Knossos tablet KN 227 N l 21 & the supersyllabogram QE = qeqinomeno = “woven”:
As with the previous post, the supersyllabogram QE on this tablet clearly refers to qeqinomeno, a “woven undergarment” or “woven undergarment”. The rest is self-explanatory.
Linear B tablet K 224 and the new military supersyllabogram QE = woven undertunic & the supersyllabogram IQO ZE = a team of horses:
Here we encounter the all-new supersyllabogram QE inside (incharged) in the ideogram for linen (under)tunic. It is crucial to understand that this supersyllabogram QE is completely unlike the previous one, QE inside a shield = “a wicker shield”. This new supersyllabogram QE, qeqinomeno, literally means “woven”, hence it refers to “a woven undertunic” or to be more precise, “a woven linen undertunic”, which once again the Mycenaean warriors wore under their toraka = ancient Greek thoraxes, i.e. Their breastplates. These two supersyllabograms are entirely different and must never be confused. This is the one and only instance in Mycenaean Linear B in which the same supersyllabogram appears inside two different ideograms, the first for “a shield” and the second for “an undertunic”. These two supersyllabograms QE + shield and QE + undertunic appear in the military sector only, and in no other sector of the Minoan/Mycenaean economy.
Linear B tablet 04-59 D j 13 & the supersyllabograms RA = tailor & QE = wicker shield:
This tablet poses the same problems as the previous ones we have posted on these two supersyllabograms, RA & QE. First off, as I have already said, it is well nigh impossible for me to determine what the two syllabograms WE WE following the second instance of the supersyllabogram QE for “wicker shield” mean? As I pointed out in the previous post, the double occurrence of WE (WE WE) usually references measurement. But I am unable to harmonize their incidence in this context with terms of measurement. Apart from that, there are two other glitches in the decipherment. What does rawa following the first instance of QE = “wicker shield” refer to. The word rawaketa = “leader of the host” or “commander in chief” where “host” = “army”, as we find in Homer as well, is extant on the Linear B tablets. I have derived the subset rawa = “host” from the latter. It may or may not be the correct interpretation in this context. Secondly, if the last syllabogram, truncated right, on the first line is in fact DU, then it may be the first syllable of the word duo = “two”. But this is entirely conjectural. Although the rest of the translation appears to be relatively straightforward, it is still open to question, especially in light of the fact that I am quite unable to decipher WE WE.
Linear B tablet K 04-56 D j 04 and the supersyllabograms RA = tailor & QE = wicker shield:
This Linear B tablet, which falls within the purview of both the military and textile sectors of the Minoan/Mycenaean economy, presents us with what are certainly 2 of the most unusual of all the supersyllabograms with ideograms in Linear B. Not only do we have the supersyllabogram RA inside the ideogram for “unfinished cloth” = putakariya, but also the supersyllabogram for a wicker shield. Let’s take a look at the supersyllabogram RA. This is the most unusual of all supersyllabograms I have ever encountered. Unusual because the syllabogram RA is incharged inside an ideogram which looks for all the world like that for textiles, but with the left and bottom sides lopped off. Hence “unfinished cloth”. At least that is what it looks like to me. This supersyllabogram has never been deciphered before my present attempt at translating it.
Next, we find the supersyllabogram QE inside an ideogram which looks vaguely like a shield. And that is what I think it is meant to be. QE indicates that not only is this a shield, but a wicker shield = qero. This supersyllabogram has never been deciphered before, This is followed by the ideogram for “horn”, hence my translation. There is no known ancient Greek word corresponding to the Linear B “numoro”, which is almost certainly left-truncated at any rate.
There are no fewer than 6 more Linear B tablets with both of these supersyllabograms.
Actual size original tablets & fragments at Knossos from Scripta Minoa
Original tablets & fragments at Knossos from Scripta Minoa, followed by facsimiles with clear text: Click to ENLARGE
The fragment (left) and apparently intact tablet (right) at Knossos from Scripta Minoa are approximately actual size. We can easily see that the striations, ridges, pockmarks, wear and tear, inter alia, make it difficult to read the originals. Notice how tiny they are. The facsimiles are, however, very easy to read.
The fragment (left) and apparently intact tablet (right) both have the supersyllabogram MO, otherwise known as an adjunct, meaning “single” or “one” .
I shall be posting more fragments and tablets illustrating the supersyllabogram ZE, meaning “a pair of” or “a team of” in the next two posts.