The extreme significance of the ideogram for “wine” on 2 Linear A tablets: It is extremely significant that the ideogram for “wine” appears on these two rectangular Minoan Linear A tablets. The fact that they are rectangular is unique in and of itself. and therefore indicative of something of capital importance to the further decipherment of Minoan Linear A. What is even more striking is that the ideogram for “wine” appears dead centre on the A.Y. Nickolaus tablet, immediately after the first 3 ideograms for vessels incharged with attributive supersyllabograms =  –  and immediately before the last 3 =  – . It is as if the Minoan Linear A scribe who inscribed this tablet deliberately wanted to draw attention to this striking quasi-geometric positioning. And why? If I understand the scribe’s intention correctly, he is directly correlating the ideogram for “wine” with all of the ideograms for vessels on this singularly rectangular tablet. In other words, he is stressing that all of the vessels are meant to contain WINE. If this is the case (and I can see no reason why it is not), then all of the tablets on vessels I have translated so far are vessels containing wine or meant to contain it. This is such a significant development in the first steps in the decipherment of Minoan Linear A that it cannot safely be ignored. What it implies is that there is a DIRECT (or INDIRECT but notable) between Linear A tablets inventorying vessels by type and those inventorying the standard scalar measurement of units of wine to be stored in amphorae in the magazines at Knossos, from the largest = teresa to the next four in descending size =  teke  nere  dawe?da and the smallest  quqani. I shall shortly be illustrating this striking parallelism between Linear A terms related to the five standard units of measurement of wine and the several specific types of vessels on other Linear A tablets in a chart cross-correlating the notable relationship between the two (wine and vessels). This chart should serve to clear up any confusion and probably also any lingering doubts over my extremely precise definitions of the Linear A terminology for both wine and vessels.
Minoan Linear A puko = “tripod” versus tiripode in Mycenaean Linear B: the first step towards decipherment of Minoan Linear A: Even first glance at Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 makes it clear that the Minoan Linear A word for “tripod” is puko, as the first line on the recto side (left) illustrates. The word puko immediately precedes the ideogram for tripod. This is highly significant, because on Linear B tablet Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris) the very same configuration occurs, with the Mycenaean Linear B word tiripode appearing at the head of line 1, followed by 3 more words, Aikeu keresiyo weke = “Aigeus is working on 2 tripods of Cretan origin”, again followed in turn by the ideogram for “tripod” and the number 2, accounting for the translation here. The only difference between Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) and Linear B Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris) is that there is intervening text on the latter, and no text on the former. But this does not make any real difference between the disposition of the word for “tripod” on each of these tablets, puko in Minoan Linear A and tiripode in Mycenaean Linear B, since the word for “tripod” on both tablets is followed by its ideogram, which is practically identical on both tablets. I believe it is important to take note of the fact that almost all Minoan Linear A tablets are rectangular in shape, with the vertical almost always longer than the horizontal is wide, as is illustrated in these 2 composites of Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada and Zakros. How this will affect the decipherment of Minoan Linear A I cannot say, but it may (or may not) play an important role. It is highly advisable that visitors to this blog refer back to my previous post on this same question here: https://linearbknossosmycenae.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/part-d-cross-correlation-of-the-surcharged-syllabograms-on-linear-b-tablet-pylos-ta-641-1952-ventris-with-those-on-linear-a-tablets-ht-31-and-another-in-the-ay-nikolaus-museum-greece/ In the next post, I shall put forward my tentative decipherments for the next five types of vessels mentioned on Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) with possible correlations between at least some of them with the vessel types mentioned on Linear B tablet Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris). But that is merely the beginning. Other Minoan Linear A tablets lend further credence to our translations, as we shall see in the next few posts. These translations make for the first inroads into at least the eventual partial decipherment of Minoan Linear B, a task which I intend to undertake with all due diligence in the next few years.
Astounding Discovery! Look What I Found from NASA on Linear B! You’ll be amazed! PART 1 Click this banner to read the entire Chapter: Once you open the NASA PDF file, just scroll down the Table of Contents to Chapter 5: Beyond Linear B. You will then need to continue scrolling until you reach page 79. You can then scroll page by page through the whole of Chapter 5. I am willing to bet this is going to be as mind-blowing a read for you as it was for me. Here are just a few tantalizing excerpts from Chapter 5: Excerpts from Chapter 5, by Richard Saint-Gelais pg. 81: ... the deciphering of coded messages or inscriptions written in extinct languages — may provide a fresh look at the problems involved. pg. 82: At first glance, the difficulties involved in the decipherment of coded messages or ancient scripts suggest a rather pessimistic view of the interstellar communication challenge, for if it took specialists many years to solve the enigma of writing systems devised by human beings... passim ... it seems unrealistic to imagine that our messages could be easily understood by beings whose culture, history, and even biology will differ vastly from ours. How can we be sure that some well-meaning interpreter will not misread our intended message? On a semiotic level, the similarity between the three kinds of situations is readily apparent. Deciphering inscriptions in unknown languages or messages in secret codes implies coping with strings of signs without having any prior knowledge of the encoding rules, so recognizing these rules become one of the ends (instead of the means, as is usually the case) of the interpretive process. The decipherer of unknown languages tries to establish the phonetic and/or semantic value of symbols... passim ... I use the word signal instead of sign because at the early stage of interpretation, decipherers must still identify the relevant semiotic units. They are confronted with signals — i.e., material manifestations of some kind (strokes on clay tablets, microwaves of a certain frequency) — that may be signs. A sign is more abstract in nature: it is a semiotic configuration that is relatively independent of the concrete signals that embody it because it is defined by a limited number of relevant features,... pg. 89: The second way is to think up self-contextualizing messages — or, in other words, self-interpreting signs. A self-interpreting sign is easier conceptualized than created. Let’s consider, for instance, the pictograms imagined by H. W. Nieman and C. Wells Nieman, which would be sent as sequences of pulses that correspond to the dots into which an image has been decomposed. In order to reconstruct the correct image, the recipients would need first to convert the linear signal into a bi-dimensional structure and then to interpret that structure to determine what it might signify or represent... passim ... Frank Drake imagined an easy and ingenious way to point to this, by making the total number of dots equal the product of two prime numbers, say 17 and 23, so that the transmitted message can be construed only as a 17-by-23-cell grid. Such a signal is as close as we may come to a message embodying an interpretive instruction. It assumes only a basic knowledge of prime numbers, which is not asking too much. So this instruction looks promising, but only insofar as the recipient deduces that the signal corresponds to a rectangular grid (See next post for more). pg. 91: We must remember that a message is composed not of one isolated sign but of (sometimes complex) combinations of signs, which may contribute to their mutual elucidation. This is precisely the idea behind Vakoch’s proposal of a sequence of frames, each of which would contain six distinct areas: one for the picture; four for different parts of speech (nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs); and one for the interrelationship between two successive frames (a meta-sign, then). Here we have a combination of icons (the shape of a human body, or of parts of it) and symbols: nouns for what is shown in the picture, adjectives for properties of that object (e.g., high, low, etc.), verbs for actions performed by the character between two successive frames, and adverbs for characteristics of that action (fast, slow). At first it may seem dubious that a recipient could establish a correlation between a given symbol and what it is intended to designate, or even that this recipient could identify it as a symbol and not as part of the picture. What may decisively help this eventual recipient is the mutual interpretation that parts of the message provide for one another ... passim... and the systematic interplay of repetition and variation between frames, which will give recipients the opportunity to make conjectures — abductions — that the subsequent frames may either confirm or inform... passim... What we know of interpretation shows that this inability to control reception is always the case anyway, and that it is not necessarily a bad thing. A widespread conception of communication rests on the premise that successful reception of a message is one that recovers the meaning its sender meant to convey through it. But the history of the decipherment of unknown languages shows that things are never so simple, and that oblique ways of reading sometimes lead to unexpected breakthroughs. In his book on extinct languages, Johannes Friedrich points out that the direction in which a script should be read can sometimes be deduced from the pp. 92-93 (ff.) empty space at the end of an inscription’s last line. Here we have an index, a sign caused by its object: the direction of writing is concretely responsible for which side of the last line is left blank. But this is not so conspicuous a sign that it does not require a piece of abductive reasoning. Strange as it may seem, I see in this small example some grounds for hope regarding interstellar communication. We tend to conceptualize communication with extraterrestrial intelligences in terms of the successful transmission of intended meanings. But the production and reception of signs cannot be restricted to an intentional plane. An important feature of most indices is their unintentional nature. Richard Saint-Gelais
Linear A: The Search for New Solutions – All 38 Tablets geometrically tabulated by sub-totals and percentage (Click to Enlarge): Finally, we see that of the 38 Tablets we have examined for their geometric alignment or shapes, fully 30 are Rectangular Vertical, another 4 are Rectangular Horizontal, and yet another 4 Circular or Signets, so to speak. This little survey is far from being scientific, but at least it gives us our first insight into the probable proportion of tablets by geometric alignment or shape, and it's a lot better than nothing. Finally, the spreadsheet Table below allows for a margin of – 5 % for Rectangular Vertical, since a margin of + 5 % would be patently ridiculous. So our results vary enough to allow for at least some degree of assurance. Here is my Table of Margins of Error for our 38 Tablets. I hope it looks at least reasonably credible. Naturally, you don't have to see it that way, though, and some of you certainly won't. And if you don't, pray tell my why, so that I can better understand things, and work with you to bring some resolution to the huge problems facing me in my "thinking out of the box" research into linear A. Anyway, to each his or her own. You can contact me by e-mailing me privately at: email@example.com (Click to ENLARGE): Since I will henceforth be honoured and greatly blessed with the support and encouragement of 4 volunteers, you should keep your eyes peeled for our next survey much larger cross-section of Linear A Tablets by the summer of 2014. With this in mind, I urge, exhort and beg anyone who has a baby bear, momma bear or father bear cache of Linear A Tablets, which do NOT include these 38, to zap them my way. Anyone who does so will be fully credited for participating in the scope & comprehensiveness of our “final” survey. My volunteers are to remain strictly anonymous and all of their hard work and contributions to my research into Linear A will remain confidential and secret for at least 2 years (March 2014 – summer 2016). Some of our major research results and outcomes will remain totally secret, and I will not post them at all until all our research is over and done with, and that could take as long as 4 to 6 years (2018-2020 ). Still, I've a helluva lot more up my sneaky little sleeve, as you shall all soon see, starting with the “Numbers Game”, for which our results should be compiled and verified for accuracy for these 38 Tablets sometime in May or June 2014. Anyone who can guess what I mean by the “Numbers Game” will receive from me a prize of 100s of Linear A & B Tablets and scores of lovely pictures I have assiduously collected over the past 11 months, since the advent of this Blog, now the premier Linear B Blog on the entire Internet. Then you can fiddle around with, decipher, translate or do whatever you like with them, so long as it isn't illegal. Enjoy!
Linear A: The Search for New Solutions: Vertical Rectangular Tablets 14 Zakros + 9 Hagia Triada = 23 Click to ENLARGE: This post is self-explanatory. To the 9 vertical rectangular Tablets from Hagia Triada, we simply add the 14 from Zakros, for a total of 23. But there are more to come, from Knossos & Malia, and few more besides, the origins of which I cannot identify. I sincerely hope someone can help identify their sources. Richard
Linear A: The Search for New Solutions. What on Earth am I up to? NOTE! If you do not read this commentary in its entirety, none of this will make no sense whatsoever. What? You ask. I thought this Blog was supposed to be all about Mycenaean Linear B. Well, if that were the case, why would I keep bringing up Arcado-Cypriot Linear C? There are plenty of reasons for that, which will become much clearer to us all as I progress through 2014. As it stands, I now have no other alternative but to learn Linear C, if I am to translate the Idalion Tablet and other Linear C Tablets, which as you will eventually discover I must do if I am to confirm beyond a doubt the relative authenticity of my Theory of Progressive Mycenaean Grammar and Vocabulary, which I sincerely hope will become absolutely transparent sometime in 2015. What about Linear A? What? You have to wonder! Is this guy absolutely mad? God knows. However, I have been wracking my brains out for at least 9 months trying to figure out how I might be able to tackle Linear A in some sort of minimal way, until yesterday, when the lights came on, and I suddenly realized what my unique contribution to research on Linear A can be. First of all, I know next to zilch about Linear A, and I intend to keep it that way. After all, Michael Ventris knew nothing of Linear B, when he began his long trek to eventually deciphering it in June-July 1952, having discovered to his utter astonishment that the language behind it was, of all things, Greek, a very early Greek indeed, but none the less Greek. And I am no Michael Ventris. Now, if he started from scratch, then I suppose I might as well. Let me make it perfectly clear: I do not intend to even attempt to learn any more about Linear A than past and current research has already revealed. What on earth is the point of that? The most famous exponent of and researcher into Linear A is none other than Prof. John G. Younger of the University of Kansas, and there is no point whatsoever in my making even the slightest attempt to duplicate his extensive knowledge of Linear A, nor that of other highly respected researchers who have preceded him. You will find new links to the corpus of research by Prof. Younger and other eminent researchers in Linear A at the bottom of this page, links which I positively urge you to follow up on. In the meantime, what is to be my own approach to the study of Linear A? It is actually quite simple: I am going to start from scratch, from my rickety platform with nothing whatsoever on it, proceeding thus: I intend to approach Linear A in an entirely novel way, by exploring avenues which no-one else has followed before, subject to any reproof to my total absence of knowledge, or if you like, my patent all out ignorance of Linear A. How does he intend to do that, I hear you asking? I cannot afford to duplicate any approaches or avenues of research already followed, to whatever extent. In other words, if anyone whatsoever has peered into the arcane mysteries of Linear A, and discovered anything about its structure, syllabary etc. etc., why on earth would I duplicate it? It is for this reason that I must take a fresh approach to the study of Linear A by calling on absolutely every contemporary researcher into the field to assist me in completely eliminating any and all avenues already taken in the extensive research of Linear A, since there is simply no point in rehashing what so many others have done before. In light of my firm decision to follow this rather peculiar path in the study of Linear A, I must be absolutely certain that I am not duplicating anything whatsoever so many other highly competent researchers have so extensively accomplished. With this in mind, I beg and exhort any researcher who is deeply committed to the study of Linear A to help me confirm that I am not pursuing any avenue or approach to the field which literally anyone has already taken.... because if I am, this completely invalidates any idea that pops into my busy little head. So once again, I fervently appeal to you, if you are deeply committed to research in Linear A, to contact me as soon as you possibly can, so that I can co-ordinate my ideas with you. Actually, the only thing you ever need do is to inform me in no uncertain terms that someone, anyone, has already pursued the avenue I wish to take. Otherwise, it is a complete waste of time for me and all of you. In other words, I have no intention whatsoever of learning Linear A, but merely cooking up notions, however far-fetched, absurd or even laughable they may appear to the community of Linear A specialists. In this perspective, my methodology is ridiculously simple, possibly even simplistic or, to all appearances, positively zany, even to me. My approach is as follows: 1. If any expert or amateur researcher deeply committed to the field of research into Linear A informs me I am merely duplicating what has already been done, then I shall drop any assumption I make like a hot potato. 2. If any expert or amateur researcher deeply committed to the field of research into Linear A informs me I am merely duplicating what has already been done, but done only once or twice and then dropped like a hot potato, because everyone agrees it is patently silly, then I shall not drop any such assumption if it is even remotely possible that it might not prove to be silly some day in the (far) future. I just have to hang onto it, just as a cat hangs on with its claws dug into a branch refuses to let go, because after all, it is a cat, and cats never like to be made fools of... even when they are. That’s about it, in a nutshell. Now if this approach to Linear A sounds nutty to you, remember that no-one, absolutely no-one, including Michael Ventris himself, was even the least bit willing to entertain the “crazy” notion that the language behind Linear B was an early dialect of Greek. Anyone who did entertain such a notion was written off was being nutty as a fruit-cake. Well, there was one “fruit-cake” who was forced to admit that the language written in the Linear B syllabary was in fact the earliest known dialect of ancient Greek, and he accepted the stark evidence in all humility. We all know who he is... Michael Ventris. Shortly after his astonishing discovery, another “fruit-cake”, namely; the illustrious Prof. John Chadwick enthusiastically followed up on Ventris’ astonishing revelation, and between the two them, they established practically beyond a reasonable doubt that the language of Linear B was Greek. Shortly after Ventris’ tragic death in a car accident on Sept. 6, 1956, Prof. Chadwick (1920-1998) of Cambridge University valiantly took up the standard, and eventually published his ground-breaking book, The Decipherment of Linear B (Cambridge University Press, 1958), which literally turned the study of ancient Greek history on its head, so that it had to be entirely re-written. Theories of Ancient Greek history as it was known before 1952-1953, dating from ca. 900-800 BCE, as everyone perfectly “knew” was firmly established, suddenly had to be substantially revised and, in some cases, completely abandoned, since the timeline for ancient Greek history was suddenly shoved, in one fell swoop, back to a much remoter antiquity, something like 1500 BCE, practically doubling itself. Ever since then, scarcely anyone takes seriously the suddenly passé notion that Greek History reaches back to only 900-800 BCE, chucking it right out the window, when the evidence overwhelmingly supports current knowledge that it is far more ancient, going way back to ca. 1500 BCE. Well, I guess I am more than willing to be the dunce in the corner of the classroom. Why not?... when no-one else will. But this wing-nut has a (I suppose) few cards up his sleeves, one of which I have no intention of sharing with anyone, until I am convinced there is even a shred of evidence that it might lead somewhere. That’s my wee secret. Meanwhile, here is my first so-called revelation. I have gone over scores of Linear A Tablets, and discovered to my astonishment, that practically all of them are vertical rectangular in shape, as you can see for yourself here (Click to ENLARGE):
This is a far-cry from Linear B tablets, which assume any old shape the scribes figured would fit the bill. Is there anything to this at all? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Has anyone whatsoever pursued this notion even half-seriously? Well, if anyone has, I will have to chuck this one out the window. On the other hand... So please, please, I urge and exhort you, if you are a serious Linear A researcher, to let me know whether this has all been done before... “Been there. Done that. Forget it.”... for if no-one has, I claim first rights to this observation, whether it leads anywhere or not. P.S. I will be following up on this post with plenty more examples of vertical rectangular Linear A tablets from Knossos, Malia and Zakros (especially Zakros), where there are scores of Linear A Tablets), and a few other sites where 1 or 2 tablets have been unearthed. Richard