Notes to Signgroups

inaugural date: 27 November 2005; last update: 26 July 2010
Comments, corrections, questions: John Younger (jyounger@ku.edu)

I. The "anagram"

Four signgroups employ five signs in differing order:

 011-029-037 (KN #057.d) A     B     C 037-011-029 (KN #042.a1, KN #061.b) C     A     B * >< 011-038-029 >< (MA #072.a ) A     D     B >< 011-038-016 >< (#148) A     D     E

Since the phonetic value for one sign 038 is almost ceretainly JA, and for 016 is probably KI, Linear A parallels for the signgroups containing these signs can help suggesting phonetic values for the other three signs.

Solutions 1 & 2. If = JA and = KI, the only Linear A word that parallels 011-038-016 (#148) -JA-KI is the header A-SI-JA-KA (HT 28.a1), implying that = S+v like SI. For Hieroglyphic 011-038-029 * (MA #072.a ) Sv-JA-*, Linear A provides only one parallel for the whole word, SA-JA-MA (HT 31.3), as well as a two instances of the ending -SI-JA-SE (HT Zb 159, PE Zb 3). If 029 = MA, then for 011-029-037 (KN #057.d) JA-MA- and for 037-011-029 (KN #042.a1, KN #061.b) Linear A provides unique parallels, SA-MA-RO (HT 88.5-6) for the first and ]RI-SU-MA (HT 81.2; cf. HT 115.a1-2, 6) for the second. Taking the ending -SI-JA-SE, as an alternative that provides SE for , it is possible to deduce different values, ME and TA, for 037 .

Solution 3. Disregarding the value = KI and the signgroup , Linear A provides two possible solutions for the other three signgroups in the anagram: =Tv , = DA /U or MA, and = RA or RE.

Graphic equivalent of the above discussion.

 * =S+v 1. A-SI-JA-KA SA-JA-MA SA-MA-RO ]RI-SU-MA 2a. SI-SE-ME MI-ZA-SE 2b. -SI-JA-SE SE-SI-TA[ TA-SA-ZA =T+v 3a. TE-JA-RE KA-TI-RA-DU DA-TA-RA/E 3b. WI-TE-JA-MU TI-TI-MA MA-TE-TI

II. SA-RU/O

SA-RU/O, appears on only 4 clay documents from Knossos, and in association with totals, as if a transaction term or the toponymn of a major place. If it is a transaction term, we should expect to see it more frequently and in documents belonging to sets, but since it does not occur in documents belonging to sets, it may be a toponymn but one that is not in the Knossos area.

Linear A's SA-RA2 is definitely a toponymn, and is only mentioned by HT tablets. SA-RA2 on HT 18.2, 28a.3 & b.2, 30.1, 32.1, 33.3, 34.1-2, 62 [+] 73.1, 90.1-2, 93a.4, 94a.3, 99a.2, 100.4, 101.3, 102.1-2, 105.3, 114a.3-4, 121a.3-4, 125a.4, and possibly HT 11b.1, 56a.1. SA-RU on HT 86a.2 & b.2, 93b.3, 95a, 3 & b.1, 123a.4-5. SA-RA on HT 130.2. SA-RA-RA on HT 30.3-4; SA-RO-QE on HT 73 [+] 62.3. cf. A-SA-RA on HT 89.1; and, possibly related, SU-RE on HT 32.3, and SA-RI[ on ZA 21b.3.

The actual and presumed findspots of the sealstones carrying Hieroglyphic SA-RU/O specify Mallia (both palace and town) and places farther east (one seal is said to come from Kastelli). One slight piece of evidence hints that SA-RU/O might just be Mallia: the "problem" on the hieroglyphic bar #059 at Knossos ends with a statement beginning with SA-RU; the "problem" itself concerns 6 commodities apparently in hand and 5 that have just arrived to be tallied, and lame #108 from Mallia also presents the number 6 as certain and the number 5 after a unique sign.

on documents:
SA-RO- 019-070-061

on documents & seals:
SA2-RU 036-092
SA-RO2 019-049 & SA-RO2 BOS * 019-012-049
SA-RO3- 019-040-061 & SA-RO3 BOS 019-012-040

on seals:
SA2-RU-RE 036-092-031
SA2-RO2-RO3[ *[ˆ 036-040-049

III. Signgroups with 034

A. Signgroups also with 038
One inscription carries •: X * X 038-034-066 (#204.a)

Five other inscriptions carry the signgroup . The clearest is 038-017-049-034 (#021.g)

Two inscriptions carry similarly bulky forms between 038 and 034 which CHIC has read in various ways: * 038-054-034 (#057.c) ** >< (CHIC ** ><) 038-010-034 >< (#239.a)

And the fourth inscription may substitute the morphologically similar * 077 for 034. ** >< 038-049-013-077 >< (#164)

The inscription on #021.g inserts just after the animal head, while #164 inserts it just before.

If all four inscriptions refer to the same signgroup, we may conventionally understand it as that on #021.g: f  038-017-049-034

B. -: as an ending occurs in two signgroups
038-017-049-034 (#021.g) = JA--Rv-SI

052-056-049-034 (#031.a) = NE-KU-Rv-SI; cf. Linear A KI-RI-SI

C. -: as an ending occurs after A (or JA): 042-034-049 (#062.a) A-SI-RO; cf. Linear A: A-SA-RA2, and SA-RU, SI-RU
(CHIC ) 042 007-034-040 (#070)

compare
* 038-034-066 (#204.a)
>< 027-034-070 (#073)

IV. If the above reconstruction is correct, then can function as a terminal.

CHIC reads inscription #070 on a cone thus: * 042-034-007-040 0 (#204.a)

Since 042 is always initial, the order should be
either: * 042-034-049
compare: 042-034-049 (#062.a)
or: * 042-034-049
see Notes to Signgroups III; and also compare:
042-040-053-041 (#309.b)
042-040-049 0 (#129)
and this inscription may be related: >*[ 036-040-049[ (#191)

V. 041

Since 006-057-092 (#052.b, #063.a1, #243.b) is a signgroup, then 049-041 is either a separate signgroup or a prefix (cf. Appendix IV).
 ]X 290 ]X 057-092-061 290 (#052.b) 006-057-092 (#063a1, #243.b) 049-041-006-025 (#316) * 049-041-006-057 (#327) ] ]041-006 (#063.a2)
Sign 041, however, may be a logogram with the associated sign 049 or 031 modifying it like an abbreviated transaction term.
 042-041-011 (#027.b) =? 042-011 *041 >? 042-041-049 >? (#101.a) =? <> 042-<056>-049 *041 * >< 041-031-011 >< (#271.b) =? 011-031 *041 X X >< 041-031-044 >< (#307.d) =? X     X X 044-031 X *041

This kind of separation strongly resembles how 028-049-041-003[ (#053.aA, #060.a) separates into     [ 028-049 041-003

Perhaps, therefore, the following signgroups are to be separated thus:
 ] 031-041 (#088.a) ] >< 006-041 >< (#246.b) >? 041-059-025 >? (#320) 041-023-042 (PE Hh 02.d; see Notes to Sign 42) 041-094-012-019 (PE Hh 02.d; see Notes to Sign 42) >< 020-016-041 >< (#082.a)

VII. In the following sets of trisyllabic signgroups, one sign could act as a logogram.

IN the first two sets of trisyllabic signgroups, two of the signs form common words, 044-005 and 044-049. The third sign either accompanies these words, or is located between the two signs that make up the words -- in the latter case, the third sign needs to be separated and made to stand alone (I call this the "monogram," acting as it does like a person's three initials whereby the initial of the last name is placed between the first two and written larger [e.g., JYG]).

In the two tables that follow, scroll brackets {} around a sign mean that CHIC regards the sign as decorative.

 {•} OR {•} sign sign sign rearrangement AB values doc. {} catface-044-005 044-005 *065 catface KO-Rv NU #247 {} 070-044-005 044-005 *070 KO-Rv RO #268.a {} 044-005-073 044-005 *073 KO-Rv KU3 #308.d {} 092-044-005 044-005 *092 KO-Rv RU #288.b {} 013-044-005 044-005 *152 KO-Rv BOS #264 {} 044-005-153 044-005 *153 KO-Rv GRA #145 {} 044-005-042 044-005 *175 KO-Rv A #147

 monogram sign sign sign rearrangement AB values doc. {*} 044-065-005 044-005 *065 KO-Rv NU #158 on #018; #174 {} 044-013-005 044-005 *152 KO-Rv BOS #140 on #018

 {•} sign sign sign rearrangement AB values doc. {} 001-044-049 044-049 *001 KO-RO3 #240 {} 073-044-049 044-049 *073 KO-RO3 KU3 #230 {} 013-044-049 044-049 *152 KO-RO3 BOS #264 {} 031-044-049 044-049 *174 KO-RO3 RE #308.g {} catface-044-049 044-049 catface KO-RO3 MA #157

 monogram sign sign sign rearrangement AB values doc. {} 044-309-049 044-049 *309 KO-RO3 *309 #314.b

The following examples of trisyllabic inscription may incorporate the same "monogram" pattern: two signs of a signgroup flanking a logogram.

 monogram? sign sign sign rearrangement AB values doc. 057-013-049 057-049 *152 KI-RO3 BOS KN #038.b1, #054.a2; cf. MA #106.a and #307.a 073-049-013 073-049 *152 KU3-RO3 BOS MA #119.r, #120.r.A; #312.g 056-013-058 056-058 *152 KU-PU BOS #283b 039-013 catface 039-catface *152 PA3-MA BOS #304a 076-013-031 076-031 *152 O-RE BOS #304d 042-013-009 042-009 *152 A-A2 BOS MA #091a 044-013-070 044-070 *152 KO-RO BOS #184 * 019-013-049 019-049 *152 SA2-RO3 BOS #307a 070-028-031 028-070 *174 KU2-RO RE #307b 070-031-056 056-070 *174 KU-RO RE #307c 042-041-011 042-011 *163 A-SI TELA KN #027b 057-069-070 057-070 *069 KI-RO RA2 KN #038b2 * 049-052-044-• • 044-049 *157 • KU-RO3 AROM PE I 01

VIII. Duplications and triplications of signs in a signgroup

Doublets
Initial position -- there is a remote possibility that these two signgroups are related.
 X ••, possibly * 025-025-•-•, possibly 025-025-070 (#294.g2; see notes) X 053-053-077 (#047.a; see notes)

Terminal position

 040-029-029 (#124) 049-070-070 (#167) 12 056-070-070 (#061.e) * 038-047-047 *153 (#122) 070-047-047 *153 (#043.b1)

028-049-049 appears twice, perhaps three times. The signgroup may have inflected forms; see Appendix X.

 X 028-049-049 (#059.aA) *[ >< 049-049028[ (#011.g) X [ X 028-049-[ #012.g *[ >< 049-049[ (#269.b; see notes) * 037/051-092-092 (#318)

Medial position

 [ 042-049-016-016[ (#113.cA) ]077-042-049-016-016-056-077 (#112.b) ]• ]•-042-049-016-016-077 (#112.a) * 042-019-019-095 many occurrences on sealstones

Triplet
 051-051-051-041 #089.b (see Notes to Sign 051)

X. 042-054-061 A-DE

The sign group functions as a primary header on clay documents, where it also accompanies large numbers; the signgroup also appears on seals. It may have a variant, 042-062-061 (read retrograde on #095.b; see notes), the only other 042-•-061 signgroup.

 X (#037.a; #293.g, #303.b) ]* (#062.a1) ][ (#189)

It also is associated with large numbers.
 X 250[ (#050.a) X 1640 (#058.a) ] 140/30/540 (#062.b,c, d)

Compare
 X *•[ X 009-054-061-•[ JA-DE (#060.c) X     [ X 054-061[ *152 DE BOS (#034.a) X * X 038-054-034 JA-DE-TA (#057.c) * 0 => * 038-054-052 0 <- JA-DE-NE (#130)

Abbreviation?
 ]• ]•-042-061 (#035.a) ] [] 110 ]042-061 [ ] 110 (#054.a1)

On sealstones 042 can appear with two other vessel signs, perhaps as variants on 042-054:
 * 0 042-052-034-045 0 (#125) >< 042-053 >< (#151)

Compare
 042-040-053-041 (#309.b)

XI. 011-056 SI-KU
In the Linear A tablets SI can act as an introductory heading to a list of commodities. On HT 30.1-4 SI introduces the first list of commodities, while KI-RO introduces a second list, almost exactly the same and in almost the exact same order, but with different quantities (cf. HT 34, HT 106; HT 42 [+] 59 is headed "SI+SE," which also heads HT 99b, and occurs on HT We 1021.g; something similar occurs on HT 116, HT 130, and HT 154N). "SI" here seems juxtaposed to KI-RO, and, if so, should mean "paid".

In Knossos Document Set 5, 011-056 SI-KU heads #013, #015, and #024, while 011-092 heads #026.

On the analogy of the Linear A tablets, I propose that these signgroups are abbreviations:

SI KU<-RO>
 <> 011 056<-070> GRA = paid and received, or paid in full <> 011 <057->RU GRA SI -RU = paid but some still is owed

Two sealstones also present this formula:

 >< 011-056 >< (#297.g) ]•••*• >< ]•-•-•-056-011-• > (#289.b)

XII. or

The following examples make it probable that
either or is a signgroup with logograms , *,

or, less likely, there is a signgroup with inflections

 >< 006-041 >< (#246.b to be reversed: ] 3 ]041-006 3 (#063.a2) X X 049-041-006-025 (#316) * 049-041-006-057 (#327) ] ]041-053 (#063d2); see JGY's rearrangement ]* 057-053 (#063b1); see JGY's rearrangement

XIII. +

 20 X 057-023     20 (#049.b1) >< 057-023 >< (#243.g) 120 X 057-023-051     120 (#040.b2) X 057-023     042-063-060 (#113.d) X 057-023-070-018 (#324, ? #055.a ; see notes to #055) ]••[ ]•-•-057-023[ (#114.d) cf.     20 041-023-042     20 (PE Hh 02.c0) cf. X X 056-023 (#039.a1) = <>     056-<070> *159bis ?

+
 X     100 X 023-061-019-057     100 (#036.a-b) * >< 019-057-029 >< (#190) cf. X X 019-077-029 (#038.a) cf. ><     100 049-019-057 (#046.a-b)

XIV. 034-056

The following occurrences of signgroup suggests that it stands alone and may be a transaction signgroup. The arrangement on #061 makes it clear that ends a sublist.
 1 034-056 019-049 1 (#061.d1-2) X 6400 1100 X 034-056 6400 019-040-061 1100 (#049.c1) - 034-056-077-049-038-029 (#328) ]• ]•-034-056 (#061.b) ]* 1 ]057 034-056 1 (#061.b1)

XV.

Four inscriptions on sealstones use all four of these signs: 308 Koppa, 309 San, 307 Σ, 302 Δ in conjuction with either the signgroup * 042-019-019-095-052 A-SA-SA-RA3-NE or with logogram FIC plus either VIN or *157.

And one lame (SY Hf 01) uses *308 (more below).

Three of the seals are prisms, and all signs are not only spread over all faces of the prism seals, but several may also be placed on one face.

One seal, however, is an amygdaloid, CMS II 3.23 from Knossos (in Miscelleaneous Hieroglyphic Documents). It arranges the signs on the seal, reading from right to left, starting with *157:
(a1)    *       (a1-2)     *           (a1) *157 *308 *309, (a1-2) FIC *302 *307.

Using KN CMS II 3.23 as a guide we may read the other three seals similarly:

 #206 #291 #292 b2+a1+a2. | b1-+b2+d2. * | a+d1+b1. | b1+a4+a3. | g2-+d2+g1. | g+d1+g2. * |

This arrangement juxtaposes measurements of FIC, which ought to be by weight or by count, with measurements of VIN and -- VIN ought to be measured by volume, which may imply that is also a liquid.

In the Linear A documents we see similar juxtapositions:
on libation table SY Za 2, the "Libation Formula" includes the donation of OLIV, while the pithos ZA Zb 3 includes one word, A-TA-I-301-DE-KA, that resembles the introductory word of the "Libation Formula" and records 32 units of VINa.

on several HT tablets, CYP, NI = FIC, VINa, and OLE are listed together:

from/to SA-RA2, 1 NI=FIC and CYP are listed together on HT 94a.3
NI=FIC and VINa are listed together with the following commodities: CYP: HT 28a & b, HT 30.2, HT 99a.2, HT 100.4-5, HT 130.5-6 (cf. KH 11.5, from/to A-TO-*349-TO-I)
OLE: HT 114.2-3, HT 121.2-3

from/to I-KA, OLE+MI, OLIV, NI, VINa are listed together on HT 91.3-4
and CYP, NI=FIC, VINa occur together in a list headed by KU-RO ("paid") on HT 27a.8 and HT 89.5

From these occurrences, could either be CYP, which, if a plant, should be measured by weight or quantity, or OLE which, as a liquid, would be weighed by volume -- the latter may be closer to the identification of the ideogram, which looks like a tankard.

The lame from Syme (SY Hf 01) presents the following:

] | ]*171 Koppa | *159 Koppa

If is a liquid, then could be CYP, whose form in Linear AB has a wavy, frond-like top, somewhat similar to Hiero *159.

If is CYP, that is, fodder, then we might guess that connotes a herd (the sign resembling an animal's leg) and that the number of its animals and the amount of fodder are in direct proportion, as the repetition of *308 implies. Sign *308 should then be a large amount.

XVI. 009-056
For the signgroup, the combination 009-056 recurs:

 X X 009-056-061 (#018.b, #156) 068-009-056-050-070 (#119.v) X >< X 036-047-009-056-062 >< (#126)

Its appearance as a complete signgroup (plus 061) suggests separating     >< X 036-047 009-056-062.

XVII. 038-010 JA-RI

1. The signgroup ( 038-010 JA-RI) is engraved on sealstones only, almost all of them three-sided prisms, most with an added sign, possibly a logogram, especially 031 RE, which may be the logogram *174.

 038-010 JA-RI (#181; #212; #214; #228.b; #249.a; #258.a; #265.a; #286.a; #311.a) 038-010-031 JA-RI  ;  ; RE (#162; #169; #195; #210; #242.b; #248.a; #250.g; #257.a; #261.b; #262.b; #263.b; #269.a; #272.a; #274.g; #279.g; #284.b; #293.b; #298.g; #299.d; #300.b; #302.d; #309.g; #312.a; #314.e 038-010 *012 JA-RI     MU (#253.a) 038-010 *070 JA-RI     RO (#268.b) 038-010 *073 JA-RI     KU (#260.b) 038-010 *092 JA-RI     RU (#288.a) *     * 038-010-034 JA-RI    SI (#239) * 038-010 047 JA-RI     QE (#275.a)

Compare

 038-031-010-061 JA-RE-RI- (#270.g) 038-017-049-034 JA-AU-RO3-SI (#021.g-d)

2. Signgroups connected with 038-010 JA-RI -- see Chart of Inscriptions on Sealstones

Signgroups that appear common on the prisms with 038-010 JA-RI :
044-049 KO-RO3 =? KU-RO, balance)
044-005 KO-Rv (=? KI-RO, owed).
Signgroups that appear almost exclusively on the prisms with 038-010 JA-RI :
036-092 SA2-RU (a toponymn near or at Malia; see Notes to Signgroups, App. III above)
057-034-056 KI-TA-KU (see Notes to Signgroups, App. XXXIV below),
046-044 A*301-KO

3. The especially strong connection between 036-092 SA2-RU and 038-010 JA-RI -- see Chart of Inscriptions on Sealstones

Signgroup 036-092 SA2-RU appears 18 times on seals, 17 times with 038-010 JA-RI.
Compare Linear A tablet PH 6 (and ZA 21 and HT 79 [+] 83):
 PH 6.1, 3: A-RI cf. ZA 21b.1. SA-RI[ PH 6.4.: I-DA-PA3-I-SA-RI cf. ZA 21b.1. I-DA[cf. HT 79 [+] 83.1. DA-PA3[

And compare
A-RI-{ (HT 141.2)
A-RI-JA[ (PH 28a.3)
A-RI-NI-TA (HT 25a.3)
A-RI-PA (PE 2.3)
A-RI-SU (HT 118.3-4)

XVIII. 057-034-056 KI-TA-KU and 034-056 TA-KU

The signgroup, 057-034-056 KI-TA-KU, in its entirety appears only on sealstones, and almost exclusively with 038-011-031 and 044-049 (confirmed on #302.a: 057-034-044-049).
 CHIC (038-011-031) (044-049) (044-005) (036-092) (057-034-056) (046-044) Misc. #314 (Neapolis) d| (046-044) #297 (CR) #296 (CR) #260 (CR?) #302 (CR?) (046-044) #248 (PK) #308 (PK) #295 (CR) CAT #244 (CR?) **ˆ #310 (Siteia) #173 (MA Mu door sealing), #238 (Mochlos), #281 (MA)

Minus the initial 057 KI, 034-056 TA-KU, does not appear on seals, but on clay documents, where it seems to be a name, probably a toponymn, judging from the assessment of 6400 on #049.c1, and one that can apparently modify SA-RO3 which is probably near or at Malia.

 ]• 1 ]•-034-056 (#061.b1) 1 034-056-019-049 (0#61.d2) 6400 034-056 (#049.c1) -- -094-034-056-077- (#328)

Linear A presents one possible parallel to KI-TA-KU: KU-TU-KO-RE (ZA 8.2)

XIX. -Tv-Sv is this an ending or a modification (e.g., Kato, Ano)?

[•]-TI-SA (HT 31.1)
][•]-TU-SE-SU-KI (HT Zb 158)
RA-TI-SE (HT 6b.2)
RU-MA-TA-SE (ZA *20.3)
RA-NA-TU-SU (PK 3.6)
TU-SU (PK 3.6-7)
TU-SU-PU2 (HT 49a.7)
TE-SU-DE-SE-KE-I (KN Zf 31)
TA-SA-ZA (KN Zf 31)
]TO-SA (PK Za 16)