The Newly Unearthed Minoan Winnie the Pooh Tablet (from Knossos? I wish it weren’t) Click to BLOW UP TO ELEPHANT SIZE if you dare!:
I really don’t want to say anything more about this astonishing tablet, except to say that I can’t believe Rita and I found it last Hallowe’en while all the other archaeologists in Herakleion were either out trick or treating with their better halves, or sitting morosely in Greek bars sipping, of all the disgusting things, Retsina! Rita pleaded and begged and pleaded again for me to re-bury it, but I would have nothing of it, informing her in no uncertain terms that this was the Linear B find of the century, if not the entire millennium, given that it is so incredibly unlike any other Linear B tablet she and I have ever, ever, ever seen... let alone anyone else. How it came to be is anyone’s guess, though I do believe that the scribe’s signature, WIPO, is a dead giveaway. Plus, although he had no brains, Minoan Winnie the Pooh was a clever little bugger, riding into the city market, no less, on an ELEPHANT, no less, just to make sure everyone (especially the already burnt-out scribes!) got the hell out of their way... or else... or else what I cringe to imagine. And although our “scribe’s” scratches and scrawls are almost illegible, even for Linear B, which is almost illegible most of the time anyway, only this time round far worse, the text is utterly charming in the extreme, once you can figure out how to decipher it.
I wonder how many elephants he has. I wonder whether or not he shares (at least one pot of) honey with his elephants. I suspect he has to, unless he also wants to get squashed underfoot. I wonder why the scribes just don’t give up, toss in the towel (though there probably no towels as such in ancient Knossos), and run off in all directions screaming like maniacs (which is what they would have been by this time!). I wonder why Rita and I ever decided to keep this silly tablet, except that maybe, just maybe, we want to set the entire Linear B research community, and especially Linear B translators, on their heads, aghast at this new, entirely unexpected and entirely earth-shattering tablet... earth-shattering, not because there was another one of those nasty earthquakes at Knossos when it was composed, but because elephants really do shatter the earth when they come stomping by or, worse yet, stomping into the scribes’ HQ.
This is of course the primary reason why so many Linear B tablets were never unearthed by Sir Arthur Evans in the first place, since the poor bloke was entirely oblivious of the Elephantine Factor (see shattering above). It is almost certainly a historical given that Minoan Winnie the Pooh ordered his pet elephants to destroy as many tablets as they could on any subject but honey pots and honey amphorae, except that the stupid elephants got it all the wrong way around, and destroyed thousands upon thousands of honey-pot and honey amphorae tablets, upon which the entire Minoan economy depended for its survival. When I rummaged through 3,000 + tablets from Knossos, I could find only 7 or 8 honey-pot tablets (and fragments, of course, given those elephant feet!), a horrific loss to posterity, especially to all those honey-sweet Pooh Bears who have lived on this lovely earth of ours since then, Winnie Ille Pooh, the Roman Pooh, Winnie Lou Pou, the Provençal Pou, and so on and so forth, all the way up to Winnie the Pooh today.
What a terrible loss indeed! Small wonder that the Minoan economy collapsed in a heap of rubble! Those meany ole’ scribes just didn’t get it! Their entire economy was stuck on honey. No honey, no economy. Poof, no Knossos!
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