Minoan Linear A & Mycenaean Linear B http://minoan.deaditerranean.com Dead Languages of the Mediterranean Sat, 21 Mar 2015 02:39:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Of kilns and pottery http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2015/03/20/of-kilns-and-pottery/ http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2015/03/20/of-kilns-and-pottery/#comments Sat, 21 Mar 2015 02:39:05 +0000 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/?p=15495 Continue reading ]]> 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 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2014/07/29/reconstructing-minoan-metal-vessel-techniques/ Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:25:37 +0000 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/?p=15468 Continue reading ]]> I'm reading a really excellent article on Academia.edu 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.

Excellent Linear B Repository http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2013/03/05/excellent-linear-b-repository/ http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2013/03/05/excellent-linear-b-repository/#comments Tue, 05 Mar 2013 20:04:15 +0000 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/?p=15461 Continue reading ]]> 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 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2013/01/08/jose-l-melena-and-the-pylos-joins/ http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2013/01/08/jose-l-melena-and-the-pylos-joins/#comments Tue, 08 Jan 2013 22:38:07 +0000 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/?p=15199 Continue reading ]]> 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 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/12/13/amazing-photographs-of-the-linear-b-tablets-at-the-ashmolean-museum/ http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/12/13/amazing-photographs-of-the-linear-b-tablets-at-the-ashmolean-museum/#comments Thu, 13 Dec 2012 08:13:11 +0000 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/?p=14172 Continue reading ]]> Go here for full details on the project and how to download the RTI Viewer: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/collection/linearb/images.php

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: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_218_o/An1910_218_o.ptm

KN B 799+ Recto (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_707_o/An1938_707_o.ptm

KN B 799+ Verso (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_709_r/An1938_709_r.ptm
Note: this one is mislabeled as 1938.709 so the links may change to correct the error

KN Ce 59 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_212_o/An1910_212_o.ptm

KN Dc 1298 (thumbnail) RTIViewerURL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_216_o/An1910_216_o.ptm

KN De 1301 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_708_o/An1938_708_o.ptm

KN De 1648 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_850_o/An1938_850_o.ptm

KN Dh 1646+ (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_712_o/An1938_712_o.ptm

KN D 1650 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_854_o/An1938_854_o.ptm

KN E 777 Recto (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_214_o/An1910_214_o.ptm

KN E 777 Verso (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_214_r/An1910_214_r.ptm

KN E 1569+ (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_710_o/An1938_710_o.ptm

KN G 820 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_215_o/An1910_215_o.ptm

KN L 1647 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_848_o/An1938_848_o.ptm

KN L 1649 sup. mut. (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_852_o/An1938_852_o.ptm

KN L 1649 Verso (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_852_r/An1938_852_r.ptm

KN Mc 4455+ (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_217_o/An1910_217_o.ptm

KN M 1645 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_711_o/An1938_711_o.ptm

KN Ra 1540 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_706_o/An1938_706_o.ptm

KN Sc 218 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_849_o/An1910_849_o.ptm

KN Sc 238 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_704_o/An1938_704_o.ptm

KN Sd 4422 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_213_o/An1910_213_o.ptm

KN Se 883 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1938_705_o/An1938_705_o.ptm

KN So 894 (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_211_o/An1910_211_o.ptm

KN V 479 Recto (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_219_o/An1910_219_o.ptm

KN V 479 Verso (thumbnail) RTIViewer URL: http://sirarthurevans.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/images/ptm/An1910_219_r/An1910_219_r.ptm

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[Thesis Generator] sa-pe-ra vs. sa-pi-da http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/11/27/thesis-generator-sa-pe-ra-vs-sa-pi-da/ http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/11/27/thesis-generator-sa-pe-ra-vs-sa-pi-da/#comments Tue, 27 Nov 2012 21:32:46 +0000 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/?p=13486 Continue reading ]]> 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 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/11/23/reading-the-iliad/ http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/11/23/reading-the-iliad/#comments Fri, 23 Nov 2012 12:47:44 +0000 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/?p=13405 Continue reading ]]> 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):

ἀγρίου 'wild'
a-ki-ri-ja 'wild'

Διὸς 'Zeus'
di-wo 'Zeus'

ἐλέφαντα 'ivory'
e-re-pa 'ivory'

ἱερῆς 'sacred'
i-je-ro 'holy, sacred'

ἵππων, ἵππῳ 'horse'
i-qo 'horse'

κέρα 'horn', κεραοξόος 'worker in horn'
ke-ra 'horn'

γυνὴ 'woman'
ku-na-ja 'woman'

χρυσέην 'of gold', χρύσειοι 'golden'
ku-ru-so 'gold'

μήτηρ 'mother'
ma-te 'mother'

παρήιον 'cheekpiece'

φοίνικι 'scarlet'
po-ni-ki-ja 'crimson, purple' (mostly)

βασιλῆι 'lord'
qa-si-re-u 'chief'

βόεια 'ox's'
[[qo-o]] 'ox, cow'

τέκτων 'worked' (Perseus: carpenter, craftsman)
te-ko-to-ne 'carpenters'

θεοὶ 'gods'
te-o-i 'to the gods'

τόξον, τοξῳ 'bow', κλυτοτόξῳ 'famed for his bow (epithet of Apollo)'
to-ko-so-wo-ko 'bow-makers'

θυγάτηρ 'daughter'
tu-ka-te 'daughter'

ἄναξ 'lord'
wa-na-ka 'king'

οἴκαδε 'to his home'
wo-ko-de 'to one's home'

I suspect there's more; this was just the quick lazy version from what I have in my head.

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Linear B Inscribed Handmade Pendants on Etsy http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/11/19/linear-b-inscribed-handmade-pendants-on-etsy/ http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/11/19/linear-b-inscribed-handmade-pendants-on-etsy/#comments Mon, 19 Nov 2012 22:39:11 +0000 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/?p=13236 Continue reading ]]> 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 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/11/05/great-quote-from-michel-lejeune/ http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/11/05/great-quote-from-michel-lejeune/#comments Tue, 06 Nov 2012 01:31:53 +0000 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/?p=12561 "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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Khania Linear B Transliterations http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/2012/11/02/khania-linear-b-transliterations/ Fri, 02 Nov 2012 19:09:57 +0000 http://minoan.deaditerranean.com/?p=12432 The 1989-90 Greek-Swedish Excavations at Kastelli, Khania yielded 4 Linear B artefacts.

These transliterations are now available for further study:
KH Ar <-- first evidence of wa-ti-jo, the missing ethnic adjective of the oft-appearing toponym wa-to
KH Gq <-- very interesting; confirms Dionysus' early origin in the Greek pantheon (see also di-wo-nu-so)

I also highly recommend the articles written by Hallager, Hallager and Vlasakis to present these inscriptions (see the artefact's References section). The footnotes are a wonderful insight into the archaeological process, and reveal the excitement of finding new Linear B inscriptions below the surface of modern Khania.

Khania Excavation, photo: Khania Museum
photo: Khania Museum