Proto-Greek Decipherment of Minoan Linear A silver pin from Mavro Spelio (Middle Minoan III = MM III) in the Heraklion Museum, Greece:
This decipherment of Minoan Linear A silver pin from Mavro Spelio (Middle Minoan III = MM III) in the Heraklion Museum, Greece relies rather heavily on the debatable notion that Minoan Linear A is by and large proto-Greek, a theory espoused by Urii Mosenkis, one of the world’s most highly qualified linguists specializing in diachronic historical linguistics, including, but not limited to Minoan Linear A. Accordingly, I have deliberately interpreted ample chunks of the Minoan Linear a vocabulary on this silver pin as being proto-Greek, even though such a decipherment is surely contentious, at least in (large) part.
While the first line of my decipherment makes sense by and large, the second is more dubious. It is apparent that the Minoan Linear A word dadu on the first line is almost certainly not proto-Greek, but the last two syllables of dadumine, ie. mine appear to be the dative singular for the (archaic) Greek word for month, i.e. meinei (Latinized), such that the decipherment of this word at least would appear to read “in the month of dadu”. There is nothing really all that strange or peculiar about this interpretation, since we know the names of the months neither in Minoan Linear A nor in Mycenaean Linear B. However, a definite note of caution must be sounded with respect to the decipherment of this word, as well as of all of the other so-called proto-Greek words on this silver pin, since none of them can be verified with sufficient circumstantial evidence or on the contrary. Hence, all translations of putative proto-Greek words in Minoan Linear A must be taken with a grain of salt.
While the second line on this pin, if taken as proto-Greek, makes some sense, it is much less convincing than the first, especially in light of the trailing word at the end, tatheis (Greek Latinized, apparently for the aorist participle passive of the verb teino (Latinized) = to stretch/strain, which actually does not make a lot of sense in the context.
Nevertheless, it would appear that at least some of the Minoan Linear A words which I have interpreted as being proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean may in fact be that. I leave it up to you to decide which one(s) are and which are not, if any in fact are. Additionally, even if a few or some of them are proto-Greek, they may fall within the pre-Greek substratum. The most dubious of the so-called proto-Greek words on this pin probably are qami -, tasaza & tatei, since none of these are likely to have fallen within the pre-Greek substratum.
But if the Minoan language itself is not proto-Greek, then what is it? I shall have ample occasion to address this apparently thorny question in upcoming posts and especially in my second article on the decipherment of Minoan Linear A, which I shall be submitting to Archaeology and Science by no later than April 17, 2017.
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Minoan Linear A silver pin at the A.Y. Nickolaus Museum, Crete & the word for “silver”:
The Minoan Linear A silver pin at the A.Y. Nickolaus Museum, Crete apparently contains one of two possible words for “silver”, these being either awapi or tazasa. There is a third word on this tablet, adara, which might have meant “silver”, except for one mitigating factor: I have already deciphered the word adaro as meaning “barley” in our Minoan Linear A Glossary, and adara is too close for comfort. So I have had to eliminate it as a candidate for “silver”.
This tablet also features 5 multi-syllabic words which are almost certainly eponyms (personal names). These are:
This brings the total number of of Minoan Linear A words I have deciphered, more or less accurately, to 134, which represents 26.8 % of all intact Minoan Linear A terms in Prof. John G. Younger’s Linear A texts in phonetic transcription.
Cf. Chris Tselentis, akuro = silver in Mycenaean Linear B.
Minoan Linear A tablet 9675, A.Y. Nickolaus Museum, Crete, with the distinct possibility of gold mentioned in its text:
Minoan Linear A gold pin, 9675, A.Y. Nickolaus Museum, Crete, which is a beautiful gold pin with gold leaves on the front side of it (RECTO) and with Linear A text on the reverse side (VERSO) presents us with the distinct possibility that the word “gold” actually appears in the text, if for no other reason than that Mycenaean Linear B tablets concerned with gold sometimes repeat the word “gold” several times over on the same tablet, as is the case with Pylos tablet Py TA 707, with Chris Tselentis’ translation given here:
Since a single occurrence of the word “gold” can and does appear on more than one Mycenaean Linear B tablet, and can repeated several times on other tablets (as above), it is not unreasonable to assume that the same word can appear at least once in a Minoan Linear A text, especially one that is imprinted on a gold pin! The problem with the exquisite inscribed Minoan Linear A gold pin, 9675, in the A.Y. Nickolaus Museum, Crete, is that it contains two words, either of which may signify “gold”. These alternatives are atade and noja, either of which might be the word for “gold” in Minoan Linear A. Though the possibility for this eventuality is less than 50 %, I am of the opinion that this possibility is very close to the 50/50 mark, which implies that the chances of either one of these words signifies “gold” is 50/50. But this still begs the question, which one? We shall never know the answer to this, or even whether or not either of these two word actually does mean “gold”. But it is worth serious consideration.
I also feel reasonably assured that the word Kanajami is an eponym (personal name), since it is ostensibly feminine. After all, one usually gives a gold pin to a woman.
These two terms (atade or noja) and Kanajami bring the total count of Minoan Linear A words I have deciphered, more or less accurately, to 128.