Domain expiring

I've archived this site and it will be going offline in about 6 months. There are other great resources now online! My financial situation has changed and my current hosting option is too expensive. If resurrected, I'll be sure to note "formerly known as" for easy discovery. Ciao!

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Of kilns and pottery

Each time I go back through photos from Crete, or the lovely book about the kiln found at Kommos, I find myself wondering: where are the pottery words?

Linear B needs a word for kiln, for pithos, words for pottery, for clay. It's a strange gap in the corpus we have.

We've got a-pi-po-re-we. Where are its buddies?

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Reconstructing Minoan metal vessel crafting techniques

I'm reading a really excellent article on by Christina Clarke from the Proceedings of the 39th Symposium for Archaeometry about her research and adventures in reconstructing metal Minoan vessels.

Figure 1 alone is worth the read with its excellent inventory of metal vessel types, but the whole article is well-written and interesting. I haven't seen the j-type cauldron in person yet, and would very much like to.

She asks a great question that I find particular intriguing: How do we distinguish between a metallurgical site and a domestic site if the hearths for each use needn't differ?

And the copper hydria she recreated? Gorgeous. I'd be curious to compare its thickness to the original(s).

Skeumorph is an artful derivation of a previously functional structure, like including rivets to mimic a metal vessel in a pottery medium.

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Excellent Linear B Repository

DĀMOS: Database of Mycenaean at Oslo

Federico Aurora at the Universitetet i Oslo has completed work on an outstanding repository of Linear B inscriptions. The user interface is absolutely beautiful and intuitive. Do a search on a Linear B word like da-mo and make sure to put your mouse over the tablet's magnifying glass.

This repository has already been incredibly helpful with my research. I hope you'll find it equally useful.

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José L. Melena and the Pylos Joins

Dr. Melena at the University of the Basque Country is one of my favourite Mycenologists. His writing is, to me, a perfect synthesis of detail-oriented curiosity and evidence-based academic rigor. An example of this are his comments which I've included for the Pylos hapax legomenon (ri)-ma.

I've just finished reading through his incredible join work, published in 2000-2001 in Kadmos 35-36. Melena studied an impressive number of fragments and created additional joins and quasi-joins among the Pylos tablets. Affected Pylos transliterations have been updated with his research, which includes some interesting consolidations.

I want to highly recommend the following articles:

Melena, José, 2000-2001 Minos 35-36 “24 Joins and Quasi-joins of Fragments in the Linear B Tablets from Pylos”

Melena, José, 2000-2001 Minos 35-36 “63 Joins and Quasi-joins of Fragments in the Linear B Tablets from Pylos”

This work helps emphasize the importance of some of the more long-term details-oriented work - exact find spots from archaeologists, Palaima's clay indexing and the incredible palaeographic work of Louis Godart, Thomas Palaima, etc. - to help facilitate joins and improve our context and understanding of Linear B.

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Amazing Photographs of the Linear B Tablets at the Ashmolean Museum

Go here for full details on the project and how to download the RTI Viewer:

Please consider making a donation to the Ashmolean Museum to thank them for this extraordinary project. Be sure to mention the RTI Project and Linear B.

Here's a quick cheat sheet using the IDs Mycenologists use:

KN Ap 639 (thumbnail) RTIViewerURL:
Continue reading

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[Thesis Generator] sa-pe-ra vs. sa-pi-da

What do you think?

39 years after the 1973 publication of the 2nd edition of Documents in Mycenaean Greek by John Chadwick and Michael Ventris, I still constantly encounter questions that remain open from their early work. I keep a list of these questions in a spreadsheet light-heartedly called "Thesis Generator". I think of them as little baby theses to practice researching. I thought I'd share one for your consideration and ideas.

How are sa-pe-ra and sa-pi-da related?

Chadwick and Ventris compare these two in their 1973 index, as both:
"[sa-pe-ra] apparently replaces entry giving quantity of oil"
"[sa-pi-da] apparently replaces entry giving number of men"
A Companion to Linear B: Mycenaean Greek Texts and their World volumes I and II edited by Yves Duhoux and Anna Morpurgo Davies exclude these sign groups in the latest compiled research on Linear B. They're both hapax legomenon so we're looking, at best, at a hypothesis based largely on context.

sa-pe-ra context

PY Fr 1215:

wa-na-ka-te , wa-na-se-wi-jo , we-a-re-pe
sa-pe-ra           ra

sa-pi-da context

PY An 656 (see the PY An series for the full inscription):

wa-ka-ti-ja-ta , ke-ki-de , sa-pi-da
me-ta-qe , pe-i , e-qe-ta
pe-re-qo-ni-jo , a-re-i-jo ,
ne-wo-ki-to , wo-wi-ja , ko-ro-ku-ra-i-jo ,
VIR 20 me-ta-qe , pe-i, e-qe-ta
di-wi-je-u ,

Prior Research?

Only four articles in SMID even mention sa-pe-ra. This is where I'd probably start if I were researching this.

Carlier, Pierre, 1984 Strasbourg: Association pour l‘étude de la civilisation romaine "La Royauté en Grèce avant Alexandre"

Heubeck, Alfred, 1985 Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 46 "Zu den mykenischen Stoffadjektiven"

Palaima, Thomas G., 1997 Aegaeum, ΤΕΧΝΗ 2: Craftsmen, Craftswomen, and Craftsmanship in the Aegean Bronze Age "Potter and Fuller: The Royal Craftsmen"

Palmer, Leonard R., 1983 Res Mycenaeae "Mycenaean Religion: Methodological Choices"

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Reading the Iliad

I have a bilingual (Homeric Greek + English) of the Iliad (trans. A.T Murray, ed. William F. Wyatt). The sabre-rattling and violence is not generally my cup of tea, but I've been maintaining my pace through the sheer joy of encountering Homeric Greek words that I recognize from the Mycenaean Greek. I usually find 3 or 4 per page, usually simple ones like te-o 'god(s)' or ka-ko 'bronze'.

There is a brief section in Book IV, however, where suddenly I was being pelted with Mycenaean. From 105 to 145 (alphabetical on the Mycenaean side):

Continue reading

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Linear B Inscribed Handmade Pendants on Etsy

I've long wanted some Linear B inscribed jewelry. I couldn't find any while I was on Crete, so I finally decided to make some. I put up a few extras on Etsy (a-ne-mo i-je-re-ja; e-ra; ka-ke-u; ko-wa; ko-wo; ma-te; ma-te tu-ka-te-qe; pa-te; pa-te tu-ka-te-qe; po-se-da-o-ne; po-ti-ni-ja; te-ko-to-ne; tu-ka-te). Proceeds will benefit the digitization of the Linear B corpus and lexicon.

ma-te tu-ka-te-qe
ma-te tu-ka-te-qe Mother & Daughter

di-wo-nu-so VIN
di-wo-nu-so VIN Dionysus & his wine

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Great quote from Michel Lejeune

"Il n'y a rien de plus difficile que les solutions de facilité."
"Nothing is more difficult than easy solutions."
    - Michel Lejeune

His wikipedia biography could sure use some love...

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