Translation of Linear B tablet, KN 586 Rm 11, Knossos, by Rita Roberts: This is far from being a straightforward tablet to decipher. It presents at least 3 difficulties: 1. the presence of the relatively rare logogram RIYO (see the tablet above) in the putative personal name ARIYOA. 2. the presence of digamma (#) twice in the name on line 2, which could be either the putative personal name, KOWOWEYA or RUWOWEYA, depending on how one is able to decipher the first left-truncated syllabogram on that line, which could be either KO or RU. 3. the presence of what appears to be the rare syllabogram JU at the end of the second line, but we cannot even be sure of that. The tablet is damaged enough to raise the questions in 2. and 3. above.
HOW TO SAY 8 WORDS in Egyptian hieroglyphics, Mycenaean Linear B, ancient Greek and modern Greek!
PYRAMID in Egyptian hieroglyphics, Mycenaean Linear B, ancient and modern Greek:
Brian Wyble’s carved facsimile of Linear B tablet KN 349 J b 12. He made this himself. Amazing!
Linear B text Latinized:
Rukito apudosi + ideogram for “olive oil” 52+ (because it is right
52 + units (probably amphorae) of olive oil, delivery to Lykinthos.
Transliterated into archaic Greek:
n /b / a0mfiforh/#ei e1laia, a0pu/dosij Lu/kinqo.
Brian is our newest student of Linear B. He already has a fundamental understanding of ancient Greek, although I am sure he realizes from the archaic Greek text above that he needs to master archaic Greek. This should come to him in no time flat.
Welcome from all of us to the study of Linear B, Brian!
Linear A Nouns: ultimate o: Masculine/neuter nouns and adjectives: KEY: OM = Old Minoan, Minoan substratum NM = New Minoan, Mycenaean-derived superstratum PGS = pre-Greek substratum Since this list is intended merely to be indicative of what appears to be the Minoan ultimate o for masculine and neuter nouns and adjectives, with a few exceptions intended to be illustrative, I have not defined any of the words here. They will be defined in our Complete Glossary of Minoan Vocabulary, consisting of over 950 words. adaro NM = a type of grain, barley amidao apero aruqaro asidatoi (pl.?) 5 dinaro ero NM jako jateo kairo 10 NM = due measure kero kidaro kiro NM kiso kito 15 kuro NM = reaching, attaining, i.e. total meto mio muko NM = corner, recess murito 20 niro Paito PGS = Phaistos (= Linear B) pa3dipo potokuro NM = a full drink, a brimming drink puko 25 OM = tripd qajo qareto qato qero 30 reqasuo roiko NM = broken (= Linear B) ruiko Cf. roiko Rukito PGS = Lykinthos (= Linear B, Rukito) ruko 35 sapo sato sezanitao simito PGS = mouse, attribute of Apollo, the Mouse God siro NM? 40 tero tio uro uso utaro 45 witero 46
Minoan Grammar: Nouns & adjectives: Masculine: ultimate u, nominative masculine singular: Part 1: A adu-winu 1-85 Apparently, there are fewer than the 200 nouns and adjectives for the nominative, masculine singular of nouns and adjectives than I had estimated. However, 150 is still a significant cross-section of of our Minoan Linear A Lexicon of 950+ words, accounting for 15.8 % of all vocabulary in the Lexicon. adu dimedu edu inaimadu jadu 5 judu madadu minedu nadu napa3du 10 nisudu qetiradu radu repu3du reradu 15 ridu sezaredu teridu watepidu wazudu 20 wirudu zaredu zudu aju araju NM 25 kaju kumaju kureju pirueju sareju 30 uju daku dejuku jaku japaku 35 jaripa3ku jatituku jumaku kaku NM kuruku NM 40 maruku nazuku niku nupa3ku pa3ku 50 pa3pa3ku paku NM? piku qasaraku qenamiku 55 radakuku raku rekotuku reku ripaku 60 romaku samuku suniku NM taku NM temeku 65 tenatunapa3ku teniku titiku tunapa3ku zapaku 70 dinau karunau sijanakarunau Akanu daminu 75 jakisisinu jarinu kupa3nu nijanu nutu 80 panuqe senu tenu tinu winu 85
Proto-Greek or Mycenaean kiritai = “barley” on Minoan Linear A tablet HT 114 (Haghia Triada):
Like many other Linear A tablets, HT 114 (Haghia Triada) does not appear to be inscribed only in the Minoan language. The proto-Greek or, more accurately, the Mycenaean word, kirita2 (kiritai), which means “barley” and which is almost exactly equivalent to Linear B, kirita, meaning the very same thing, appears on the very first line of this tablet. The only difference is that the Linear A word, kiritai, is plural, whereas the Linear B, kirita, is singular, as we can see here:
While the rest of HT 114 is inscribed in Minoan, the appearance of this one Mycenaean word gives pause. Was Linear A the syllabary of proto-Greek or of Mycenaean Greek just before the advent of the new official syllabary, Linear B? The fact is that it was not. However, this does not mean that there was not proto-Greek or Mycenaean vocabulary on Linear A tablets. How can this be, when the language itself is not proto-Greek?
The phenomenon of the superimposition of a superstratum of vocabulary from a source language (Mycenaean in the case of Linear A) onto a target language (Minoan), is historically not unique to the Minoan language. A strikingly similar event occurred in English with the conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066 AD. Before that date, the only English was Anglo-Saxon. This is what is called Old English. But after conquest of England in 1066 AD, over 10,000 Norman French words streamed into the language between 1100 and 1450 AD, altering the landscape of English vocabulary almost beyond recognition. In fact, believe it or not, only 26 % of English vocabulary is Germanic versus 29 % is French, 29 % Latin and 6 % Greek. So the latter 3 languages, amounting to 64 % of the entire English lexicon, have completely overshadowed the Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Germanic vocabulary, as illustrated in this Figure:
This phenomenon is unique to English alone among all of the Germanic languages. While the grammar and syntax of English is Germanic, the great majority of its vocabulary is not. A strikingly similar event appears to have occurred when the Mycenaeans conquered Knossos, is dependencies and Crete ca. 1500 – 1450 BCE. Just as the Norman French superstratum has imposed itself on Old English, giving rise to Middle and Modern English, Mycenaean Greek operated in much the same fashion when it superimposed itself on Old Minoan, leading to New Minoan vocabulary, which is proto-Greek or Mycenaean. I have already isolated no fewer than 150 proto-Greek or Mycenaean words out of 510 intact words (by my own arbitrary count) in the Linear A lexicon. Again, while the Minoan language itself is not proto-Greek in its grammar and syntax, but is of another, to date still unknown, origin, a large portion of its vocabulary is not Old Minoan, but instead proto-Greek or Mycenaean, as I shall demonstrate in no uncertain terms in my decipherments of numerous Linear A tablets to follow this one. One striking feature of New Minoan is this: the percentage of proto-Greek or Mycenaean vocabulary in Linear B comes to 29 %, precisely the same level as Norman French in English. Although this is sheer co-incidence, it is quite intriguing.
Tentative confirmation of 10 possible proto-Greek words out of 18 under the first vowel, A, in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon:
When I subjected the first alphabetical entries under A in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon to rigorous analysis in order to determine whether or not any of the entries under A just might have been proto-Greek, or more likely than not, proto-Mycenaean. I was able to extrapolate tentative archaic Greek “definitions”, if you like, for no fewer than 10 of the 18 entries under A. That is quite a staggering return! However, in spite of these encouraging findings, we must exercise extreme caution in assigning proto-Greek significance to any number of Minoan words.
Of course, the discovery right fro the outset of 10 words which might possibly be proto-Greek or proto-Mycenaean, is highly tempting. One could, if one were so inclined, that as a consequence of this discovery, the Minoan language must have been proto-Greek. But I would warn us away from such a rash assumption, for several cogent reasons, all of which will become clear as we run alphabetically through the Reverse Linear A Lexicon. One of the most obvious roadblocks to accepting, even on a tentative basis, a proto-Greek reading of words such as the 10 I have isolated under A above is the extreme paucity of consecutive, running text and, what is even worse, the even rarer instances of extant Linear A words providing sufficient context on the tablets for us to be able to extract any real meaning at all from the tablets. This is the brick wall we run up against again and again in any endeavour at deciphering any Minoan word, taken as a single entity.
There is one tenet at least which bears out confirmation or abnegation, and it is this: if we continue to discover a considerable number of potential proto-Greek under subsequent initial syllabograms alphabetically from DA on through to ZU, then there might very well be a case for concluding that either (a) the Minoan language was entirely proto-Greek or (b) the Minoan language was pre-Greek and very probably non Indo-European, but which contained a great many proto-Greek words, for reasons which will become apparent as we proceed through our extrapolative analysis of Minoan words from DA to ZU.
This is bound to be one exciting journey of discovery!
Is the Minoan Linear A labrys inscribed with I-DA-MA-TE in Minoan or in proto-Greek? PART A: Is it in the Minoan language? In my previous post on the Minoan Linear A labrys inscribed with I-DA-MA-TE, I postulated that the word Idamate was probably either the name of the king or of the high priestess (of the labyrinth?) to whom this labrys has been ritually dedicated. But in so doing I was taking the path of least resistance, by seeking out the two most simplistic decipherments which would be the least likely to prove troublesome or controversial. In retrospect, that was a cop-out. No sooner had I posted my two alternate simplistic translations than I was informed by a close colleague of mine in the field of diachronic historical linguistics focusing on Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B that at least two other alternative decipherments came into play, these being: 1. that the term Idamate may be the Minoan equivalent of the Mycenaean Linear B Damate, which is apparently an early version of the ancient Greek, Demeter, who was the goddess of cereals and harvesting: 2. that the term Idamate may be Minoan for Mount Ida, in which case, the word Mate = “mount”, such that the phrase actually spells out “Ida mount(ain)” : Since both of these decipherments make eminent sense, either could, at least theoretically, be correct. But there is a third alternative, and it is far more controversial and compelling than either of the first two. 3. It is even possible that the four syllabograms I DA MA & TE are in fact supersyllabograms, which is to say that each syllabogram is the first syllabogram, i.e. the first syllable of a word, presumably a Minoan word. But if these 4 supersyllabograms represent four consecutive Minoan words, what on earth could these words possibly signify, in light of the fact that we know next to nothing about the Minoan language. It appears we are caught in an irresolvable Catch-22. Yet my own recent research has allowed me to tease potential decipherments out of 107 or about 21 % of all intact words in Prof. John G. Younger’s Linear A lexicon of 510 terms by my own arbitrary count. Scanning this scanty glossary yielded me numerous variations on 3 terms which might conceivably make sense in at least one suppositious context. These terms (all of which I have tentatively deciphered) are: 1. For I: itaja = unit of liquid volume for olive oil (exact value unknown) 2. FOR DA: either: daropa = stirrup jar = Linear B karawere (high certainty) or datara = (sacred) grove of olive trees or data2 (datai) = olive, pl. date = Linear B erawo or datu = olive oil or daweda = medium size amphora with two handles 3. For TE: tereza = large unit of dry or liquid measurement or tesi = small unit of measurement But I cannot find any equivalent for MA other than maru, which seemingly means “wool”, even in Minoan Linear A, this being the apparent equivalent of Mycenaean Linear B mari or mare. The trouble is that this term (if that is what the third supersyllabogram in idamate stands in for) does not contextually mesh at all with any of the alternatives for the other three words symbolized by their respective supersyllabograms. But does that mean the phrase is not Minoan? Far from it. There are at least 2 cogent reasons for exercising extreme caution in jumping to the conclusion that the phrase cannot be in Minoan. These are: 1. that the decipherments of all of the alternative terms I have posited for the supersyllabograms I DA & TE above are all tentative, even if they are more than likely to be close to the mark and some of them probably bang on (for instance, daropa), which I believe they are; 2. that all 3 of the supersyllabograms I DA & TE may instead stand for entirely different Minoan words, none of which I have managed to decipher. And God knows there are plenty of them! Since I have managed to decipher only 107 of 510 extant intact Minoan Linear A words by my arbitrary count, that leaves 403 or 79 % undeciphered! That is far too great a figure to be blithely brushed aside. The > impact of combinations of a > number of Minoan Linear A words on their putative decipherment: To give you a rough idea of the number of undeciphered Minoan words beginning with I DA & TE I have not been able to account for, here we have a cross-section of just a few of those words from Prof. John G. Younger’s Linear A Reverse Lexicon: which are beyond my ken: For I: iininuni ijadi imetu irima itaki For DA: dadana daini daki daku daqaqa For MA: madadu majasa manuqa masuri For TE: tedatiqa tedekima tenamipi teneruda But the situation is far more complex than it appears at first sight. To give you just a notion of the enormous impact of exponential mathematical permutations and combinations on the potential for gross errors in any one of a substantial number of credible decipherments of any given number of Minoan Linear A terms as listed even in the small cross-section of the 100s of Minoan Words in Prof. John G. Younger’s Reverse Linear A Lexicon, all we have to do is relate the mathematical implications of the chart on permutations to any effort whatsoever at the decipherment of even a relatively small no. of Minoan Linear A words: CLICK on the chart of permutations to link to the URL where the discussion of both permutations and combinations occurs: to realize how blatantly obvious it is that any number of interpretations of any one of the selective cross-section of terms which I have listed here can be deemed the so-called actual term corresponding to the supersyllabogram which supposedly represents it. But, and I must emphatically stress my point, this is just a small cross-section of all of the terms in the Linear B Reverse Lexicon beginning with each of the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE in turn. It is grossly obvious that, if we allow for the enormous number of permutations and combinations to which the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE must categorically be subjected mathematically, it is quite out of the question to attempt any decipherment of these 4 supersyllabograms, I DA MA & TE, without taking context absolutely into consideration. And even in that eventuality, there is no guarantee whatsoever that any putative decipherment of each of these supersyllabograms (I DA MA & TE) in turn in the so-called Minoan language will actually hold water, since after all, a smaller, but still significant subset of an extremely large number of permutation and combinations must still remain incontestably in effect. The mathematics of the aforementioned equations simply stack up to a very substantial degree against any truly convincing decipherment of any single Minoan Linear A term, except for one small consideration (or as it turns out, not so small at all). As it so happens, and as we have posited in our first two alternative decipherments above, i.e. 1. that Idamate is Minoan for Mycenaean Damate, the probable equivalent of classical Greek Demeter, or 2. that Idamate actually means “Mount Ida”, these two possible decipherments which do make sense can be extrapolated from the supersyllabograms I DA MA & TE, at least if we take into account the Minoan Linear A terms beginning with I DA & TE (excluding TE), which I have managed, albeit tentatively, to decipher. However, far too many putative decipherments of the great majority of words in the Minoan language itself are at present conceivable, at least to my mind. Yet, this scenario is quite likely to change in the near future, given that I have already managed to tentatively decipher 107 or 21 % of 510 extant Minoan Linear A words, by my arbitrary count. It is entirely conceivable that under these circumstances I shall be able to decipher even more Minoan language words in the near future. In point of fact, if Idamate actually does mean either Idamate (i.e. Demeter) or Ida Mate (i.e. Mount Ida), then: (a) with only 2 possible interpretations for IDAMATE now taken into account, the number of combinations and permutations is greatly reduced to an almost insignificant amount & (b) the actual number of Minoan Linear A words I have deciphered to date rises from 107 to 108 (in a Boolean OR configuration, whereby we can add either “Demeter” or “Mount Ida” to our Lexicon, but not both). A baby step this may be, but a step forward regardless.
Academia.edu DRAFT PAPER = Preview and brief summary of the article, “The Mycenaean Linear B ‘Rosetta Stone’ to Minoan Linear A Tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) Vessels and Pottery”, to be published in Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448. Vol. 12, 2018. (approximately 40 pages long), with some excerpts from the article to whet your appetite. This article represents the first major breakthrough in 117 years in the partial, though far from complete, decipherment of Minoan Linear A. Even this preview, with excerpts running to 9 pages from the actual article, will give you a quite clear idea of exactly how I managed to finesse the decipherment of 21 % (107/510 words) of Minoan Linear A lexicon, more or less accurately. Anyone the least bit interested in the ongoing struggle to decipher Minoan Linear A, even partially, is definitely going to want to read this preview and brief summary, with a few excerpts from the article, which is to appear sometime early in 2018. It quite literally represents by far the most significant development in any attempt to decipher even a relatively small subset of the Minoan Linear A lexicon.
More illustrations (Figures) for my article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science: PART B Here you see more of the Figures, many of them of actual Minoan Linear A tablets as I have deciphered them, which are to appear in my article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in Vol. 12 (2016) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science. It usually takes me between one and two hours to design each figure.
More illustrations (Figures) for my article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science: PART A Here you see more of the Figures, many of them of actual Minoan Linear A tablets as I have deciphered them, which are to appear in my article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in Vol. 12 (2016) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science. It usually takes me between one and two hours to design each figure.
First 2 haiku in Minoan Linear A, English et français : qareto & datara 1 qareto asasumaise keda in a lease field a shepherd and a cedar tree dans un champ loué un berger et un cèdre 2 datara nirai karopai a grove of fig trees figs in a kylix figuiers dans un bosquet figues dans un kylix © by/ par Richard Vallance Janke Sept. 27/ le 27 sept. 2016
UPDATED Table of 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A: After scanning all of the Minoan Linear A tablets I have deciphered, more or less accurately, I have been obliged to revise the former Table of 24 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A to this revised and updated Table of 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A. The 3 extra supersyllabograms all appear in the vessels and pottery sector of the Minoan economy. These are PO, SU and U. In addition, the supersyllabogram A is common to both the olive trees, olive oil & olives sub-sector of the agricultural sector and the vessels and pottery sector. 24 of the supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A are associative, i.e. they accompany, either to the left or to the right, the ideogram with which they are associated. Associative supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A, as in Mycenaean Linear B refer to some major element or object associated with the ideogram in one way or another, without however defining the ideogram itself in any additional way. On the other hand, the 4 supersyllabograms in the vessels and pottery sector are all attributive, in so far as they portray a particular attribute of the ideogram in which they are incharged. I have managed to decipher with a high degree of accuracy 1 of the 4 supersyllabograms in the vessels sector, SU, which signifies supa3ra (supaira), i.e. a two handled small cup, as we see here: All in all, the 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A amount to 75 % of the 36 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, without however being in any way related to the latter, either as individual syllabograms or in the semiotic values of these. For instance, the supersyllabogram A incharged in a vessel ideogram in Minoan Linear A does not mean “amphora” as it does mean in Mycenaean Linear B, and by the same token, the SSYL PO in Linear A does not signify “Potiniya”, unless by some sheer co-incidence, Potiniya happens to be a pre-Mycenaean non-Indo-European name of a goddess... which is possible though unlikely. I have managed to decipher, more less accurately, 9 or 33 % of the 27 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A. These are: DA = dadumata = grain/wheat measurer (probably) = Linear A sitowoko KA = kapa = foot soldier, attendant to the king = Linear B eqeta KI = kidata = to be accepted for delivery = Linear B dekesato OR kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto AND kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket AND kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed NOTE: the semiotic value of the SSYL KI is sector dependent, hence, polysemiotic. This is also true of many supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, although the polysemiotic values of the former are never the same as those of the latter, with one exception only, and that exception is the very next supersyllabogram. NI = nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza. But Mycenaean Linear B shares NI with Minoan Linear A, in spite of the fact that the Mycenaean word for figs is suza. PA = pa3ni = silo or amphora for storing grain + pa3nina = grain or wheat stored in an silo or amphora, more likely the former than the latter, as amphorae are not the most practical recepticle for the storage of grain. Recall that the middle Kingdom Egyptians, who were co-temporaneous with the Minoans, stored their grain in dry silos. RA ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) SA sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre SU = supa3ra (supaira) = a small cup with handles TE = tereza = standard unit of dry or liquid measurement For the time being, the semiotic values of the remaining 18 or 66 % supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A are beyond my ken. On a final note, you can see for yourselves that I have displayed the actual appearance of each supersyllabogram in Linear A immediately to the LEFT of the Latin value. In addition, the 9 Latinized supersyllabograms which I have managed to decipher, more or less accurately, are incharged with the alphabetical character D. All of the above text will be part and parcel of my upcoming major article, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the Rosetta Stone to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” and a Glossary of 110 words in Linear A”, Vol. 12 (2016) of the prestigious international hard-bound annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, to be released sometime late in 2017 or early in 2018. This is to be the most significant article I shall have ever published in my entire lifetime, as it represents the first serious attempt in the 116 years since the first discovery of a smattering of Minoan Linear A tablets by Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos in the spring and summer of 1900 to decipher at least a portion (21.5 % of Minoan Linear A vocabulary, but certainly not the Minoan language itself, in a unique approach never before assayed by any previous philologist or historical linguist who has endeavoured to do the precise opposite to what I have done, i.e. to decipher the entire Minoan language, a goal which is manifestly impossible and plainly unrealistic. All prior philologists have claimed to have deciphered the Minoan language, a claim I would never be so rash or idealistic as to forward. I went to a great deal of trouble to make this Table of 27 Supersyllabograms as professional looking as I could. So I hope that some of you will comment on its graphics and graphical layout, or at least vote for it, LIKE, with the number of stars you deem appropriate (hopefully 5).
Is it even possible to determine what the word for “fig(s)” is in Minoan Linear A? You may be surprised! Among several other tablets in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B, Linear A tablet HT 88 contains the supersyllabogram NI on the second line: The question is, what is the actual word for “fig(s)” in Minoan Linear A? Apparently, no-one knows. The odd thing about this supersyllabogram NI is that it was taken over lock-stock-and-barrel by the Mycenaeans. We will never know why, but it is clear that they thought it convenient simply to hang onto it. It may very well be that that the Mycenaeans continued to use the Minoan word for “fig” alongside their early Greek suza. If that is the case, it is all the more relevant for us to attempt to reconstruct the Minoan word for “fig”. Whatever the circumstances, we are still left with the perplexing question, what is the word for “fig” in Minoan Linear A anyway? In spite of apparently insurmountable obstacles, it may not be so difficult to reconstruct as we might imagine. If we stop to consider even briefly what the word for “fig” is that I have methodically selected in 13 languages, ancient and modern, belonging to 6 different classes, we discover that all but one of them are either monosyllabic or disyllabic. In one instance only is it trisyllabic, pesnika, in Serbian. This does not come as any surprise to me as a linguist, though it may to the so-called “common person” . Here are the words for “fig” in 16 languages belonging to 6 different languages classes: KEY to language classes: AU = Austronesian/ IN = Indo-European/ LI = language isolate/ NC = Niger-Congo/ SE = Semitic/ UR = Uralic. A language isolate is one which does not belong to any international language class whatsoever, but which stands entirely on its own. AU: Indonesian ara Malay rajah Maori piki IN: French figue German Feige Greek (Mycenaean) suza (Attic) suchon Italian fico Latin ficus Norwegian fiken Portuguese figo Serbian pesnika Spanish higo LI: Basque piku NC: Swahili mtimi (sub-class = Bantu) SE: Maltese tin (the only Semitic language in Latin script) UR: Finnish kuva Under the circumstances, I am given to wonder whether or not the Minoan Linear A word for “fig” is monosyllabic, disyllabic or possibly even trisyllabic. It is clear that it cannot be monosyllabic, because the supersyllabogram for “fig” in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B is NI. And supersyllabograms are always the first syllable only of di- tri- or multi-syllabic words in both of these languages. Given this scenario, is it possible or even feasible to reconstruct the Minoan Linear A for “fig”? Surprisingly enough, the answer is yes. Why so? It just so happens that most Minoan Linear A words which are diminutives are feminine with the ultimate being either pa3 or ra2. Under the circumstances, it only takes one small step to restore the two mostly likely candidates for the Minoan Linear A for “fig”. And these are: It is of course possible to argue that the Minoan word for “fig” is trisyllabic, but this is highly unlikely, since the only trisyllabic word for “fig” in all 13 of the languages cited above is the Serbian, pesnika. Hence, I am reasonably convinced that the Minoan Linear A word for “fig(s)” is either nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai). Finally, as it is clear that since the word for “fig(s)” does not even remotely correspond to any of the 13 words in 6 language classes, ancient and modern, above, not even Basque, it may very well turn out that, like Basque, the Minoan language is also a language isolate. I should not be the least but surprised if it were. This discussion will be part and parcel in my upcoming article in Vol. 12 (2016) of Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, “Pylos tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the Rosetta Stone to Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” and a Glossary of 110 words”, the third article in a row I shall have published in this prestigious international annual by the beginning of 2018 at the very latest.
Illustrations of 5 Minoan Linear A tablets (Figures) in Archaeology and Science (2016): Above are 5 illustrations of some (not all) of the Minoan Linear A tablets, reduced to 620 pixels, as they will appear as Figures (with the Figure nos. assigned only to Figures 1 & 2, other Figure nos. not yet assigned) in my upcoming article, “Pylos Tablet Py TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the ‘Rosetta Stone’ for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery” in the prestigious international annual Archaeology and Science, Vol. 12 (2016) ISSN 1452-7448. This is to be the third major article in a row which I will see published in Archaeology and Science. This paper represents the first genuine breakthrough in the decipherment of Minoan Linear A vocabulary (not the language!) in the 116 years since the first Linear A tablets were unearthed by Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos in 1900.
Richard Vallance Twitter KONOSO 1602 & Rita Roberts 548 followers for a total of 2,150! Richard Vallance’s Twitter account, KONOSO, has now reached 1602 followers & Rita Roberts’ 548 followers, for a total of 2,150 followers! Amazing, considering how esoteric Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C are. Of course, Rita’s twitter account covers a far greater range of topics on the ancient world, archaeology, early modern historical goodies, and modern stuff too! The last time we checked in about 4 months ago, we only had about 1,500 followers between us. We are growing like gangbusters!
Table of the distribution of 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A by economic sector & sub-sector: Following is the Table of the 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A by economic sector & sub-sector. It is clear from this table that the majority of supersyllabograms (12) in Minoan Linear A fall in the olive trees, olives and olive oil sub-sector of the agricultural sector of the Minoan economy, primarily in Haghia Triada, but also in Khania (Chania). The next most common sector is grains (barley & wheat) with 7, the third are vases and pottery and also wine with 5, the fourth is figs with 2 and the fifth are military (men as attendants to the king) and textiles with 1 SSYL each. The distribution of supersyllabograms in both Minoan Linear A and Mycenaean Linear B by economic sector is of the utmost importance. I shall need to cross-correlate the key economic sector-by-sector distribution of supersyllabograms in both syllabaries to verify whether or not the distribution of SSYLs in the one syllabary (Linear A) and the other (Linear B) is closely aligned or not. The alignment of supersyllabograms in each syllabary relative to the other will determine with greater accuracy which economic sectors are the most and which the least important in each language, Minoan and Mycenaean. This way, we can get a much better idea of how the key economic sectors are distributed, from most to least important, in each of the two societies, Minoan and post-Minoan Mycenaean. It is of the utmost important to understand that all of the supersyllabograms in both of these syllabaries must refer only to major economic terms in each sector and sub-sector. I shall explicitly compare the relative economic distribution of each society, the Minoan and Mycenaean in my upcoming article, Linear B tablet Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris) is the Mycenaean Linear B “Rosetta Stone” for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada, in Vol. 16 (2016) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448. The Table of 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A by economic sector & sub-sector is to appear in this article. I have deciphered the following 8 supersyllabograms more or less successfully in Minoan Linear A: DA = dadumata = grain/wheat measurer? = Linear B sitokowo KA = kapa = follower or foot soldier, attendant to the king KI = kidata = to be accepted for delivery = Linear B dekesato OR kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto AND kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket AND kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed NI = nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza. But Mycenaean Linear B shares NI with Minoan Linear A, in spite of the fact that the Mycenaean word for figs is suza. PA = pa3ni (amphora for storing grain) + pa3nina = grain or wheat stored in an amphora RA ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) SA sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre TE = tereza = standard unit of usually liquid measurement, sometimes of dry measurement
MAJOR DEVELOPMENT! 24 Supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A just discovered, 8 of them deciphered (versus 36 in Mycenaean Linear B): In case you were wondering whether or not the Mycenaeans invented supersyllabograms, think again. It was the Minoan Linear A scribes who invented them, and passed them on to their Mycenaean heirs. I never even suspected there were supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A until I started trying to decipher at least some Minoan terms in May of 2016. Lo and behold, to my astonishment, there are 24 of them in Linear A, a substantial number, amounting to 66 % of the number of supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B = 36. It is now obvious that if I can decipher any more than the 8 supersyllabograms I have already translated in Minoan Linear A, I may very well be able to decipher more Minoan Linear A words. It remains to be seen. However, I am greatly encouraged by the fact that the apparent meanings of the 8 supersyllabograms I have already deciphered in Minoan Linear A seem to match almost perfectly the actual translations of the Minoan Linear A words to which they apparently correspond. See my decipherments of 8 Minoan Linear A SSYLS (supersyllabograms) following the table of SSYLs in Linear A immediately below. If it had not been for the fact that I successfully deciphered the 36 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B, I would never have stumbled upon the 24 SSYLs in Minoan Linear A, nor would I have been able to cross-correlate these 8 supersyllabograms, DA KA KI NI PA RA SA TE. These 8 supersyllabograms account for 33 % of all the SSYLs in Minoan Linear A. My decipherments of the 8 SSYLs is quite an achievement, considering I, like everyone else in the world, do not know what the Minoan language actually is. I stress again, I have only managed to decipher some of its vocabulary, not the language itself. This is in stark contrast to the 36 supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B which I have been able to decipher with relative ease, in view of the fact that I am intimately familiar with Mycenaean Linear B, having already translated at least 1,000 Linear B tablets. So the fact that I have been able to decipher even 8 of 24 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A is almost a miracle in itself. You can be sure that my decipherments of these 8 Linear A supersyllabograms will figure largely in my upcoming article in Archaeology and Science, Vol. 16 (2016) (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448, “Linear B tablet Pylos TA 641-1952 (Ventris), the “Rosetta Stone” for Minoan Linear A tablet HT 31 (Haghia Triada) vessels and pottery”. You can just imagine how exciting a development this has been for me! Moreover, this development has allowed me to add yet another Minoan Linear A term to my Glossary of Minoan Linear A, samuku, which almost certainly refers to the harvest(ing) of grains (barley or wheat). See SPECIAL NOTES at the end of this post. The Table of 24 Minoan Linear A supersyllabograms From Haghia Triada (HT) & Khania (KH): A HT2 olive oil HT39 vase (v) DA HT133 (g) DI * HT12 olive oil (qatidate) HT14 (oo) HT28 HT50 HT90 HT121 HT129 E * HT2 olive oil HT21 HT34 (g) (+ sumuku huge nos.) HT50 HT58 (oo) KA * HT28 man (m) HT88 HT97 HT100 KE HT26 (vase) KI * HT8 olive oil HT18 HT28 HT44 HT50 HT91 HT101 HT125 HT129 HT140 KU HT32 cloth (c) HT61 (g) HT128 X4! MI * HT28 (oo) HT50 HT90 HT91 HT100 HT101 HT116 X2 b HT125 HT137 NE * HT23 (oo) HT32 HT100 NI appears on several Linear A tablets all by itself, and invariably means figs. It is the only supersyllabogram shared with Mycenaean Linear B, which apparently simply inherited it lock, stock and barrel from Minoan Linear A. QE * HT18 grains (g) HT28 HT36 HT99 HT101 HT121 (oo) PA * HT43 (g) HT93 X3! HT102 X2 HT120 X2 HT125 HT128 KT27 RA HT44 (oo) KH91 (v) RI HT23 (oo) HT35 HT60 HT110 (v) KH82 (oo) RU * KH12 (v) KH63 KH84 KH85 KH91 SA HT27 (g) HT131 SI HT27 TA * HT30 (oo) HT35 KH19 KH39 KH55 KH61 KH85 TE HT3 figs HT9 wine HT13 (kaudeta) HT18 HT19 HT21 HT40 HT44 (g) HT51 (f) HT62 HT67 (f) HT70 (f) HT96 HT133 (g) TU * HT23 (oo) HT28 HT50 HT101 U * HT2 olive oil HT21 HT28 HT40 HT44 HT58 HT91 HT96 HT100 HT101 HT125 HT140 X3 WA HT27 WI KH5 (w = vinegar) * All of the following supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with olive oil: DI E KI MI NE TA TU U * All of the following supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with grain: DA QE (except for HT121) PA * All of the following supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with wine: SA SI WA WI * The supersyllabograms KE & RU in Minoan Linear A deal exclusively with vases and pottery. * The supersyllabogram KA in Minoan Linear A deals exclusively with men. Supersyllabograms I have deciphered in Minoan Linear A: I have already more or less successfully deciphered the following 8 supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A: DA = dadumata = grain/wheat measurer? = Linear B sitokowo KA = kapa = follower or foot soldier, attendant to the king KI = kidata = to be accepted for delivery = Linear B dekesato OR kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto AND kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket AND kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed NI = nipa3 (nipai) or nira2 (nirai) = figs = Linear B suza. But Mycenaean Linear B shares NI with Minoan Linear A, in spite of the fact that the Mycenaean word for figs is suza. PA = pa3ni (amphora for storing grain) + pa3nina = grain or wheat stored in an amphora RA ra*164ti = approx. 5 litres (of wine) SA sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre TE = tereza = standard unit of usually liquid measurement, sometimes of dry measurement All of my decipherments of supersyllabograms in Minoan Linear A further substantiate my decipherments of the Minoan Linear A terms to which they correspond (as seen above). Here is Table 8 of the 36 Supersyllabograms I have deciphered in Mycenaean Linear B: The meanings of the supersyllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B do NOT correspond in any way with those in Minoan Linear A. This table appears in my soon to be published article, “The Decipherment of Supersyllabograms in Linear B” in Vol. 15 (2015) of the prestigious international annual, Archaeology and Science (Belgrade) ISSN 1452-7448. SPECIAL NOTES:  The SSYL KI for olive oil has something to do with sara2 (sarai) = small unit of measurement: dry approx. 1 kg., liquid approx. 1 litre OR kireta2 (kiritai) = delivery = Linear B apudosis + kiretana = (having been) delivered (past participle passive) = Linear B amoiyeto OR kireza = unit of measurement for figs, probably 1 basket OR kiro = owed = Linear B oporo = they owed.  Although I have been unable to decipher the supersyllabogram E for olives, it has facilitated my translation of yet another Minoan Linear A word, samuku, which appears in such huge numbers (245 + 100) on Minoan Linear A tablet HT 34, dealing specifically with grains (barley or wheat) that is almost certainly means the “harvest” of a total of 345 large units of grains, corresponding to something like our modern bushels.
Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae reaches the threshold of 100,000 visitors: (Click the banner to visit) Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae reaches the threshold of 100,000 visitors after 3 1/2 years in existence. This may not sound very impressive to a lot of people, but when we pause consider, even for a moment, that our blog deals specifically and almost solely with Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and Arcado-Cypriot Linear C, the statistics look much more healthy. No-one on earth, apart from myself, can read any Minoan Linear A at all, and very very few can read Mycenaean Linear B or Arcado-Cypriot Linear C. So in this light, the statistics are all the more impressive. After all, even most of our our most loyal visitors cannot read at least 2 of these three syllabaries, even though several are adept with Homer and Classical Greek, as am I. By the way, our blog also features my own translation of the Catalogue of Ships in Book II of the Iliad, which has a direct bearing on the features of Homeric vocabulary and syntax inherited directly from Mycenaean Linear B. In this period, we have posted well over 1,300 posts, with translations of hundreds of Mycenaean Linear B tablets, scores of Minoan Linear A tablets and even a few Arcado-Cypriot tablets. Our media library consists of 10s of thousands of photos, images and frescoes & paintings. We are, in a word, the largest Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B & Arcado-Cypriot Linear C site on the internet. Even omitting Linear A and Linear C, we rank in the top 3 of official Mycenaean Linear B sites.