The top of Minoan Linear A Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) restored on academia.edu Click on the link below to read this key contribution to research into Minoan Linear A tablets: Minoan Linear A tablets appear to be classed in two primary areas of interest (a) agriculture, and more specifically, crops and grains and (b) religious and sacerdotal. It is to the former that we turn our attention in this study. Focusing on certain Linear A tablets which deal primarily or almost exclusively with grains, we find that these three tablets yield the most promising results, Haghia Triada tablets HT 86 & 95 and Zakros tablet ZA 20. While HT 86 and HT 95 are intact, ZA 20 is not. Other Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada also contribute to our findings. Is it possible to envision an intact version of the original ZA 20 tablet from Zakros? We believe so, and with that firmly in mind we have attempted the first ever restoration of the top of ZA 20, resulting in what amounts to a plausible intact version, however hypothetical, of the original. So without further ado, we present the full restoration of our version of Linear A tablet ZA 20.
severely damaged Linear A fragment from Gournia: To the best of my ability, I have attempted to read the syllabograms and ideograms on the severely damaged Linear A fragment from Gournia, but it is so badly damaged that it is hard to tell if I have interpreted all the signs well enough. At any rate, the interpretations I have attempted hang together.
Restoration of the top of Minoan Linear Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) REVISED: Since the last post on my original restoration of the top of Minoan Linear Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros), I have reconsidered the hypothetical text, and I have come up with this more plausible restoration: The running decipherment reads as follows: 1. a field 2. of 20 bales of einkorn wheat 3. and 20 bales of emmer wheat 4. and 65 bales of barley 5. all measured by bales 6. 4 bales of MI ?? ZA (unknown) + 1 bale with wheat 7. and 12 bales of wheat with 2 spin-offs of chaff from the wheat 8. totals for all the above = 130 This restoration is the basis of an article on it soon to be published on academia.edu. I shall keep you posted.
Richard Janke’s conjectural restoration of the missing top of Linear A tablet ZA 20: Since the top of Linear A tablet ZA 20 is missing, I boldly took it upon myself to restore the top of this tablet. My restoration is of course conjectural, but I am quite sure it is something like what the original must have looked like, because line 6 mentions sitetu and line 7 situ. These are variants on the same Linear A word, situ, which just so happens to look a great deal like the Linear B word sito, which means “wheat”. SO it is natural to suppose that in fact situ and sitetu also mean “wheat” in Linear A. Here is the decipherment of the entire Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakrs), including the restored lines 1.-7. 1. kireta2 11 = 11 units (probably bales) of barley 2. dideru 42 = 42 bales of einkorn wheat 3. dideru 30 qerie 22 = 30 bales of einkorn wheat (2) and 22 bales of another type of grain (3) 4. qerie 6 = 6 bales of grain type (3) 5. ro? + direza- = (dide)ro [left truncated] = einkorn wheat = didero + direza = a unit of measurement 6. se + mi? +ru? 4 sitetu 1 = “se” is the last syllabogram, i.e. syllable of the word direza+se, which implies the word is inflected. 7. situ 6 te*123 12 rumitase 2 = 6 bales of wheat + 12 bales or units of te*123 (unknown) 2 units of chaff 8. kura 120 = kura = TOTAL of all items listed in lines 1.-7. No one has ever attempted to decipher even the extant bottom portion of Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) before, let alone to restore the missing lines in the missing top portion of this tablet.
another Linear B tablet from Knossos illustrating the syllabogram JU, KN 21 J i 14: This tablet from Knossos deals with barley stalks in conjunction with the syllabogram JU, which clearly is also a crop, but which kind we do not know. Wine is also mentioned on this tablet. So we may very well be dealing with barley wine, which of course is what the Mycenaeans and ancient Greeks called beer. So now we have a hint as to what JU might mean, i.e. hops or a draught, but my bet is on the former.
syllabogram JU on Linear B tablets: KN 8a J i 01 & KN 20 Ji 22 (recto verso): Here we have the first 2 examples of Linear B tablets with the syllabogram JU, first KN 8a J i 01: and secondly, KN 20 Ji 22 (recto verso): It is apparent fro these 2 tablets that it is probably impossible to decipher the syllabogram JU, at leasst for the time being. But however daunting the task to decipher it, we shall persist to the bitter end.
Academia.edu THESIS The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire by Rita Roberts: Click on this logo to download her thesis: We are proud to announce that Rita Roberts has fulfilled the requirements of her second year of university, and has passed with a mark of 85 %. We have awarded her 90 % for thesis, The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire, which is a finely researched document I highly recommend to any and all. It deals in great detail with every conceivable aspect of Minoan and Mycenaean agricultural trade via their trade routes in the Mycenaean Empire, ca. 1600-1450 BCE. We congratulate Rita on her splendid achievement, and we look forward to her fuflling the exacting requirements of her third and final year of university which commences on July 1 2018, Canada Day. Once she has completed her third year, she will have earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Minoan and Mycenaean studies.
Linear B tablet HT 93 (Haghia Triada). What happens when there are not enough Mycenaean-derived words to decipher a Linear A tablet:
While it is a relatively straightforward matter to decipher Linear A tablets which contain a substantial portion of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary, the situation rapidly deteriorates the fewer Myenaean-derived words there are on the tablet or inscription. In fact, there is a point of no return in all too many cases. This is not quite the situation we are faced with when confronted with Linear A tablet HT 88 (Haghia Triada). But we are getting close to the precipice. There appear to be only 4 Mycenaean-derived words on this tablet, SERE = a corn silo, ASE = surfeit, OTI = with handles and KIRO, which seems to be a scribal error, since this word appears on the VERSO of the tablet with the large number 165 + fraction following it. So I suspect the scribe meant to inscribe KURO. As for the later archaic or classical Greek words to which these four words correspond, see the actual figure of the tablet above.
As for the remainder of the tablet, most of the vocabulary simply eludes us, with the exception of one word, DARIDA (HT 10, HT 85, HT 93 and HT 122), an old Minoan (OM) word, appearing in the Minoan substrate language, which definitely refers to some kind of vase. And if our interpretation of OTI is correct, then the vase is two-handled. The decipherment of OTI as two-handled is buttressed by the presence of the ideogram for a vase with two handles nearly adjacent to it. As for the rest of the tablet, with the exception of SARA2, which is ancient Semitic for barley or a similar grain crop, your guess is as good as mine. However, I suspect that QAQARU is another type of (large) vase, which in this case is used to store SARA2.
Linear A tablet HT 18 (Haghia Triada) is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets with a Mycenaean-derived superstrate:
Linear A tablet HT 18 (Haghia Triada) is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets with a Mycenaean-derived superstrate, because by means of supersyllabograms only, ie. QE + the ideogram for “wheat/barley῎, KI + the ideogram for “barley῎ and NI + the ideogram for “figs῎ ― and take special note of this! ― with NI incharged in a square, it conveys in the most condensed manner possible every possible interpretation of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary appearing on the tablet. There can be little or no doubt but that KI is the supersyllabogram for KIRETANA/KIRETA2 = “barley῎ kriqani/aj and that NI, and this is the clever little trick the scribe employs, represents fig trees in a field, since the supersyllabogram NI (for figs) is enclosed in a square, representing a field, in other words not just figs, but fig trees, are in a field.
Linear A words and ideograms for cereals + general Linear A ideograms:
The chart above lists almost all of the Linear A words and ideograms for cereals + general Linear A ideograms. The Linear A Semitic words and ideograms for cereals are identical to those found on Linear A tablets HT 86 and HT 95 (Haghia Triada). Simply refer to the previous posts on these two highly significant Linear A tablets to confirm these interpretations. Also found in this chart are general Linear A ideograms, the majority of which are identical to their Linear B counterparts, which should come as no surprise to anyone, considering that the Linear B syllabary is merely a refinement of the Linear A syllabary.
All-new complete decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 86 (Haghia Triada):
In the previous post, we witnessed the almost complete decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 95 (Haghia Triada). Now we are presented with a full decipherment down to the last word of HT 86 (Haghia Triada), which is practically a mirror-image of HT 95. This is the first time ever I have succeeded in deciphering two almost identical Linear A tablets inscribed entirely in Old Minoan (OM), the original Minoan substrate language. This constitutes a major advancement in the decipherment of Linear A, all the more so, since DAME & SARU appear on other Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada. So we are making at least some progress in the decipherment of the original Minoan substrate language, Old Minoan (OM).
Here is the decipherment of HT 86:
1. AKARU (in a) field, KUNI…
2. SU = emmer wheat + ideogram for “wheat” + fractions 20 +SARU = barley (sha’ir, Arabic) 20
3. DIDERU = emmer wheat QARA2WA = roasted wheat kernels 10
4. ADU = unit of dry measurement something like bushels + DAME = chickpea condiment + + ideogram for “wheat” fraction 20
5. MINUTE = finely sifted grain as in Egyptian hieroglyhics
1. AKARU (in a) field, KU…
2. NISU = emmer wheat + ideogram for “grain” 20 + SARU = barley (as above)
3. DIDE… (truncated) = DIDERU = emmer wheat, probably 10 or 20.
Linear A tablet HT 6 (Haghia Triada), ripe figs, pistachio-nuts, pomegranates & roses:
15 units (something like litres) liquid of ripe figs from fig trees, 24 pistachio-nuts, 10 barley cakes (apparently seasoned with pistachio-nuts), 2 roses, and 4 more units (something like kilograms) of ripe fruit + 22 DAQERA? (some kind of fruit), 22 3/4 units (something like litres or kilograms) falling to earth + 15 1/2 figs
3 growing (grown) ripe (i.e. the figs) with 1 unit (something like a flagon) of drops of wine in 3 units (something like kilograms or kilolitres) of honey, and 66 units (something like kilograms) of DADUMA (some kind of fruit, possibly or even probably grapes) + 3 1/4 units of REKI? + 35 SAMA? + 17 1/2 PA3NINA?
So as we can see, most of the vocabulary on this tablet appears to be Mycenaean-derived. The tablet appears to deal with a wonderful recipe for dessert.
Translation of Linear A tablet (HT 8) for Ancient Foods and anyone who likes beer, dealing with “barley wine” = beer:
There is little doubt but that this tablet deals with the production of barley wine, which is the Mycenaean + Classical Greek word for wine. Here is the running partial translation, with enough text in the Mycenaean-derived superstrate to make it quite clear that this tablet deals with the production of beer:
RECTO: JEDI (OM) = a person? (involved in the production of) KI = 1 unit (something like a pithos or very large vase) of barley wine, the PA3KARATI (OM) sowing? (of the barley for this barley wine) + TE = tereza (OM) = liquid unit (of this barley wine) + 301 (unknown), 2 units + QA301* (unknown) + I (unknown) + production? of sweet fermented liquor, i.e. beer+ harvesting? Of barley
(serving) a large bowl (Semitic) + KA? And 1 large jar (Anatolian), 2 and 5 units (a large liquid amount), 2 of the first and 5 of the second + PA2? (unknown, possibly millet or spelt) + 1 unit of *301 (unknown) + ZARIRE? (OM, unknown) + harvesting share? of the ripe crop or fruit (i.e. barley for sweet fermented liquor) + 1 PAJARE? (OM) = indentured land? + *86 & *188 (both unknown), 1/2
While all of the Old Minoan words (OM) words on this tablet are conjectural, the New Minoan words (NM), such as barley and sweet fermented liquor and the Semitic and Anatolian words, a large bowl and a large jar, perhaps provide some clues as to the meaning of the latter. JEDI (OM) = person? is highly conjectural. The numeric syllabograms *301, *86 & *188, of which the phonetic value is unknown, cannot possibly be deciphered.
Mycenaean Linear B units of dry measurement:
This chart speaks for itself. Notice that at least 4 of these dry units of measurement in Linear A have counterparts in Linear A.
Rita Roberts’ translation of Knossos tablet KN J 1 f 01, her last tablet for her second year of university:
Line 1: Deukijojo = month name + temeno = shrine. The damaged first syllabogram looks like TO. The actual word temeno = “temple” does not appear on the first line of this tablet, since it appears that the the scribe has made a scribal error, which actually happens quite often on Linear B tablets. The writing is messy, and appears to read teno, which would explain the scribal error, i.e. he missed on one syllabogram. Deukijojo could either be a month name, in which case it means “the tenth month” or more properly in this content, “of the tenth month” or it could simply be a person’s name. If it refers to the tenth month, then it follows that the entire tablet refers to this month.
Wakatanujo – or- Dukatanayo = name + newejo = “of something new” + 3 units (probably bales) of barley. Hence the line refers to 3 new units (probably bales) of barley from Wakatanujo – or- Dukatanayo
Padarejode = a place hame, which is a sanctuary = hence, olive oil from Dardare and 2 units (probably bales) of barley.
Pade = name plus olive oil and 1 unit (probably a bale) of barley
Pasiteoi = “to all gods” barley and 1 unit of olive oil
olive oil and barley for Qerasiya = goddess Artemis, with numerals absent because of right truncation.
1 unit of barley to all the gods at Aminiso = Amnisos
2 units (probably pithoi) of olive oil for the goddess Erinu. Note that Erinu references one of the Furies (Erynies) in Greek. So it would appear that the scribe tells us that there was a sacrifice to at least one of or probably all of the Furies to appease them so that crops would thrive.
Gold and olive oil and 1 cyperus plant, probably dedicated to the priestess of the winds in Line 10.
4 cyperus plans dedicated to Anemo Ijereja = to the priestess of the winds
Blank and truncated.
3 units (probably pithoi) of olive oil and 2 units of barely plus 2 cyperus trees (also probably dedicated to the priestess of the winds)
Blank and truncated.
This is the very last tablet Rita Roberts is to translate for her second year of university, and it is by far the most challenging she has ever been confronted with to date. Congratulations to Rita! She is now about to take her final examination for her second year, which is to consist of 25 questions in increasing level of difficulty, the last 5 of which are to be translations of tablets, plus her second year thesis paper, What did the Minoan agricultural sector contribute to the Mycenaean Empire? This paper must be at least 25 pages long, inclusive of the bibliography but excluding illustrations, which will add to the page length of her thesis. Since this thesis paper is much more difficult than her first year thesis, I am allotting her three months to complete it, i.e. Feb. 15 – May 15. However, she must complete the rest of the examination in just 2 weeks (Feb. 15 – March 1 2018).
In the next post, I shall re-inscribe the entire tablet in archaic Greek from the Mycenaean.
Translation of Linear B tablet KN 347 D x 01 by Rita Roberts:
All-new decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 8 (Haghia Triada) dealing with multiple crops:
This is the first time I have attempted to decipher Linear A tablet HT 8 (Haghia Triada), and I have met with considerable success in deciphering it for the most part. It quite clearly deals with multiple crops. Some explanation is in order. On the RECTO, we find the supersyllabogram KI, which means KIRETAI, in Greek kri/qai, meaning barley of which there are 10 units, something like bushels (a mere approximation as we cannot know that the standard units of measurement for crops were either in Linear A or in Linear B). Next comes the supersyllabogram PA3 (PAI), which probably refers to pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi Old Minoan (OM) = millet -or- spelt. KARATI on line 2 is also OM and appears to correspond to Anatolian, karasa = a large jar, which makes sense in context. PA3 (PAI), which probably refers to pa3ni/pa3nina/pa3niwi Old Minoan (OM) = millet -or- spelt is then repeated. Line 3 begins with the supersyllabogram (SSYL) TE, which means tereza, OM for the standard unit of liquid measurement, while qanuma is OM for some kind of pulse crop, any one of broad beans (faba/fava), chick peas, lentils or vetch. On line 4 we find the word SIKIRA si/kera, a sweet-fermented liquor, Cf. Linear B sikero. When we combine this word with KIRETANA kri/qania on line 5 we get SIKIRA KIRETANA, which means of course a barley-like sweet-fermented liquor, in other words, beer, probably sweetened with honey.
VERSO: SUPU2 is a pithos or alternatively sappu, which is Semitic for bowl (practically the same thing). Hence, this decipherment is sound. The SSYL KA probably refers to karasa (Anatolian), meaning a large jar, which reinforces the decipherment of SUPU2. PA3 (PAI) on line 2 again refers to millet or spelt. ZARI- continued on line 3 with – RE is unknown, but has something to do with crops, followed as it is with the symbols for harvesting shares. KAPA karpa/ is ripe crops. PAJARA on line 4 appears to mean indentured land.
All in all, this decipherment is coherent, and holds together well.
Wikipedia: History of beer + the Minoan words for beer = zute and kiretaiwinu finally deciphered: From Wikipedia: History of beer As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like beverages were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced as far back as about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran. This discovery reveals one of the earliest known uses of fermentation and is the earliest evidence of brewing to date. In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl. A 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honouring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread. In Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq), early evidence of beer is a 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honoring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, which contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread. Approximately 5000 years ago, workers in the city of Uruk were paid by their employers in beer. Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat It is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates. Beer was part of the daily diet of Egyptian pharaohs over 5,000 years ago. Then, it was made from baked barley bread, and was also used in religious practices. During the building of the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, each worker got a daily ration of four to five liters of beer, which served as both nutrition and refreshment that was crucial to the pyramids' construction. The Greek writer Sophocles (450 BCE) discussed the concept of moderation when it came to consuming beer in Greek culture, and believed that the best diet for Greeks consisted of bread, meats, various types of vegetables, and beer or zythos as they called it. The ancient Greeks also made barley wine (Greek: – krithinos oinos, “barley wine” mentioned by Greek historian Polybius in his work The Histories, where he states that Phaeacians kept barley wine in silver and golden kraters. NOTES: The Old Minoan (OM) equivalent of zythos is zute, while the New Minoan (NM) equivalent of krithinos oinos is kiretaiwinu.
TE = tereza OM = “standard liquid unit of measurement” confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that tereza, was used to measure fig juice, Old Minoan (OM) supersyllabogram = NI, corresponding to the OM word nira2 (nirai) -or- nita2 (nitai) OM = figs + ideogram = NI (in both Linear A & B), as well as for wine = New Minoan winu NM1 #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono #oi/noj, as well as for beer, for which the Minoan words are deciphered for the first time below. Minoan beer was fermented either from barley (kiretai) or from emmer wheat (kunisu).
TE = tereza on Minoan Linear A tablets
HT 6 fi HT 13 wi HT 17 wi HT 19 wi HT 21 gr HT 40 gr HT 44 gr HT 51 fi HT 62 wi HT 67 fi HT 70 fi HT 96 fi HT 133 gr TH 6 te TH Zb 11 wi
fi 5 (fig juice)
wi 5 (wine)
gr 5 (beer, from barley)
The ancient Greek word for beer was ζῦθος (zythos), which appears as zute in Old Minoan (OM) and also κρίθινος οἶνος – krithinos oinos = barley wine. This means that the Minoan word combination for beer was very likely kireta2 (kiretai) NM1 kri/qai = barley + winu NM1 #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono #oi/noj, hence kiretaiwinu = kri/qai#i/nu
Minoan beer was also produced from emmer wheat, kunisu OM = emmer wheat (derivation: Semitic kunnisu)
Cretan pictograms – 15-23: crops (possibly/probably/definitely) known:
All of the Cretan pictograms from 15 to 23 definitely deal with crops, though in some cases we cannot tell for certain which ones. In other cases, the crops represented by their respective pictograms are either probably or definitely identified. 17a. & 17b. are spice containers. 19a. – 19c. are 3 variants for olives/olive oil. 22. is absolutely the ideogram for wheat. 20. (multiple variants) is saffron.
Tablet, Malia Palace MA/P Hi 02 in so-called Cretan hieroglyphs, dealing with crops and vessels (pottery):
Tablet, Malia Palace MA/P Hi 02 in so-called Cretan hieroglyphs, which are not hieroglyphs at all, but rather ideograms and logograms, is highly intriguing. Actually, this tablet is partially decipherable. The front side definitely deals with the produce of olive trees, i.e. olive oil and also with wheat crops. If anyone is in any doubt over the meaning of the logogram 5. TE, which looks exactly like the Linear A and Linear B syllabogram TE, this doubt can easily be swept away by mere comparison with the logogram/ideogram for “wheat” in several ancient scripts, some of which are hieroglyphic, such as Egyptian, others which are cuneiform and yet others which bear no relation to either hieroglyphs or cuneiform, or for that matter, with one another, as for instance, the Harrapan and Easter Island exograms.
In fact, the recurrence of an almost identical ideogram/logogram across so many ancient scripts is astonishing. It is for this reason that I am in no doubt over the interpretation of 5. TE as signifying what in the Cretan script.
Next up, we have 3a. & 3b., which I interpret, and probably correctly, as signifying “ewe” and “ram” respectively. In fact, the resemblance of 3b. to a ram’s head is uncanny. What is passingly strange is this: the ram’s head figures so prominently on the second side of the tablet, being much larger than any other ideogram/logogram on the tablet. Why is this so? There simply has to be a reason. But for the time being, I am stumped. Since 3a. & 3b. Relate to sheep, it stands to reason that 6. is another type of livestock. My money is on “pig”. 7. and 9. are both vessels, 7. probably being either a wine or water flask and 9. being a spice container, as it is strikingly similar to the Linear B ideogram for the same. 8. looks like some kind of grain crop, and so I take it to be so.
As for the rest of the ideograms/logograms, they are still indecipherable.