summer haiku d' été – frozen in amber = gelé dans l'ambre = congelato in ambra frozen in amber wheat still waves in the wind – the freshest scent! gelé dans l'ambre le blé ondule dans le vent – quel parfum frais ! congelato in ambra il grano nel vento - il profumo fresco! Richard Vallance photo public domain, special effects by Richard Vallance
The top of Minoan Linear A Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) restored on academia.edu Click on the link below to read this key contribution to research into Minoan Linear A tablets: Minoan Linear A tablets appear to be classed in two primary areas of interest (a) agriculture, and more specifically, crops and grains and (b) religious and sacerdotal. It is to the former that we turn our attention in this study. Focusing on certain Linear A tablets which deal primarily or almost exclusively with grains, we find that these three tablets yield the most promising results, Haghia Triada tablets HT 86 & 95 and Zakros tablet ZA 20. While HT 86 and HT 95 are intact, ZA 20 is not. Other Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada also contribute to our findings. Is it possible to envision an intact version of the original ZA 20 tablet from Zakros? We believe so, and with that firmly in mind we have attempted the first ever restoration of the top of ZA 20, resulting in what amounts to a plausible intact version, however hypothetical, of the original. So without further ado, we present the full restoration of our version of Linear A tablet ZA 20.
Restoration the full text of the badly damaged Linear A tablet from Gournia: Here we see my restoration of the full text of the badly damaged Linear A tablet from Gournia, which includes line 0. at the top and line 4. at the bottom. This is just a personal interpretation, which may stray from the actual text of the original tablet... but we cannot really know this. Note that the RECTO (front side) and the VERSO (reverse side) are reversed. If you horizontally flip the VERSO it fits correctly into the RECTO. So this means that we have to read the text on the RECTO from left to right (dextrograde) and on the VERSO from right to left (sinistrograde). The reconstruction certainly makes sense. It was hard work, but worth it and fun!
Restoration of the top of Minoan Linear Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) REVISED: Since the last post on my original restoration of the top of Minoan Linear Tablet ZA 20 (Zakros), I have reconsidered the hypothetical text, and I have come up with this more plausible restoration: The running decipherment reads as follows: 1. a field 2. of 20 bales of einkorn wheat 3. and 20 bales of emmer wheat 4. and 65 bales of barley 5. all measured by bales 6. 4 bales of MI ?? ZA (unknown) + 1 bale with wheat 7. and 12 bales of wheat with 2 spin-offs of chaff from the wheat 8. totals for all the above = 130 This restoration is the basis of an article on it soon to be published on academia.edu. I shall keep you posted.
Richard Janke’s conjectural restoration of the missing top of Linear A tablet ZA 20: Since the top of Linear A tablet ZA 20 is missing, I boldly took it upon myself to restore the top of this tablet. My restoration is of course conjectural, but I am quite sure it is something like what the original must have looked like, because line 6 mentions sitetu and line 7 situ. These are variants on the same Linear A word, situ, which just so happens to look a great deal like the Linear B word sito, which means “wheat”. SO it is natural to suppose that in fact situ and sitetu also mean “wheat” in Linear A. Here is the decipherment of the entire Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakrs), including the restored lines 1.-7. 1. kireta2 11 = 11 units (probably bales) of barley 2. dideru 42 = 42 bales of einkorn wheat 3. dideru 30 qerie 22 = 30 bales of einkorn wheat (2) and 22 bales of another type of grain (3) 4. qerie 6 = 6 bales of grain type (3) 5. ro? + direza- = (dide)ro [left truncated] = einkorn wheat = didero + direza = a unit of measurement 6. se + mi? +ru? 4 sitetu 1 = “se” is the last syllabogram, i.e. syllable of the word direza+se, which implies the word is inflected. 7. situ 6 te*123 12 rumitase 2 = 6 bales of wheat + 12 bales or units of te*123 (unknown) 2 units of chaff 8. kura 120 = kura = TOTAL of all items listed in lines 1.-7. No one has ever attempted to decipher even the extant bottom portion of Linear A tablet ZA 20 (Zakros) before, let alone to restore the missing lines in the missing top portion of this tablet.
summer haiku d’été – the moon casts shadows = les ombres lunaires the moon casts shadows over the rippling prairies – silvery wheat les ombres lunaires sur les prairies ondulantes – le blé argenté Richard Vallance
Linear A nodule on weighing emmer wheat with 3 supersyllabograms:
This rare Linear A nodule is of particular interest because it contains 3 supersyllabograms, JE SE & U. I am unable to decipher JE and SE, but U appears to be the first syllabogram, actually a vowel, i.e. the first syllable of the word it represents, which in this case would appear to be the Mycenaean-derived word, udoro = u3droj = a water flask. But this interpretation may not make sense in the context of weighing KUNI(SU) or emmer wheat, unless a certain standardized amount of water in a water flask were poised at the other end of the scale measuring the emmer wheat. This is surely open to speculation.
Academia.edu THESIS The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire by Rita Roberts: Click on this logo to download her thesis: We are proud to announce that Rita Roberts has fulfilled the requirements of her second year of university, and has passed with a mark of 85 %. We have awarded her 90 % for thesis, The Minoan and Mycenaean Agricultural Trade and Trade Routes in the Mycenaean Empire, which is a finely researched document I highly recommend to any and all. It deals in great detail with every conceivable aspect of Minoan and Mycenaean agricultural trade via their trade routes in the Mycenaean Empire, ca. 1600-1450 BCE. We congratulate Rita on her splendid achievement, and we look forward to her fuflling the exacting requirements of her third and final year of university which commences on July 1 2018, Canada Day. Once she has completed her third year, she will have earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Minoan and Mycenaean studies.
Linear B tablet HT 93 (Haghia Triada). What happens when there are not enough Mycenaean-derived words to decipher a Linear A tablet:
While it is a relatively straightforward matter to decipher Linear A tablets which contain a substantial portion of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary, the situation rapidly deteriorates the fewer Myenaean-derived words there are on the tablet or inscription. In fact, there is a point of no return in all too many cases. This is not quite the situation we are faced with when confronted with Linear A tablet HT 88 (Haghia Triada). But we are getting close to the precipice. There appear to be only 4 Mycenaean-derived words on this tablet, SERE = a corn silo, ASE = surfeit, OTI = with handles and KIRO, which seems to be a scribal error, since this word appears on the VERSO of the tablet with the large number 165 + fraction following it. So I suspect the scribe meant to inscribe KURO. As for the later archaic or classical Greek words to which these four words correspond, see the actual figure of the tablet above.
As for the remainder of the tablet, most of the vocabulary simply eludes us, with the exception of one word, DARIDA (HT 10, HT 85, HT 93 and HT 122), an old Minoan (OM) word, appearing in the Minoan substrate language, which definitely refers to some kind of vase. And if our interpretation of OTI is correct, then the vase is two-handled. The decipherment of OTI as two-handled is buttressed by the presence of the ideogram for a vase with two handles nearly adjacent to it. As for the rest of the tablet, with the exception of SARA2, which is ancient Semitic for barley or a similar grain crop, your guess is as good as mine. However, I suspect that QAQARU is another type of (large) vase, which in this case is used to store SARA2.
Linear A tablet HT 18 (Haghia Triada) is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets with a Mycenaean-derived superstrate:
Linear A tablet HT 18 (Haghia Triada) is one of the most significant of all Linear A tablets with a Mycenaean-derived superstrate, because by means of supersyllabograms only, ie. QE + the ideogram for “wheat/barley῎, KI + the ideogram for “barley῎ and NI + the ideogram for “figs῎ ― and take special note of this! ― with NI incharged in a square, it conveys in the most condensed manner possible every possible interpretation of Mycenaean-derived vocabulary appearing on the tablet. There can be little or no doubt but that KI is the supersyllabogram for KIRETANA/KIRETA2 = “barley῎ kriqani/aj and that NI, and this is the clever little trick the scribe employs, represents fig trees in a field, since the supersyllabogram NI (for figs) is enclosed in a square, representing a field, in other words not just figs, but fig trees, are in a field.
Linear A words and ideograms for cereals + general Linear A ideograms:
The chart above lists almost all of the Linear A words and ideograms for cereals + general Linear A ideograms. The Linear A Semitic words and ideograms for cereals are identical to those found on Linear A tablets HT 86 and HT 95 (Haghia Triada). Simply refer to the previous posts on these two highly significant Linear A tablets to confirm these interpretations. Also found in this chart are general Linear A ideograms, the majority of which are identical to their Linear B counterparts, which should come as no surprise to anyone, considering that the Linear B syllabary is merely a refinement of the Linear A syllabary.
All-new complete decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 86 (Haghia Triada):
In the previous post, we witnessed the almost complete decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 95 (Haghia Triada). Now we are presented with a full decipherment down to the last word of HT 86 (Haghia Triada), which is practically a mirror-image of HT 95. This is the first time ever I have succeeded in deciphering two almost identical Linear A tablets inscribed entirely in Old Minoan (OM), the original Minoan substrate language. This constitutes a major advancement in the decipherment of Linear A, all the more so, since DAME & SARU appear on other Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada. So we are making at least some progress in the decipherment of the original Minoan substrate language, Old Minoan (OM).
Here is the decipherment of HT 86:
1. AKARU (in a) field, KUNI…
2. SU = emmer wheat + ideogram for “wheat” + fractions 20 +SARU = barley (sha’ir, Arabic) 20
3. DIDERU = emmer wheat QARA2WA = roasted wheat kernels 10
4. ADU = unit of dry measurement something like bushels + DAME = chickpea condiment + + ideogram for “wheat” fraction 20
5. MINUTE = finely sifted grain as in Egyptian hieroglyhics
1. AKARU (in a) field, KU…
2. NISU = emmer wheat + ideogram for “grain” 20 + SARU = barley (as above)
3. DIDE… (truncated) = DIDERU = emmer wheat, probably 10 or 20.
All-new all but complete decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 95 (Haghia Triada):
This is the latest and most accurate decipherment I have attempted to date of Linear A tablet HT 95 (Haghia Triada). Although the tablet is inscribed entirely in Old Minoan (OM), with the sole exception of DADUMATA, which is almost certainly some kind of grain, it can be translated almost entirely. Note too that the RECTO and VERSO are practically mirror-images of one another (Cf. Linear A tablet HT 86 below). And if this tablet can be deciphered, then its close twin and practically mirror-image, HT 86 (Haghia Triada) is equally susceptible to decipherment, and in fact in the case of the latter, it (HT 86) is fully decipherable, down to the last word. This is the first time ever I have succeeded in deciphering two almost identical Linear A tablets inscribed entirely in Old Minoan (OM), the original Minoan substrate language.
All of the cereal products on this tablet are Semitic, some of them still acknowledged to this day in Arabic.
This constitutes a major advancement in the decipherment of Linear A, all the more so, since DAME & SARU appear on other Linear A tablets from Haghia Triada. So we are making at least some progress in the decipherment of the original Minoan substrate language, Old Minoan (OM).
The newest decipherment of Linear A tablet HT 86, which is practically a mirror-image of HT 95, appears in the next post.
Linear A tablet 10 (Haghia Triada), a crazy-quilt hodgepodge:
Linear A tablet 10 (Haghia Triada) is a crazy-quilt hodgepodge of 2 apparent Mycenaean-derived words (MEZA & TARINA), Semitic (KUNISU), with all of the rest of the words being Old Minoan (OM). Moreover, there are two numeric syllabograms U*305 & *312, which are completely unknown. There is also some confusion with the numerals on this tablet. I disagree with Prof. John G. Younger’s interpretation of some of them. So as we can see, in spite of the 2 apparent Mycenaean-derived words, it is next to impossible to decipher this tablet, try as we might.
Linear A tablet ZA 8, another Linear A largely inscribed in proto-Greek and/or Mycenaean Greek, groats, figs and wheat dough:
The context of this tablet makes it quite clear that we are dealing with an inscription largely inscribed in proto-Greek and/or Mycenaean Greek. The free translation reads as follows:
the brim (of a vessel or pot), with groats inside it + 1 1/2 units of figs * (not in the pot!) in a slanting) urn OR 2/3rds of a unit of liquid measurement (of the figs) + 2/5 salty units (something like milligrams) of wheat dough + 1/2 mapa (unknown) ** + 2 1/4 maikase (unknown) ** + 2 1/2 daipita ** + 4 2/5 due measures.
* The supersyllabogram NI, which means figs, is almost certainly nira or nita in Linear A. The word nita occurs in the Linear A lexicon.
** mapa, maikasa and daipita are almost certainly Old Minoan (OM) words in the Minoan substrate. So far, these words appear to be indecipherable. So far … This tablet dates from the Late Minoan Ib period (ca. 1500-1450 BCE), hence it overlaps with Linear B tablets, such as those from Knossos, which date from the same period, making it all the more likely that it is largely inscribed in proto-Greek, possibly with some Mycenaen Greek words on it.
Mycenaean Linear B units of dry measurement:
This chart speaks for itself. Notice that at least 4 of these dry units of measurement in Linear A have counterparts in Linear A.
Linear B tablet, Pylos ER 312, tax collection for wheat for the temple in the palace:
This most fascinating of Linear B tablets, Pylos ER 312, clearly deals with the temple in the palace (both words in the locative singular). The tablet deals with taxation of seed for wheat and for wheat as such, where the units of wheat a large, and measured in something like bale-like units. Now it is obvious that in the Minoan/Mycenaean era, wheat and other grain crops were not measured in bales, but there was a standard large unit of measurement for them, which probably approximated bales. As the tax collector is mentioned, we know this tablet deals exclusively with taxation for wheat seeds and wheat. The taxes raised by the tax collector are for the temple in the palace. In line 7, we have worokiyoneyo eremo, which prima facie is somewhat mystifying. However, as my research colleague, Alexandre Solcà, points out, eremo is the adjective corresponding to the noun, eremo, the latter signifying “desert”. So the attributive of this word probably means “devoid of”. It certainly makes sense in context, given that the word preceding it is worokiyoneyo (genitive singular) for “of an offering ”, so the sense would be, literally, “devoid of an offering”, hence, “a free offering”. This clears up any ambiguity in the text.
Rita Roberts’ translation of Knossos tablet KN J 1 f 01, her last tablet for her second year of university:
Line 1: Deukijojo = month name + temeno = shrine. The damaged first syllabogram looks like TO. The actual word temeno = “temple” does not appear on the first line of this tablet, since it appears that the the scribe has made a scribal error, which actually happens quite often on Linear B tablets. The writing is messy, and appears to read teno, which would explain the scribal error, i.e. he missed on one syllabogram. Deukijojo could either be a month name, in which case it means “the tenth month” or more properly in this content, “of the tenth month” or it could simply be a person’s name. If it refers to the tenth month, then it follows that the entire tablet refers to this month.
Wakatanujo – or- Dukatanayo = name + newejo = “of something new” + 3 units (probably bales) of barley. Hence the line refers to 3 new units (probably bales) of barley from Wakatanujo – or- Dukatanayo
Padarejode = a place hame, which is a sanctuary = hence, olive oil from Dardare and 2 units (probably bales) of barley.
Pade = name plus olive oil and 1 unit (probably a bale) of barley
Pasiteoi = “to all gods” barley and 1 unit of olive oil
olive oil and barley for Qerasiya = goddess Artemis, with numerals absent because of right truncation.
1 unit of barley to all the gods at Aminiso = Amnisos
2 units (probably pithoi) of olive oil for the goddess Erinu. Note that Erinu references one of the Furies (Erynies) in Greek. So it would appear that the scribe tells us that there was a sacrifice to at least one of or probably all of the Furies to appease them so that crops would thrive.
Gold and olive oil and 1 cyperus plant, probably dedicated to the priestess of the winds in Line 10.
4 cyperus plans dedicated to Anemo Ijereja = to the priestess of the winds
Blank and truncated.
3 units (probably pithoi) of olive oil and 2 units of barely plus 2 cyperus trees (also probably dedicated to the priestess of the winds)
Blank and truncated.
This is the very last tablet Rita Roberts is to translate for her second year of university, and it is by far the most challenging she has ever been confronted with to date. Congratulations to Rita! She is now about to take her final examination for her second year, which is to consist of 25 questions in increasing level of difficulty, the last 5 of which are to be translations of tablets, plus her second year thesis paper, What did the Minoan agricultural sector contribute to the Mycenaean Empire? This paper must be at least 25 pages long, inclusive of the bibliography but excluding illustrations, which will add to the page length of her thesis. Since this thesis paper is much more difficult than her first year thesis, I am allotting her three months to complete it, i.e. Feb. 15 – May 15. However, she must complete the rest of the examination in just 2 weeks (Feb. 15 – March 1 2018).
In the next post, I shall re-inscribe the entire tablet in archaic Greek from the Mycenaean.
Wikipedia: History of beer + the Minoan words for beer = zute and kiretaiwinu finally deciphered: From Wikipedia: History of beer As almost any cereal containing certain sugars can undergo spontaneous fermentation due to wild yeasts in the air, it is possible that beer-like beverages were independently developed throughout the world soon after a tribe or culture had domesticated cereal. Chemical tests of ancient pottery jars reveal that beer was produced as far back as about 7,000 years ago in what is today Iran. This discovery reveals one of the earliest known uses of fermentation and is the earliest evidence of brewing to date. In Mesopotamia, the oldest evidence of beer is believed to be a 6,000-year-old Sumerian tablet depicting people drinking a beverage through reed straws from a communal bowl. A 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honouring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread. In Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq), early evidence of beer is a 3900-year-old Sumerian poem honoring Ninkasi, the patron goddess of brewing, which contains the oldest surviving beer recipe, describing the production of beer from barley via bread. Approximately 5000 years ago, workers in the city of Uruk were paid by their employers in beer. Ninkasi, you are the one who pours out the filtered beer of the collector vat It is [like] the onrush of Tigris and Euphrates. Beer was part of the daily diet of Egyptian pharaohs over 5,000 years ago. Then, it was made from baked barley bread, and was also used in religious practices. During the building of the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt, each worker got a daily ration of four to five liters of beer, which served as both nutrition and refreshment that was crucial to the pyramids' construction. The Greek writer Sophocles (450 BCE) discussed the concept of moderation when it came to consuming beer in Greek culture, and believed that the best diet for Greeks consisted of bread, meats, various types of vegetables, and beer or zythos as they called it. The ancient Greeks also made barley wine (Greek: – krithinos oinos, “barley wine” mentioned by Greek historian Polybius in his work The Histories, where he states that Phaeacians kept barley wine in silver and golden kraters. NOTES: The Old Minoan (OM) equivalent of zythos is zute, while the New Minoan (NM) equivalent of krithinos oinos is kiretaiwinu.
TE = tereza OM = “standard liquid unit of measurement” confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that tereza, was used to measure fig juice, Old Minoan (OM) supersyllabogram = NI, corresponding to the OM word nira2 (nirai) -or- nita2 (nitai) OM = figs + ideogram = NI (in both Linear A & B), as well as for wine = New Minoan winu NM1 #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono #oi/noj, as well as for beer, for which the Minoan words are deciphered for the first time below. Minoan beer was fermented either from barley (kiretai) or from emmer wheat (kunisu).
TE = tereza on Minoan Linear A tablets
HT 6 fi HT 13 wi HT 17 wi HT 19 wi HT 21 gr HT 40 gr HT 44 gr HT 51 fi HT 62 wi HT 67 fi HT 70 fi HT 96 fi HT 133 gr TH 6 te TH Zb 11 wi
fi 5 (fig juice)
wi 5 (wine)
gr 5 (beer, from barley)
The ancient Greek word for beer was ζῦθος (zythos), which appears as zute in Old Minoan (OM) and also κρίθινος οἶνος – krithinos oinos = barley wine. This means that the Minoan word combination for beer was very likely kireta2 (kiretai) NM1 kri/qai = barley + winu NM1 #i/nu = wine Cf. Linear B wono #oi/noj, hence kiretaiwinu = kri/qai#i/nu
Minoan beer was also produced from emmer wheat, kunisu OM = emmer wheat (derivation: Semitic kunnisu)
4-sided Cretan pictogram bar with end shown & interpretations of pictograms: