Linear A tablet HT 123+124, kitai = scented olive oil? + saru = large olives + datu = small olives


Linear A tablet HT 123+124, kitai = scented olive oil? + saru = large olives + datu = small olives:

HT 123-124 KITAI SARU DATU KURO OLIVES!!! ADPDOSI 31

I have had to give a great deal of thought to the decipherment of this tablet, the contents of which have frustrated and eluded me for weeks. Finally, the light came on. Eureka! I figured it out. Well, almost... The first word I struggled to decipher on this tablet was kitai, which was and remains a stickler.  I have settled for “scented olive oil”, which seems to make sense in the context, although I really have no choice but to assign it a scalar value of < 50%. On the other hand, the next two words, saru & datu, seem much clearer. It makes a lot of sense to list different sizes of olive oil on a tablet, and it makes  just as much sense to list the large(r) ones before the small(er) ones. Hence, to my mind, saru = large olives and datu = small olives. These two terms can be assigned a scalar value of 60-75% (a reasonable degree of accuracy). The word kuro was one of the very first words I deciphered, and it has a perfect scalar value of 100%. It means what it says and says what it means.

Here is Andras Zeke’s restored version of HT 123+124 on the Minoan Language Blog:

Haghia Triada HT 123-124 a according to Andras Zeke

These three (3) new terms constitute items 82-84 in my Glossary of Minoan Linear A words.

Minoan Linear A terms for large (qapa3 = qapai) and small size (pazeqe) handle-less vessels


Minoan Linear A terms for large (qapa3 = qapai) and small size (pazaqe) handle-less vessels:

handle less  vase

Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) contains two terms for handle-less vessels. These are qapa3 = qapai for a “large handle-less vase/cup” (more commonly the former), and pazaqe for a “small handle-less cup”. The latter were very common in both Minoan & Mycenaean times, which explains why  so many of them are mentioned on this tablet (3,000). Cross-correlative retrogressive extrapolation from Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris) confirms that the decipherment qapa3 = qapai for a “large handle-less vase/cup” is correct. As for pazaqe, it is plain that the handle-less cups are very small, since there are so many of them (3,000).  These are illustrated to the top right of the figure above.

This brings the total number of Minoan Linear A terms we have deciphered, more or less accurately, to 60. It is at this point that we hit a brick wall, at least for the time being, as there is simply no way for me to decipher Minoan Linear A tablets with no ideograms on them. Unfortunately, these account for the majority of Linear A tablets. But the fact that we have been able to decipher as many as 60 Minoan words is a vast improvement over any previous attempts by any researchers in Minoan Linear A to decipher anything at all. The best anyone has managed to date has been restricted to eponyms and toponyms, and the finest work done in this respect was achieved with great insight by Andras Zeke of the Minoan Language Blog:

Minoan Language Blog



Translation of most of the RECTO of Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada)


Translation of most of the RECTO of Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada):

Linear A tablet HT 13 Haghia Triada partial translation

A partial decipherment of the recto side of Linear A tablet HT 13 (Haghia Triada) holds up quite well under scrutiny. I was able to decipher lines 1, 3 and 4 with reasonable accuracy, the tail end of 5.(idu) and the beginning of 6. (nesi) to extract the toponyms (place names) Kydonia and Idunesi. To date, this is the most complete translation I have managed of a Linear A tablet. One thing that stood out was the total amount of teki = 27 1/2, which would appear to be the amount of teki (plural) per tereza, but I cannot be sure. If this is the case, then teki is a small measurement of wine = 27 1/2 per tereza. I suspect that this small standard amount of wine would be the amount measured out in a large kylix or small wine amphora to be served at a palace feast. But this only the case if teki is a small unit of measurement.        

The VERSO almost completely escapes me, at least for now. Perhaps some day... But for now I am satisfied with my translation of the RECTO.