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Part C: an actual decipherment of the words for a few types of vessels in Minoan Linear A on tablet HT 31? Judge for yourselves.

Now that we have dispensed with the most common ideograms and supersyllabograms in Linear B in the pottery and vessels sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, we can at last move on to considering whether or not the ideograms on the two Minoan Linear A tablets we illustrated in the previous two posts are susceptible of decipherment, if at all.

Let us first turn our attention to Linear A tablet HT 31 from Haghia Triada. The first thing we notice about this tablet is that it contains ideograms for vessels along with the Minoan words in the Linear A syllabary, almost all of which are plainly surcharged on their respective ideograms. With this evidence in hand, I see no reason why we cannot or should not attempt a feasible translation of at least one, if not more, of the words found immediately to the left of their respective ideograms. Let us examine this tablet much more closely. Here is what we find: Click to ENLARGE:

Linear A HT 31 disposition of vessels
With this evidence in hand, we can now take a stab at cross-correlating the words associated with each of the ideograms on this tablet with identical or similar ideograms on Pylos Linear B tablet TA 641-1952 (Ventris) and several others besides: Click to ENLARGE

Linear A Tablet HT 31 PUKO tiripode etcTo our amazement and relief, we discover that the word puko  on Linear A tablet HT 31 appears to correspond exactly with the Linear B word tiripo  on Pylos Linear B tablet TA 641-1952! Is this mere coincidence or have we stumbled on something really big? The most astonishing thing about the parallel we can draw between puko  on Linear A tablet HT 31 and tiripo(de)  on Linear B tablet TA 641-1952 is that, if indeed puko  is the Minoan Linear A word for “tripod”, then the very first word ever deciphered on a Minoan Linear A tablet coincides to a T with the very first word ever deciphered on Pylos tablet TA 641-1952. This coincidence is so unexpected it boggles the mind... or does it? It surely goes almost without saying that tripods predominate on so many Mycenaean Linear B tablets from Pylos alone. There is therefore no reason to assume the contrary for tablets in Minoan Linear A. It is for this reason, among others, that I feel quite confident in my assertion that puko is indeed the word for “tripod” in Minoan Linear A. Unfortunately, as you are about to see for yourselves, it is the only Minoan word for a vessel which I can decipher with confidence either on tablet HT 31 or on the other Linear A tablet which we have given consideration to in the previous 2 posts. I can hazard a guess at the meanings of the other Linear A words for vessels on HT 31, but that is all it is   however crafty my decipherments may appear.

Now the decipherment for 3. karo*56 (karopai?), also appears to be self-evident. It apparently corresponds to the word for a two-handled kylix, qeto, on Pylos tablet TA 641-1952. At least it looks like it has two handles, but I cannot really be sure of that.  

The biggest problem confronting us in any attempt to decipher the other words for vessels appearing on tablet HT 31 is this: there are four (4) entirely different words, 2. qapa3 or qapai? + supu & 4. su*56ra or supraira? & pataqe , all of which appear to represent a cup without handles, equivalent to dipa anowe in Linear B, which in turn the Mycenaean predecessor of the Homeric depa. That is a more than just a bit of stickler in and of itself. However, it is conceivable that the Minoan language, unlike Mycenaean Greek, did differentiate among at least 4 types of cups, with or without handles. We shall never really know, but the possibility is still worth considering.

But there is another rather more vexing difficulty confronting us on Linear A tablet HT 31. Why do the words which apparently signify different types of vessels appear immediately to the left or surcharged on top of the ideograms which represent them, when we know that such is not the case in Mycenaean Linear B, at least on tablet TA 641-1952 from Pylos. On that tablet, the words identifying each type of vessel appear further to the left of the words qualifying them by size and type. It is of course quite possible that the Minoan scribes writing in Linear A followed a different, simpler practice by placing the words for various types of vessels immediately to the left and adjacent to, or surcharged right on top of the ideograms representing them. This practice is all the more tenable, in so far as the words for various sorts of pottery and vessels are never surcharged in this fashion in Mycenaean Linear B. But there are also instances of supersyllabograms, i.e. syllabograms incharged in their own ideograms in Mycenaean Linear B, a more simplified and streamlined approach to the identification of pottery and vessel types in that language, just as we have seen in the previous post. This scribal practice, which until now I assumed was unique to Mycenaean Linear B is at any rate neither more or less sensible than the Minoan practice we have just flagged. But there is even more to all of this than we can see in the example of Linear A tablet HT 31. It just so happens that the other Linear A tablet we have already referenced, Click to ENLARGE

Linear A Ay. Nikolaos Mus

also makes use of incharged supersyllabograms (if that is what they are), giving rise to the obvious question, did the Mycenaean scribes who resorted to the same stratagem on tablets in Linear B inherit this practice from their Minoan forbears? This certainly seems to be the case, given that no fewer than six (6) incharged supersyllabograms appear on the Linear A tablet illustrated above. We shall turn our attention to our findings for that tablet in the next post. They will prove to be even more revelatory than the words for pottery and vessels on Linear A HT 31, and will if anything lend even further credence to the proposition we have posited that it is indeed possible, and even feasible, to extract meanings for at least a few items of pottery and vessels found on Minoan Linear A tablets merely from observing their ideograms in conjunction with the words or surcharged/ incharged supersyllabograms they represent. If it holds any water, this tenet alone constitutes a real breakthrough in the decipherment of at least a few, albeit a very few words signifying vessels in Minoan Linear A. And we will have come to our definitions in spite of the fact that we, like all previous researchers in the field of linguistics struggling to decipher Linear A, havent the faintest idea what the Minoan language is, let alone to which family of ancient languages it may belong, if any.

Richard

                     

Part B: a breakthrough in the decipherment of Minoan Linear A? An introduction to supersyllabograms in the pottery and vessels sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy and the implications of their application to Linear A tablets for the earlier Minoan economy. 

Introduction:

Any attempt at deciphering Minoan Linear A is fraught with enormous difficulties which seem all but insurmountable. Obstructions such as the small   number of extant tablets, the most vocabulary which of necessity follows, and the impossibility of cross-correlation with any other ancient language make it all but futile practically to make any headway its decipherment, however partial or sporadic. Yet there is another approach which a researcher in South Africa has adopted: Click to visit SITE

african decipherment
Taking G.J.K. Campbell-Dunn’s method one step further, I propose that we attempt to decipher bits and pieces of Minoan Linear A by relying not only on its ideograms  exclusively,  but on syllabograms  adjacent to or affixed to them forming entire words, but above all where single syllabograms are incharged  in their ideograms, which in fact is the case with at least one extant tablet in Minoan Linear A sporting no fewer than 
5  of them, as we have already noted in the previous post. 

This approach dispenses entirely with the irksome necessity of making any effort to divine what class of languages Minoan linear A belongs to, if any. Almost all researchers have until now focused on asking just this question. Is Minoan linear A Indo-European? Does it belong to the Finnic language family, which falls completely outside the Indo-European orbit? Is it in any way related to Luvian, an ancient language of the Anatolian branch of Indo-European languages, as Sir Arthur Evans surmised it might be? This is what he has to say in Scripta Minoa, with reference to both Minoan Linear A and Linear B:

It would seem, therefore, unlikely that the language of the Cretan scripts was any kind of Greek, and probable that it was related to the early language or languages of  Western Anatolia  –  associated, that is, with the archaeological 'cultures’ of Alaja Hüyük I ( 'proto-hattic’) and  of Hissarlik II and Yortan  ( 'Luvian’)... ” , and a little further, “Though many of the sign-groups are compounded from distinct elements, usually of two syllables each, there is little trace of an organized system of grammatical suffixes, as in Greek. At most, a few signs are notably frequent as terminals... (italics mine)...

Some have surmised that the Minoan language may conceivably be an ancient “rogue” language, but I for one find that assumption a little hard to swallow. 
 
Of course, in 1952-1953 Michael Ventris finally proved Evans wrong about Linear B. But in retrospect, who can blame Evans for that, in view of the understandable utter lack of evidence to the contrary in his day and age. Anyway, there were (and still are) no extant tablets in either Minoan Linear A or Mycenaean Linear B with parallel text in another known ancient language, as had conveniently been the case with the Rosetta Stone, to come to the rescue towards convincing decipherment of the latter script, if not the former. In spite of this untoward situation, the latter, Linear B, was effectively deciphered by the genius Michael Ventris (1922-1956) in July 1952. 

Moving on then, any word which either precedes immediately or is nearly adjacent to any particular ideogram  in Minoan Linear A may in fact be the actual word corresponding to that ideogram, just as Michael Ventris firmly demonstrated it is in his translation of Pylos tablet 641-1952 (Ventris) in Mycenaean Linear B. So it stands to reason that the translation for a similarly situated word in Minoan Linear A which is (nearly) adjacent to its ideogram is, in fact, the very word the closely situated ideogram pictorially represents. If this notion seems far-fetched, let us stop for a moment to consider whether or not there is any relationship between such a phenomenon, should it exist, in Minoan Linear A and the actual one corresponding to it in Mycenaean Linear B. It just so happens that not only does a strikingly similar construct exist in Linear B, but that it is found on not scores, but hundreds of extant Linear B tablets (in the range of 725 all told from Knossos and Pylos, of which 700 are from Knossos alone).

Now what I am proposing is a cross-correlation  between the unknown meanings of at least a few Minoan words paired with the ideograms with which they are associated and the indisputably known values (meanings) of several Mycenaean words paired with strikingly similar if not identical ideograms in Linear B. In other words, we may very well have at hand an independent variable  in a deciphered ancient language against which we can compare at least a very few Minoan words, and that language is Mycenaean Linear B. Let us say that the latter acts as a sort of Rosetta Stone, in which deciphered words adjacent to ideograms act as a litmus test for (apparently) equivalent lexemes in Minoan Linear A.

It just so happens that there are two Minoan Linear A tablets which ideally serve our purpose. These are tablet HT 31 from Haghia Triada, as illustrated here: Click to ENLARGE

Linear A Tablet HT 31
and the Linear A tablet we introduced in the previous post: Click to ENLARGE

Linear A Ay. Nikolaos Mus
which bears an uncanny resemblance to Pylos tablet TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the very first tablet of any length translated successfully by Michael Ventris in 1952-1953, here: Click to ENLARGE

Ventris translation linear-b-tablet-pylos-641-1952 LBK&M
itself re-deciphered in a more refined translation by Mrs. Rita Roberts, a retired archaeologist who resides not far from Heraklion and Knossos, Crete, as we see illustrated here: Click to ENLARGE

Rita Roberts Pylos TA Py 641-1952 Roberts burnt-from-legs-up LBK&M

Her much more recent translation (2015) is so accurate from a strictly archaeological  perspective that it serves an an ideal benchmark for the partial decipherment of at least a few of the words and the so-called incharged supersyllabograms representative of 5  of them on the Linear A tablet from the Ay Nikolaus Museum, Greece.

Yet before we can tackle a fragmentary decipherment of  these vessel types in Linear A, we first need to address (a) the pairing of translated words for 5  types of vessels on Pylos tablet TA 641-1952 (Ventris) as specifically and accurately identified by Rita Roberts, and (b) the even more significant phenomenon of what I refer to as supersyllabograms paired with ideograms on this and other extant tablets in the pottery and vessels sector of the Mycenaean economy, if we are to make any headway at all. We must take particular note of the extremely precise translations she makes of all of the types of vessels found on Pylos TA 641-1952. These are, respectively, tripod   (the most significant of them all, as we shall soon enough discover when we come to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31, 2 and 3 handled kylixes ,  the 24 and 32 handled pithoi   for the storage of olive oil or wine, and dipae (anowe) ,  small drinking cups, with (or without) handles. We need to to bear all of these vessel types firmly in mind, as they are going to make a cameo appearance in our attempt at the decipherment of at least a few types of vessels in Minoan Linear A infra  (the next post). 

 The implications of supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B for a feasible translation of at least a few words for vessels in Minoan Linear A:

To recap a topic which I have addressed over and over on our blog, Linear B, Knossos and Mycenae, I advance the following definition of the phenomenon known as the supersyllabogram in Mycenaean Linear B. By default and without exception, supersyllabograms are the first syllabogram, in other words, the first syllable of one Mycenaean Linear B word or phrase in particular and no other, which is always solely dependent on the specific context of the economic sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy in which it appears. Change the context of the economic sector, for instance from the agricultural to the military or the vessels sector, and you automatically change the significance of the supersyllabogram, with very few exceptions, the most notable being the syllabogram ne , invariably meaning newo   (masc.), newa   (fem.) or “new” in all sectors. This clear-cut definition makes so much sense there is little or no reason to contest it.

Moreover, all such single syllabograms, a.k.a. supersyllabograms, without exception, appear either (a) adjacent to or (b) inside the ideogram they qualify, and (c) they are repeated over and over, like clockwork, on hundreds of tablets in almost every major sector of the Minoan/Mycenaean economy, by which I mean, the agricultural and its sub-sectors (livestock of all sorts and primary crops), the military, the household, the vessels and pottery and the religious sectors.

Supersyllabograms appearing adjacent to their ideograms are invariably associative  , while those bound inside their ideograms are invariably attributive.  Associative supersyllabograms, which are found in droves in the agricultural sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, are either surcharged ,  adjacent to the top right or  occasionally to the top left, or supercharged  ,  situated right on top of the ideogram they qualify. Unfortunately, the scope of our present investigation does not leave us any room to focus on the equally significant phenomenon of associative supersyllabograms which are found on some 700  of 3,500  or fully 20 %  of extant tablets from Knossos alone! This we must leave until later on, since they too call for in-depth analysis of them in all sectors of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, but most notably in the agricultural sub-sector livestock, especially where sheep (rams & ewes) are concerned, to which they apply on 90 %  of all tablets in that sector.

Attributive supersyllabograms are invariably incharged , bound inside the ideogram they qualify.  It is these we are concerned with here, as they are eminently characteristic of the pottery and vessels sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, the very sector with which we are dealing, as we address their critical rôle in Mycenaean Linear B and Minoan Linear A, in which they apparently also appear, taking the tablet we addressed in the last post as our example.

Supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B and the profound implications they may very well have on at least a minimal decipherment of a few (super) syllabograms in Linear A in the pottery and vessels sector in the Minoan economy: 

In 2014, extrapolating my findings to the vessels sector alone of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, I was quick to isolate and classify the supersyllabograms-cum-ideograms in the vessels sector alone of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy. There are 10 all told, and they are: Click to ENLARGE

10 Supersyllabograms in the Vessels Sector of Mycenaean Linear B

Here, two supersyllabograms in particular call for clarification.

The fist of these is ka , to which I have assigned four (4) possible variants. The most obvious of these is the first, kako or kakeyapi = copper. This SSYL (supersyllabogram) ka  might also possibly refer to kapo = fruit, hence, to a fruit jar, or to a stirrup jar, sometimes referred to as kararewe in Linear B or even to kati, a kind of (water) vessel or flask. Since the last under consideration here obviously overlaps with the incharged SSYL u,  which clearly designates a water jug, flask or flagon, I have no choice but to dispense with that meaning. While the vessel could be of copper, it is just as likely that the scribes were referring to the stirrup jar.  Of the latter two explanations, the last strikes me as the most convincing.

Next we have the SSYL po , which could refer to any of the following: posedao(ne) -or- (ni) = Posedaon i.e. Poseidon (god’s name) or to posidaewe, related to a cult apparently associated with Poseidon, potiniyaweya (adjectival/attributive), referring to the priestess or follower of the Minoan-Mycenaean/Homeric goddess, Potnia, to porenaya, attendants in sacrificial ceremonies, to porupode, an octopus, generally on a vase or amphora, to ponike, decorated with a griffin or ponikeya, crimson, and finally, to popureya, purple. Since we are confronted yet again with the conundrum, what did the scribes themselves intend the SSYL po   to signify, I felt obliged to account for all of these variants. Yet in light of the research literature on religious and sacrificial rites in the Minoan and Mycenaean societies, it strikes me that the most tenable translation or the SSYL po   is the adjectival attribute potiniyaweya, referring to a priestess or follower of the Minoan-Mycenaean/Homeric goddess, Potnia, since only only was their religion eminently matriarchal, but also this goddess in particular is frequently mentioned on extant tablets.

Now because we were not there when the scribes so often resorted to employing these supersyllabograms, we cannot ever really know what the SSYL po   or others like it resistant to interpretation meant to them. They certainly knew, and as a guild, they invariably assigned one meaning and one only to each supersyllabogram they deployed on the Linear B tablets. The supersyllabograms are therefore all standardized and all formulaic .  No variations were countenanced. Not that they ever cared one jot whether or not any one would understand their meaning in the future, since after all they were accountants, and accounts are by definition ephemeral. The extant inventory tablets from Knossos, Pylos and elsewhere only survive due to massive conflagration or other preservative factors at each archaeological site. But we still owe it to ourselves to make every effort to reconstitute a few variants on putative meanings assigned to each supersyllabogram which remains ambiguous, otherwise we learn nothing new of further value in the field of archaeological linguistics in either Mycenaean Linear B or Minoan Linear A.

Supersyllabograms (SSYLS) in Mycenaean Linear B are so information rich that they call for further clarification.

1. Previous researchers, most of them linguists specializing in Mycenaean Linear B, have, without exception, referred to supersyllabograms as “adjuncts” to the ideograms they qualify. But many of these are in fact far more than merely that. Close examination of a small cross-section of extant Linear B tablets concerned with pottery and vessels from Knossos, as illustrated  in the chart above, clearly demonstrates that this is the case. Here are just a few tablets in the pottery and vessels sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy illustrative of what I mean: Click to ENLARGE each illustration

supersyllabogam Libation DI in Linear B
supersyllabogram water flask U udor in Linear B

2. My translations of even these few tablets alone reveals this astonishing finding: supersyllabograms replace not only single words but often entire phrases in Mycenaean Linear B. Effectively, they telescope what would have otherwise been discursive and space-wasting text on what are ostensibly small tablets in Linear B (ranging from 15 cm. wide to a maximum of 60 cm. by 60 cm deep), into a single discrete element, namely, themselves.

3. This reveals another prime characteristic of Linear B tablets deploying supersyllabograms as replacements or stand-in markers, i.e. subject headings, for Mycenaean words or phrases. Supersyllabograms in the pottery and vessels sector alone (as in every other sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy) boil down to being shorthand . This discovery sets back the time frame for the first known use of shorthand some 3,300 years from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when it was previously assumed shorthand originated. In this respect alone Mycenaean Linear B attains a high degree of versatility and sophistication virtually unknown to any other contemporaneous script, hieroglyphic or syllabogrammatic, inclusive of Linear C, which abandoned ideograms altogether as the very last step in the evolution from the pre-alphabetic syllabaries (Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arado-Cypriot Linear C) into the earliest known forms of the ancient Greek alphabet.

4. Above all other considerations, the majority of supersyllabograms in Linear B in the pottery and vessels sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy are attributive, dependent on the ideograms they qualify. Attributive dependent supersyllabograms are never adjacent to the ideogram they qualify, but are always bound inside it. Without exception, they describe an actual attribute of the ideogram.

For instance, as we can see from the table of the 10  supersyllabograms in the pottery and vessels sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, the syllabogram a  inside the ideogram for a vessel with 2 handles is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of the Mycenaean word apiporewe, clearly identifying the vessel as an amphora. But why even bother tagging vessel as an amphora, when it is obvious that the ideogram in question looks so remarkably like an amphora in the first place? Recall that the Mycenaean scribes never used any linguistic device without a reason. In this case, the reason, I believe, is that the scribe deliberately inserts the syllabogram  a  inside the ideogram for what is probably an amphora anyway to call our attention to the fact that this vessel in particular is an extremely valuable, more than likely ornate specialty amphora intended for the Minoan or Mycenaean nobility in any one of the major palace complexes. I can see no other reason why any Mycenaean scribe would resort to such a tactic other than to identify it as a precious commodity.

Likewise, the simplified, streamlined syllabogram sa  (stripped of its small arms at 90 degrees to its Y arm) incharged   in the ideogram for a vessel is almost certainly the supersyllabogram for an unknown pre-Greek, probable Minoan word beginning with the syllabogram sa   (a distinct clue in and of itself) for raw flax, the agricultural crop the Mycenaeans Greeks called rino = flax (as an unrefined agricultural crop) or the refined product, linen cloth. Both of these supersyllabograms are incharged,  in other words, attributive,  as can clearly be deduced from their significance noted here. Although we can readily cite further examples from the table illustrative of the 10 supersyllabograms in the pottery and vessels sector of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy, I must leave that analysis for another time and place. However, it is worthwhile noting that I have discovered, isolated and classified some twenty-five (25) attributive supersyllabograms alone (exclusive of associative) in all sectors of the Minoan-Mycenaean economy to date. That is a very great deal from a syllabary consisting of 61  syllabograms all told.

The phenomenon of ambiguity in the meaning of certain syllabograms incharged or surcharged to their ideograms in Mycenaean Linear B is a really nasty stickler in the interpretation of incharged supersyllabograms (if that is what they actually are) on extant tablets in Linear A in the Minoan language, which has stubbornly resisted all attempts at decipherment to date. Any attempt to decipher incharged supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A amounts to a daring plunge into an unknown sea. But I for one love to dive, and I swim well enough to take the plunge.   

Now it just so happens that everything we have just noted about supersyllabograms in the pottery and vessels sector in Mycenaean Linear B may indeed apply just as well to the same sector in the earlier Minoan economy. This we shall demonstrate in the next post.

Richard
 

Are there “adjuncts” a.k.a. Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A? Apparently so... at least in the pottery and vessels sector of the Minoan economy. But what do they mean?

Part A: Preamble

I recently searched Google for as many Minoan Linear A tablets as I could find which might conceivably support the phenomenon I refer to as supersyllabograms, a.k.a as “adjuncts” in the research literature on Mycenaean Linear B, and to my utter surprise and astonishment I discovered one rather long intact Linear A tablet fitting the bill. There are on it what appear to be several “incharged adjuncts”, which is a contradiction in terms when you stop to think about it, since an adjunct, an element adjacent to an ideogram in either Mycenaean Linear B or (possibly) Minoan Linear A cannot be bound inside said ideogram, because if it were so, it would no longer be an adjunct, i.e. adjacent. Among other reasons, this is why I have chosen to refer to so-called “adjuncts” in Linear B as supersyllabograms. I have defined this term over and over on our blog, and if you wish to learn what a supersyllabogram is, I urge you to go to the section, Supersyllabograms, flagged here at the top of our blog. Just click on the word to jump to that section: Click to ENLARGE


LBKM menu
Now if we turn our attention to supersyllabograms in the pottery and vessels sector alone in Mycenaean Linear B, here is what we find: Click to ENLARGE
10 Supersyllabograms in the Vessels Sector of Mycenaean Linear B
Without our delving nto details re. the specific meaning of each and every one of these 10 supersyllabograms out of a total of 35 which I have discovered to date in all sectors of the  Minoan-Mycenaean economy, we can still see that each one clearly delimits the actual type of vessel with which the incharged supersyllabogram is concerned. For instance, the syllabogram di incharged in the ideogram for a two-handled kylix indicates that this is a libation vessel either to Poseidon or Potnia, two major Minoan/Mycenaean gods, whole so incharged in its vessel would in all probability indicates that this is a funerary urn.

Now when turn to we examine the Minoan Linear A you see illustrated here: Click to ENLARGE: 

Linear A Ay. Nikolaos Mus
from the site: Study Questions: Biers, Chapter 1: "Archaeology in Greece" and Biers, Chapter 2: "The Minoans" , which you can visit here:

site with tablet


we at once see that it too contains a total of 6 syllabograms, all of which are incharged in the ideograms for pottery or vessels which they represent. By “incharged” I mean that the supersyllabogram is bound inside the ideogram with which it is associated. In Mycenaean Linear B at least, all incharged supersyllabograms without exception are attributive, that is to say, they describe an actual (adjectival) attribute of the ideogram within which they are found.

The question is, what do they mean? In other words, (a) how does each of these incharged syllabograms delimit the vessel they are attributes of to one and one only specific type of vessel? This leads us directly to the next obvious question, (b) what can each of these incharged supersyllabograms mean? Can we glean from each of them the actual meaning, i.e. the type of vessel with which they are concerned? — because if there is even a chance that we can, then we shall have discovered for the first time ever the actual meanings of  a possible maximum of 6 Minoan words, and that would constitute a breakthrough, however minimal, in the decipherment of the Minoan language, which has to date resisted all attempts whatsoever at decipherment.

Two of the characters, 2 and 5 on this tablet may not be Linear A syllabograms. I am unable to identify them as such. 1 appears to be the syllabogram su, but I cannot be sure. 3 is definitely the syllabogram for the vowel u, while 4 appears to be that for po. 6 is definitely the syllabogram for  the vowel a. Even though this syllabogram clearly signifies an amphora in Mycenaean Linear B, no such conclusion can be safely drawn for Minoan Linear A, since the language is not Greek — unless the word for amphora is pre-Greek, which is highly unlikely. But the question remains, what kinds of vessels do the Minoan syllabograms su & po (which are tentative on this tablet), and u and a, which are certain, signify?  With reference to the so-called certainty of the syllabograms a in u in Minoan Linear A, we of course have to rely on the premise that all or at least the vast majority of syllabograms in Minoan Linear A are either  identical or nearly identical to their Mycenaean Linear B counterparts. But unfortunately even that is not so certain, although most linguists and researchers into Minoan Linear A believe this to be the case. For the sake of uniformity and consistence with the prevailing views on the actual phonemic value of each Minoan Linear A syllabogram, let us assume this is the case. If this scenario is indeed tenable, I propose in the next 3 posts to unravel the putative meanings of a maximum of 4 types of vessels as found on the Minoan Linear A tablet illustrated above, down to a minimum of one, the word for “tripod” in Linear A, perhaps the only one for which the definition would appear to be sound.

Richard


More splendid photos of the magnificent chandeliers in the Art Nouveau restaurant in Prague's central square + 2 photos of Old Town buildings!.


Photos of our vacation in Europe: Prague – the loveliest restaurant in Europe & probably the entire world! B.


Photos of our vacation in Europe: Prague – the loveliest city in Europe! A.


Double-Edged Sword – Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B: the sea, the wind & the navy… Who is the victor?.


Great Photos to Welcome us back home to Canada from our grand tour of central Europe!.


7 more photos from Vienna (2 in both colour & B&W), from our vocation in Europe, June 2015: Click on each photo to ENLARGE:.


Great Photos to Welcome us back home to Canada from our grand tour of central Europe!.


More splendid photos of the magnificent chandeliers in the Art Nouveau restaurant in Prague's central square + 2 photos of Old Town buildings!

Click on each photo to ENLARGE:

Prague Kavarna Obecni Dum 5 chandeliers

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Prague Kavarna Obecni Dum 1 chandelier 2 reflections

Prague Kavarna Obecni Dum chandelier reflections & window panes

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Prague Hotel Barcelo Old Town

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That's all folks, for Prague, but plenty more to come for Warsaw and Gdansk, Poland.

Richard


Photos of our vacation in Europe: Prague – the loveliest restaurant in Europe & probably the entire world! B

Breath taking!

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Prague Kavarna Obecni Dum general view from entrance

Prague Kavarna Obecni Dum marble Corinthian columns


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Even more to come!

Prague Kavarna Obecni Dum chandelier reflections and window

Prague Kavarna Obecni Dum chandelier reflections & window panes

Richard



Photos of our vacation in Europe: Prague – the loveliest city in Europe! A

These photos speak for themselves. Prague was Mozart's favourite city. No Wonder!

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Wait until you see the photos of Prague in the next two posts!

Richard



Double-Edged Sword - Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B: the sea, the wind & the navy... Who is the victor?

While this haiku is possible in Mycenaean Greek, it is impossible in any later ancient Greek dialect. This happens to be the case because in the Linear B syllabary all syllables must perforce end with a vowel, never a consonant. Hence, it is impossible to distinguish the subject from the object in the second declension in o in Mycenaean Greek composed in Linear B. But that is just what makes this haiku so intriguing. See the notes following the first translation into archaic Greek for my explanations. Click to ENLARGE:

Haiku in Mycenaean Linear B the sea the wind the victor
  

Great Photos to Welcome us back home to Canada from our grand tour of central Europe!.


7 more photos from Vienna (2 in both colour & B&W), from our vocation in Europe, June 2015: Click on each photo to ENLARGE: 

caryatids

caryatidsb&w

coat of arms

Doric

Doric B&W

Museum district a

triumphandjustice

Schoenbrunn Palace Eagles on Guard

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart star



Great Photos to Welcome us back home to Canada from our grand tour of central Europe!

After spending almost a whole month in Europe (25 days), starting first with Budapest, Hungary for 3 days, then continuing on to Vienna, Austria for 5 days, thence to Prague, the Czech Republic for a week, and finally on to Warsaw, Poland for our last 9 days, we are finally back home here in Canada, though as you can all well imagine, not without mixed emotions.  It goes without saying that this was such an exciting vacation, visiting so many astonishingly beautiful locales, we must both miss Europe terribly, all  the more so considering that we added side trips to 3 more magnificent cities, Salzburg and Krakow for Louis-Dominique and Gdansk for myself. What a totally unanticipated and unimaginably rewarding dream come true! Words simply cannot express our profound joy at visiting so many famous European cities, all of which date from the cradle of European, hence, Western, civilization.

While even photos cannot adequately express the profound spiritual impact these amazing venues had on us, they can at least offer you all a glimmer of the fantastic experiences that await you should you ever decide to do a grand tour of central & Eastern Europe yourself. Beginning with this post, I shall be posting 4 of my finest photos for each of the 6 cities we visited, from the approx. 6,000 (!) I took during our voyage. You are going to love them!

So let us start with Budapest, Hungary: Click each photo to ENLARGE it:

1. Budapest Parliament Florentine cupola:
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2. Budapest Parliament by night:
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3. Saint Matthias church with location and detail of weather vane:
StMatthias
4. Budapest Museum frieze:
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5. Budapest cathedral frieze: Ego sum via veritas et vita = I am the way, the truth and the life.
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6. Danube River with Budapest Chain Bridge from our night cruise boat:
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Richard 


Vacation in Europe: magnificent photos of Budapest!.


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Vacation in Europe: magnificent photos of Vienna's Museum District & a surprise for Rita!

Click to ENLARGE each photo:



Vienna Museumsb

Vienna Museumsa

Apicius
If you ask me, the chances of my seeing this signs were about a trillion to one, but I saw it! Rita will tell you why!



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