Friday, September 09, 2016

SEMITIC LINEAR A INSCRIPTIONS


This is a supplement to CRETO-SEMITICA

The Kaptarian logo-syllabary of Crete (Linear A)
Kaptar was a name applied to Crete in the Bronze Age; it was Kaphtor in the Bible (Caphtorim were from Caphtor, Deuteronomy 2:23; Philistines came from Caphtor, Amos 9:7; ditto, Jeremiah 47:4), Kptr in Ugaritic texts, and Keftiu in Egypt.[1]
    With regard to the Aegean scripts,[2] this is how our present knowledge stands and how it may be extended: Linear B (a logo-syllabary for Mycenean Greek)[3] and Linear C (the Cyprus syllabary for Arcadian Greek)[4] offer us known sound-values for most of their glyphs; it is now common knowledge that both systems developed out of Linear A,[5] which in turn was a stylized version of the original pictophonic and acrophonic logo-syllabary of Crete.[6] Thus, most of the solutions for decipherment are patent: for example, the cross + for RO/LO is obvious in every member of this family of scripts, as also the twig |- for DA/TA, and the Y-shaped cuttlefish (sepia) for SA.
   We can identify North and South systems of writing in Crete: from Knossos in the north we have seals and inscriptions in the original pictorial script, which produced Linear A; from Phaistos in the south we have the celebrated Disc, with a different script, and apparently vestiges of it can also be found in linear form on some of the administrative clay tablets from Phaistos (for example, PH 13c has a fish, equivalent to PD33, but with no counterpart in Linear A). Ironically, the largest collection of Linear A tablets comes from Hagia Triada, adjacent to Phaistos, and they are Semitic, it will be argued here. However, it seems that the northern (Knossos) and southern (Phaistos) scripts were both constructed acrophonically on the basis of a Hellenic dialect.[7]
Inscriptions on Clay Tablets, Offering Receptacles, and Vessels
The Kaptarian documents studied here are available (with photographs and drawings) in the corpus (Recueil) of Linear A inscriptions; to locate an item, consult the concordance in the fifth volume of the set.[8] The inscriptions relating to offerings and libations are conveniently collected in a book on the subject, which includes a concordance.[9]
   For the syllabic signs and their interconnections, see the inventory of Cretan and Cyprian syllabograms at the end (preceding the Bibliography section).
   It transpires from the dedicatory inscriptions that this is a give-and-get system of religious exchange (do ut des, I give that you may give in return). Examples of the offering formulas are presented below: 
KO Za 1, AP Za 1, IO Za 8, ZA Zb 3, TL Za 1, SY Za 2, AP Za2.
   WINE
The ideogram for wine (P156) is found eight times in the original pictophonic (“hieroglyphic”) texts and continues into Linear A and B (AB131). It represents a grapevine-stand, like the corresponding Egyptian hieroglyph (M43).
   HT 40.1 (Hagia Triada administrative document)
The first sequence on the clay tablet is:
 nudu WAIN (logogram AB131).
 We can relate this nudu to Hebrew n’od or nôd, “skin bag” or “leather bottle”, and understand it as “wineskin” or “bottle of wine”. Young David took a “skin of wine” (n’od yayin) to King Saul (1 Samuel 16:20).
   ZA 15b (Zakros administrative document)
The initial sequence (15b.1) is:
 kadi. WAIN 3.
This kadi could be the same word as Hebrew and Ugaritic kad, meaning “jar” or “jug”, a container for water, wine, oil, or flour.
The remainder (15b.2) runs:
kuro . WAIN 78  (3) RA-WAIN 17.
The term kuro is found frequently in the Hagia Triada accounting documents, and here in ZA 15b; it is acknowledged as meaning “total”; if it is a Semitic word it would be kull, Hebrew kol, “all” (the Kaptarian script does not distinguish l and r). The total for both sides of the tablet is 92; the scribe adds a RA category of wine with a sub-total 17; this combination also occurs in ZA 6b.2, and on KE Zb 5 (on a fragment of a vessel, and presumably referring to its contents). A Hebrew example is the list of David’s heroes, ending thus: “total (kol) thirty-seven” (2 Samuel 23:39). Incidentally, in the Linear A texts we only see numerals not number-words.
   HT 131ab (Hagia Triada accounting tablet)
This document is severely damaged, but lines 2-4 on side b have the symbols for FIG, OLIV, and WAIN, with accompanying numbers, and a grand total for both faces of the tablet is provided, with the word potokuro; one remote possibility is that the Greek word for “all” (pant-) has been affixed to the Semitic word; or it could be the Semitic word bat, “daughter”, hence “daughter total” as the complete sum of all the numbers.[10] This practice is clearer on HT 122ab, with a sub-total (kuro) on each side, and the complete total (potokuro) on side b.
   ARKH 2 (Arkhanes administrative document)
(1) sidate kura (2) WAIN 5 asidato(3)i 12 mo/zu?sose(4)deqidwo 6 (5) asupuwa  (6) 4 rumi[…]
   This scribe does not separate words with dots or spaces, and so “sequencing” is required for reading his account.
   sidate: possibly “fields” or “farms” (Ugaritic sdt, and Hebrew sdwt, where the S-sign  is not Shin but Sin (but all the Semitic sibilants have to be S- in the syllabograms of Kaptarian Linear A); or this may be related to the saduta  and saduda (“collection, harvest”), in the Gubla Documents A and D above (section 3); and the root ’sp (“collect, harvest”) may also be present here as well as there.
   kura: perhaps not “total” (kuro) as in ZA 15b, but kor, a large unit of measurement (around 400 litres). ZA 20 is a fragment of a tablet, showing the bottom four lines; the beer-sign occurs in line 3; the last line has kura 130, and this might be a variant of kuro, “total”, not “kor”.
   qidwo: this also occurs at the beginning of ZA 5a, followed by the WAIN sign.
   asupuwa: the root ’sp (“gather in”) might be present here (used in Deuteronomy 16:13 for gathering the produce from the threshing floor and the winepress; see also Document D from Gubla in section 3). The WA might be a logogram or abbreviation for wine, and perhaps should be disconnected from asupu; in line 2 the logogram was only half of this form; it is more like WAIN (a vine stand) than WA (a loom), though it is the same as the Linear B style of WA. All the numerals would presumably refer to kor measures of wine, or juice.
   rumi[ ]: possibly “pomegranate (juice)” (Hebrew rimmôn, Aramaic and Arabic rummân); in Canticles 8:2 pomegranate (rmwn) and juice (‘asis, root ‘ss “crush”) occur together (any connection with asi in line 2 here, or sose in line 3?). In HT 64.2 ruma[ ] may be related to rumi[ ]; the Ugaritic form is lrmn (pomegranate, pomegranate juice), Akkadian has lurmû, and there is a word riruma in HT 118.4.
   GRAPE JUICE
   KH 9 (Incomplete clay tablet from Khania, a palace city)
   A SI SI PO A
Could asisi be grape juice, Hebrew ‘asis? The wine sign is in the text.
   NEW WINE
   KO Za 1 (Base from Kophinas, inscribed on four sides)
This text will serve to introduce us to the standard formulas that are used for making libations and other offerings.
A TA I SO WA YA || TU RU SA ME RYA RE . NO DA||A .
U NA KA NA SI . I||PI NA MA . SI RU TE
“I bring my offering, strong fresh wine, a bottle, and we shall indeed collect abundance.”
   If the object is an altar, it might not accept libations; and so liquids would be offered in containers.
   atai: “I bring”; the verb seems to be common Semitic ’t’ or ’ty, “come, go”; this verb is known to have a transitive force as well, and thus “bring”[11]; but it might be a causative form, “I cause to come”; the writing system can not show ’Alep (for Aramaic ’ap‘el causative) or He (for Hebrew hip‘il) or ‘Ayin in the next word, sowaya. Another possibility is that atai is from the verb ntn or ytn, “give”, with n not recorded, as happens in Linear B, and presumably also in Linear A. Notice the later Eteocretan stone fragment from Dreros, with the corresponding word ATAE, “I bring” (section 12 below).
   sowaya: the suffix –ya is for 1. p. sg, “my”; sowa would be related to Ugaritic t, “offering” (hw  t‘ nt‘y, “this is the offering we offer”, KTU 1.40.24); cp. Ethiopic sawa‘a, “make a sacrifice” (notice the w); and Hebrew say, “gift” (brought to God); the –a indicates that sowa is the object of the verb (accusative case singular); in souya (AP Za 1), the –u would be the standard Semitic marker of the nominative case (singular and plural); the vowel for the genitive case (singular and plural) is –i (also for plural accusative and genitive).
   turusa: “new wine”, Hebrew tîros, Ugaritic trt; perhaps fermented, possibly not; cp.  Ugaritic text KTU 1.114:16, “El drank wine (yn) until he was sated, new wine (trt) until he was intoxicated (skr)”; the –a of turusa would be the inflection for the accusative case, as also on sowa and nodaa.
   meryare: the reading of each letter is not certain; RE could be the olive logogram; the Semitic root mrr can mean “bitter” or “strong”.
   nodaa: this could  be the “skin bag” (Hebrew no’d) that we met as nudu in HT 40 above; idaa is the customary transcription, but this is one of the few documents that allow us to distinguish the syllabograms I (an olive branch) and NO (a hand); note also noda (not ida) on the fragmentary PK Za 17 and 18.
   unakanasi, “and (u) we will gather” (n- as 1 p. pl. prefix), or “and it will be gathered” (N verbal pattern, reciprocal or passive); but a variant formula suggests that the “I bring” and “we collect” progression is normal (see ZA Zb3, wine pithos, below); the root is KNS, “gather, collect”, as in Hebrew (for example, in kneset, “congregation, assembly”).
   ipinama: the pina sequence suggests panu (“face”) and being in the presence of the deity (Exodus 23:15-17, “see my face”, regarding the festivals and appearing at the sanctuary with offerings); but compare Ugaritic apn (and ap-pu-na-ma), “and also” or “and even”; the proposed translation is “indeed”, equivalent to aya in SY Za 2.
   sirute: two Hebrew words offer themselves for consideration: sârêt, “ritual service”; or srh, “multiply” (apparently referring to oil in Isaiah 57:9) with a noun sârût, “riches” (in Ezekiel 27:25); hence “wealth” or “abundantly” as possible meanings in this context.
   AP Za 1 (Libation bowl with incomplete inscription, from Apodoulou)
YA TA I SO U YA …
   yatai souya: apparently says “My offering comes ….”; ya- indicates 3. p. sg. from the root ’t’, “come”, as a- shows 1. p. sg. in atai, the usual word in the offering formula; as stated above (Sy Za 2), the –u would mark souya as the subject of the verb yatai, whereas sowaya  is the object of atai.
   IO Za 8 (Fragment of a circular libation receptacle from Iouktas)
]A NA TI SO WA YA[
“I give my offering”
  The verb seems to be from a “give” root (ntn or ytn).
   ZA Zb 3 (Inscribed pithos)
WAIN 32 DI DI KA SE . A SA MU NE . A SE
A TA I SO DE KA . A RE PI RE NA . TI TI KU
   atai: “I bring, according to formula, but with sodeka instead of sowaya, “my offering”.
   sodeka: possibly “your libation”, root sdy, “pour” (Ugaritic, Aramaic).
   arepirena: “for our fruit”; ‘al (preposition, “on account of”); pr, “fruit” (Ugaritic, Hebrew); -na, 1. p. pl. suffix. This shows a similar pattern to the usual formula: “I bring (atai) my offering” and “we shall collect” (unakanasi).
   ase: “gift” (Hebrew ’ws, Arabic ’ws)?
   asamune: any connection with smn, “oil”? Or the Phoenician divinity Eshmun? Or “debt” or “atonement offering” (Hebrew ’âsâm, 1 Samuel 6:3, regarding Philistines)? The a- might be a vocative participle (equivalent to ya), as in PK Za11 (ANIMAL) below; Samune is then the dedicatee.
   titiku: apparently a personal or divine name; also in HT 35 at the beginning of a list which includes wine and oil.
   PH Wc 46 (Rondelle from Phaistos)
WE NA (and possibly a part of the WAIN sign below this, as on PH Wc 43 and 44). The syllabograms are from the southern system, as exemplified on the Phaistos Disc: NA is the head with an eye and two tears on the cheek, and the WE is hypothetical, perhaps a grub (according to the decipherment of Steven Fischer); the language could be Hellenic (or Anatolic) rather than Semitic.
   KN Zb 4 (Fragment of a pithos from Knossos)
] YU? . YA NE . NE[
The NE is unusual and might be SI, but the vertical strokes on the ends of the crossbar should be oblique for SI. If this is yain, “wine”, then the West Semitic sound-shift is in evidence here (w > y). The habitual use of the WAIN logogram (examples: KN Zb 34. 36, 37, 38) conceals the wine word from us.
   THE Zb 3 (Jug from Thera, the volcano island)
 A NE
The character NE (a libation vessel) is more pictorial here than the two in KN Zb 4. If this ane is a word for “wine” (without initial w or y) the question of the identity of the language arises.
   WATER
   HT 89 (Clay tablet from Hagia Triada)
MA I MI 24
   maimi:this combination occurs in line 4; it could be the Semitic word for “water” (Hebrew mayim); other entities in the record use logograms, such as FIG and WAIN in line 6, and there is no known “water” symbol in the system; the quantity “24” is a puzzle to solve.
   BEER
The ideogram for BEER (P157, AB123) has hitherto remained unrecognized; it is usually said to be a marker for AROMATA, spice; reference books do not explain it; the one instance of the original pictogram (P157) has mesh-lines on the top part; it is thus a tankard with a strainer, perhaps.
   There are two categories of words associated with this logogram: the skr group (sikiri, suqare), probably barley-beer; and the sb’ set (subu, sipu), presumably wheat-beer.
   HT 49a.7 (Clay tablet fron Hagia Triada)
BEER subu
The beer tankard (P157, AB123) is in evidence here;
   subu: cp. Hbr. sobe’, “intoxicating drink” (beer?).
   KH 53 (Khania administrative document fragment)
]ame BEER. ne[
   HT Zb 161(Pithos from Hagia Triada)
   sipu: presumably “beer”, Akkadian sibu, “beer”, “brew”, Hbr. sobe’, “strong drink” (beer?).
   Possibly sipiki is also a word for “beer”, in ZA 4a.6-7, 5b.2, 15a.5, all in a context with the wine sign (but not the beer sign); cp. spk, “pour out”?
   HT Zb 158b (Pithos from Hagia Triada)
su ki ri te i ya
(cp. suqare, “beer”, in TL Za 1 below; and tai BEER in HT 9ab)
      IO Za 16  (Offering table fragment from Iouktas peak sanctuary)
. . .  P157/AB123 . YA SA SA RA ME . U NA RU KA 
   AB123 BEER: this symbol seems to represent a beer mug with a strainer on top It also appears with suqare (
sikr) “beer” in TL Za 1.
   unaruka:“and we shall collect” (root lqh., “take”?), a variation on unakanasi with the same meaning.
   TL Za 1 (Offering ladle from Troullos, near Arkhanes)
A TA I SO WA YA . AB123 (BEER) SU QA RE .
YA SA SA RA ME . U NA KA NA SI [. I PI ] NA MA . SI RU [TE]
“I bring my offering (atai sowaya), beer (suqare), O Deity  (yasasarame), and (u) indeed (ipinama) we shall collect (nakanasi) abundance (sirute).”
   suqare: cp. sukiri in HT Zb 158b above; connected with the Semitic “intoxication” root skr; presumably beer brewed from barley. This word is usually transcribed as osuqare, where the logogram BEER is misread as the syllabogram O (AB61, an eye).
  The dedication formula here is basically the same as KO Za 1 (WINE), above, and the details are explained there. See also SY Za 2 (OIL), AP Za2 (CHEESE), and SY Za 1 (BLOOD)
   SY Za 11 (Circular libation table from Kato Syme rural sanctuary)
]qaro (cp. suqare, “beer”, in TL Za 1).
   OIL
Two relevant logograns are: AB122 OLIVA and A302 OLEUM
   KN Zb 35 (Pithos from Knossos)
… YA … DI … PI … OIL 100  FIG 2
It is strange to find two diverse products itemised on the same container; the oil would presumably be olive oil, and not fig juice; the remaining letters might be part of a dedicatory formula.
   ZA 1 (Clay tablet from Zakros)
   Here again we have the FIG symbol (1a.1), and a large ZA (1a.2), the Egyptian ‘ankh, which might be an abbreviation of zati, “olives” (the word attested in KN Zc7, below); the quantity is 5, which seems tiny, but West Semitic zayt can also mean “olive tree”.
   TY 3 (Clay tablet from Tylissos)
   This is a record of oil of various types, and olives (once, 3a.4). using the OIL and OLIV logograms. The sign ZA appears in 3a.1,
  KN Zc7 (Small bowl from Knossos)
akanu zati = agganu zayti, “bowl of olives”; see VESSELS below.
   SY Za 2 (Square offering table from Kato Syme rural sanctuary)
A TA I SO WA YA . YA SU MA TU OLIV (AB122) .
U NA KA NA SI OIL (A302)
A YA
“I bring my offering, O Deity, olives, and we shall collect oil, indeed.”
   This example is instructive, showing how the offering formula works:
the first segment states that the person is presenting an offering (atai sowaya); the second part is addressed to the recipient deity (ya-sumatu) and declares the nature of the offering (here olives, represented by the logogram, a twig with three leaves); next the expected or desired outcome, that the product (olive oil) will be obtained (unakanasi), assuredly (aya).
   ya-sumatu, “O Deity”; this could be related to the word s-m-n, “oil”, with -n- omitted, and referring to a goddess with an oil-connection.
   aya: this might mean “any” (Ugaritic hmr yn ay, “any wine”, KTU 1.23: 6), here “any oil”; or else “we shall collect oil, each”; or this is a particle of affirmation, Arabic iy (cp. English aye), “indeed”, and this could be equated with ipinama in other versions of the offering formula. Note also I YA on KN Za 10 (libation table from Knossos).
   PK 1.7 (Clay tablet from Palaikastro)
SU MA TI ZA I TE
    sumati: this matches the sumatu of  SY Za 2 above, and could be a word for “oil”, though this feminine form is not attested elsewhere; zaite certainly corresponds to Semitic zait, “olive”, and the combination  produces “olive oil”; other occurrences of zait are presented in section 10. Unfortunately, there is apparently a vertical stroke after the SU, which would join it to the last syllable in the previous line, hence TUSU; nevertheless, a scribal error of haplography is possible.
   CHEESE
   HT 54a.2 (Fragment of a tablet from Hagia Triada)
KU MI NA QE
Is this cumin (kuminon) or cheese (Eteocretan KOMN, “cheese”, equivalent to Greek turos, in section 12 below)?
The same sequence of signs is found on HT Wc 3914a-b with a goat ideogram (AB22), and this suggests goat-cheese; and the supposed QE might be a depiction of a round block of cheese.
   HT 47a.1-2, HT 119.3 (clay tablets from Hagia Triada)
KU BA NA TU
   kubanatu: “cheese”; Akkadian gubnatu, Aramaic gûbnâ, Hebrew gbînâ (Job 10:10).
   AP Za2 (Two fragments of a cylindrical jar for offerings, from Apodoulou)
The latter part of the formula is preserved:
[U NA KA] NA SI . I PI NA MA [ . . . ]  I KU BA NA TU NA TE [
] PI MI NA TE . I NA YA RE TA [ . . .] QA                                                                                                                                 
   ikubanatunate: enclosed in this combination is a word for “cheese” (Akkadian gubnatu, and presumably that is what the Linear A spelling KUBANATU represents); see also HT 47a.1-2  and HT 119.3 above.
    piminate: preposition bi (“in, as”), minate could correspond to Arabic and West Semitic minh.at, “gift, tribute, offering”. Note also minute (Hebrew mnh.wt, plural), possibly “offerings” (HT 106.1, 86a.5, 95ab).
   inaya: one faint possibility would be “my wealth”; Hebrew ’ôn, “power, wealth”; or Hebrew h.ên, “grace, favour”; or Hebrew ‘ayin, “eye”, Akkadian  inu.
   FISH
   HT 6b BI (Clay tablet from Hagia Triada)  
   daki (Hebrew dâgîm, “fishes”) in a kappa(qe) document, with a word sama (fish?).
   HT 34 samuku (monogram) 100
If this is the word samk, “fish”, attested in Arabic but not yet in West Semitic, then this strengthens the hypothesis that the fish-sign in the early alphabet was S (samk) rather than D (dag).[12]  The number 100 may be compared with a later catch of 153 (John 21:11). However, another possibility is Ugaritic s.mq(m), Hebrew s.immuqîm, “raisins” (2 Samuel 16:1).
   GRAINS
   HT 86 (Clay tablet from Hagia Triada)
KU NI SU GRAIN  SARU
   kunisu: “emmer wheat”, known from Akkadian and Aramaic.[13]
   saru: possibly “barley”, sr in Ugaritic.[14]
   SAFFRON
   IO Za 6  (Crocus shaped bowl, for saffron?)[15]
TANAI . SOUTINU . INATAIZUDISIKA . YASASARAME
We give our offering …  your (-ka?) …
   HT 110a (Clay tablet from Hagia Triada, broken)
SI? DU KRA KU MI
CYP 20  KU PA?  1?
KU RO 100
   krakumi: Hebrew karkom, saffron” (from Crocus sativus) used for flavour and colour. The unidentified sign *AB34 is here read as KRA (see the inventory of syllabograms below).
   kupa: perhaps related to Hebrew koper, “henna”, another colouring agent.[16]
   BLOOD
   SY Za 1 (Circular libation table from Kato Syme)
A TA I  SO WA YA . I DA MI . YA [
“I bring my offering of blood, O…”
   idami: “blood”; this could be a plural form, as used in Hebrew (damim) for shed blood (Genesis 4:10); the Semitic root is ’dm “be red”, and “blood” is adam(m)u and adamatu in Akkadian; Hebrew has dam and ’adamat (together in Deuteronomy 32:43); cp. “blood of my sacrifice” (YHWH in Exodus 23:18); blood libations are mentioned with disapproval in Psalm 16:4.
   IO Za 2 (Miniature square libation table from Iouktas)
This has the usual offering formula (atai sowaya), without specifying the nature of the substance offered, but presumably fluid, and “blood” is apparently mentioned at the end.  After sirute it adds:
TA NA RA TE U TI NU .  I DA [
“You will fulfil our tokens” (?) “blood” (?)
   tanarute: possibly from one of the two nlh  roots in Hebrew: “finish”, “obtain”.
   utinu: perhaps Hebrew ’ôt, “sign”.
   ida[: idami, “blood”, as in SY Za1 above?
   KY Za 2 (Ladle from Kythera)
DA MA TE (the entire inscription)
   damate: “blood”, here as a feminine collective noun; or these three inscriptions may be referring to “grape-blood”, meaning the juice of grapes (as in Genesis 49:11, Deuteronomy 32:14 ), and they would thus belong under the heading WINE, above.
   ANIMAL
   IO Za 3 (Circular table fragment from Iouktas peak sanctuary)
A TA I SO WA YA . AU [
AU is a pig’s head
   IO Za 5 (Fragment of a religious object)
]iyarediya  iyapa[ “my beautiful young” (?)
  iyarediya: Hebrew yeled, Arabic walad, “boy” or “young animal”.
   iyapa[: yp refers to “beauty” in West Semitic; but this could be Ugaritic ypt, “female calf” (Arabic yafanat).
The Phoenicians were known to practice human sacrifice, of their young, but this is ambiguous.
    PK Za 11 (Square offering receptacle)
atai sowae . adikitete dupure . piteri . akoane . asasarame.
unarukanati . ipinamina . sirudu . inayapaqa.
This is a different dialect: for –ya (“my”) we see –e; for ya-(O!) we find a- (with two names of deities, apparently).
   unarukanati: “and we will receive(perhaps lqh.)
   piteri akoane: “the firstborn of my livestock”(?); Hebrew pt.r, “firstborn”; root qny. “possess”, Hebrew miqneh, Arabic qunwat, “property”, “cattle”; the –e on akoane could be for -ya, “my”.
   inayapaqa: root pq (Ugaritic), pwq (Hebrew), “obtain”?
   KN Za 10  (Square libation receptacle)
DAWA [ ] DAWATO: the root dwy expresses “sickness” (Ugaritic, Hebrew, Arabic); hence “the unwell person” and “illness”? The word dwt (alphabetic door, nail, cross) appears on Sinai inscription 376.[17]
   PR Za 1 (Stone box, a libation receptacle)
TA NA SU TE KRO? KE  SE TO I YA A SA SA RA ME
   tanasute: “is placed”, root syt. 
   kroke
: “your (ke?) receptacle” (Hebrew kli)?
   setoiya: “my libation” (root sty).
   VESSELS
   HT 31 (Clay tablet from Hagia Triada)[18]
The tablet has a piece missing on the left side; various kinds of vessels are depicted, with superscript words.
   puko: cp. Ugaritic bk, “goblet, large cup”; Hebrew pak, which was the container for the oil that Samuel used to anoint Saul (1 Sam10:1); the pot (A410VAS) standing next to it seems to have two handles and three legs, and puko may not be a caption for it after all.
   qapa (or qaba): presumably not quppa (Akkadian, Hebrew, Arabic) “box”; the depiction (A402VAS) does not really suit that; Akkadian kappu, Hebrew kap, “bowl” (in Exodus 35:29, made of gold and for pouring).
   supu: written above  a globular vessel with a stem and a base (A415VAS); Akkadian sappu and Hebrew sap, metal bowl (Exodus 12:22 for the blood at the first Passover); cp. sapa sa zeti, “bowl of olives” (in section 10)
   karopa (or karoba): this container (A416VAS) is similar to the previous one (A415VAS); the name could correspond to Akkadian karpu, “pot” (cp, Ugaritc krpn, “goblet”).
 Next there are three cases of A402VAS; if the first had a caption, it is lost; the second and third are supara and pataqe.
    supara: Ugaritic  spl, Hebrew sépel, “bowl”, in which Yael brought a milk-dtink to Sisera (Judges. 5:25).   
   pataqe: no clear counterpart, but cp. Syriac pat.qa.
   sayama: cp. Aramaic sima, meaning “silver”, or “hidden treasure”.
   kidemapina: Gordon and Best have WI for PI, but this sign is more likely to be representing a bee (PI); WI and PI occur together in KN Zc7; the kidem part has been recognized as “gold” (Hebrew ketem); another word for “gold” (refined, fine gold) is Hebrew paz, Aramaic piz, Ugaritic pd; if the NA were the similar ZA (‘ankh symbol) or DI (net), then we would have this; but pina could lead us to corals or pearls (Proverbs 31:10).       
   KE 1 (Kea)  kasa                                                                                                                                                                  
Possibly kasu: “cup” or “beaker”. Examples: bowl from Knossos (Tekke)[19] with Phoenician inscription (ks, with the name of the owner); and kst (plural) on a document from Ugarit (section 7).
   PK Za 17, 18 (Libation table fragments)
   NODA, “bottle” (not IDA), Hebrew nod; cp. nodaa in KO Za1, and nudu in HT41 (WINE).
   KN Zc 7 (Small bowl from Knossos) AKANU ZATI “olive bowl”.[20]
AKANU ZATI DURARE AZURA YASARA ANANE WIPI [  ]
   KN Zc 6 (Small bowl from Knossos)  KRATIRI (Greek krater) “bowl”.
KRATIRI ADIDAKITI PAKU NIYANU YUKUNAPAKU ….
Taking these two objects together (and they seem to be miniature versions of the larger vessels bearing their names) we look at Exodus 24:6: “Moses took half the blood and put it in bowls” (Hebrew ’agganot, Septuagint Greek krateras). Both texts seem to include a deity, but the identities of the gods are not being discussed in this article. The mixing-bowl (krater) may have a Greek inscription: niyanu resembles neion, “new”, though yukuna looks like a Semitic word; and paku could take us back to puko in HT31 .


[1] Documents relating to Kaptar and Keftiu are examined in Davis 2014: 182-188,
[2] For an overview of the scripts, with tables of signs, see Davis 2014: 143-157; the Phaistos Disc and the Arkalokhori Ax (same pictorial script as the Disc, or similar) are consigned to footnote 812.
[3] Gordon 1971: 131-141, for a concise account of the decipherment of Linear B by Michael Ventris and others.
[4] Gordon 1971:125-131, on the Cyprian syllabary.
[5] Gordon 1971: 141-171, on Linear A and his own part in its decipherment.
[6] The corpus of Cretan pictophonic (“hieroglyphic”) inscriptions is edited in Olivier and Godet 1996 (Corpus); p. 19 has a table of possible matchings for various signs in the three systems (P, A, B).
[7] Fischer (1988) makes a case for a Hellenic origin for the two Cretan scripts. His reading of the Disc has it as a call to arms (eqe kuriti deniqe, “Listen Cretans and Greeks”).
[8] Godart and Olivier 1976-1985 (Recueil) 5 volumes (photographs and drawings); Consani and Negri 1999 (transcriptions, and glossary).
[9] Davis 2014: 3i9-390.
[10] Gordon 1966: 27.
[11] Mendenhall 1985: 36
[12] Contra Hamilton 2006, 61-75, esp. 62, n. 50, where the fish Samek is denied any existence; this can be refuted by the presence of a fish in the Samek position in the abagadary on the Izbet Sartah ostracon, but this defining detail is not seen by the supporters of D as dag (Sass 1988: figures 175-177); the true D (Dalet, door) occurs together with the fish on Sinai 376 (Sass 1988: figures 91-93).
[13] This was noticed by Cyrus Gordon (1966: 26), and elaborated by Jan Best (1989: 7-11), examining varieties of grains.
[14] Best 1989: 9.
[15] Davis 2014: 111, 329.
[16] Best 1989: 10. In the same place, Best proposes that the presence of damu, “blood”, in association with grain, might refer to Digitaria sanguinalis.
[17] Sinai 376 records the sickness of ’s’ (Asa) one of the metal-workers at the turquoise mines; for a photograph see Sass 1998: Fig. 93. Colless 1990: 12.
[18] Gordon 1966: 26, Plate VII; 1975: 152-154; Best 1989: 1-7.
[19] Sass 1988: 88-91, Figures 226-230.
[20] Gordon 1966: 27 and 36; he treated this as a magic bowl, bearing an incantation against demons (one of his fields of expertise); he overlooked zati, but rightly related akanu to West Semitic ’aggan, “bowl”; rare could be layl, “night”, and so a night-demon is envisaged.

Semitic inscriptions on offering-vessels
Apodoulou
AP Za 1 Offering bowl
YA TA I SO U YA......
My offering is brought
AP ZA 2  Cylindrical jar
... NA SI . I PI NA MA . . . . . .I? KU PA NA TU NA TE
... PI MI NA TE . I NA YA RE TA . . . QA

Iouktas 
IO Za <1>  Ladle
A YE SA
IO ZA 2   Offering table
A TA I SO WA YA . YA DI KI TU . YA SA SA RA [me . u na ka na] SI  I PI NA MA .
SI RU TE . TA NA RA TE U TI NU . I DA . .  .  . . . . .
I bring my offering, O DN, and we  shal lcertainly gather abundantly
IO Za 3   Offering table fragment
A TA I SO WA YA . AU (!) . . . . . . .
IO Za 4   Offering table fragment
... SO WA .......
IO Za 5  Votive ladle or lamp fragment
... I YA RE DI YA . I YA PA . . . . . .
IO Za 6  Bowl (c. 5 cm diameter) with petaliform rim
TA NA I SO U TI NU . I NA TA I ZU DI SI KA . YA SA SA RA ME
IO Za 7  Offering table fragment
A TA I SO WA YA . YA TI MO . . . . . (dmqt?)
I bring my offering, O DN
IO Za 8   Offering table fragment
A NA TI SO WA YA . . . .
I give my offering
IO Za 9  Offering table corner
. . . YA SA SA . . . . O DN
. . . U NA KA . . . and we shall gather
IO Za 11   Offering table fragment
>. . . NA [MI?] DA DA . . . .
. . . U TI NU . I NA I DA . . . <
IO Za 12   Offering table fragment
. . . YA SA || SA RA ME . I TI . . .
IO Za 13   Offering table fragment
. . . MA I . . .
IO Za 14   Offering table fragment
. . . RU TE . I DI . . .
IO Za 15   Offering table fragment
. . . I PI NA MA . SI RU . . .
certainly abundantly
IO Za 16   Offering table fragment
. . .  PG 157/AB123 . YA SA SA RA ME . U NA RU KA  (rt lqh.)
123 AROMAT ? This symbol seems to represent a beer mug with a strainer on top (Philistian). Reference books do not explain it. The one PG instance has mesh-lines on the top part. Is it equivalent to osuqare (shikr) 'beer' in TL Za 1? Yes, it has the same symbol, misread as the syllabogram O (an eye).

Knossos
KN Za !0  Offering table fragments (restored)
. . .  . TA NU MU TI . YA SA SA RA MA || NA .  DA WA [MI?] DU WA MU? . I YA . . .
root n`m?
KN Za 17 Offering table fragment
 YA QE .
KN Za 18 Offering table
... YA . . . . .YA . YA WA . . . . .
KN Za 19  Bowl fragment
KE YU MI (L to R)
A118 (DWO?) MI NA

Kythera
KY Za 2  Ladle
DA MA TE

Palaikastro (Petsofas)
PK Za 4  Stone cup fragment
A SA SA RA . . .
PK Za 8  Offering table
.. NU . BA E . YA DI KI TE TE .  A307 (DWO?) BU RE . TU ME I
YA SA . . . . . . . U NA KA NA SI
I PI . . .
PK Za 9  Offering table pedestal
... YA U? PA? MA I DA SO DI . . .
PK Za 10  Offering table fragment
. . SI . I PI NA MI . SI . . .
PK Za 11  Offering table
A TA I SO WA E . A DI KI TE TE . DU?
PU? RE . PI TE RI . A KO A NE . A
SA SA RA ME . U NA RU KA NA TI .
I PI NA MI NA . SI RU DU? . I NA YA PA QA
PK Za 12  Offering table
A TA I SO WA YA . A DI KI TE . . . . . .
. . . SI RU . . . . . .  RA ME
A . . . A NE . U NA RU KA NA YA SI .
A PA DU PA . . . . . . . . . . . . . YA . . . . . YA PA QA
PK ZA 14  Offering table fragment
. . . TU ME? I  YA SA SA . . . . .
PK Za 15  Offering table fragment
. . . YA . YA DI KI TE TE DU BU RE
PK Za 16  Offering table corner
 . . .  TO? SA . BU
. . . RE YA
PK Za 17  Offering table corner
. . . I DA . . . .
PK Za 18.Offering table fragment
. . . TE  . I  DA . YA YA . . . .
PK Za 20  Offering table fragment
. . . U NA KA . . .

Prasa
PR Za 1 Stone box (offering receptacle)
TA NA SU TE [DA/RO] KE
SE TO I YA
A SA SA RA ME

Psychro
PS Za 2  Offering table fragments
. . . -RE I/NO KE
TA NA NO/1 SO TI . . . . . . YA TI . YA SA SA RA ME .

Kato Syme
SY Za 1  Offering table (circular)
A TA I SO WA YA . I DA MI . YA . . . . .
SY Za 2  Offering table
A TA I SO WA YA . YA SI MA TU  OLIV
U NA KA NA SI OLE
A YA
I bring my offering, O DN, OLIVES, and we will gather OIL, indeed
SY Za 3  Offering table fragments (circular)
A TA I? SO WA  . . . . SE? KA NA SI . TE? . . . . . SI RU TE
SY Za 4  Offering table (circular)
A TA I/NO SO WA YA . YA I NWA ZA | BA NI WI
SY Za 5  Offering table (circular)
. . . MI/RA YA . YA WA BA
SY Za 6  Offering table (circular)
DA SE/NO RA TE
SY Za 8 Offering table fragments (circular) (No 7)
. . . I SO WA YA . YA YA?   (I/NO has 4 fingers and thumb)
SY Za 9  Offering table (circular)
YA PA RA YA SE?
SY Za 10  Offering table (circular)
QA SA RA KU
SY Za 11  Offering table (circular)
. . .  QA RO/ZA  (beer?)
SY Za 12  Offering table (circular)
A (just like Cyprian I-I-I = A)

Troullos
TL Za 1 Ladle
A TA I/NO SO WA YA . BEER?/O SU QA RE (NO PUPIL IN THE EYE)

YA SA SA RA ME .  U NA KA NA SI
. . . NA MA . SI RU . . . .
I bring my offering, beer,  O DN, and we shall certainly gather abundantly
Vrysinas 
VR Za 1 Offering table (corner)
I PI NA MA  SI RU TE
certainly abundantly


1 comment:

DDeden said...

Hello Brian, I'm very impressed with your work.
In your post from 2007 Canaanite Syllabary:

"But the rear end of the presumed bee could be a separate character, an inverted Y, which is YI in the syllabary (from yimnu 'right hand'). The head of the bee might be human, and therefore RA (ra'ish 'head'), also alphabetic R . The Y might be BI (on its side), an eye with strokes radiating from it to depict teardrops (bikit 'weeping'). This view gives us RABI (as in Hebrew Rabbi): rab means 'great', 'much', 'chief'.

The possibilities are multiplying, and if the head is in fact attached to the horizontal stroke it becomes a rump with a tail (zanab), hence ZA, and a word for 'this'"

Now, I read this, and I recalled Brian Pellar's Astro-Alphabet, describing Taurus as Aleph & Beth, ox head + body & tail. But now I see it as Aleph & bee body & stinger.