May the Force, I mean, WINE, be with you! Funny cartoon! I found this funny cartoon on the Internet and I just add to share it... with a few minor adjustments of my own, of course.
Linear B tablet KN 929 F q 01 with 3 supersyllabograms! ??? Supersyllabograms en masse? Is this possible on a single tablet? You can bet on it! Linear B tablet KN 929 F q 01, with 3 supersyllabograms on it, is a perfect example of this relatively frequent phenomenon on Linear B tablets, regardless of provenance (Knossos, Pylos etc.). On this tablet alone, there are no fewer than 3 supersyllabograms, KI= kitimena ktoina = “a settled plot of land”, PE = periqoro = “(in) a sheep pen” and O = onato = “a lease field”. This is where decipherment can get tricky. At first sight, it looks rather peculiar that the scribe has positioned the first two supersyllabograms, KI and PE before the ideogram for “rams”, but without mentioning the number of rams “in sheep pens on a settled plot of land”, with this statement followed by yet another supersyllabogram, O = onato = “a lease field”, but only this time with the number of rams being specified = 80+. I say 80+ because the right hand side of this tablet is truncated, and so the number of rams could run anywhere from 80 to 89. But I suspect that, in spite of truncation, the number of rams is probably just 80. The problem remains, how do we concatenate the last supersyllabogram O with the previous two? The only way this can be logically effected is by making the first two SSYLS, KI & PE, dependent on third, O... which is the scribe’s intention. This means that all of the sheep tabulated here are “in sheep pens on a settled plot of land”... “on a lease field” . In other words, all 80 of these sheep are being kept in a single sheep pen on only one of the settled plots of land on this lease field. There is no mention of the rest of the sheep on this lease field. But you can bet there are others. The point is that the scribe is explicitly drawing our attention to these 80 sheep alone. The tablet is extremely precise. That is the way of the best inventories. The more precise, the better.
And NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT! Sheep humour LOL! Yes, that’s right, folks! Sheep humour and plenty of it. We need a break from all that academic hoopla on our blog. So have fun! LOL! Here goes nuttin’.
NASA, New MENU added to Reflect our Research into the Application of Linear B & Syllabic Scripts to Interstellar Communication: Click on this BANNER to see all these posts now. We have added our innovative, cutting edge NASA MENU (Category), which appears on the third line at the top of the first page of our blog. If you are at all interested in our research into the possible (or even probable) implications of any seriously competent scientific research into the Theoretical and Practical Applications of Linear B & Syllabic Scripts to Interstellar Communication, research such as we see conducted by NASA, ESA, the KEPLER missions, SETI or by any other official international space agencies or university-level research projects and the like, then this is the place you’ll definitely want to be. Ours is the one and only Linear B blog on the entire Internet, dedicated to Mycenaean Linear B, as well as to Minoan Linear A & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, where such matters are taken seriously, but only at the academic, research level. We do not and shall never associate ourselves with crack-pot blogs and sites all in a kerfuffle about so-called UFOS, alien intelligences (usually deemed hostile) and other such riff-raff on the Net: Click to ENLARGE, at your own risk! These deserve no valid place whatsoever into the search for communication(s) with extraterrestrial intelligences, if any such exist at all, or if we go on the assumption, fragile as it is, that they might or may exist, that they would even bother to communicate with the likes of us at all. These and several other specific considerations, which can in some real way be scientifically investigated or adduced, will be addressed under the Category MENU NASA, as the need arises. We shall of course keep you apprized. Stay posted. Richard
Maybe we should rename our blog, The Mycenaean Man Blog! Check this out... Mycenaean Man! Click to ENLARGE In the past couple of months, the number of visits to our well-established Linear B Blog, which is after all only 19 months old, has taken off. So I thought it would be (in-)appropriate to rename it, The Mycenaean Man Blog, only to be told flat-out by my colleague, Rita Roberts, that I must be nuts! Just kidding, she never said that, though I would not blame her if she did. At any rate, the number of visitors to our blog is reflected on a parallel plane by the significant rise in the number of followers Rita and I now have on Twitter, which has risen by 50% in just 3 months, from around 1,000 to almost 1,500 today! What’s more, take a look at the number of Tweets we have posted on Twitter... almost 19,000 between the two of us, meaning that we will soon crack the 20K mark. Our Twitter followers and our Tweets to date: Click to ENLARGE These are astonishing figures, considering that Mycenaean Linear B is, after all, hardly the sort of thing folks talk about around the kitchen table if at all, for that matter, since I am quite sure at least 98 % of the 7 + billion folks on this poor little planet of ours have ever even heard of Linear B, and probably could care less about it. But once we have hooked our followers, they hang in there with us. This is scarcely surprising to either Rita or myself, since we have always taken several new, refreshing and frankly unheard of approaches to date to research into Mycenaean Linear B, approaches which can be attested to by the often amazing posts we have on our Blog. But hey, why not? If no one else will go this route (probably being too chicken to) neither nor Rita nor I are chickens (in all senses of the word), No Chickens! Click to ENLARGE and so we forge merrily ahead in our pursuit of new avenues into international research into Mycenaean Linear B, Minoan Linear A, and even Arcado-Cypriot Linear C (that dialect being the closest cousin to Mycenaean Greek by a long shot). This is a particularly important new phase in the study of Linear B, one which every researcher in the field without exception has blithely ignored for the last 64 years since the great Michael Ventris deciphered this previously totally unknown syllabary. We certainly cannot blame him for that, as he had his hands full with Linear B, and anyway, he died very young (age 34) in a car crash, much as had his contemporary, the famous and beautiful American actor, James Dean. Now, let me assure you. Almost all our posts on our Blog are dedicated to the most serious research one could imagine into Linear A, B & C, Homeric Greek, ancient Greek, and so on. But one does need to take an occasional break from the dead serious to the all-out hilarious. And so we do. Be forewarned. This is the last post of the latter ilk for the rest of 2014. So don’t hold your breath! Richard
“Where are all the sheep today, my shepherd?” And a sheep joke! The time has come for us to start illustrating all of the supersyllabograms on consecutive charts by category. We shall start today with all 7 of the supersyllabograms associated with sheep, rams & ewes. Here is our first chart (Click to ENLARGE): For those of you who are new to our blog, a supersyllabogram is simply the first syllabogram, hence the first syllable of any particular Linear B word. So supersyllabograms act as a sort of shorthand, which the Linear B scribes frequently resorted to, along with ideograms, to save precious space on the small clay tablets they had to use. While their meanings change from one category to the next, supersyllabograms always have specific, invariable meanings for each area of interest or category into which they fall. And there can be only one meaning for each SSY in each category. When it comes to sheep, rams & ewes, I have assigned meanings to 6 of the 7 supersyllabograms in the chart above. The meanings of some of the supersyllabograms relating to sheep, rams & ewes seem to be quite sound, for instance, the SSY O almost certainly stands for ONATO or “lease field”, while the SSY KI in all probability means “a plot of land”, simply because these two words are the only ones beginning with O & KI, which fit the context (sheep) almost like a glove in the very small Linear B lexicon of no more than 3,500 words. These 2 SSYs appear 88 (O) and 41 (KI) times on the 700 odd Linear B tablets I examined relating to sheep, rams and ewes. The SSYs NE (twice) & ZA (3 times) also appear to be pretty much on target, again for the same reason. The case for PE (35) is even stronger, because the scribe unwittingly obliged us by writing the word out in full in the genitive case, PERIQOROYO, on one of his tablets, KN 1232 E d 462, previously translated on this blog. This is the one and only Linear B tablet from Knossos on which a supersyllabogram is spelled out in its entirety. It was in fact this very SSY which handed me the key to break the code for SSYs. Once our scribe had spilled the beans, he just went his merry way and used only the supersyllabogram PE on all the rest of the tablets he inscribed. But that makes no difference. A PE is a PE is a PE. As for the other SSYs used in the context of sheep, rams and ewes, NE did not pose much of a problem either, as it appears to mean simply NEWO (masc.) or NEWA (fem.) “new”. But this translation is, to my mind, probably less sound, if only for the reason that it sounds a little too simplistic. Why would anyone want to replace a two syllabogram word with just its first syllabogram, unless he were really lazy? Beats me. On the other hand, when I consulted the only two really useful Linear B lexicons on the internet, the Mycenaean (Linear B) – English Glossary and Chris Tselentis’ far more comprehensive and far better Linear B Lexicon, I came up utterly dry for the SSY PA in the context of sheep. There is nothing to be found. Zilch. So the only alternative I had was to search through 38 (!) pages of Liddell & Scott’s Greek-English Lexicon (the ultimate standard for ancient Greek) to try and find at least a few alternative translations for Greek words beginning with PA or PHA (found 32 times on 700 tablets), and I did find some. But there is simply no way to verify whether or not any of these words were ever Linear B words, since not a single one of them can be found on any extant Linear B tablets. So we are fishing in muddy waters. Yet, as I always say, better make a stab at it than do nothing. That is always my “philosophy” when it comes to attempting a decipherment of recalcitrant syllabograms or ideograms on Linear B tablets. I am probably wrong, but frankly I don’t really care, because if someone someday actually does figure out what the SSY PA means, all the more power to that person. Still better if a Linear B tablet is ever unearthed in future that actually spells out what this SSY means. Fat chance of that. So the “definition” of the SSY PA is probably going to remain in limbo. Check out my translation in the post where I “define it”. Take it or leave it, as you see fit. Whatever it does mean, it is still an important sypersyllabogram in the context of sheep, as it is used quite frequently. Finally, the SSY SE, which appears once only on the 3,000 or so Linear B tablets from Knossos in Scripta Minoa, utterly eludes me. I haven’t the faintest clue what it means. Anyway, the scribe who used it must have been high on something, because it was never used again. So I very much doubt anyone will ever be able to decipher it. If you can, all the more power to you. OK, so now let’s have some fun. Even if you don’t know Linear B, you should be able to translate the supersyllabograms on the (excerpts of) 3 tablets I provide below. And if you do know at least some Linear B, it should be a breeze. So give it a shot, and leave a comment, and I will let you know how close you came to the mark. Remember that some of the SSYs on these 3 tablets are used in combination, so you have to translate all of them to form a phrase that makes sense with the ideogram for ram (see chart above). Enjoy! Here is your quiz. Click to ENLARGE: Richard