrarily posited among hundreds is just  that, putative and tentative, and nothing more.

The tentative decipherment I have come up with runs as follows when the Mycenaean Greek of which it is the apparent forerunner is Latinized:

The supersyllabograms in turn might conceivably mean (but only as a long shot):

I = iyereya (feminine nominative singular), meaning “priestess”
DA =  Damateroyo (feminine genitive singular), meaning “of Damater”
MA =  Matereteiyai (feminine dative singular, meaning “to Mater Thea (the Divine Mother” 
TE = temenoi (masculine dative or locative singular), meaning “(in) the temple”

yielding this Latinized decipherment (which is but one possibility out of 100s): 

iyereya Damateroyo ... matereteiyai (eni) temenoi

... which roughly translates as:

The priestess of Damater... (is making offerings -or- sacrificing to) Mater  Thea (i.e. the Divine Mother) (in) the temple.

In this partial sentence, the phrase  (is making offerings -or- sacrificing to) and the preposition eni = “in” do not appear in the original supposed proto-Greek text, which I have extrapolated forward to Mycenaean Greek to make it fully accessible. Although these words are in fact absent from the original putative proto-Greek, they be supplied  with relative ease to fill in the gaps.

This proto-Greek translation is neatly encapsulated in this chart:

idamate-part-b

On closer examination, it turns out that, although this decipherment is only one among 100s of possible candidates, it is nevertheless one of the most plausible decipherments, for the following reasons:

1. If as I have pointed out in the previous post, Idamate is an actual Minoan word, as well as being in addition a series of 4 supersyllabograms. Thus, in the Minoan language it may very well mean something along the lines of Damate in Mycenaean Linear B: in other words, Idamate in the Minoan language may be the approximate equivalent of Damate in Mycenaean Linear B and of Demeter in ancient Greek. And if that is the case, the second supersyllabogram (DA) in my parallel proto-Greek translation, which I have deciphered as Damate, almost perfectly matches the Minoan word. This co-incidence, if co-incidence it is, is far too great to be ignored, and it lends a great deal of credence to my proto-Greek translation extrapolated forward to Mycenaean Greek of the second supersyllabogram DA in idamate.
2. But there is more, much more. As it so turns out, there is a sacred cave dedicated to Zeus on Mount Ida, which is very close to the Minoan site of Phaistos. Another co-incidence? The name of the cave dedicated to Zeus on Mount Ida is the “Dictaean Cave”, as illustrated here:

dictaean-cave-zeus-mount-ida

3. It is nothing short of a remarkable co-incidence that Idamate, as inscribed on the labrys, may very well signify “Mount Ida”, as I have clearly indicated  in the previous post. But what does that imply?  I have to wonder whether or not there was a Minoan peak sanctuary on the summit of Mount Ida. This is what a Minoan peak sanctuary probably looked liked:

minoan-peak-sanctuary

And if there was, it was of course a temple. Referencing our proto-Greek translation of Idamate, we find that the last supersyllabogram, TE, may readily and realistically rendered as temeno, which in Mycenaean Greek means “a temple”. How fascinating!

Does this imply that the priestess to Damater might have been sacrificing to Mater Thea in a temple or peak sanctuary which may possibly have existed on the summit of Mount Ida? The correlation is truly tempting. However, I must sound a strong note of caution. Such an interpretation of  the last supersyllabogram of Idamate = TE, as the putative Mycenaean word, temeno = “a temple” as being a peak sanctuary is nothing less than a real stretch of the imagination. So it must be taken with a huge grain of salt. Nevertheless, it is possible, however remotely, that the temple in which the priestess of Damater is worshipping just might have been a peak sanctuary. But  I wouldn’t bet my bottom dollars on it.  It is thus remotely possible that Idamate signifies both “Mount Ida” in Minoan and “Mater Thea” in proto-Greek extrapolates forward to later Mycenaean Greek. Further credence is possibly lent to this decipherment by the fact that Mount Ida is clearly visible in the near distance behind the ancient site of Phaistos, as illustrated here and on map below:

mount-ida-psiloritis

 mount-ida-psiloritis-map

But we must be extremely skeptical of such an interpretation. Why so? Just as Pavel Serafimov and Anton Perdith erroneously read proto-Slavic into Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada), thereby grossly misinterpreting it, my own attempt to superimpose proto-Greek on the 4 supersyllabograms I + DA + MA +TE may amount to the same genre of fundamental (and gross) inaccuracy in the putative decipherment into proto-Greek of a Minoan Linear A text, in this case, of the word idamate inscribed on the labrys. So we must exercise extreme caution in hypothesizing that the 4 supersyllabograms  I + DA + MA +TE are the first syllabograms, i.e. the first syllables of the 4 consecutive proto-Greek words I have arbitrarily assigned to them. So the fact remains that these 4 supersyllabograms are far more likely to be the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of 4 consecutive Minoan words than of proto-Greek words. I cannot stress this enough. 


Is the Minoan Linear A labrys inscribed with I-DA-MA-TE in Minoan or in proto-Greek? PART A: Is it in the Minoan language?

In my previous post on the Minoan Linear A labrys inscribed with I-DA-MA-TE, I postulated that the word Idamate was probably either the name of the king or of the high priestess (of the labyrinth?) to whom this labrys has been ritually dedicated. But in so doing I was taking the path of least resistance, by seeking out the two most simplistic decipherments which would be the least likely to prove troublesome or controversial. In retrospect, that was a cop-out.

No sooner had I posted my two alternate simplistic translations than I was informed by a close colleague of mine in the field of diachronic historical linguistics focusing on Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B that at least two other alternative decipherments came into play, these being:

1. that the term Idamate may be the Minoan equivalent of the Mycenaean Linear B Damate, which is apparently an early version of the ancient Greek, Demeter, who was the goddess of cereals and harvesting:

demeter-ceres-greco-roman-marble-statue-state-hermitage-museum-st-petersburg

linear-b-lexicon-damate-demeter

2. that the term Idamate may be Minoan for Mount Ida, in which case, the word Mate = “mount”, such that the phrase actually spells out  “Ida mount(ain)” :

mount-ida-psiloritis

Since both of these decipherments make eminent sense, either could, at least theoretically, be correct.
 
But there is a third alternative, and it is far more controversial and compelling than either of the first two. 

3. It is even possible that the four syllabograms I DA MA & TE are in fact supersyllabograms, which is to say that each syllabogram is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a word, presumably a Minoan word. But if these 4 supersyllabograms represent four consecutive Minoan words, what on earth could these words possibly signify, in light of the fact that we know next to nothing about the Minoan language. It appears we are caught in an irresolvable Catch-22.

Yet my own recent research has allowed me to tease potential decipherments out of 107 or about 21 % of all intact words in Prof. John G. Youngers Linear A lexicon of 510 terms by my own arbitrary count. Scanning this scanty glossary yielded me numerous variations on 3 terms which might conceivably make sense in at least one suppositious context. These terms (all of which I have tentatively deciphered) are:

1. For I: itaja = unit of liquid volume for olive oil (exact value unknown)

2. FOR DA: either:
daropa = stirrup jar = Linear B karawere (high certainty)
or
datara = (sacred) grove of olive trees
or
data2 (datai) = olive, pl. date = Linear B erawo
or
datu = olive oil
or
daweda = medium size amphora with two handles

3. For TE:
tereza = large unit of dry or liquid measurement
or
tesi = small unit of measurement

But I cannot find any equivalent for MA other than maru, which seemingly means “wool”, even in Minoan Linear A, this being the apparent equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B mari or mare.  The trouble is that this term (if that is what the third supersyllabogram in idamate stands in for) does not contextually mesh at all with any of the alternatives for the other three words symbolized by their respective supersyllabograms.

But does that mean the phrase is not Minoan? Far from it. There are at least 2 cogent reasons for exercising extreme caution in jumping to the conclusion that the phrase cannot be in Minoan. These are:    
1. that the decipherments of all of the alternative terms I have posited for the supersyllabograms I DA & TE above are all tentative, even if they are more than likely to be close to the mark and some of them probably bang on (for instance, daropa), which I believe they are;
2. that all 3 of the supersyllabograms I DA & TE may instead stand for entirely different Minoan words, none of which I have managed to decipher. And God knows there are plenty of them!  Since I have managed to decipher only 107 of 510 extant intact Minoan Linear A words by my arbitrary count, that leaves 403 or 79 % undeciphered!  That is far too great a figure to be blithely brushed aside. 

The > impact of combinations of a > number of Minoan Linear A words on their putative decipherment:

combinations-with-repetition-and-their-impact-on-the-decipherment-of-minoan-linear-a-terms

To give you a rough idea of the number of undeciphered Minoan words beginning with I DA & TE I have not been able to account for, here we have a cross-section of just a few of those words from Prof. John G. Younger’s Linear A Reverse Lexicon:
which are beyond my ken:

linear-a-reverse-lexicon

For I:
iininuni
ijadi
imetu
irima
itaki

For DA:
dadana
daini
daki
daku
daqaqa

For MA:
madadu
majasa
manuqa
masuri

For TE:
tedatiqa
tedekima
tenamipi
teneruda

But the situation is far more complex than it appears at first sight. To give you just a notion of the enormous impact of exponential mathematical permutations and combinations on the potential for gross errors in any one of a substantial number of credible decipherments of any given number of Minoan Linear A terms as listed even in the small cross-section of the 100s of Minoan Words in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon, all we have to do is relate the mathematical implications of the  chart on permutations to any effort whatsoever at the decipherment of even a relatively small no. of Minoan Linear A words:

CLICK on the chart of permutations to link to the URL where the discussion of both permutations and combinations occurs:

permutations-and-the-decipherment-of-minoan-linear-a

to realize how blatantly obvious it is that any number of interpretations of any one of the selective cross-section of terms which I have listed here can be deemed the so-called actual term corresponding to the supersyllabogram which supposedly represents it. But, and I must emphatically stress my point, this is just a small cross-section of all of the terms in the Linear B Reverse Lexicon beginning with each of  the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE in turn.

It is grossly obvious that, if we allow for the enormous number of permutations and combinations to which the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE must categorically be  subjected mathematically, it is quite out of the question to attempt any decipherment of these 4 supersyllabograms, I DA MA & TE, without taking context absolutely into consideration. And even in that eventuality, there is no guarantee whatsoever that any putative decipherment of each of these supersyllabograms (I DA MA & TE) in turn in the so-called Minoan language will actually hold water, since after all, a smaller, but still significant subset of an extremely large number of permutation and combinations must still remain incontestably in effect.

The mathematics of the aforementioned equations simply stack up to a very substantial degree against any truly convincing decipherment of any single Minoan Linear A term, except for one small consideration (or as it turns out, not so small at all). As it so happens, and as we have posited in our first two alternative decipherments above, i.e.
1. that Idamate is Minoan for Mycenaean Damate, the probable equivalent of classical Greek Demeter, or
2. that Idamate actually means “Mount Ida”,

these two possible decipherments which do make sense can be extrapolated from the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE, at least if we take into account the Minoan Linear A terms beginning with I DA & TE (excluding TE), which I have managed, albeit tentatively, to decipher.

However, far too many putative decipherments of the great majority of words in the Minoan language itself are at present conceivable, at least to my mind. Yet, this scenario is quite likely to change in the near future, given that I have already managed to tentatively decipher 107 or 21 % of 510 extant Minoan Linear A words, by my arbitrary count.  It is entirely conceivable that under these circumstances I shall be able to decipher even more Minoan language words in the near future. In point of fact, if Idamate actually does mean either Idamate (i.e. Demeter) or Ida Mate (i.e. Mount Ida), then:
(a) with only 2 possible interpretations for IDAMATE now taken into account, the number of combinations and permutations is greatly reduced to an almost insignificant amount &
(b) the actual number of Minoan Linear A words I have deciphered to date rises from 107 to 108 (in a Boolean OR configuration, whereby we can add either  “Demeter” or “Mount Ida” to our Lexicon, but not both).  A baby step this may be, but a step forward regardless. 


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:

rare-minoan-linear-a-tablet-from-malia1

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.

minoan-linear-a-kapa-mycenaean-linear-b-eqeta-followers-of-the-king

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.  


Rita Roberts’ translation of Knossos Linear B tablet KN 946 G a 303 (mid-term, second year university):

knossos-tablet-kn-946-g-a-303-620

Trust me, this is not an easy tablet to translate.

... with a translation into archaic ancient Greek added by Richard Vallance Janke.


Academia.edu DRAFT PAPER = Preview and brief summary of the article, “The Mycenaean Linear B ‘Rosetta Stone’ to Minoan Linear A Tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) Vessels and Pottery”, to be published in Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448. Vol. 12, 2018. (approximately 40 pages long), with some excerpts from the article to whet your appetite.

preview-linear-b-pylos-ta-641-1952-ventris-rosetta-stone-for-linear-a-tablet-ht-31-haghia-triada

This article represents the first major breakthrough in 117 years in the partial, though far from complete, decipherment of Minoan Linear A.

Even this preview, with excerpts running to 9 pages from the actual article, will give you a quite clear idea of exactly how I managed to finesse the decipherment of 21 % (107/510 words) of Minoan Linear A lexicon, more or less accurately. Anyone the least bit interested in the ongoing struggle to decipher Minoan Linear A, even partially, is definitely going to want to read this preview and brief summary, with a few excerpts from the article, which is to appear sometime early in 2018. It quite literally represents by far the most significant development in any attempt to decipher even a relatively small subset of the Minoan Linear A lexicon.



You do not want to miss this Fantastic Twitter account, FONT design company of the highest calibre!

I have just fortuitously come across what I consider to be the most fantastic font site or Twitter account on newly designed, mostly serif, extremely attractive fonts, some of which they offer for FREE!!!

You simply have to check them out. Click here to follow typo graphias:

typographias-twitter


Here is a composite of some of the astonishing font graphics on this amazing site!


typo-graphias-composite-4
 

Serendipitously happening on this account put a bee in my bonnet. I simply had to send you all on the fast track to downloading and installing the Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C + several beautiful ancient Greek fonts, of which the most heavily used is SPIonic, used for Ionic, Attic, Hellenistic and New Testament writings and documents.  Hre are the links where you can download them, and much more besides!

Colour coded keyboard layout for the Mycenaean Linear B Syllabary:

linear-b-keyboard1 

includes font download sites for the SpIonic & LinearB TTFs

ideogram-woman-linear-b

The first ever keyboard map for the Arcado-Cypriot Linear C TTF font!

standard-keyboard-layout-for-arcado-cypriot-linear-c1

which also includes the direct link to the only site where you can download the beautiful Arcado-Cypriot Linear B font, here:


linear-c-ttf-font

How to download and use the Linear B font by Curtis Clark:

linear-b-keyboard-guide-revised-1200

Easy guide to the Linear B font by Curtis Clark, keyboard layout:
 
standard-keyboard-layout-for-arcado-cypriot-linear-c1
Here is the Linear B keyboard. You must download the Linear B font as instructed below:

ideogram-woman-linear-b 

And here is the actual cursive Linear B font as it actually appears on the most famous of all Linear B tablet, Pylos Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris):

pylos-tablet-ta-641-1952-ventris-with-linear-b-font2 

What’s more, you can read my full-length extremely comprehensive article, An Archaeologist’s Translation of Pylos Tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris) by Rita Roberts, in Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, Vol. 10 (2014), pp. 133-161, here: 

archaeologists-translation-of-pylos-tablet-py-ta-641-1952-ventris

in which I introduce to the world for the first time the phenomenon of the decipherment of what I designate as the supersyllabogram, which no philologist has ever properly identified since the initial decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B by Michael Ventris in 1952. Unless we understand the significance of supersyllabograms in Linear B, parts or sometimes even all of at least 800 Linear B tablets from Knossos alone cannot be properly deciphered. This lacuna stood out like a sore thumb for 64 years, until I finally identified, categorized and deciphered all 36 (!) of them from 2013 to 2014. This is the last and most significant frontier in the complete decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B. Stay posted for my comprehensive, in-depth analysis and synopsis of The Decipherment of  Supersyllabograms in Linear B, which is to appear early in 2017 in Vol. 11 of Archaeology and  Science. This ground-breaking article, which runs from page 73 to page 108 (35 pages on a 12 inch page size or at least 50 pages on a standard North American page size)  constitutes the final and definitive decipherment of 36 supersyllabograms, accounting for fully 59 % of all Linear B syllabograms. Without a full understanding of the application of supersyllabograms on Linear B tablets, it is impossible to fully decipher at least 800 Linear B tablets from Knossos.
  

International Historical Linguistics journals I will contact to review my articles in Archaeology and Science, 2016 & 2017:

Following is a list in 2 PARTS of international Historical Linguistics journals I will contact to review my articles in Archaeology and Science:

[1] Janke, Richard Vallance. The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B, Archaeology and Science. Vol. 11 (2015), pp. 73-108.

As soon as this ground-breaking article is published in early 2017, I shall submit it for review in every one of the international journals below. 

[2] Janke, Richard Vallance. Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery, Archaeology and Science. Vol. 12 (2016)

Since this article is not going to be published before mid-2017, and as yet has no pagination, I shall have to wait until then before I submit it for review to all of the periodicals below.

historical-linguistics-reviews-a

historical-linguistics-reviews-b



MASTER Article, “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B”, Archaeology and Science, Vol. 11 (2015) received: excerpts follow

I have just received the DRAFT of the entire issue of Vol. 11 (2015) Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, in which my ground-breaking article, “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B” appears on pp. 73-108 (35 pages long). I have proof-read it and I found errors only in the transcription of the SPIonic.ttf Greek font, which causes all the Greek text to be printed in Latin characters, such that they appear garbled. But this error will be eliminated in the actual article when it appears this coming winter (2017).

Here you see the title page plus three consecutive but non-contiguous excerpts from my article:

archaeology-and-science-vol-11-2015

decipherment-of-supersyllabograms-in-linear-b-a

decipherment-of-supersyllabograms-in-linear-b-b

decipherment-of-supersyllabograms-in-linear-b-c


NOTE that the decipherment of the 36 supersyllabograms is the first and last major breakthrough in the final decipherment of Mycenaean Linear B, which was first deciphered by Michael Ventris in June-July 1952 (with the exception of supersyllabograms, which account for at least 20 % of the text on Linear B tablets).

Thanks!

Richard


More illustrations (Figures) for my article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science: PART B

Here you see more of the Figures, many of them of actual Minoan Linear A tablets as I have deciphered them, which are to appear in my article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in Vol. 12 (2016) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science. 

figure-6-vessel-types-on-linear-a-ht-31

figure-7-translation-linear-a-tablet-ht-31-vessels

figure-8-ay-nicolaus-supersyllabograms

It usually takes me between one and two hours to design each figure.  


UPDATED Table of 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A:

table-of-24-supersyllabograms-in-minoan-linear-a-640

After scanning all of the Minoan Linear A tablets I have deciphered, more or less accurately, I have been obliged to revise the former Table of 24 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A to this revised and updated Table of 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A.  The 3 extra supersyllabograms all appear in the vessels and pottery sector of the Minoan economy. These are PO, SU and U. In addition, the supersyllabogram A is common to both the olive trees, olive oil & olives sub-sector of the agricultural sector and the vessels and pottery sector. 24 of the supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A are associative, i.e. they accompany, either to the left or to the right, the ideogram with which they are associated. Associative supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A, as in Mycenaean Linear B refer to some major element or object associated with the ideogram in one way or another, without however defining the ideogram itself in any additional way. On the other hand, the 4 supersyllabograms in the vessels and pottery sector are all attributive, in so far as they  portray a particular attribute of the ideogram in which they are incharged. I have managed to decipher with a high degree of accuracy 1 of the 4 supersyllabograms in the vessels sector,  SU, which signifies supa3ra (supaira), i.e. a two handled small cup, as we see here:

table-of-27-supersyllabograms-in-minoan-linear-a

All in all, the 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A amount to 75 % of the 36 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, without however being in any way related to the latter, either as individual syllabograms or in the semiotic values of these. For instance, the supersyllabogram A incharged in a vessel ideogram in Minoan Linear A does not mean “amphora” as it does mean in Mycenaean Linear B, and by the same token, the SSYL PO in Linear A does not signify “Potiniya”, unless by some sheer co-incidence, Potiniya happens to be a pre-Mycenaean non-Indo-European name of a goddess... which is possible though unlikely.  

I have managed to decipher, more less accurately, 9 or 33 % of the 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A. These are:

DA = dadumata = grain/wheat measurer (probably) = Linear A sitowoko 
KA = kapa = foot soldier, attendant to the king = Linear B eqeta
KI = kidata = to be accepted for delivery = Linear B dekesato
OR
kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis
kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto
AND
kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket
AND
kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed
NOTE: the semiotic value of the SSYL KI is sector dependent, hence, polysemiotic. This is also true of many supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, although the polysemiotic values of the former are never the same as those of the latter, with one exception only, and that exception is the very next supersyllabogram. 
NI = nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza. But Mycenaean Linear B shares NI with Minoan Linear A, in spite of the fact that the Mycenaean word for figs is suza.   
PA = pa3ni = silo or amphora for storing grain + pa3nina = grain or wheat stored in an silo or amphora, more likely the former than the latter, as amphorae are not the most practical recepticle for the storage of grain. Recall that the middle Kingdom Egyptians, who were co-temporaneous with the Minoans, stored their grain in dry silos. 
RA ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) 
SA sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre
SU = supa3ra (supaira) = a small cup with handles
TE = tereza = standard unit of dry or liquid measurement

For the time being, the semiotic values of the remaining 18 or 66 % supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A are beyond my ken.

On a final note, you can see for yourselves that I have displayed the actual appearance of each supersyllabogram in Linear A immediately to the LEFT of the Latin value. In addition, the 9 Latinized supersyllabograms which I have managed to decipher, more or less accurately, are incharged with the alphabetical character D.

All of the above text will be part and parcel of my upcoming major article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the Rosetta Stone to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” and a Glossary of 110 words in Linear A”, Vol. 12 (2016) of the prestigious international hard-bound annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, to be released sometime late in 2017 or early in 2018. This is to be the most significant article I shall have ever published in my entire lifetime, as it represents the first serious attempt in the 116 years since the first discovery of a smattering of Minoan Linear A tablets by Sir Arthur Evans  at Knossos in the spring and summer of 1900 to decipher at least a portion (21.5 % of Minoan Linear A vocabulary, but certainly not the Minoan language itself, in a unique approach never before assayed by any previous philologist or historical linguist who has endeavoured to do the precise opposite to what I have done, i.e. to decipher the entire Minoan language, a goal which is manifestly impossible and plainly unrealistic. All prior philologists have claimed to have deciphered the  Minoan language, a claim I would never be so rash or idealistic as to forward.

I went to a great deal of trouble to make this Table of 27 Supersyllabograms as professional looking as I could. So I hope that some of you will comment on its graphics and graphical layout, or at least vote for it, LIKE, with the number of stars you deem appropriate (hopefully 5).  


Is it even possible to determine what the word for “fig(s)” is in Minoan Linear A? You may be surprised!

Among several other tablets in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B, Linear A tablet HT 88 contains the supersyllabogram NI on the second line:

ht-88-facsimile-620

The question is, what is the actual word for “fig(s)” in Minoan Linear A? Apparently, no-one knows. The odd thing about this supersyllabogram NI is that it was taken over lock-stock-and-barrel by the Mycenaeans. We will never know why, but it is clear that they thought it convenient simply to hang onto it. It may very well be that that the Mycenaeans continued to use the Minoan word for “fig” alongside their early Greek suza. If that is the case, it is all the more relevant for us to attempt to reconstruct the Minoan word for “fig”. Whatever the circumstances, we are still left with the perplexing question, what is the word for “fig” in Minoan Linear A anyway?

In spite of apparently insurmountable obstacles, it may not be so difficult to reconstruct as we might imagine. If we stop to consider even briefly what the word for “fig” is that I have methodically selected in 13 languages, ancient and modern, belonging to 6 different classes, we discover that all but one of them are either monosyllabic or disyllabic. In one instance only is it trisyllabic, pesnika, in Serbian. This does not come as any surprise to me as a linguist, though it may to the so-called  “common person” . Here are the words for “fig” in 16 languages belonging to 6 different languages classes: 
  
KEY to language classes:

AU = Austronesian/ IN = Indo-European/ LI = language isolate/ NC = Niger-Congo/ SE = Semitic/ UR = Uralic. A language isolate is one which does not belong to any international language class whatsoever, but which stands entirely on its own. 

AU: Indonesian ara Malay rajah Maori piki
IN: French figue German Feige Greek (Mycenaean) suza (Attic) suchon Italian fico Latin ficus Norwegian fiken Portuguese figo Serbian pesnika Spanish higo
LI: Basque piku
NC: Swahili mtimi (sub-class = Bantu)
SE: Maltese tin (the only Semitic language in Latin script)
UR: Finnish kuva

Under the circumstances, I am given to wonder whether or not the Minoan Linear A word for “fig” is monosyllabic, disyllabic or possibly even trisyllabic. It is clear that it cannot be monosyllabic, because the supersyllabogram for “fig” in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B is NI. And supersyllabograms are always the first syllable only of di- tri- or multi-syllabic words in both of these languages. Given this scenario, is it possible or even feasible to reconstruct the Minoan Linear A for “fig”? Surprisingly enough, the answer is yes. Why so? It just so happens that most Minoan Linear A words which are diminutives are feminine with the ultimate being either pa3 or ra2. Under the circumstances, it only takes one small step to restore the two mostly likely candidates for the Minoan Linear A for “fig”. And these are:

what-is-the-minoan-linear-a-word-for-figs

It is of course possible to argue that the Minoan word for “fig” is trisyllabic, but this is highly unlikely, since the only trisyllabic word for “fig” in all 13 of the languages cited above is the Serbian, pesnika. Hence, I am reasonably convinced that the Minoan Linear A word for “fig(s)” is either nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai).

Finally, as it is clear that since the word for “fig(s)” does not even remotely correspond to any of the 13 words in 6 language classes, ancient and modern, above, not even Basque, it may very well turn out that, like Basque, the Minoan language is also a language isolate. I should not be the least but surprised if it were.  

This discussion will be part and parcel in my upcoming article in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the Rosetta Stone to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” and a Glossary of 110 words”, the third article in a row I shall have published in this prestigious international annual by the beginning of 2018 at the very latest.


UPDATED Table of 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A in full colour:

table-of-24-supersyllabograms-in-minoan-linear-a-640

UPDATED Table of 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A in full colour as it will appear in my upcoming article, “Pylos Tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the ‘Rosetta Stone’ for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in the prestigious international annual Archaeology and Science, Vol. 12 (2016) ISSN 1452-7448. This is to be the third major article in a row which I will see published in Archaeology and Science. All 3 of the articles (2014, 2015 & 2016) run to at least 28 pages each in a large format hard cover annual, 12 inches high, which is the equivalent of at least 40 pages in a standard format journal. Hence, the total number of pages will run to at least 120 pages in all three issues, being the length of a standard PhD thesis.  

In addition, the total no. of bibliographic references in all three issues should run to at least 200 items.
 

MAJOR DEVELOPMENT! 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A just discovered, 8 of them deciphered (versus 36 in Mycenaean Linear B):

supersyllabograms-in-minoan-linear-a-ti

In case you were wondering whether or not the Mycenaeans invented supersyllabograms, think again. It was the Minoan Linear A scribes who invented them, and passed them on to their Mycenaean heirs. I never even suspected there were supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A until I started trying to decipher at least some Minoan terms in May of 2016. Lo and behold, to my astonishment, there are 24 of them in Linear A, a substantial number, amounting to 66 % of the number of supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B = 36. It is now obvious that if I can decipher any more than the 8 supersyllabograms I have already translated in Minoan Linear A, I may very well be able to decipher more Minoan Linear A words. It remains to be seen. However, I am greatly encouraged by the fact that the apparent meanings of the 8 supersyllabograms I have already deciphered in Minoan Linear A seem to match almost perfectly the actual translations of the Minoan Linear A words to which they apparently correspond. See my decipherments of 8 Minoan Linear A SSYLS (supersyllabograms) following the table of SSYLs in Linear A immediately below.

If it had not been for the fact that I successfully deciphered  the 36 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, I would never have stumbled upon the 24 SSYLs in Minoan Linear A, nor would I have been able to cross-correlate these 8 supersyllabograms, DA KA KI NI PA RA SA TE. These 8 supersyllabograms account for 33 % of all the SSYLs in Minoan Linear A. My decipherments of the 8 SSYLs is quite an achievement, considering I, like everyone else in the world, do not know what the Minoan language actually is. I stress again, I have only managed to decipher some of its vocabulary, not the language itself. This is in stark contrast to the 36 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B which I have been able to decipher with relative ease, in view of the fact that I am intimately familiar with Mycenaean Linear B, having already translated at least 1,000 Linear B tablets. So the fact that I have been able to decipher even 8 of 24 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A is almost a miracle in itself.

You can be sure that my decipherments of these 8 Linear A supersyllabograms will figure largely in my upcoming article in Archaeology and Science, Vol. 16 (2016) (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, “Linear B tablet Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery”. You can just imagine how exciting a development this has been for me!

Moreover, this development has allowed me to add yet another Minoan Linear A term to my Glossary of Minoan Linear A, samuku, which almost certainly refers to the harvest(ing) of grains (barley or wheat). See SPECIAL NOTES at the end of this post.

The Table of 24 Minoan Linear A supersyllabograms From Haghia Triada (HT) & Khania (KH):
 
A	HT2	olive oil HT39 vase (v)
DA	HT133 (g)
DI *	HT12	olive oil (qatidate) HT14 (oo) HT28 HT50 HT90 HT121 HT129
E *	HT2	olive oil HT21 HT34 (g) (+ sumuku huge nos.) HT50 HT58 (oo)
KA *	HT28 	man (m) HT88 HT97 HT100
KE	HT26	(vase)
KI *	HT8	olive oil HT18 HT28 HT44 HT50 HT91 HT101 HT125 HT129 HT140
KU	HT32	cloth (c) HT61 (g) HT128 X4!
MI *	HT28 (oo) HT50 HT90 HT91 HT100 HT101 HT116 X2 b HT125 HT137
NE *	HT23 (oo) HT32 HT100
NI	appears on several Linear A tablets all by itself, and invariably means figs. It is the only supersyllabogram shared with Mycenaean Linear B, which apparently simply inherited it lock, stock and barrel from Minoan Linear A.
QE *	HT18 grains (g) HT28 HT36 HT99 HT101 HT121 (oo)
PA *	HT43 (g) HT93 X3! HT102 X2 HT120 X2 HT125 HT128 KT27
RA	HT44 (oo)  KH91 (v)
RI	HT23 (oo) HT35 HT60 HT110 (v) KH82 (oo)
RU *	KH12 (v) KH63 KH84 KH85 KH91
SA	HT27 (w) (g) HT131 (w)
SI	HT27 (w)
TA *	HT30 (oo) HT35 KH19 KH39 KH55 KH61 KH85
TE	HT3	figs HT9 wine HT13 (w) (kaudeta) HT18 HT19 HT21 HT40 HT44 (g) HT51 (f) HT62 (w) HT67 (f) HT70 (f) HT96 HT133 (g)
TU *	HT23 (oo) HT28 HT50 HT101
U *	HT2 	olive oil HT21 HT28 HT40 HT44 HT58 HT91 HT96 HT100 HT101 HT125 HT140 X3
WA	HT27 (w)
WI	KH5 (w = vinegar)

* All of the following supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with olive oil: DI E KI MI NE TA TU U

* All of the following supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with grain: DA QE (except for HT121) PA

* All of the following supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with wine: SA SI WA WI

* The supersyllabograms KE & RU in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with vases and pottery.

* The supersyllabogram KA in Minoan Linear A deals exclusively with men.

Supersyllabograms I have deciphered in Minoan Linear A:

I have already more or less successfully deciphered the following 8 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A:

DA = dadumata = grain/wheat measurer? = Linear B sitokowo
KA = kapa = follower or foot soldier, attendant to the king 
KI = kidata = to be accepted for delivery = Linear B dekesato
OR
kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis
kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto
AND
kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket
AND
kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed
NI = nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza. But Mycenaean Linear B shares NI with Minoan Linear A, in spite of the fact that the Mycenaean word for figs is suza.   
PA = pa3ni (amphora for storing grain) + pa3nina = grain or wheat stored in an amphora
RA ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) 
SA sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre
TE = tereza = standard unit of usually liquid measurement, sometimes of dry measurement

All of my decipherments of supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A further substantiate my decipherments of the Minoan Linear A terms to which they correspond (as seen above).

Here is Table 8 of the 36 Supersyllabograms I have deciphered in Mycenaean Linear B: 

table-8-supersyllabograms-in-linear-b

The meanings of the supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B do NOT correspond in any way with those in Minoan Linear A. This table appears in my soon to be published article, “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B” in Vol. 15 (2015) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448. 

SPECIAL NOTES:

[1] The SSYL KI for olive oil has something to do with sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre OR kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis + kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto OR kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket OR kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed. 

[2] Although I have been unable to decipher the supersyllabogram E for olives, it has facilitated my translation of yet another Minoan Linear A word,  samuku, which appears in such huge numbers (245 + 100) on Minoan Linear A tablet HT 34, dealing specifically with grains (barley or wheat) that is almost certainly means the “harvest” of a total of 345 large units of grains, corresponding to something like our modern bushels.   

3 of my articles in Archaeology and Science ISSN 1452-7448 (2014, 2015, & 2016) + Vol. 12 (2016) Figure 1 & 2 Tables:

Figure 1

table-1-failures-at-decipherment

and

2 Tables (nos. To be assigned)

linear-horizontal-orientation

linearbtabletsorientation

as they will appear in the prestigious international hard-bound annual Archaeology and Science ISSN 1452-7448. Vol. 12 (2016). This annual generally runs to 250-300 pp. 

It is impossible to cross-correlate Minoan Linear A tablets from Mycenaean Linear B tablets by means of retrogressive extrapolation without explicitly taking into account the fact that almost all Minoan Linear A tablets are vertical in their orientation (just as with modern inventories), while the vast majority of Mycenaean Linear B tablets are horizontal in their orientation. For more on this critical factor in the reasonably accurate decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablet, see (Click on the banner):

orientation-of-linear-a-tablets

Articles published and to be published in Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448:

[1] My article, “An Archaeologist’s Translation of Pylos Tablet 641-1952 (Ventris)” has already been published in  Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448 Vol. 10 (2014). pp. 133-161 (Click banner to download it):

archaeology-and-science-vol-10-2014

[2] My article, “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B” is already slated for publication in the prestigious international annual Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448 Vol. 11 (2015), to be released in the spring of 2017. (Click the banner for the announcement):

archaeology-and-science-vol-11-2015

[3] My article,  “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the ‘Rosetta Stone’ for Minoan Linear B tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” is to be published in the prestigious international annual Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448 Vol. 12 (2016) (Click the banner for the announcement):

archaeology-and-science-vol-12-2016

This major announcement is shortly to appear on my academia.edu account.

richard-vallance-academia-edu


Decipherment of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 131 (Haghia Triada) qareto = Linear B onato = “lease field”:

Following hard on the heels of Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada), dealing with vessels and pottery, which I have been able to successfully decipher with high precision from top to bottom, comes this tablet HT 131, focused on rams on a lease field.  How do I know this? As I have already pointed out several times on this blog, by utilizing the procedure of cross-correlative regressive extrapolation from similar or almost identical Mycenaean Linear B tablets, it is possible to reconstruct with high or moderately high accuracy the contents of many Minoan Linear A tablets. As we has already learned, Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris) may reasonably be considered the “Rosetta stone” for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada). And so it has proven to be the case.

The same methodology, cross-correlative regressive extrapolation (or CCRE) from Mycenaean Linear B tablets closely corresponding to earlier Minoan Linear A t tablets can and does yield satisfying results. Take for instance Mycenaean Linear B tablet KN 1383 E j 924 from Knossos:

knossos-tablet-kn-1383-e-j-924-25-rams-onato-lease-field

On this tablet we find the supersyllabogram O, which symbolizes the Mycenaean Linear B word, onato, meaning “lease field”. Notice also that the number of rams on this lease field = 99 and the number of ewes = 19 on the first line, while on the second, the number of rams = 25, all of them on a lease field.

Now taking in turn Minoan Linear A tablet HT 131:

minoan-linear-tablet-ht-132-qareto-27-sheep-lease-field-or-plot-of-land

land-around-the-ancient-city-of-knossos

we find to our surprise and satisfaction that the number of sheep is 27, and that these sheep have something to do with the Minoan Linear A word, qareto. I put it to you that qareto very probably means precisely the same thing as onato does in Mycenaean Greek. Hence, these two tablets, the Minoan and the second line of the Mycenaean, are practically identical. Of course, anyone can object — and such a person would be right — that the closely matched number of sheep on these two tablets (25 on the Linear A and 27 on the Linear B) is mere happenstance. However, the fact that the only surviving Minoan Linear A tablet with the term qareto on it matches up so neatly with the Mycenaean Linear B tablet from Knossos above is pretty good circumstantial evidence that the two tablets are dealing with one and the same phenomenon.

So I have assigned a scalar value of  > 75 % to qareto on the Linear B tablet, signifying that the chances this term means “lease field” are very good. Not perfect, but a decent match with the Mycenaean Linear B tablet. This is one of the Minoan Linear A terms which I shall be highlighting in my upcoming article in Vol. 12 (2016), “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the ‘Rosetta Stone’ to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science ISSN 1452-7448. This will be the third straight article in a row I shall have published in this annual by late 2017 or early 2018.
 

UPDATE on the military Minoan Linear A tablet HT 94 (Haghia Triada) = attendants to the king/foot soldiers: 

ideogram-eqeta-linear-b-kapa-linear-a

This tablet, HT 94 (Haghia Triada) contains the key military Minoan Linear A term, kapa, which is almost certainly the approximate equivalent to Mycenaean Linear B eqeta = “follower”.

mycenaean-eqeta-or-follower-of-the-king

The term eqeta in Mycenaean Greek has a special connotation. It denotes an attendant to the king, wanaka, who is usually also the rawaketa = “leader of the hosts” i.e.  “Commander-in-Chief”, which in the case of the Mycenaean expedition against Troy (ca. 1300-1250 BCE) would have been Agamemnon.

so-called-mask-of-agamemnon-mycenae

It is notable that the ideogram, apparently for “man”, on the medallion is so large that it practically fills the entire surface. Note also the supersyllabogram KA which is surcharged top right. This medallion is not the Linear A tablet HT 94 (Haghia Triada), but its resemblance to the text of the latter is so striking it simply cannot be ignored. In addition, this ideogram is more elaborate than the standard one for “man” in Minoan Linear A, and bears an amazing resemblance to the fresco image of the eqeta above. For these two reasons alone, I have come to the firm conclusion that indeed kapa in Minoan Linear A is the close equivalent to eqeta in Mycenaean Linear B, with a scalar precision of 75 % or >.      

According to the renowned twentieth century Linear B expert and researcher, L.R. Palmer, the eqeta also appears to have had a religious function.

It is highly unlikely there was such a person as a “follower” in pre-Mycenaean, Minoan society at Knossos. So we must take a stab at an approximation to the term eqeta in Minoan Linear A, i.e. kapa, which would probably have referred to attendants to the King, much in the same way as the Praetorian Guards who protected the sacrosanct person of the Emperor in post AD ancient Rome. 

praetorian-guard




The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B” to be published in Archaeology and Science (Vol. 11, 2015) ISSN 1452-7448

abstract

archaeology-and-science-cover-vol-10








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