Linear A Texts & Inscriptions
in phonetic transcription

& Commentary


inaugural date: 30 November 2000; latest update: 3 July 2023

For all updates, arranged by date of posting, click here.

Comments, corrections, questions: John Younger (

Table of Contents

Front Material

1. List of linked files
2. Fonts
3. Corpora and phonetic transcriptions
4. Conventions (definition of "inscription"; bibliographical & epigraphical conventions)
5. Basic statistics

General Information

6. My goals for establishing this website
7. What is known about Linear A
7a. Chronology
7b. Script
7c. Documents, general information
7d. Balance Ledger tablets
8. Decipherment
9. Language


10. Vocabulary
10a. Transaction Signs
10b. Transaction Words
10c. Place Names
10d. Other Words
11. Ideograms/Logograms

Towards a Grammar

12. The Libation Formula
13. Grammar
13a. Nouns, Verbs
13b. Adjectives
13c. Prefixes
13d. The Suffix -TE/TI


14a. Numerals
14b. Fractions
15. Metrology


16. Word Separation
17. "Hyphenization"
18. The Continuity Principle

1. List of Linked Files

For the Linear A texts from Haghia Triada (Ayia Triada)

For other Linear A texts

Common Linear A Ideograms; GORILA's sign charts and palaeographic sign charts

For Linear A religious texts grouped separately

A Linear A Lexicon

A Linear A Reverse Lexicon

Phonetic Grids for Linear A & B

Concordance: Raison-Pope-GORILA signs (a Microsoft Word document)

Hypothetical Phonetic Grids for Cretan Hieroglyphic

Bibliography from 1980 on (with select works prior)
especially Schoep 2002, a must-read for anyone doing work in Linear A

Robert Hogan's "Linear A Explorer", a site that presents the basic data for every document, including a photograph (from GORILA).

2. Fonts

The following fonts are available for Macintosh OS 9 (NOT OS X) (courtesy Jean-Pierre Olivier):
  • Phaistos Disc - "Phaistos 12.hqx", "Phaistos 48.hqx"
  • Cretan Hieroglyphic - "Mobile 18.hqx" (for clay Hieroglyphic texts), "Malia-thick 18.hqx" (for Hieroglyphic sealstones)
  • Linear A - "Knossos 18.hqx"
  • Linear B - "Mycenae 12.hqx", "Mycenae 18.hqx"
  • Linear B Ideograms "ID. B 18.hqx"

    The following fonts are now available (7 Sep 08) for Macintosh OS X (courtesy Jean-Pierre Olivier):

  • Cretan Hieroglyphic for MAC OS X
    Malia-Maigre for inscriptions
    Malia-Gros for sealstones and seal impressions

  • For Windows, David Willem Borgdorff has designed a Linear A font: "LA.ttf.hqx"

    The fonts have been stored in binhex mode; after you download them (ignore all warnings), they must be "unstuffed" (click here for a free "Unstuffit" program): Quit all programs, install the fonts in your Macintosh/Windows Harddrive/Systems/Fonts folder, and then restart your word-processing package).

    3. Corpora and Phonetic Transcriptions

    The transcribed texts are based on the texts presented in GORILA (below). With the permission of Jean-Pierre Olivier and Louis Godart, I have prepared a transnumeration of the texts (converting GORILA's drawn signs to their corresponding sign-numbers) and from this transcription I then prepared a phonetic normalization of the texts, using the conventional phonetic values assigned to Linear A signs that correspond to the known Linear B signs. This process was completed on 22 March 1994. Olivier graciously checked this document against GORILA vols. I-V and a ms. of VI. It was then put in tabular form in January-February 1997. Since then, there have been continual updates.

    GORILA = Louis Godart and Jean-Pierre Olivier, Recueil des inscriptions en Linéaire A. Études Crétoises 21, vols. 1-5. (Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner, 1976-1985, now available online, along with the rest of the Études Crétoises volumes).
    Volume 1: Tablettes éditées avant 1970 (EtCret 21:1; Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner 1976) ISBN X16534
    Volume 2: Nodules, scellés et rondelles édités avant 1970 (EtCret 21:2; Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner 1976) ISBN X16435
    Volume 3: Tablettes, nodules et rondelles édités en 1975 et 1976 (EtCret 21:3; Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner 1976) ISBN X16436
    Volume 4: Autres documents (EtCret 21:4; Paris: Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner 1982) ISBN X16437
    Volume 5: Addenda, corigenda, concordances, index et planches des signes (EtCret 21:4; Paris: Libraire Orientaliste Paul Geuthner, Paris 1985) ISBN X16433

    The phonetic transcriptions use Linear B values for Linear A signs assumed to be the same. Also see below, "Phonetic values of the signs."

    Words of 3 or more syllables appearing exactly the same in both Linear A and Linear B Godart 1984
    A-TI-KA (ZA Wc 2.a1-2; KN V 831.4)
    DA-I-PI-TA (ZA 8.5, 10a.4-5; KN B 799.1)
    I-JA-TE (PH Zb 4; PY Eq 146.9)
    I-TA-JA (HT 28a.6; KN Ap 769.2, Xe 537.2)
    KI-DA-RO (HT 47a.4, 117a.9, 122a.2-3?; KN E 842.3)
    PA-I-TO (HT 97a.3, 120.6; KN 59 occurrences)
    SE-TO-I-JA (PR Za 1b; KN 22 occurrences)
    SU-KI-RI-TA (PH Wa 32; KN 9 occurrences), SU-KI-RI-TE-I-JA (HT Zb 158b)
    possibly A-RA-KO (KO? Zf 2; KN 5 occurrences)

    PA-RA-NE (HT 115a.4, b.1; KN Vc 7616)

    Words of 3 or more syllables in Linear A that are very similar to words in Linear B A-KA-RU (HT 2.1, 86a.1); cf. a-ka-re-u (KN B 416)
    A-RA-NA-RE (HT 1.4); cf. a-ra-na-ro (KN As 1516.11)
    A-RE-SA-NA (THE Zb 2); cf. a-re-sa-ni-e (PY An 724.2)
    A-SA-RA2 (HT 89.1); cf. a-sa-ro (KN As 40.4)
    A-SU-JA (HT 11a.3-4); cf. a-si-wi-ja (PY Fr 1206)
    A-TA-RE (ZA 8.1); cf. a-ta-ro (PY An 35.5)
    A-TI-RU (ZA 4a.3); cf. a-ti-ro (KN Dv 1272B)
    DI-DE-RU (HT 86a.3, 95a.4, b.4); cf. di-de-ro (KN Dv 1504B)
    DA-MI-NU (HT 117a.8); cf. da-mi-ni-ja (PY Aa 96, Ad 697) and da-mi-ni-jo (common on KN D-tablets and elsewhere)
    DU-PU3-RE (KO Za 1b); cf. du-pu2-ra-zo (KN Da 1173)
    KA-SA-RU (HT 10b.3); cf. ka-sa-ro (KN C 912B)
    KI-RI-TA2 (HT 114a.1, 121.1); cf. ki-ri-ta (KN G 820.1, Ld 785.1)
    KU-KU-DA-RA (HT 117a.7); cf. ku-ka-da-ro (KN Uf 836.b)
    KU-PA3-NU (HT 1, etc.); cf. ku-pa3-no (KN Df 1219B)
    KU-PA3-NA-TU (HT 47a.1-2, 119.3); cf. ku-pa-nu-we-to (KN As 1517.8)
    KU-RU-KU (HT 87.4); cf. ku-ru-ka (KN Vc 5510)
    MA-SI-DU (HT 43.1-2); cf. ma-si-dwo (KN Fh 360B) MI+JA+RU (several); cf. mi-ja-ro (KN Ln 1568.1)
    PA-JA-RE (several); cf. pa-ja-ro (KN As 1519.6)
    QA-QA-RU (several); cf. qa-qa-ro (KN As 604.3)
    QA-RA2-WA (HT 86a.3); cf. qa-ra2-wo (KN Ce 50.1a)
    SA-MA-RO (HT 88.5-6); cf. sa-ma-ra (PY Jn 829.15, etc., ]sa-ma-ru[, KN V 655.1, and sa-ma-ri-jo, KN Da 1147, Np 857)
    SI-KI-RA (HT 8a.4); cf. si-ki-ro (KN U 8210.1)
    SI-MI-TA (HT 96a.2-3); cf. si-mi-te-u (KN Am 827.1)
    TA-NA-TI (HT 7a.4, 10b.4, 98a.2); cf. ]ta-na-ti (KN Uf <311>.2)
    TE-JA-RE (HT 117a.5); cf. te-ja-ro (KN V 479 v.3, X 5525.1, 8661B)
    WA-DU-NA (HT 6b.1-2, 85b.4-5); cf. wa-du-na (KN V 503.3)
    WI-RA-RE-MI-TE (ZA 9.6); cf. we-ru-ma-ta (PY Ub 1318.4)

    4. Conventions (definition of "inscription"; bibliographical & epigraphical conventions)

    a. Definition of "inscription"
    By convention, an "inscription" is defined as two or more signs in conjunction, a word. A single sign may be an abbreviation of a word (e.g., Linear B o for o-pe-ro, "owed", "deficit"), or, commonly in Linear A, a transaction sign, like sign *42 A ("to" NAME?) and sign *04 TE ("from"? NAME).

    Thus, pot marks and other individual and solitary marks "must be clearly distinguished from writing in the true sense of the word, and their forms generallly have only a fortuitous resemblance to alphabetic or linear writing signs." (DOCs2 p. 29; cf. further remarks that disassociate such signs from lexical meaning, pp. 40 and 63).

    Thus, this website does not list pot marks, mason's marks, signs on sealstones, and other single & solitary signs that resemble Hieroglyphic, Linear A, or Linear B signs.

    b. Bibliography from 1980 (with seminal works prior)

    • DOCs and DOCs2 = M. Ventris and J. Chadwick, Documents in Mycenaean Greek (ed. 1), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1956; second edition by J. Chadwick, Cambridge University Press 1973.
    • CMS = Corpus der minoischen und mykenischen Siegel (Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag 1964-2000; and Mainz: Philipp von Zabern 2002-present).
    • GORILA: see above, section 3.

    c. Epigraphical Conventions
    SIGN[ = text broken off at right
    ]SIGN = text broken off at left
    SIGN = the reading of SIGN is doubtful

    • WORD / SIGN • (e.g., • TE • or • KI-RO •) = Transaction Sign or Word)
    WORD • WORD (i.e., • flanked by spaces) = word-divider
    -• or •- or -•- = unidentified sign

    [[ SIGN ]] = erased but legible sign
    <TEXT> = TEXT once extant, now lost and supplied

    d. Types of Supports (the objects that receive writing)
    no specialized designation = tablets (like Linear B "page" tablets)
    Wa = nodules/noduli
    Wb = sealings
    Wc = roundels
    Za = stone vessels
    Zb = clay vessels
    Zc = inked inscriptions
    Zd = graffiti
    Ze = architecture
    Zf = metal objects
    Zg = stone objects

    rare document shapes carried over from Hieroglyphic (but given no specialized designation in GORILA)
  • bars, 3-sided (like the common Hiero Class Hg) -- MA 1, 2
  • bars, 4-sided (like Hiero Class Hh) -- MA 10; and PK 3
  • labels (derived from Hiero crescents, Class Ha, or medallions, Class He) -- PH 10? & 24; and ZA Zg 35
  • lames (short, thin, flat, horizontal tablets; cf. Hiero Class Hf, lames [e.g., Hiero SY Hf 01]) -- PH 12-17, 22, 16; PYR 2?; and KN 22

  • 5. Basic Statistics

    In 2000, there were some 1427 Linear A documents with a total occurrence of 7362-7396 signs (Schoep 2002, 38); if there are 4002 characters (font Times New Roman, pitch 12, no spaces) on a 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of paper with 1 inch margins, all extant Linear A would take up 1.84 pages.

    Contrast Hieroglyphic: some 360 documents [including seals and the 23 documents from Petras] with fewer than a total occurrence of 1000 signs.

    Contrast Linear B: some 4600+ documents with 57,398 signs -- 14.34 pages of text.

    Signs: see section 7b. "The Script", below.

    About 2,788 people seem to be recorded in the Linear A tablets (Schoep 2002, 185).

    6. My Goals for Establishing This Website

    I have three major goals for this website.

    • 1. to make available the results of GORILA to the wider public (with permission of Louis Godart and Jean-Pierre Olivier). This website is not a substitute for GORILA, which presents the Linear A documents in photographs and drawings; signs are assigned numbers in vol. 5. This website "normalizes" the inscriptions (presents them as if they were "laundry lists") and phonetically transcribes the signs according to their accepted Linear B values.

    • 2. to work publicly with colleagues on the Minoan administrative process: how commodities were assessed, collected, and distributed.

    • 3. to obtain an understanding of the administrative process, of the administrative vocabulary (e.g., the terms for "total" and for "deficit"), and of Minoan social structure.

    I am NOT interested in producing a decipherment of Linear A -- please see "Decipherments" (section 8, below).

    7. What Is Known about Linear A

    There are two major types of Linear A documents: accounting documents and dedications.

    Acounting documents consist of primary records (on sealings and labels that accompanied commodities in and out of the administrative office) and summaries of this information on tablets, usually mimicking the original statements, each tablet line corresponding to one of the primary records, each line giving the name of the contributor or the destination of a disbursement, a logogram for the commodity, and the amount.

    Dedications are short but full statements that record the name of the dedicator, the object dedicated, and other information.

    Dedications employing the Libation Formula are fairly numerous and standardized, so much so that their basic grammar can be identified and predicted.

    Apart from these, however, most dedications are few in number though their statements present a much largr range of grammatical forms. It is understanding these statments that could reward us with something like a decipherment of Linear A.

    7a. Chronology

    There were several writing systems in Crete prior to the establishment of alphabetic Greek in the late 8th c. BCE (which also wrote texts in EteoCretan):
    • at least two Pictographic scripts (Cretan Hieroglyphic, including the "Archanes" script [Schoep 2002, 23] and the text on the Arkalokhori Ax; and the text on the Phaistos Disc)
    • Linear A
    • Linear B that wrote Mycenaean Greek
    Linear B was probably adapted from Linear A at Knossos and probably soon after the development of Linear A from Cretan Hieroglyphic. The earliest surviving texts in Linear B date ca. 1400 BCE if not earlier (Palaima in Duhoux and Davies 2011).

    Cretan Hieroglyphic is probably the earliest script to appear; seals dating from primarily MM I contexts (MM IA or IB) include CMS II.1 nos. 391, 393, and 394 from Archanes Phournoi (the signs on these seals are often referred to as comprising "the Arkhanes script"; Schoep 2002, 23: early form of Linear A?).

    Hieroglyphic documents come from four main MM II-III deposits in Crete: Malia, Quartier Mu (MM II late); Petras (MM IIB); Malia Palace (MM [IIB-]III); and the Knossos Hieroglyphic Deposit (an assemblage of material from the end of the Long Corridor in the West Wing and surrounding area). Since the sealstones that impressed the KN sealings were all hard stone seals, the impressed sealings at least should date to MM IIB-III. No Hieroglyphic document can be dated later than MM III.

    Linear A documents appear either contemporary with or soon after the first appearance of Hieroglyphic writing. The earliest document may be ARKH Zc 8, a painted larnax rim which the excavators (Sakellarakis and Sakellarakis) first dated to an EM II-MM IA context (1975) but later called it "Old Palace period" (1997; i.e., MM IB at the earliest).

    The first sign looks Hieroglyphic, like bull head Hieroglyphi sign *012 ; the other two signs are definitely Linear A: TA-JE. If the inscription is indeed a mix of scripts, it may well be very early.

    The other earliest documents date to MM IIA (KN 40 from Knossos, South House, carrying a badly legible fraction) or MM II (ARKH Zf 9; PH 6-19, 22, 24-28, 30 [Haghia Photini], Wb 33-36, Wc 37-41, 43, 44, 46, 52, 55, Wg 45, and Wy 42; and SAM Wa 1).

    Hieroglyphic was therefore probably invented first, in MM IA and appears first on seals from Archanes and Ayia Triada; Linear A follows immediately in MM IB, or soon after, in MM II, and appears first on documents primarily from Phaistos. From then until MM III, Hieroglyphic and Linear A were being written contemporaneously, with Hieroglyphic documents at Malia Quartier Mu (MM II) and Malia Palace (MM III, and Knossos Palace?) and with Linear A documents at Phaistos (MM II), Malia Palace (MM III), and Knossos Palace (MM IIIB). From this evidence, it is possible that Hieroglyphic originated in central Crete first (or possibly at Malia), in MM IA and Linear A originated at Phaistos slightly later in MM II.

    Although the two scripts share several signs, which may have similar phonetic values, it is not clear why two such different scripts should have developed more or less contemporaneously unless they represent two different administrative practices and/or two different languages or dialects (Schoep 2002, 22-23).

    A few Linear A inscriptions come from Final Palatial contexts. Three occur on objects that probably were made earlier but were found in later contexts: ARM sealstone, KH 94 and Wc 2117 & 2118 (all from fills), and the MM III pithos KN Zb 35 (LM II context). Three others, however, were probably all written after the LM Ib destructions: the LM II pithoid jar KN Zb 40, the inscribed block KN Ze 16 on the Kephala tholos (LM II?), and the painted inscription on PO Zc 1, a terracotta statuette from Poros (LM III A:1-2 by form and context). It is therefore possible that Linear A survived the LM Ib destructions, though barely .

    In the Neopalatial period, and probably as early as LM IA, Linear A was developing in such a way as to produce Cypro-Minoan and, eventually, Linear B. The earliest CM document, the "Grand" tablet from Enkomi comes from a 16th century context. The earliest Linear B documents seem to be those from the Room of the Chariot Tablets at Knossos (LM II or possibly LM III A1). This would be the time T.G. Palaima would identify for the creation of Linear B, when, on the Mainland, major Mycenaean centers had major administrative buildings on their heights, the larger tholoi were being constructed, and trade was expanding. According to Palaima, Linear B was created probably at a single moment, either "from above" (a directive) or "within the close confines of palatially oriented bureaucracies which then sanctioned the invention and continued to apply it to narrow record-keeping tasks" (1988: 341).

    Some Hieroglyphic signs, not Linear A signs, are the prototypes for Linear B signs (e.g., CHIC sign 40 for Linear B ro2 and 78 for Linear B do); it is therefore possible that Linear B was developing earlier than LM/LH II and incorporating more than one source.

    Other linear scripts may have similarly developed from Linear A farther east: see the inscription from Lachish (Finkelberg 1996).

    Character of the Script and Documents

    7b. The Script

    In comparison to Cretan Hieroglyphic, Linear A is fairly neat, written almost always from left to right (a few examples of sinistroverse or boustrophedon writing: IO Za 9 & 11; KN Za 19; PL Zf 1; VRY Za 1) in more or less straight rows from top to bottom of the clay document; occasionally the tablets are partially ruled. The signgroups are separated by a dot or short stroke.

    The longest texts are HT 93a & b, HT 117a & b.

    Linear A contains more than 90 signs in regular use and a host of logograms, many of which are ligatured with syllabograms and/or fractions, and about 80% of these do not appear in Linear B. While many of the 90+ regular signs are also found in Linear B, some signs are unique to A (e.g., A *301 and signs following), while some signs found in Linear B are not found in Linear A (e.g., AB 12, 14-15, 18-19, 25, 32-33, 35-36, 42-43, 48, 52, 62-64, 68, 71-72, 75, 83-85).

    There is probably much Minoan retained in Linear B. Signs AB *22 PA3 and *56 (unknown phonetic value, logogram B *107 CAPrid) were retained in Linear B for representing foreign (Minoan) sounds, and there have been attempts to identify Minoan names in Linear B (Billigmeier 1969, Firth 1993).

    Some Linear A words are retained in Linear B and even become Hellenized:
    Linear ALinear BGreekmeaning
    MA+RU*145 LANAμαλλόςwool
    SI+AU+REsi-a2-roσίαλοςto be fattened

    It is well-known that Linear A uses three main vowels, A, I, U; Linear B adds an e- and o-series (e.g., de, do, and complex phonemes (e.g., dwo, two).

    The complex phoneme NWA, however, is attested in Linear A on SY Za 4 and may be implied in the word KU-PU3-NA-TU; compare Linear B ku-pa-nu-we-to, a man's name on KN As 1517.8 (thanks to Gretchen Leonhardt for bringing this to my attention).

    Meléna 2014, 115: "The use of graphic glides after /i/ and /u/ when followed by a vowel" (e.g., -ija, -pwa) is probably coming from Linear A (e.g., Linear B se-to-i-ja on many KN tablets, duplicating Linear A SE-TO-I-JA, PR Za 1).

    Linear BLinear A
    *76 ra2 /rja/PA-SA-RI-JA (HT 24a.4), KU-PA3-RI-JA (HT 24a.1)
    a-pu-wa (TH Fq 229.3)A-SU-PU-WA (ARKH 2.5-6)
    *86 dwa??DA-WA-[•]-DU-WA-TO (KN Za 10a-b)
    *19 ru2?? /rju/*309a+RI-JU (logogram on TY 2.3, .6)
    *92 sja?? (PY Ma 397[+]1048.1: a-•-ta2 = a-*92-ta2)A-SI-JA-KA (HT 28.1, b.1-2) and common ending -SI-JA-SE

    7c. The Documents

    There are now (August 2022) some 1500 Linear A inscriptions. I follow standard practice: an inscription consists of two or more Linear A signs in some sort of connected context. So, a single sign on a clay weight (e.g. KE Zb 8) or on a bronze ingot (e.g., HT Zf 164), or on a stone stele (e.g., MY Zg 1), do not by convention qualify as "inscriptions": I include them in this website anyway.

    Linear A was written on a variety of supports, unlike Linear B: stone offering tables, gold and silver hair pins, and pots (inked and inscribed). The clay documents consist of tablets, roundels, and sealings (one-hole, two-hole, and flat-based). Roundels relate to the "conveyance of a commodity, either within the central administration or between the central administration and an external party" (Schoep 2002, 122) with the roundel being the record of this transaction that stays within the central administration as the commodity moves out of the transacting bureau (see Hallager 1996a). Two-hole sealings probably dangled from commodities brought into the center, one-hole sealings apparently dangled from papyrus/parchment documents, and flat-based sealings were pressed against the twine that secured papyrus/parchment documents (see CMS II6-II8 for photographs of the imprints that survive on the underside of flat-based sealings). These papyrus/parchment documents, presumably carrying inked texts, were probably of more importance than the clay tablets and roundels that have survived.

    Most of the clay documents are page-shaped tablets, usually smaller than Linear B tablets; a few bar-shaped documents are taken over from Hieroglyphic, but this shape is discontinued after MM III. While there are a few oblong tablets (e.g., from Malia), there are no palm-leaf tablets like those of Linear B.

    Those tablets that are written on both sides (opisthographic) are simply turned over (along the vertical axis) from the front (recto) to the back (verso), like a modern book page (pace Schoep 2002, 73, probably a simple mistake)), unlike the Cypro-Minoan tablets from Enkomi, which turn over along the horizontal axis like a notepad.

    As Linear A was written on a variety of supports, so too we find the documents in a wide variety of settings: central administrative areas (the Villa Reale at Haghia Triada and the palaces at Knossos, Malia, and Zakros), decentralized bureaux (the Casa del Lebete at Haghia Triada, the Northeast House at Knossos, and Zakros Hogarth's House A), and private houses at Khania and at Ano Zakros.

    Most of the documents come from "living" archives, archives that were being accumulated when destroyed (e.g., Zakros palace, Haghia Triada's Magazines 5-7, HT 24 recording wool and found with loomweights) or "discard" archives, archives that were finished and stored (Knossos Temple Repositories and West Magazines, Malia Palace). Often the discard archives are found fallen from an upper storey (e.g., Knossos West Magazines and Zakros Hogarth's House A), and some were stored in chests of wood (e.g., Khania; bronze hinges from Knossos Temple Repositories, Zakros rooms XVI, XXVIII, Tylissos House A room 5) or clay or mudbrick (Zakros House A, Khania house I, Palaikastro Building V) (Schoep 2002, 25-26).

    Almost all tablets are palimpsests (i.e., they were written on, erased, and written on again). "The presence of palimpsests suggests that the information originally held on the tablet was discarded, perhaps because it had been copied onto another document and/or updated" (Schoep 2002 79).

    Almost all documents consist of lists, with headings, of one or two word entries, each followed by a logogram followed by a number and/or fraction. Once, possibly twice, the logogram is followed by a word and then by a number; this "constantly happens in Linear B" (Hooker 1975). On HT 88.2, the ideogram FIC (for "figs") is followed by the word KI-KI-NA, which may designate a type of fig (black vs. green) or an aspect (fresh vs. dried). On KN Za 19, the ideogram *188 or TALENT is followed by MI-NA, which may be the name of the weight, the "mina", a common weight in the Eastern Mediterranean (cf. ZA 21a.7).

    Most words seem to be names (person- , place-) (Hooker 1975); when in doubt as to whether a name is an anthroponymn or toponymn (which is almost always), I tend to write "NAME." A few words may be verbs or transaction words (see below).

    We should imagine the several stages in recording information in the Minoan bureaucracies:
    1. information on individual transactions
    2. compiling these individual transactions, say by region or person
    3. summarizing these individual transactions, say by commodity
    4. making permanent or final records
    5. discarding the preliminary documents

    The types of transactions recorded should be fairly limited:
    • inventories -- of storerooms (food, raw materials, finished products), stables, workshops, lands belonging to the administration, their goods & flocks. "Inventories form the basis of target records" (Schoep 2002, 90-91).
    • assessments -- the central administration telling outlying regions what they should produce; a kind of taxation
    • collections, contributions -- inward movement of goods and contributions to the administration (in response to assessments, taxes, levies), deliveries, sacrifices, etc.; commodities recorded as in-coming from the outlying regions, either actually arrived (KU-RO, total) or in arrears (deficits, KI-RO).
    • allocations, disbursements, distributions -- recording the outward movement of agricultural commodities, goods, animals and raw materials for various purposes (finishing, pay, rations, trade, etc.); commodities given back out to people or places as rations or payments for services rendered. Mixed commodities and combined documents (Schoep's type IB & V) with VIR and "the Aegean triad" (FIC, GRA, OLIV) probably record allocations (e.g., HT 100). See PE 1, KH 7, HT 27, HT 39.

    It is not easy to organize Linear A documents into series, unlike Linear B: the scribes often recorded a mix of commodities on a single tablet (Schoep 2002, type Ib), so there are no "sheep" tablets unlike the DL series in Linear B. And most scribes did not specialize in recording certain commodities (except perhaps Hand 9 recording people, Schoep 2002, 167 n. 264, 199 n. 110).

    The texts also differ from site to site; for instance, Haghia Triada and Zakros tablets contain more lexical information but fewer logograms than do the documents from Khania. We must imagine that practices differed from site to site and/or that we have texts from the different stages of processing information.

    Packard 1974 classifies the Haghia Triada documents into 9 categories based on subject matter and format:
    A series: words followed by 1
    B series: logogram 100/102 VIR & ligatures
    C series: agricultural products
    D series: logogram 120
    E series: *550, *552, *551, *89, *21f
    Fa: HT 16, 20, 24, 38; Fb (HT 31)
    G series: logograms in the heading: Ga VIN, Gb other logograms
    H series: no logograms
    X series: fragments
    Packard's system is not easily applied to ZA & KH docs, which lack A, B, E, G, and F.

    Schoep 2002 classifies the documents, especially those from Haghia Triada, into 5 main categories (I have included this information with the presentation of the individual documents):
    Ia: Mixed Commodities, with heading and transaction sign (TS); these probably compile information from individual accounts
    Ib: Miscellaneous Commodities, list(s) and numbers; these probably compile information from individual accounts
    Ic: Miscellaneous Commodities, list(s) and numbers, and a word ("total," "deficit") and number at the end; these probably compile information from individual accounts

    II: Specialized, one logogram (and variants)

    III: Single Commodity, one logogram for the whole list

    IV: No logograms, always whole numbers, never fractions; therefore probably a list of personnel (such lists may also appear in the previous types of documents)

    Va: Combined commodities, a separate section of 100/102 VIR and word & number; again, always whole numbers, never fractions, and therefore mainly about personnel (and rations?: *303, figs, wine, OLE; e.g., HT 27, 89, 94, 100)
    Vb: Combined word & number and list & number sections

    It is likely that the mixed commodities documents compile information drawn from individual accounts, the lists of personnel relate to a census or work-force, and the single commodity documents summarize compiled information.

    Many lists are preceded by a short heading of no more than 2 words (3 words on HT 96a, HT 117a), followed by a single sign (e.g., AB 04 TE, AB 28 I, A 307 =? AB 39) -- these are probably transaction indications (e.g., assessments, contributions, disbursements). There may be subheadings to sections of the document (HT 93a.3-4 and 4-5; HT 120.3-4; KH 7a.3; HT 27a.4-5). PH 6 is unusual in that it presents 5 signgroups over 4 lines with NO ideograms or fractions. Longer, non-transaction, prose-like statements are rare; most of these constitute the presumed religious inscriptions, ZA Zb 3 (5 signgroups, 1 logogram), and the hairpins (ARKH Zf 9; CR(?) Zf 1; KN Zf 31; PL Zf 1).

    In the lists, commodities are almost always listed by ideograms, single signs that stand for objects (occasionally the commodity is not mentioned, being implied somehow); logograms are often ligatured with syllabograms and/or fractions to denote aspects of the object.

    Numbers then follow. Most fall into one of several categories: fractions, which may often indicate allocations (commodities leaving the administrative center in small quantities), the number 1 (probably personnel), whole large numbers (e.g., 20, 50, possibly alluding to assessments), and large random numbers (probably referring to contributions, either actual or in deficit).

    7d. Balance Ledger Tablets

    Balance Ledger tablets are transaction documents that record what appear to be contributions and disbursements (somewhat like "income" and "expenses"). They can be recognized by the fact that they present two lists of mostly the same NAMES. Original assessments (last column) can be deduced by totaling the contribution and the disbursement.

    Here are two examples, HT 28 and HT 114.

    HT 28

    Since sides a & b carry most of the same NAMES, it is likely that this tablet is in the form of a "Balance Ledger", with side a recording contributions and side b recording debits -- if so, then b.1: U-MI-NA-SI probably means "owes" (vel. sim.; cf. HT 117a.1-2: MA-KA-RI-TE KI-RO U-MI-NA-SI. KI-RI-SI [TY 3b.1] & KI-RI-TA2 [HT 114a.1] seem to be verbal variations on KI-RO, "debit" [vel. sim.]).
    NAMEa: contributionb: U-MI-NA-SIassessment
    GRA+QE 5
    OLE+KI 2
    OLE+MI   L2
    OLE+TU 1
     VINa 6 6
     NI 2NI 24
     VINa 3VINa 47
      GRA 2020
     VIR+KA VINa 6 6
    A-RU-DA-RAGRA 5 5
     *304 2 2
     OLE+DI 3 3
    I-TA-JAOLE+DI 10 10
    PU-RA2 NI 66
    WI-DI-NA OLE+DI 33
      VINa 3 E3 E

    Another arrangement, by commodity, reveals the ratios:

    3 E
    22 E
    OLE+?JA-QIf3 J L2 3 J L2
    *304A-RU-DA-RA2 2

    The ratios seem to be as follows:

    VINa+OLE = 44E
    GRA+NI+OLE?+*304 = 45 J L2
    or: VINa+OLE =? GRA+whatever

    HT 114 can also be rearranged as a Balance Ledger -- here, KI-RI-TA2 is a likely variant on KI-RO (cf. KI-RI-SI on TY 3b.1), perhaps a 3rd plural of a verbal form. If so, then side a lists what is owed, and side b lists what has been contributed (SA)

    namea: KI-RI-TA2 (owed)b: SA (paid?)assessment
    SA-RA2a: GRA 10 10
     a: VINa 1b: SA (paid?) VINa 910
     a: OLE 7
       NI 1
       BOSm 3
     11 oil, figs, cattle

    Again, the ratios appear to be similar in proportion to those in HT 28:

    GRA = 10, VINa = 10, OLE+NI+BOSm = 11
    or: VINa:GRA:OLE+BOSm = 1:1

    8. Decipherments

    My own aim in producing these webfiles has NOT been to decipher Linear A.

    To identify the language behind Linear A most scholars have tried one or both of two approaches: the "acrophonic" principle to identify the phonetic values of the signs, and using vocabulary to identify a language -- I don't believe either approach works very well.

    The acrophonic principle
    Decipherments based on reading the signs as pictograms, then identifying what the object was called in a language, and then identifying the phonetic value of the sign as the initial sound or first phoneme of the object's name (the acrophonic principle) -- this process does not seem to work for Linear A for two major reasons.
    1, the identifying term for the "pictogram" cannot be proved in advance of deciphering the script.

    2, it can be demonstrated that, for several Hieroglyphic & Linear A signs, the acrophonic principle probably did not operate. Hieroglyphic *012 , a bull-head, becomes Linear AB 23 with the phonetic value MU, Hieroglyphic *018 , a dog head, becomes AB 60 RA, and Hieroglyphic *060 , a cat face, becomes AB 80 MA. My guess is that the phonetic value of these signs reflect the sound the animal makes, "moo," "arf," and "miaow" (in English). And there are other examples where the sound of the object seemingly relates to its phonetic value (e.g., Hieroglyphic *057 , a key sistrum, becomes AB 67 KI [the clinking sound of a metal rattle]).

    This is not to say that the acrophonic principle is never appropriate to Linear A. Valério 2007 demonstrates that the word for master/lord is DU-PU2-RE and that the first sign DU is based in form on the Egyptian sr , "official/dignitary/courtier."

    Using vocabulary to identify a language
    See my critique of the "decipherments" by Hubert La Marle and Kjell Aartun.

    For me, vocabulary does not necessarily identify a language. English, for instance, has a large German, French and Classical Greek and Latin vocabulary, but its grammar and syntax are unique to English.

    Thus, I am not persuaded that Linear A is "such and such" a language because some of its vocabulary looks borrowed. Some scholars have identified the Linear A word KU-NI-SU as Semitic for "emmer wheat" (Gordon 1975 and 1981, Best 1988). It may be but it does not function as a commodity in the three documents it appears in: HT 10a.1, as a heading and therefore probably a NAME; and HT 86a.1-2 and HT 95a.3-4 & b.3-4 listing the same 6 NAMES contributing grain, among which is KU-NI-SU — it is probably an important placename. Compare Nakassis and Pluta 2003: 335: "A number of scholars have attempted to decipher Linear A, identifying it with known languages such as Semitic, Luwian, and even Greek. These studies begin by attempting to etymologize a small number of individual words, largely ignoring overall context."

    The contextual method My own method has been strictly internal and contextual, to examine the texts as accounting documents and to use the numbers to identify transaction terms and patterns in vocabulary. The results of these investigations suggest that Minoan is a non-Indo-European, non-Semitic language with a largely standard set of phonemes, a morphology (perhaps with agglutinating tendencies) that incorporates both prefixes and suffixes, and (perhaps) VSO word order.

    Yves Duhoux (1978) has paid special attention to vocabulary variations, especially in prefixes and suffixes. Linear A is heavily prefixed, unlike Indo-European languages which are heavily suffixed (with declension and conjugation endings). Linear A is thus not likely to be an I-E language.

    Brent Davis (2011/2014) has established some principle characteristics of Linear A: its word order conventionally follows verb-subject-object order.

    9. Language

    Linear A has not yet been demonstrably linked to any known language family, but it probably is not Indo-European (above)..

    "The languages which have been used for comparison are of two families: Indo-European, especially an Anatolian language such as Luwian (Palmer, Meriggi [and Ed Brown of UNC-CH]); Semitic (Gordon, Best, and others)... First no inflexional forms such as characterize Indo-European or Semitic languages can be clearly demonstrated, hence the identifications depend largely on vocabulary, which is notoriously easily borrowed. Secondly, the Semitic comparisons are mainly with triconsonantal roots -- yet if the vowels are ignored we are leaving out half the information presented by the script, and thus much decreasing the chances of success. Thirdly, if the language of Linear A does not belong to a well-known family, then the chances of identifiying it are virtually nil. This is not to say that Linear A remains undecipherable; as more documents are found and published, we shall understand more of it. But I doubt very much if speculation at this stage can help; I feel strongly that it is likely to belong to an unfamiliar type." (Chadwick 1975: 147)

    If Crete was deliberately colonized in developed Neolithic, probably from SW Anatolia (Broodbank & Strasser 1991), it would seem logical to surmise that the Minoan language could be related to one of the Indo-Hittite dialects, most probably Luvian, although that conclusion has not been demonstrated..

    It has been recognized that Linear A contains a high number of affixes (prefixes & suffixes, especially the former; Duhoux 1978), suggesting Linear A is "agglutinative rather than conjugating." There is a high number of prefixes (59% of the words Duhoux singled out; Linear B has 12%), playing an important role "in expressing gender, case or derivation" or some other kind of syntactic relation (Schoep 2002, 45-46).

    Classical inscriptions from East Crete (Dreros, Praisos, Itanos) have been labeled Eteo-Cretan (Duhoux 1982) - these use a Greek alphabet, but may reflect an indigenous language.

    Phonetic values of the signs (Godart 1984, amplifying Olivier's previous list)

    Many of the Linear A signs were adopted by Linear B; their phonetic values are assumed to be the same.

    identifications are certain for: DA, I, JA, KI, PA, PI, RO, RI, SE, SU, TA, O

    possible identifications include: TE, A, KO, RA

    recent identifications may be possible:

    *22=mPI2 (see Duhoux 1984, Janda 1986, Melena 1987; Tosa 2010)

    *29=mPU2 (see Duhoux 1984, Janda 1986, Melena 1987; Tosa 2010)

    *34 has been suggested by several scholars to represent MNA (or, if a disyllabic value can be accepted, MINA), based on its resemblance to the crescent moon (Pope and Raison 1978, 28; Packard 1974, 107; Furumark 1956, 24).
    Arguments in favor of this idea:
    U-*034-SI (HT 15.1, 140.1, 2) =? U-MI-NA-SI (HT 28b.1-2, 117a.1-2)
    PI-*034-TE (HT 116a.4) =? ]PI-MI-NA-TE (AP Za 2.2)

    Also see the note to *325, below.

    Melena 2014:95, however, proposes a different phonetic value for the sign when it's used in Linear B. First, signs *34 and *35 (a reversed *34, now deleted due to its few occurrences) represent the same sign and, second, that *34 represents a possible aspirated /a/ or /ai/, which he designates a5.
    He compares *34-ka-te-re (PY Va 15) to a-ke-te-re (PY Jn 832), a2-ke-te-re (KN V 118), and ja-ke-te-re (PY Jn 11)

    *56=PA3 or mPA3 (see SMID 1981, p. 61; Duhoux 1984, Janda 1986, Melena 1987; Tosa 2010)

    *65=JU (see SMID 1981, p. 61)

    *66=TA2=TNA (Pope-Raison 1978: 28).

    Cf. KI-RE-*66 (HT 85b.1-2, HT 129.1) and KI-RE-TA-NA (HT 2.3, HT 108.1, HT 120.4-5); and *66-TI-TE (PK 1.3) and TA-NA-TI (HT 7a.4, 10b.4, 98a.2)

    *304 = KA2

    *306 = A2, always in initial position (shape resembles AB 43, known from MY Zf 2)

    *315 = RO?

    GORILA cites sign *315 (vol. 5, pp. xlviii, 295) as occuring in the following documents: HT 9a.2, 17.2, 19.2, 42[+]59.2, 49a.4; and KH 82.3. In its presentation of those documents (vols. 1 & 4) GORILA does not specifically cite that sign but draws it as if it were simply sign A02 RO. In my presentation of those documents (in /HTtexts.html, and /misctexts.html), I have followed their lead and have cited the sign as *315/RO.

    *318 = DI2

    HT Wc 3017HT 94
    *304+PAa.1: KA-PA
    DI-*306a.4: *318-*306
    QA-KU-REb.2: KE-KI-RU

    *304 = KA 
    JA-*304[ (PH 14a)cf. A-SI-JA-KA (HT 28a.1, 28b.1-2)
    *304+PA (lots)KA-PA (HT 6a.1; HT 8b.4; HT 94a.1; HT 102.1; HT 140.5)
    *304+PA+*316+D3 (HT Wa <1021bis>) 
    *304+PA-KU-PA (HT We 1020a) 

    *306 = A 
    ]*306-JA-PI (ARKH 3b.1)WA-JA-PI-[ ] (HT 9b.1)
    ]*306-KI-TA2 (HT 122b.2)A-*301-KI-TA-A (TY Zb 4)
    ]*306-QE-DU[ (KH 21.3) 
    ]-*306-TI-KA-A-RE[ (HT 4.1)A-TI-KA (ZA Wc.a1-2)
    *306-TU-JA (HT 115b.3)cf. JA-TO-JA[ (ZA 4a.2-3)

    *314 = PU3.

    Valério independently and Owens 1999 & Facchetti 1999a, 132 all identify the value as BU, a variant of PU2; so as not to start a new consonant "row," I conform the sign to PU3

    *325 = MA-NA?

    If prefix I-/J- indicates a dative, causing A-SA-SA-RA to change to JA-SA-SA-RA-ME (IO Za 6, 12, 16; PL Zf 1; PS Za 2; TL Za 1b) or to JA-SA-SA-RA-MA-NA (KN Za 10), then we might interpret RI-QE-TI-A-SA-SA-RA-*325 (PO Zc 1) as RI-QE-T plus I-A-SA-SA-RA-*325, identifying *325 as either ME or MANA, probably the latter, if U-*325-ZA (HT 10a.2, 3; HT 85a.3) stands for *U-MI-NA-ZA (a variant on U-MI-NA-SI?; see note to *34, above). Also cf. A-*325-ZA.

    *348 (hapax legomenon) = SI2
    compare *348 *303KL2 with SI *303 KL2 (KH 11.3-4, 6 respectively)

    *363 (and *364?) = SO2
    so Valério; I agree (the sign derives from Hiero *043, from which B12 so derives); see Hiero #039 and parallel Linear A tablet HT 9.

    10. Vocabulary

    10a. Transaction Signs

    Single signs can indicate commodities (as logograms; section 11, below) and types of transactions; as transaction signs they are usually preceded and followed by dots (except on HT 44b.1, 63.1, 133.1).

    In Linear B, transaction signs can mean different things in different contexts (e.g., DA in PY En 609 or in Aa, Ab sets).

    In Linear A,Transaction Signs "provided information about the kind (or purpose) of transaction and that the format of a tablet indicated the use to which a commodity was put by the administration (its administrative status), its provenance or its destination. Thus, the lists of mixed commodities are clearly drawn up to a different administrative purpose than the single commodity tablets: the former record a single origin or destination for many commodities whereas the latter record several origins or destinations for single commodities" (Schoep 2002, 141).

    The low frequency of most transaction signs implies they are context-bound, which would be appropriate for contributions; those occurring with KI-RO (e.g., HT 123) probably are also dealing with "incoming commodities or assessments of incoming commodities" (Schoep 2002, 142) that have not been fulfilled or delivered..

    DI, a single sign with people (cf. HT 85b); on HT 20 it occurs with the fraction J (Schoep 2002, 139); since two of the words on HT 20 end in -JU, that might denote a child and/or a child's ration (cf. Linear B: NAME-JU = "son of").

    KA, apparently a container (see HT 93) (Schoep 2002, 137, identified it as something to do with people or a group of people; cf. HT 11b.2). The following discussion explores the possibility that VIR+KA are porters (see the individual notes to HT 28 and HT 88, and the note to HT 93 that identifies KA as containers).

    On HT 28a.4 VIR+KA VINa 6 comes just after VINa 3; the note there suggests that VIR 6 might be responsible for the VINa 3, perhaps 2 VIR per half-unit of VINa or 2 VIR per pithos of VINa (they could slip two poles through handles and carry each pithos as ona yoke). On HT 88 VIR+KA 20 or 26 are listed against FIC KI-KI-NA 7; perhaps the figs are rations for the VIR+KA, if 7 units of figs, that would be 1:~3. On HT 140 KA totalling at least 8 and possibly as many as 14 are associated with an amount of OLE+U that totals at least 6J, again perhaps rations (OLE+U : KA = ~2:1).

    HT 11b.2-6 lists a total of 180 *86 KA in 5 groups (40, 30, 50, 30, 30). Nodules HT Wa 1322-1466 are each inscribed with KA and impressed by 14 seals and nodules 1467-1470 are incised with KA but are unimpressed. The total of nodules with KA is 149. If KA is an abbreviation for VIR+KA, it is possible that the nodules are itemizing ca. 150 personnel individually that are listed in (the first 4 of the 5) groups on HT 11. (Thanks to Julio Fontan-Tejeiro, February 2014!)

    It is also possible to see all of the 180 VIR+KA on HT 11 apportioned on other HT tablets: HT 28a.4 VIR+KA 6, HT 88.1 VIR+KA 20 plus 6 (by the Continuity Principle, see section 18), HT 97a.1 VIR+KA 82, and HT 100.1 ]VIR+KA 58, totalling 195. Indeed, the VIR+KA 58 on HT 100.1 might include the 57 that are listed individually on nodules Wa 1323-1379, all of which are impressed by CMS II, 6 no. 11, the seal most frequently used on nodules.

    KI usually occurs with people (HT 118, pigs).
  • KI-RA: HT 49a.8
  • KI-RO? (Raison & Pope in Duhoux 1978: 47-48); cf. HT 118; and mentioned on HT 49a.7&8
  • KU can either stand for KU-RO (e.g., HT 40.4) or designate a group of people (title, collective, occupation) (Schoep 2002, 136-7).

    PA should be an abbreviation for a term modifying people; it may be in opposition to *188 -- HT 8 has, on the recto, PA, verso *188; PA fraction may refer to *618 (*302+KI). HT 10.3 has two separate entries, one for PA and another for *301 (Schoep 2002, 135, 137, 138), both of which have entries of units plus a fraction (J or E).

    PA3 appears on HT 9b, listing payments (Killen 1969 equates this with Linear B a-pu-do-si, received. HT 9a has TE, probably expected assessments or contributions) (Schoep 2002, 138-9). The same meaning can be deduced for PA3 on HT 34.6.

    RE refers to people (HT 27, VIR in the heading; HT 32.4); it precedes the logogram *305 (Schoep 2002, 137)

    SA (HT 114b.1) or SI (HT 30.1) = paid?

    TA may designate a group of people (title, collective, occupation) (Schoep 2002, 136-7).

    TE/TI, "from/of" (Valério 2007), associated with agricultural products and people, usually in large quantities. So, assessments (for future incoming commodities) or inventories of commodities arrived (Schoep 2002, 100, 168 "more likely to represent a kind of contribution to the administration (e.g., taxes, levies, payments of loans, tributes etc.) rather than distributions"). This meaning seems supported at HT, with large quantities of wine (collections, rather than allocations) associated with TE; the total amount of TE GRA, however, is small, 1/10th the amount registered with SA-RA2. This is common, appearing on 21 HT texts in headings or sub-headings [HT 67, 96] and relating to agricultural commodities: AB 30 (FIC, occasionally), AB 120 (GRA), AB 122, AB 131 (VIN), A 302 (OLE). TE and SA-RA2 are mutually exclusive (Schoep 2002, 98). See further examples in section #13d.

    TU =? redistribution: HT 49a.8

    WI =? "not included" vel sim; HT 102.4

    *86 (for the form , cf. Linear B PY Mn 111.1,7). On HT 140, 86 is probably a single sign, applying to the following sign-group associated with VIR, always with whole numbers (cf. HT 27a.2, 94a.1, b.5). It may designate a group of people (title, collective, occupation); cf. HT 11b.2, 45a.2 (Schoep 2002, 136-7).

    *188 is positioned like a transaction sign but it can also occur as a single sign. It only appears in initial or final position of two-sign sign groups, so it probably is not a syllabogram; it may be in opposition to PA (see HT 8 recto PA, verso *188). *188+KU may be a logogram on HT 16.3, 20.5 (Schoep 2002, 135-6).

    *301 may refer to people (HT 55a.2; HT 127b.6; HT Wa 1623-1848), "from" (HT 8a.3) or "to" (HT Wa 1022) [a place], but on several documents it is listed with a fraction, E (HT Wa 1026), J (HT Wa 1025), or both JE (HT 110b.5); it can also be doubled on HT Wa 1029 & 1030. The sign rarely appears elsewhere (KN Wb 50; TY Zb 4).

    *305 may designate a group of people (title, collective, occupation); cf. HT 11b.2, 45a.2 (Schoep 2002, 136-7).

    *307 is positioned like a transaction sign but it can also occur as a single sign. It is associated with people, also when doubled (*638). From its appearance on HT 27 and HT 89, it can refer to allocations (Schoep 2002, 142).

    *318 is associated with people

    *326 is associated with agricultural commodities, e.g., figs (HT 91, this is the only mixed commodities tablet this sign appears on)

    *346 is associated with people

    *406VAS is associated with people

    *516, I+[?] -- used with figs (HT 96, ZA 1); it may also designate a group of people (title, collective, occupation (Schoep 2002, 136-7). It might be related to prefix I-, meaning "to", implying an allocation (see section 13c, Prefixes, below); see, for example HT 96, where one section is headed TE and the next *516 (also see DA-I under Transaction Words).

    *523, TI+A may designate a group of people (title, collective, occupation) (Schoep 2002, 136-7).

    *545, KI+MU may designate a group of people (title, collective, occupation) (Schoep 2002, 136-7).

    *638 --- see *307

    *656 (*341+PI) is associated with people

    10b. Transaction Words

    A-DU = "assessment"?: HT 95.b1 (and elsewhere)

    Heading A-DU (probably derived from Hieroglyphic A-DE; see Notes to Hieroglyphic Signgroups, section X)

    From the examples below, Linear A's A-DU usually functions alone and as a primary heading to a tablet; it may be modified by transaction signs (e.g., TE) and/or logograms (e.g., VIR, GRA, OLE).

    As a prefix, it usually is followed by -RE-ZA (which may be a word by itself [HT 88.1-2]); here again it is usually a primary heading, but in one abbreviated form it is simply an item in a list (PK 1.2). The abbreviation DU-RE-ZA occurs at least once (and supplemented with an additional suffix -SE), and as an item in a list. A-DU also occurs as prefix to another word, KU-MI-NA, which exists by itself (KU-MI-NA-QE [HT 54a.2 & HT Wc 3014a-b]) as well as on the same document as A-DU-KU-MI-NA, again as another item in the list, prefixed simply by A- two lines above (ZA 10a.1-2).

    As part of longer words, A-DU may be prefixed by WI-N, possibly as a variation on the common prefix I-NA- (e.g., I-NA-TA-I-*79-DI-SI-KA [IO Za 5], I-NA-I-DA-[ [IO Za 11], I-NA-JA-PA-QA [PK Za 11d], I-NA-WA [PH 6.1]).

    A-DU as primary heading
    A-DUHT 88.1; HT 86a.4; HT 95b.1; HT 99a.1; KH 23.1
    A-DU *638 VIRHT 85a.1
    A-DU • TE GRA+DAHT 133.1-2
    TE • A-DU • GRAHT 92.1-2
    A-DA-KI-SI-KA • A-RA-U-DAKH 5.1-2
    A-DU[KH 23.1

    A-DU as heading
    A-TI-KA A-DU KOZA Wc 2
    A-DA OLE+UTY 3a.5

    A-DU-RE[primary heading: KH 4.1
    A-DU-[•]-ZA *303primary heading: KH 11.1
    A-DU-ZAitem in list: PK 1.2
    JA-DU-RA-TIprimary heading: KN 1b.1-2
    A-DU-[••] OLE+KIheading: TY 3a.3
    DU-RE-ZA-SEitem in list (ZA 10a.5 & b.1-2)
    ]DU-RE-ZA-SE-[?heading: ZA *20.1-2
    ]DU-RE-ZA item in list (KH 20.4)
    RE-ZAitem in list (HT 88.1-2)
    ]ZA-*321 OLE+KIprimary heading: TY 3a.1

    A-DU as part of other words
    A-DU-KU-MI-NAitem in list (ZA 10a.3-4)
    DA-DU-MA-TA • GRAprimary heading: HT 95
    WI-NA-DUitem in list: KH 5.3
    ]KO-A-DU-WA OLE+[item in list: TY 3a.6

    Two documents, HT 95 & HT 86, give further clues for understanding the meaning of A-DU; each records two lists, probably of place names. In the heading on the recto, DA-DU-MA-TA • GRA (HT 95a.1) is juxtaposed to the secondary heading on the verso, A-DU (HT 95b.1); HT 86 juxtaposes the heading A-KA-RU on the recto with A-DU on the verso (cf. KA-RU [HT 97a.1]). See the discussion of these two documents below: the words A-DU, A-KA-RU, and DA-DU-MA-TA, KA-RU seem to be transaction terms; I suggest something like "assessable", "payable" and "assessments", "payments". Uchitel, A., and M. Finkelberg, "Some Possible Identifications in the Headings of the Linear A Archives," SMEA 36 (1995) 29-36, suggest "let them do" for A-DU.

     HT 95 (GORILA I: 154-155)   HT 86 (GORILA I: 134-35) 
    a.1DA-DU-MA-TA • GRA  a.1A-KA-RU 
    a.3SA-RU20 a.2SA-RU20
    a.3-4KU-NI-SU10 a.1-2KU-NI-SU GRA+K+L220
    a.4DI-DE-RU10 a.3DI-DE-RU20
    a.4-5QE-RA2-U7 a.3QA-RA2-WA10
    b.1A-DU  a.4A-DU 
    b.2DA-ME10 a.4DA-ME GRA+B20
    b.2-3MI-NU-TE10 a.5MI-NU-TE20

    HT 86 assigns 20 commodities to names (places?) in two lists headed by A-KA-RU and by A-DU.

    On HT 95 these same names occur in each of two lists, headed by DA-DU-MA-TA and again by A-DU; in each list, however, most of the names have 10 commodities -- except: SA-RU has 20 in the DA-DU-MA-TA list and an additional 10 in the A-DU list, and QA-RA2-WA, for which 10 commodities are recorded on HT 86, is recorded (and spelled apparently the more common way, QE-RA2-U [cf. HT 1.1-2-]), with 7 in the DA-DU-MA-TA list and 10 in the A-DU list. For this odd number 7, cf. QE-RA2-U 197 (HT 1.1-2).

    By allocating the names to separate lists, HT 86 looks like it is dividing the names into some kind of mutually distinct groups (e.g., by geography); HT 95, however, by recording all names in both lists, appears to be recording transactions (e.g., payment and non-payment or income and reallocation).

    If DA-DU-MA-TA and A-DU are related (e.g., "contributions" and "not paid"), then compare A-KA-RU with A-KA-RU 20 (HT 2.1, the total of the next two numbers), and with KA-RO[ (HT 71.1) and KA-RO (HT 97.1) -- on this last document, KA-RO 82 may record a total of the numbers recorded against place names: *327 33, KA-NU-TI 25, PA-I-TO 6, DI 4, NA-TI 4, MA-DI 5, TA-TI 2, DE-[•] 3.

    DA-DU-MA-TA GRA = "grain contributions"?, if DA-DU-MA-TA is related to A-DU q.v.: HT 95.a1

    DA-I = "total"?: HT 12.6 (Schoep 2002, 162); cf. DA-I-PI-TA, ZA 8.5. If DA- (as in DA-DU-MA-TA) indicates in some way a completed action (like a completed form of A-DU), could DA-I be a completed transaction *516 I+[?] (q.v. under Ideograms/Logograms)?

    E-*82 = "assessment" or "paid"; ZA 4

    KA-I-RO = "balance": ZA 8.6

    KA-PA occurs only in the HT tablets; it seems to be a transaction term or heading on HT 6 (FIC coming TE "from" a list of names), HT 102 heading a list of GRA from five names, HT 140.5 where the word seems to conclude the list. Ruth Palmer 2004 suggested that ka-pa in Linear B meant processed "fruits" (cf. LinB ka-po). But KA-PA also seems to be a name (personal or place) on HT 6a.4-5 ("KA-PA-QE" in order to distinguish it from the heading), HT 8b.4 listing PA in small amounts (therefore "to"?) and a list of names, HT 94a.1 where contingents of KA-PA VIR are distinguished from rations listed against SA-RA2, HT 105.1 where VIR is being contributed from KA-PA and SA-RA2 in almost equal numbers. Schoep 2002, 166, thinks that KA-PA might mean "summary account" vel sim., or a place name.

    KI-RA = "balance"?, a transaction term on HT 103.5 (Schoep 1994-5, 71, n. 60); cf. ZA 8.1

    KI-RO = "owed", "deficit" (Younger 2003)
  • "balance": HT 1
  • "itemized payments/debts": HT 88.4, 93b.1, 94b.1
  • "owed" (Hooker 1975; Duhoux 1989, 79): HT 30.4, 123a; HT 118; cf. HT 49: a.1-7 totals 10; if KI<-RO> 1, then 9, which is what a.8 records (5+4), with the KI<-RO> 1 repeated
  • KI-RO is also mentioned: HT 88.4, 124

  • verbal forms of KI-RO; also see below, "Transaction Words"
  • KI-RI-SI -- 3rd singular (TY 3b.1)
  • KI-RI-TA2 -- 3rd plural (HT 114a.1)
  • KU-PA, possibly a transaction term on ZA 11a.5 (Schoep 1994-5, 67, n. 47); cf. HT 110.2

    KU-RA looks like a totaling word on ZA 20.4

    KU-RO = "total" (Schoep 2002, 160-62; Younger 2003)
  • secure: HT 9.a & b, 11.b, 13, 25.b2-4, 85.a, 88.4-6, 89.4, 94.a3 & b1-4, 104, 117.a1-6, HT 118 (with 5 having been omitted), 122?, 123.a, 127.b4-7; ZA 1?, 15, 17; cf. HT 116.
  • with restorations: HT 27a.1-7, 100, 102
  • rounded off: HT 119
  • also mentioned: HT 39.5, 40.3, 46a.2
    Perhaps the word is related to Semitic kl. "whole". (see Hooker 1975) or the Greek 'kolon', with the often Linear A 'u' substituting for Linear B 'o', and thus meaning 'sum'). KU-RO does not appear in Linear B, where "total" is rendered by the Greek to-so (but see comment on PO-TO-KU-RO, immediately below))
  • PO-TO-KU-RO = "grand total" (Palmer 1995; Schoep 2002, 163): HT 122b.6 (grand total of personnel; off by one?), 131.4 (mixed commodities, so it must total some common denominator, personnel?). If KU-RO is Minoan, is PO-TO- also, being related derived from IE, meaning "power" (vel sim.), thus PO-TO-KU-RO = "power total"?

    U-MI-NA-SI = "owed"??: HT 28b.1

    10c. Place Names

    A few place names can be identified (with more or less [??] plausibility) with actual places:
    • DA-U-*49 =? Linear B da-wo, perhaps Ayia Triada (Palaima 1994); it only appears on HT 120.3-4, as the first of 3 names in the second list, PA-I-TO being the last name. Perhaps DA-U-*49 is a minor locality between Phaistos and Ayia Triadaa (see SA-RA2 below).
    • DI-KI-TE (several occurrences) - from the numerous mentions of DI-KI-TE in the PK documents, this more likely to be Mt Dikte in east Crete, than to be Mt Ioukhtas near Knossos (Owens 1993b)
    • I-DA (several occurrences) - Mt Ida?, although the original name of the mountain was Ϝίδα/βίδα. I-DA occurs in the Libation Formula on IO Za 2 and Za 11, KO Za 1, PK Za 9 and Za 18, and SY Za 1 -- and there it seems to substitute for A-SA-SA-RA, "dedication"; I-DA may therefore mean simply "this thing" (Davis 2011/2014 p. 374-375)..
    • I-TI-NI-SA (ZA 15a.3) - Itanos (north of Palaikastro)
    • KU-NI-SU = likely a place name (not "grain"; Hooker 1975; Duhoux 1989, 79; Schoep 2002, 148-50); "Knossos" is very doubtful. The word appears only 3 times, and probably within the region of south Crete: as a heading without numbers (therefore a place?) on HT 10.1; as a subheading on HT 86.2 & HT 95.a.3-4 (assessments?).
    • KU-TA[ (HT 115b) cf. Linear B ku-ta-to
    • KU-*79-NI (HT 13, HT 85a), perhaps Linear B ku-do-ni-ja (Bennet 1990, 193-211); KA-U-*79-NI cannot be a spelling variant (Schoep 2002, 156)
    • PA-I-TO (HT 97, HT 120) - Phaistos
    • SE-TO-I-JA (PR Za 1.b) - Archanes? (Owens 1994b), Ioukhtas?
    • SA-RA2 (only in the HT tablets) - the word appears only twice after a transaction term (after A-DU on HT 99a.2) and after I- on HT 93a.4 (according to the Continuity Principle) in the line before; it never appears after the transaction term TE (from). Compare HT 32.1, where the commodities are small enough to imply disbursements ("to" another place).

      Otherwise, SA-RA2 appears as the heading to a list of commodities, presumably contributions "to" SA-RA2.

      Some 12 tablets (HT 18, 28a+b, 30, 90, 94, 99, 100, 101, 114, 121, 125, 130) associate SA-RA2 with a set of 4 commodities (*303, FIC, VINa, GRA, OLE), usually in that order when they occur together. But SA-RA2 is occasionally listed against other commodities: BOSm (HT 114a.3-4), VIR+KA HT 28a.4). HT 30, 32, 33, 34 seem to form a separate set of SA-RA2 documents, listing QA+[?]+PU, QA2+[?]+RE, MI+JA+RU, MI+JA+KA, E+KA, *305, *341+PI, PA3+QE.

      That SA-RA2 may be Ayia Triada itself is implied by HT 97.b where a carelessly written SA-RA2 occupies the entire side (see commentary to HT 97b). HT Wc 3017 may refer to HT 94 (see the commentary there); if so, its retention at HT may reinforce the identification of HT as SA-RA2..

    • SU-KI-RI-TA (PH Wa 32) - Sybrita (or Sygrita), in the Amari valley, modern Thronos
    • TU-RI-SA (KO Za 1b-c) - Tylissos

    10d. Other Words

    TA-JA =? "five" (Olivier 1992)

    DU-PU2-RE = lord/master (of a place, e.g., DI-KI-TE-TE-DU-PU2-RE, Lord of Dikte; Valério 2007)

    KI-KI-NA (HT 88.2) = "figs" (fresh or dried, green or black)

    PU-KO = "bronze"?; see the commentary to HT 31

    11. Ideograms/Logograms

    Linear A Ideograms: a folder giving the common, identified ideograms and their signs, and copies of GORILA's sign charts and palaeographic sign charts

    The administrative documents with logograms seem chiefly to concern people ( A101/102 VIR people = B 100; A 352 might be the equivalent of B *102 MUL woman), agricultural products (AB 30 NI figs, AB 120 GRA grain [probably barley, Palmer 1989, 1992], AB 122 OLIV olives, AB 131 VIN wine, A 302 = B *130 OLE olive oil), and less frequently livestock (AB 21 OVIS sheep, AB 22 CAP goats, AB 23 BOS cattle, AB 85 SUS pigs), cloth (A 54 [occurring as a logogram 5 times] =? B *159) and vessels (A 400VAS-A 418VAS). Other ideograms are rare (A 308-A 371), most occurring only 1 or 2 times. Linear A does not have logograms for arms and armor (except AB 191 GAL helmet), spices (AB 123 = *123 AROM is only a phoneme in A [Hiero *157 occurs on seals #291 and CMS II 3.23 as a logogram]), or metals (unless A 327 [; HT 97a, HT 119] = B *140 [] AES bronze/copper).

    *01 (DA), logogram on HT Wa 1031
    • DA+RE+SE (*502)
    • DA+RO (*501)
    • DA+*301 (*503)

    *02 (RO), on HT Wa 1032-1121, Wb 2001, 2002
    • RO+RO[ (*504)

    *03 (PA), common

    *04 (TE), common
    • TE+RO[ (*505)

    *07 (DI), common
    • DI+QE (*506)

    *08 (A), common

    *09 (SE): HT Wc 3004b, 3005b, by itself

    *13 (ME), not a logogram by itself
    • ME+VINa (*507), honey wine?

    *16 (QA2), not a logogram by itself
    Ligatures, *508-*511 occur with agricultural products (with *303, wine, oil, etc.) in whole numbers and fractions
    • QA2+[?]+PU (*510)
    • QA2+[?]+PU+RE (*511)
    • QA2+[?]+RE (*508)
    • QA2+[?]+RE+PU (*509)

    *17 ZA, HT 123b.1, ZA 1a.2

    *20 ZO, KH 57.2

    *21 (QI)/OVIS = probably sheep (Palmer 1995); also as a syllabogram (OLE+OVISf on TY 3). HT 38: OVIS no sex indicated = castrated males (wethers), producing finer wool and in greater quantities (Halstead 1990-1, 343-65). Schoep 2002, 122, cites low numbers of sheep (ZA 22: 100, otherwise no more than 30), but we can add now 53 sheep cited on the Thera tablets. Still, this is not much evidence for large scale textile production.

    • QI+SI (*512) or OVIS+SI, cf. Linear B SUS SI (for si-a2-ro, fattened or to be fattened)

    *22/CAP (B *107) = probably goats (Palmer 1995); also as a syllabogram (Duhoux 1984: 61 n. 38 suggests a phonetic value of MI?). HT 20.3: CAPm F, probably an animal product because of the fraction.

    • CAPm+KU (*513)

    *23 (MU)/BOS = cattle. *23 appears by itself (HT, ZA, KH 5.6) and may be "ox" or possibly "cow," although the sign lacks the split stem that Linear B 109b has. The masculine variant ( *23m, with stem crossed twice) appears frequently (GO Wc 1b; HT 30.4, 5, 114a.3, 121.3; KH 87.3, Wc 2069) (Palmer 1995)

    *24 (NE), HT Zd 156?
    • NE[ ]KI (*514)

    *26 (RU), HT 12a.2, b.2

    *27 (RE), PH 15a; ARKH 4a.2; HT 27a.2, b.2, 5, 6, 32.4, 41a.3
    • RE+SE (*515)

    *28 (I), HT 43.2, 115a.1, b.3, Wa 1150-1174; *28b: HT 62[+]73.3; ZA 4a.5-6, 5b.1, 15a.4-5, 6b.1
    • I+[?] (*516), "to"?
    • I-GRA+PA (*517)
    • I-OLIV (*518)
    • I-*301 (*519)
    • I+*301 (*520)

    *30 (NI)/FIC = figs (common) (Palmer 1995); one of "the Aegean triad" (along with *120 GRA, *122 OLIV; Schoep 2002, 98). As in Linear B, olives and figs hardly ever appear together (exc. HT 44, 91, 131). Incoming quantities are probably from palatially-owned orchards (HT 123 lists other commodities, so presumably these olives are coming from other sources); out-going quantities are usually small, even fractional (Schoep 2002, 96).
    HT 88.2 presents the only certain occasion when the word for a logogram is spelled out (the word appearing after the logogram; another possible occurrence would be *188 [Talent?] MI-NA on KN Za 19): FIC • KI-KI-NA 7. This is odd, since NI may be the acrophonic symbol for "nikuleon," an old word (Minoan?) attested by Hesychius for "figs" (Neumann 1962). Perhaps KI-KI-NA distinguishes fresh from dried or green from black figs, meaning one or the other, depending upon which would be otherwise automatically assumed.

    *31, SA, perhaps a logogram for *SA-SA-ME?; cf. HT 23a.4-5 SA-SA-ME, and PH 16b.1, HT 97b (cf. Linear B sa-sa-ma)

    • SA+MU+KU (*521) or SA+BOS+KU
    • SA-VINa (*522), sesame wine?

    *37 (TI), common
    • TI+A (*523) or A+TI?
    • TI+*412VAS (*524)

    *38, E, both a syllabogram and a common logogram (at HT, KN). E by itself does not occur with *526, and they occur in different amounts, E in whole numbers. JGY: as a logogram, E often appears with whole numbers (e.g., 3, 5) amongst a list of commodities in fractional amounts (e.g., HT 60, 91). KN 1 lists E 240 and E 105.

    • E+[ ] (*525)
    • E+KA (*526), in fractions (Schoep 2002, 133)

    *39 (PI), logogram only in ligature
    • *341+PI (*646)

    *40 (WI), HT 102.4
    • WI+ZE[ (*527)

    *41 (SI), common
    • SI-DI (*528)
    • SI+ME (*530)
    • SI+ME-KI (*531)
    • SI+SE (*529)
    • SI+TA2 (*532)
    • SI-*303 (*533: 042, 303)

    *44 (KE), only in ligature
    • *406VAS+KE (*656)

    *47 (?), MA 1a,b

    *50 (PU), HT 34.7

    *51 (DU), ZA 10b.7
    • DU+[ ] (*534)

    *54 (WA)/TELA = cloth, HT 16.2, 20.4, Wc 3019. Without ligatures, TELA is measured in fractions (HT 16, 20, Wc 3019?), perhaps by weight (cf. HT 16, 20: *188+*81).

    • TELA+KU (*535), counted in units, associated with *188
    • TELA+TE, Tel Haror only (cf. Linear B TELA+TE = tepa cloth, a Minoan word; Oren 1996, 105)
    • TELA+SE, Thera only
    • TELA+*312 (*536), also TELA+KU?, counted in units, associated with *188 (Bennett 1975: 61, & Melena 1975: 108-10 both give TELA+ZO?; Younger 2005 identifies A312 as KU [cf. Hieroglyphic website]
    *56 (PA3), HT 9b.1, 132.2, 34.6
    • PA3+QE (*537)

    *57 (JA), PH 14a, 16b.1; HT Zd 156?
    • JA+KA (*529)
    • JA+RU (*538)

    *58 (SU), KH 11.2, 22.1
    • SU+MI (*540)

    *59 (TA), MA 4a; ZA 10b.6; HT 94a.2, Zd 156(?), WA 1267-78

    *60 (RA), logogram only in ligature
    • RA+KA (*541)

    *61, O, HT 113.3, Wa 1279-81; KH common

    *65, JU, HT 97a.4, ZA 11a.4; Linear B FAR?, perhaps a logogram, although it may occur as such only once, on ZA 11a.4 followed by a fraction

    • JU+*317+QE (*542)

    *66 (TA2), HT 11a.5
    • TA2+303 (*543)

    *67 (KI) = KI-RO, common
    • KI+MA+RU (*546)= KI+LANA
    • KI+MU (*545) or KI+BOS
    • KI+[ ] (*544)

    *69 (TU), HT 49a.8; KH 91.3; ZA 12b.1
    • ]TU+RO (*547), cf. Linear B TURO2, "cheese"

    *73 (MI), logogram only in ligature
    Ligatures (*550 and *552 are found in different contexts than *551; *550 is measured in fractions, while *551 is measured in whole units [Schoep 2002, 130])

    • ]MI+JA (*548 , MI+JA on PH 3b.1 (3a concerns wool)
    • MI+JA+KA (*552)
    • MI+JA+I (*551)
    • MI+JA+RU (*550)
    • MI+JA+[ ] (*549)
    • MI+*301 (*553)

    *74 (ZE), HT 16.4, Wa 1282-132; KH Wa 1005-1010

    *77 (KA), HT 85b.3, 140.4, 11b, Wa 1322-1470, Wc <3018>a
    Peruzzi 1958, pp. 14-15 identified the KA repeated in HT 11 as the ideogram for wheel; presumably the wheel is of a wheeled cart or a schematic view of a container
    • KA+A (*554) or A+KA?

    *78 (QE), logogram only in ligature
    • QE+GRA+PA (*555)

    *79 (WO2??), HT 66.1
    Melena 2014, 83, 89 suggests wo2 for Linear B *79.

    *80 MA, perhaps a logogram on HT 146.3, 110b.2, 5 (cf. Linear B ma-ra-tu-wo)

    • MA-RU (*80+*26 ), wool
    • ]MA-RU (*558)
    • MA+RU (*559 )
    • MA+RU+ME (*561)
    • MA+RU+RU (*562)

    Linear A thus has no separate logogram for LANA (unlike in Hieroglyphic *84 and Linear B *145 ). The ligatures appear on a few documents (HT 12.4-5, HT 24a.1-5, KH 43.1, PH 3a.3) and the word is actually spelled out, MA-RU on HT 117a.3 and ]MA-RU-A on TY Zg 1; MA-RU does not seem to appear in Hieroglyphic. Linear B LANA *145 pictorializes the Linear A ligature, perhaps being influenced by the pictorial Hieroglyphic sign *084 . The classical Greek word "μαλλός, mallós," wool, may thus be a loan-word from Linear A (and Hieroglyphic?). At PH, LANA is measured in small quantities, possibly disbursements; at HT, the quantities are large, possibly collections (Schoep 2002, 132).

    *81 KU, common (cf. Linear B ku-mi-no, a Semitic word, Chadwick 1975, 119). It occurs in whole numbers on HT 127b.4, but in fractions on HT 45b.4, 5

    • KU+[ ] (*564)

    *85 AU/SUS, HT 38.2, 118.1; PH(?) 31a.3, b.4; pigs (Palmer 1995);
    • 85+SI+RE, SUS+SI+RE or SI+AU+RE, the Linear A predecessor of Linear B si-a2-ro, fattened?

    *86 (?), HT 11b.2, 27a.2, 94a.1, b.5
    • *86+'*188' (*565)
    • *86+*188 (*566)

    *87 TWE, only on HT 126b.2, 3

    *100/*102/VIR, common = person (Palmer 1995), but probably commonly assumed to mean "male person, man". VIR also occurs as a syllabogram (SI-VIR-[•] on HT 72.1, heading; VIR-I on HT 11a.4 & HT 93a.5-6 as a name in a list; VIR-*329 on HT 128b.1 as a name in a list).

    For "woman", see ideogram *352 below.

    Ligatured (connoting aspects, like occupation, age, gender, status? Schoep 2002, 113)
    • VIR+KA (*568), women? Godart 1984, 125 (cf. HT 28), but VIR+KA seems to be porter (KA being a container) - see commentary to HT 93
    • VIR+*307 (*569)
    • VIR+*313a (*570)
    • VIR+*313b (*571)
    • VIR+*313c (*572)
    • VIR+[?] (*567)

    On HT 85a, VIR are sorted into sets of 6. HT 105.2 has VIR 234 or 39 sets. Compare HT 88.1-2 RE-ZA VIR 6 and .4-6 6; HT 89.3: VIR+313 13, TA-RA 5 = 18 (3 sets); HT 93a.5-6: VIR-I 6; HT 94a.2 VIR+313b 18; HT 97 *638 VIR+KA, the numbers total 192 (32 sets) - also PA-I-TO contributes 1 set; HT 127, VIR+313 24 (4 sets); HT 128b.1 VIR-329 GRA+KU 6; KH 7a.4-5: KU-*-KO-E VIR+313b 18 (3 sets); KH 26.a VIR 60 (10 sets); KH Wc 2004, VIR 6; KH Wc 2029, VIR+KA 6; KH Wc 2030, VIR+KA 6; KH Wc 2106, VIR KA 6; PE 1.3-4, VIR 72 (12 sets); TY 2.3-4, VIR 84 (14 sets).

      Contrast HT 94 a.1: VIR 62, 94b.5 KU-RO 5; HT 100, whose total VIR is 97 (1 more than 16 sets); HT 102, VIR GRA+PA 33 (11 half-sets?); HT 105.3, SA-RA2 VIR 235 (one more than 39 sets); HT 119: VIR 68 (not associated with a name), 11 one-third sets; KH 7a.2-3, 4, VIR+313, 10 & 4 respectively; KH 25, VIR 140 & VIR 10; KH Wc 2031, VIR+KA 4; KH Wc 2032, VIR+KA 9; KH Wc 2100, VIR-352-JA 9; PE 1.2, VIR 53 (restored, one less than 9 sets); PH 8, VIR 11 (one less than 2 sets).

    Analysis of HT 85 (thanks to Brent Davis for relating side b to side a):
    • On HT 85a, the numbers total (KU-RO) 66, or 11 sets of 6 VIR each. The 11 sets are specified on side b, being listed against one NAME (and one or two logograms associated with a name. These groups of 6 personnel are obviously conventional and may reflect small, easily supervised sets of workers.
    • The names on side a recur frequently in the HT corpus, notably HT 10 (DA-RI-DA, U-*325-ZA [twice], DA-RE [twice]); HT 122 (DA-RI-DA, DA-RE, PA3-NI; cf. PA3-NI-NA on HT 6 and HT 93), and HT 13 (DA-SI-*118, KU-ZU-NI). This frequency probably implies that the names on HT 85a are toponymns.
    • In contrast, the names on side b recur less frequently: WA-DU-NI-MI on HT 6, RE-DI-SE perhaps as RA-TI-SE on HT 6, KR-RE-TA2 on HT 129, and the disyllabic names ME-ZA on HT 10, TE-TU on HT 7 and HT 13, QA-*310-I on HT 8 and HT 122, and MA-DI on HT 3, HT 97, HT 118, and PH(?) 31a. These names may thus be personal names, that is, the names of individuals.
    • If the names on side a are those of places, from which personnel are assessed (A-DU) in sets of 6 workers, then DA-RI-DA and PA3-NI, contribute two sets each, U-*325-ZA one set, DA-SI-*118 four sets, and the last three presumed toponymns (KU-ZU-NI, TE-KE, and DA-RE) contribute two sets combined. It is tempting to rank these presumed toponymns either in importance or in size: KU-ZU-NI, TE-KE, and DA-RE small; U-*325-ZA relatively small; DA-RI-DA and PA3-NI relatively large; and DA-SI-*118 large.
    • On side b, two individuals have associated with them separate logograms each also a separate unit, PA with QE-KA and KA and DI with TE-TU.
      b.3: RE-DI-SE was originally written on line 3, then erased and moved to line 4d; KA & DI are therefore probably logograms functioning either as transaction signs (Schoep 2002, p. 78) or as abbreviations of types of persons associated with QE-KA and TE-TU[ ], according to the Continuity Principle.
    • QE-KA appears only on HT 85b and TE-TU's two other occurrences (HT 7, HT 13) do not include these related logograms. On other tablets, KA, DI, and PA are, however, common, KA especially with personnel, perhaps women (Godart 1984, 125; cf. HT 28), DI with OLE and VIN, PA with GRA.
    • Perhaps they signify separate, but conventional, functionaries specializing in being responsible for workers in certain tasks. If so, then QE-KA oversees one set of general workers and her PA oversees another tasked with, say, the harvest; and the two unnamed KA and DI functionaries associated with QE-KU might be responsible for women workers and those involved with oil or wine production. Together QE-KA and TE-TU and their functionaries were responsible for 30 workers, in 5 sets of 6 each; they would seem, therefore, be to supervisors or purveyors or collectors of personnel. Additionally, we could imagine the named individuals, QE-KA and TE-TU, associated each with a large region capable of contributing more than one set of workers and thus needing one or two assistants, such as the regions DA-SI-*118 and DA-RI-DA or PA3-NI, already hypothesized above as "large".

    *118, syllabogram and logogram, HT 12.4, 24b.1,2,2, 38.3; KN 2.2 (TALENT?)

    *120/GRA = barley (Palmer 1995; Schoep 2002: 92-93); one of "the Aegean triad" (along with *30 FIC, *122 OLIV; Schoep 2002, 98). GRA usually begins a list: GRA, OLE, *304, VIN, then either OLIV or FIC. Since GRA rarely occcurs with *303 (cf. HT 99a), they may have been handled differently (cf. HT 110a with *303, b with GRA). The largest amounts of recorded GRA: HT 15.1, 684 units, HT 40.1, 207; HT 102.1, SA-RA2 GRA 976.

    Ligatured (presumably commenting on aspects of the grain, e.g., raw, milled; destination as food or fodder; Schoep 2002, 104)
    • GRA+BOSm (*576)
    • GRA+DA (*573)
    • GRA+KU (*579
    • GRA+PA (*574), in very small quantities; so, "processed"? Compare PE 1 which allocates GRA+PA in half units to personnel (Schoep 2002, 106, 108)
    • GRA+PA3 (*577)
    • GRA+QE (*578)
    • GRA+QIf (*575)

    When modified by fractions, it may have functioned as a land measure, as it does in Linear B (Schoep 2002, 154): *580 (+B), *581 (+E), *582 (+F), *583 (+H), *584 (+KL2), *585 (+L2), *586 (+L3L3).

    *122/OLIV = olives (Palmer 1995); one of "the Aegean triad" (along with *30 FIC, *120 GRA; Schoep 2002, 98); the total amount of olives in the HT texts are 93J units (about 8.928 liters). Olives are associated with the transaction sigh TE, but never with SA-RA2. As in Linear B, olives and figs hardly ever appear together (exc. HT 44, 91, 131).

    • *587 (+TU; cf. *621 OLE+TU, the only other occurrence of a sign ligatured +TU)

      OLIV by itself is more frequent (HT 14.1-2, 3-5; HT 21.4; HT 44a.3; HT 50a.4; HT 58.3; HT 91.3; HT 101.6; HT 116a.3-4; HT 123+124 [5 times]; HT 131b.2; HT W 231A; ARKH 3a.2; SY Za 2a; ZA 6a.3-4, a.4; ZA a.11, b.2a; ZA 18a.2) than OLIV+TU [only at HT: 50a.4; 101.6; 116a.4]. Since OLIV+TU always appears just after OLIV, it seems to imply a contrast, and since it is rare it probably implies an uncommon contrast. In Linear B, OLIV appears 13 times at Knossos, twice at Mycenae, 8 times at Pylos. OLIV+A (agrios, wild olives) appears only at Knossos (8 times); OLIV+TI (tithasos, domesticated) appears four times at Knossos and once at Mycenae. KN E 669.1 contrasts OLIV+A 43 with OLIV+TI 45, and 669.2 mentions only OLIV, presumably the default normal OLIV. Similarly KN F 844.b lists OLIV+A 10 T 2 and repeats this information on the bottom side (label?) but only as OLIV 10 T 2. Finally, KN F 852.2 contrasts OLIV+A 70 with OLIV+TI 20.

      If, in Linear A, unligatured OLIV was the domesticated OLIV, then it would be reasonable to assume that OLIV+TU was the wild olive.

      It is less certain that OLE+TU (HT 23a.2; HT 28a.2-3; TY 3a.7) represents the oil from wild olives, since ligatured OLE is common and there is no pattern in the appearance of OLE+TU.

      However, it should be noted that ligatured +TU occurs only with OLE and OLIV.

    *123/AROM; on Linear A clay documents this sign is a syllabogram of unknown value (A-*123-TE, DU-*123-A, TA-I-*123, TE-*123, and ]A-ME-*123, all names in lists); on Hieroglyphic seals, it is a commodity

    *131/VIN = wine (Palmer 1995). Wine can be inventories in large quantities (e.g., HT 13, 103J units, or 3,744 liters; ZA 4, 104 units). Also a syllabogram (only in PU-VINa on HT 14.1, HT 123a.3-4); the sign is similar to the Egyptian sign for grape arbor (M43).

    VIN comes in 3 variations (Schoep 2002, 100)
    VINa or plain wine, flavored (as below, in ligatures)
    VINb wine of lesser quality (in Linear B): ARKH 2.1-2, 3a.2, 5.3; KH 5.2 (VINb+WI); ZA 10b.1-2
    VINc vinegar (in Linear B, for perfume making): KH 18.3, 4; KH 61.2; KH 85.2; perhaps PH 7b.3

    • ME VINa (*507, honey flavored?), ZA 15a.3
    • VINa • GRA (*597), HT 27b.6
    • VINa • SI (*590), HT 27b.2

    • VINa+KA (*596), ZA 6b.2
    • VINa+RA (*594), ZA 6b.2; ZA 15b.3
    • VINa+RA (*595, variant of the preceding), KE Zb 5
    • VINa+SA (*589), HT 131b.2; cf. SA VINa (*522, sesame flavored?), HT 114b.1; ZA 15a.1
    • VINa+SU (*593), ZA 5a.1
    • VINa+TE (*588), KN Zb 34
    • VINa+WA (*591), HT 27b.5
    • VINa+WA (*592, variant of the preceding), HT 27b.1, 5

    • VINb+WI (*598), KH 5.2

    *164, only at KH: textile?
    • *164a, KH Wc 2042-4
    • *164b, KH Wc 2040
    • *164c, KH Wc 2041
    • *164d, KH Wc 2036-9, 2045, 2111

    *171, logogram on ZA 6a with agricultural commodities (perhaps also on THE Zb 5); in Linear B, it occurs with livestock (fodder? TH nodules)

    *180, PH? 31; MA 4, 6b,d, Wc 7: hide (Schoep 2002, 131, 133). On MA 4a, *180+SA contrasts with plain *180; on MA 6, the quantities are large (6a: 941, 6b 620).

    • HIDE+[?] (*599)
    • HIDE+SA+B (*600)
    • HIDE+SA+L (*601)
    • HIDE+B (*602)
    • HIDE+L (*603)

    *188, meaning unknown, common.

    • *188+KU (*604)

    *191/GAL, KH Wc 2028 = helmet (= Linear B *191; Palaima 1988: 325) on KH Wc 2028

    *301, common, meaning unknown.

    Ligatured Schoep 2002, 113)
    • *301+MI (*605)
    • *301+*311 (*606)
    • *301+*351 (*607)

    *302, common, olive oil, mostly in whole units (Palmer 1995; Schoep 2002: 93 [also noting that Hallager prefers *302 to be identified as cyperus, which otherwise is not identifiable in Linear A); cf. TY 3 which lists olives and oil together (cf. SY Za 2).
    Types of OLE in Linear B
    • a-re-pa, aleiphar, unguent
    • PA pa-ko-we, sage-scented
    • PO po-ni-ki-jo, dyed red
    • WE we-ja-re-pe, good for anointing
    • SI ?
    • O origanon, oregano-scented

    Ligatures of OLE in Linear A
    • OLE+A (*609) = A-RE-PA? (Schoep 2002, 117 n. 97)
    • OLE+DI (*608), always appearing with OLE+MI (*622)
    • OLE+E (*613)
    • OLE+KI (*617), perhaps OLE KI-RO (owing)
    • OLE+KI (*618, variant of the preceding)
    • OLE+KI+U (*619)
    • OLE+KI+ME (*620)
    • OLE+MI (*622), always appearing with OLE+DI (*608), in whole units and small fractions
    • OLE+NE (*612), in small fractions
    • OLE+QE+DI (*623)
    • OLE+QIf (*611)
    • OLE+RA (*616)
    • OLE+RI (*614), in small amounts
    • OLE+TA (*615), in small fractions
    • OLE+TU (*621), cf. OLIV+TU (*587, the only other occurrence of a sign ligatured +TU
    • OLE+U (*610), almost always listed first and in whole units

    *303, common, a grain (Palmer 1995). It acts like Linear B *121 (wheat; Schoep 2002, 112). This commodity appears on miscellaneous tablets, usually in whole numbers (esp. 3 and 6; Schoep 2002, 101). Since GRA (barley) rarely occcurs with *303 (cf. HT 99a), they may have been handled differently (cf. HT 110a with *303, b with GRA).

    Ligatured, with fractions
    • *303+D (*624)
    • *303+D+*304+PA (*625)
    • *303+E (*626)
    • *303+K (*627)

    *304, common, agricultural product, accompanying GRA on HT 92, 116 OLE and olives, GRA, VIN in large whole numbers on ZA 6 (Melena 1983, 116: sexual marker for OLIV & *303), but always found in a fixed position between OLE & OLIV. Schoep 2002, 124, suggests a spice like Linear B kuparo or coriander.

    • *304+PA (*629), not found with plain *304
    • *304+PA+*303+D (*630)
    • *304+PA+*316+D (*631)
    • *304+[ ] (*628)
    • *304+[ ]+*303 (*632)
    • *304+[ ]+*303+[ ] (*633)

    *305, common at HT, something to do with personnel: HT 63, with two individual entries; HT 100, with groups of VIR. It also appears in signgroups, apparently as a syllabogram

    *306, common at KH, meaning unknown. Schoep 2002, 125, suggests BOSf (it looks somewhat similar to Linear B *109b; it occurs with BOSm on KH 87; cf KH 6).

    • *306+MI (*634)
    • *306+VIR+*307 (*635)
    • *306+*303+E (*636)

    *307, HT 27a.2, 32.1, 89.1, 127b.4, meaning unknown.

    • *307+*301[ (*637)
    • *307+*387 (*638)

    *308, ARKH 7.3; HT 23a.1, 32.1, 35.2, 123a,b; KH 12.1, 85.1; in a word: 23-308, HG 26b.4, agricultural commodity or measured in the same way, in proportion to OLIV, always in fractional quantities, except on HT 123 (25H representing contributions?); "repeated combination of the same commodities on [miscellaneous tablets] and their consistently small quantities" suggest disbursements, not contributions (Schoep 2002, 126).

    *309, only TY 2 in three variations *309a , *309b , *309c

    *312 KU, ARKH 3a; HT 49a.6; KH 8.4 (cf. Younger 2005; also discussed in the Hieroglyphic website; for *536 (TELA+*312) Bennett 1975: 61, & Melena 1975: 108-10 both give TELA+ZO?). Younger 2005 demonstrates that Hiero sign *084 , which resembles an animal (sheep?) head, corresponds to 3 subunits of *051 , which looks like a small dagger. Linear A *312 also looks like a small dagger and appears as an adjunct to Linear A *54 TELA (HT 38.3: TELA+*312; cf. TELA+KU on HT 38.3 (same line); and KU-TA[ on HT 115b.4 with *312+TA on HT 10b.2).

    *313 ligatured with VIR in three variations *313a ( HT 89.3, 100.2), *313b ( HT 94a.2; KH 7a), *313c ( HT 127b.5)

    *316, agricultural commodity on KH 91.2; PH 1a.1,2, meaning unknown.

    • *316+TO+VINa (*639)
    • *316+KI (*640)

    *317, ARKH 3a.3,5; HT 96a.3, meaning unknown.

    • *317+KU+*334 (*641)

    *318, HT 45a.3, b,3, meaning unknown.

    • *318+[ ] (*642)

    *319, HT 132.1, Zd 1555, 156(bis), 157

    *322, KH Wc 2026, 2027, 2098; cf. Linear B *158 (unidentified) on KH Wc 2026, 2027

    *323, HT 96a.3,4

    *326, HT 35.1, 91.1, 128a.1

    *327 = B *140 AES?, HT 97a.1, 119.1 (Palaima 1988: 326), on HT 97a.1-2, HT 119.1 where it is allotted to people. It may have had a phonetic value, since it occurs in *327-JU on HT 119.4

    *330, meaning unknown, only in ligature.

    • *330+DA (*643)
    • *330+SA (*644)

    *332, HT 97b, 107.3, agricultural product

    *333, HT Wc 3009, HT Wc 3010, MO Zf 1. Olivier 1987c, 143-44, compares the sign to Linear B *18 , for which Melena 2014, 83, suggests the value sto. HT Wc 3009: *333-DI-SU-KA *118 (4 impressions)
    HT Wc 3010: *333-DI-NA-SU-KA [no logogram] (4 impressions)
    MO Zf 1 (weight 1460 gr [1/20th talent]): *333-SA-MU

    *334, KH 6.6, 7a.1, meaning unknown, only at KH where it occurs first on documents and is followed by whole numbers; thus, individuals (people, livestock; Schoep 2002, 126)

    *336, KH 14.2, 82.4 = dog (based on the shape; Schoep 2002, 126-7)

    *337, only in ligature, chariot frame (cf. Linear B *242), on KH Wc 2056, 2057.

    • *337+*188 (*645)

    *338, KH Wc 2067, 2068 = boots?

    *339, PH 12a, 15a

    *341, only in ligature, meaning unknown.

    • *341+*188 (*646)

    *343, HT 93a.7, meaning unknown

    *344, HT 96a.4, meaning unknown

    *346, HT 122b.1, meaning unknown

    *347, KH 6.3, meaning unknown

    *348, only in ligature, meaning unknown.

    • *303+*348 (*647)

    *351, only in ligature, meaning unknown

    • *351+*351 (*607)

    *352 = woman MUL?, only on KH 100 and in VIR-*352-JA, KH Wc 2100 here does not seem to be a common logogram for woman (MUL), but cf. VIR+KA (below) and *352 (KH 99; KH Wc 2100).

    *353, PH 9a

    *354, PH 10

    *355, PH 10

    *356, PH 13b

    *357, PH 15b

    *358, PH 16a.2

    *359, PH 17a.1

    *360, PH 17b

    *362, ZA 10b.1: WA-*362 or TELA-*362

    *365, HT Wa 1849

    *366, HT Wa 1850

    *367, HT Wa 1851

    *368, HT Wa 1852

    *369, HT Wa 1853

    *370, HT Wa 1854

    *371, KH Wa 1018

    *400-418 = vessels

    • *400, handleless cup
    • *401 two-handled cup
      • *401+[ ] (*649)
      • *401+A (vowel) (*650)
      • *401+RU (*651)
      • *401+RO (*652)
      • *401+*304 (*653)
    • *402, straight-sided, handleless cup
    • *403, chalice
    • *404, cup with one handle
      • *402+A (vowel) (*654)
    • *405, two-handled bucket
      • *405+Ω (*655)
    • *406, lidded bucket
      • *406+KE (*656)
    • *407, lekane or basin
      • *414+A (vowel) (*657)
    • *408, tripod with two horizontal loop handles
    • *409, handleless tripod
    • *410, tripod with two vertical loop handles
    • *411, tripod with two horizontal strap handles
    • *412, ewer
      • *412+E (fraction) (*658)
    • *413, ovoid jug (funnel?)
      • *413+SU (*660)
    • *414 squat jug
      • *414+[ ] (*661)
      • *414+F (*662)
    • *415, pithoid jar
    • *416, pithos
    • *417, wicker basket (like those the girls use in the Xeste 3 fresco for collecting crocus stamens)
      • *416+L2 (*663)
    • *418, bull head rhyton
      • *418++L2 (*664)

    Several vessel logograms have fractions written inside (see MA 10); these may refer to the capacities of the vessels or to agricultural products, and their measurements, since they occur in mixed commodity tablets (cf. Linear B *123 AROM which looks like a container but actually refers to the contents, or to MU-container and sa-pi-de boxes on PY Vn 19, MY 105; Schoep 2002, 127-8). On KN K 700 and in the Gg tablets, the numbers refer to the contents, not the numbers of the vessels (Schoep 2002, 128). The KH roundels record quite a few vessels, according to the number of seal impressions: *408 tripod, 9; *409 tripod, 27; *411 tripod, 64; and *417 wicker baseket, 2.

    12. The Libation Formula

    In this section and in the one that follow, I summarize Brent Davis's dissertation on "Syntax": the word-order of the 'libation formula' (pp. 368-380).

    The Libation Formula appears in part on various inscribed objects, many dedicated at sanctuaries. The words, however, often follow a fairly strict sequence, something like the following:

    sequence 1sequence 2 sequence 3sequence 4sequence 5sequence 6
    TL Za 1
    IO Za 6

    Apparently sequences 1,2,3 can stand on their own, while sequences 4,5,6 form a second clause, which, however, never stands on its own.

    A varient of Sequence 1 also appears on ZA Zb 3, a pithos found, not in a sanctuary but in a rural farm house (Ano Zakros):
    .2: A-TA-I-*301-DE-KA

    This suggests that -I-*301 is the root with prefixes and suffixes. The fact this word thus appears on a pithos in a house also suggests that this important word is a common one. Davis suggests a verb, like "give."

    In which case, perhaps Minoan was a verb-initial language.

    Since sequence 2 is always different, that should be the name of the person "giving."

    Thus, Minoan is a verb-initial / subject-second. That would then put the object of the verb third: VSO.

    If so, JA-SA-SA-RA-ME, sequence 3, should be the object, the inscribed object itself, the "gift/dedication."

    Sequences 4,5,6, comprise a second clause that never varies but never stands alone; they are thus generic, like a generic dependent clause that restates the main clause; Davis suggests something like "requesting favor divine" (in many VSO languages, adjectives follow their noun).

    Thus, the Libation Formula would translate, in most cases, something like the following:

    sequence 1sequence 2 sequence 3sequence 4sequence 5sequence6
    TL Za 1
    givesO-SU-QA-RE (name of dedicant)this dedicationrequestinga favordivine

    The pithos, ZA Zb 3, cited above, has the following inscription:


    Here, it is the OBJECT (the wine pithos) that is placed in initial position as emphasis. This implies an inversion of the typical order: OVS.

    We know the verb (A-TA-I-*301-DE-KA), following which should now be the subject A-RE-PI-RE-NA TI-TI-KU.

    This implies that the phrase DI-DI-KA-SE A-SA-MU-NE A-SE comprises another sort of object before the verb, perhaps an indirect object:

    wine-pithos(to) DI-DI-KA-SE A-SA-MU-NE A-SE(verb) A-TA-I-*301-DE-KA (gives/gave)(the subject, the giver) A-RE-PI-RE-NA TI-TI-KU

    13. Grammar

    13a. Nouns, Verbs
    Most words in the accounting documents are NAMES (of people, of places); these are indicated as such in the lexicon.

    Other Nouns and other parts-of-speech can occur in the concise headings to accounting documents, but their conventional layout and narrow focus do not encourage elaboration or irrelevant chatter.

    As Davis 2011/2014 has deduced, the predominant Linear A word-order is Verb Subject Object, with variations, as seen in the Libation Formula.

    TL Za 1 presents a straight-forward statement of the first part of the Formula:

    A-TA-I-*301-WA-JA should be the Verb "gives // dedicates"
    O-SU-QA-RE should be the Subject, the NAME of the giver
    and JA-SA-SA-RA-ME should be the Object, the word for "gift / dedication"

    In a more complicated variation on the Formula, ZA Zb 3, we can infer some of the same types of words:


    In this statement, we see the Verb A-TA-I-*301-DE-KA farther along.

    The word order here must therefore start, not with Verb, but with the Object, "fronted for emphasis" (p. 378). After this 3-word sequence for the Object we find the Verb A-TA-I-*301-DE-KA (past tense?) foillowed by the expected Subject A-RE-PI-RE-NA TI-TI-KU.

    The 3-word sequence between the Object and the Verb should be the recipient, the Indirect Object DI-DI-KA-SE A-SA-MU-NE A-SE.

    In these two cases TL Za 1 and KZ Zb 3, we have good evidence for identifying the subject of a verb, the verb, and its object and indirect object.
    Davis continues by identifying the second clause in a typial Formula as a Verbal (participle) and Genitive (following its noun):
    "requesting favor divine" (vel sim.)

    In other, non-accounting documents (especially the dedications of personal objects, those characterized as support types Za-Zg), we should be able to identify similar parts of speech.

    13b. Adjectives
    From the Place Name SU-KI-RI-TA (Sybrita in the Amari Valley), there derives a clear adjective: SU-KI-RI-TE-I-JA (HT Zb 158b), appearing on a pot that would thus be labeled "Sybritan" (cf. the similar Linear B adjective in full wa-na-ka-te-ro or abbreviated WA on tablets and inscribed stirrup jars).

    From this adjective, we can identify others:
    ]PU2-RE-JA (PK Za 16) from ]PU2-RA2 (ZA a.6)
    KU-PA3-RI-JA (HT 24a.1) from KU-PA-RI (PE 1.1-2)
    PA-SA-RI-JA (HT 24a.4) perhaps related to PA-SE-JA (HT 93a.8); compare I-PA-SA-JA (KH 10.3).

    13c. Prefixes
    I- vowel = J-vowel
    A few words appear both in root form and with I- or J- prefixes (I+consonant, J+vowel). Duhoux 1997 identified these prefixes as meaning "to/at".

    • I-DA-MA-TE (AR Zf 1, Zf 2), "to" DA-MA-TE (KY Za 2), DA-MA-TE being the likely name of a deity, but NOT Demeter, whose name is Indo-European in origin, not a borrowing from Minoan (Burkert 1985, 38; Duhoux 1994–95, 289); cf. section 7b which gives a few Minoan/Linear A words that did cross over to Linear B and eventually to alphabetic Greek.
    • I-PA-SA-JA (KH 10.3), "to" *PA-SA-JA; cf. PA-SE-JA (HT Wc 3001, 3002)
    • I-ZU-RI-NI-TA (PH 6.2) related to ZU-RI-NI-MA (KN Zb 52) and perhaps A-RI-NI-TA (HT 25a.3; ZA 8.2-3)

    • JA-SA-SA-RA is a common word in the Libation Formula. The first syllable may incorporate the prefix I- and the root word A-SA-SA-RA; in this case, the resulting JA-SA-SA-RA may more probably mean "with this dedication/gift".

    A-SA + root word
    The word J/A-SA-SA-RA is built from a root SA-RA plus a prefix A-SA. A-SA also prefixes
    A-SA-RO-*009 (CMS XI no. 331)
    A-SA-DA-KA (MA Wc <5>a.1-2), written over two lines: a.1: A-SA-, a.2: DA-KA
    A-SA-MU-NE (ZA Zb 3.1)
    A-SA-SU-MA-I-SE (GO Wc 1)

    13d. Suffix -TE/TI
    Valério 2007 demonstrated that the suffix -TE means "from/of." There is a variant, -TI.
    The prefix occurs in two forms, with or without the prefix J/A-.
    with the prefix J/A- and the suffix -TE or -TI
    A-DI-KI-TE-TE-DU-PU2-RE (PK Za 11), (PK Za 11), (PK Za 8.a, Za 15) = "master, lord" (DU-PU2-RE) "of/from Dikte."
    A-TU-RI-SI-TI (KN Zb 5), "from" TU-RI-SA (KO Za 1)

    without the prefix J/A- (on two interrelated documents, Hooker 1975)
    DA-KU-SE-NE-TI (HT 104.1-2), "from" DA-KU-SE-NE (HT 103.4)
    I-DU-TI (HT 104.2-3), "from" a hypothetical *I-DU (Ida?)
    PA-DA-SU-TI (HT 104.3-4), "from" a hypothetical *PA-DA-SU
    RI-RU-MA-TI (PH(?) 31), sheep and pigs "from" RI-RU-MA (HT 118.4, recording pigs, SUS I+[?]). Of this pair, Schoep 2002, 172, remarks: "It would be interesting to know whether the suffix TI indicates a direction."

    14a. Numerals

    Linear A texts often employ numerals since most texts are lists of commodities brought into, or distributed out of, the administrative system.

    Units (the number 'one') are invariably written as vertical strokes, up to nine of these.

    Tens are usually written as horizontal strokes (again up to nine of these) but at Knossos, Malia, and Phaistos, tens are written as simple dots.

    Hundreds are conveyed by circles.

    Thousands are conveyed by circles with rays, usually four, each from the cardinal points, e.g., HT 31, but MA 9 seems to use circles with random spikes around the circumference: .

    HT 31 employs all these conventional numeral signs:

    14b. Fractions

    See Hallager 1996: 29; Pope 1960.

    Linear A's fractional notation has received much attention. One aspect that remains puzzling is that there is no separate sequence for volumes/capacities and wet or dry weight. We thus have no way of knowing what the fractions refer to -- the Minoans must have inferred the references depending on the commodities being measured.

    Bennett 1999 notes the "aliquot" system of Linear A fractions (i.e., 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, etc.); that Egyptian Hieroglyphic 1/2 and 1/4 are the same in Hieratic, but the rest of the fractions differ in the two scripts; that Egyptian fractions are also aliquot with six signs for 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 plus a monogram of 1/2+1/4 for 3/4 (the values of Linear A's fractions seem to be almost identical); and that Egyptian Hieroglyphic 1/2 is very like Linear A 'J', and 1/4 is roughly like Linear A 'E'.

    Bennett proposed 1/2 = *707/J -- correct
    1/3 = *706/H -- wrong; should be 1/6
    1/4 = *704/E -- correct
    1/6 = *717/DD -- wrong: the double mina
    1/8 = *705/F -- correct

    3/8 = *721/EF -- correct
    5/8 = *735/JF -- correct
    2/3 = *703/D -- wrong; the single mina, perhaps 1/5
    3/4 =*732/JE -- correct
    5/6 = *736/JH --wrong; should be 2/3

    Fractions in combination, in probable order of descending value
    JJ (PH 9b)
    JA (HT 120.3)
    JE (lots; EJ [HT 123a.3-4; ZA 8.4])
    JEB (HT 27a.8)
    JB (HT 129.1; KH 5.4, 6.8, 17.3)
    JF (HT 51b.2)
    JK (HT 32.1)
    JH (HT 93a.3)
    JEL2 (KH 7a.5, 56.1)
    JL2 (HT 123b.4)
    EE (PH 12b.2, 13a, 13c)
    EB (KH 9.2)
    EF (HT 8b.4, 16.3, 40a.4, 123b.5, Zd 156)
    EL2 (HT 33.3)
    EL4 (KH 26.2)
    EL6 (KH 76.2)
    EYYY (PH 26)
    ABB (KH 86.2)
    BB (KE Wc 2b)
    FK (PH 1b.2)
    FL (ZA 7b.8)
    HK (HT 34.3)
    KL2 (HT 86a.2, 120.2; KH 11.2.3-4, 4.6, 16.1, 75.2)
    L2L4 (HT 33.2)
    L3L3 (HT 15.2)

    Fractions with values (if demonstrable or surmisable)
  • A (A701). In the discussion to HT 123+124, it is clear that A[ = 7/12. ABB, however, also occurs (KH 86); logically, A should be greater than B, but if it is smaller (as ABB seems to demand if B=1/3), then perhaps A is something like 1/6 (see note to HT 34.7; but see fraction H).
  • B (A702)= 1/3 (or 1/5). B occurs singly, in pairs BB (ZA 8, 6; KE Wc 2b), as a pair after A (KH 86.2), and once after E (1/4). That it occurs in pairs may imply that three B's would equal a unit, and that B = 1/3. The conical cup fragment PK Zb? with RE B supports this identification. Since EB occurs (KH 9.2) and JEB (HT 27), it would seem logical that B is less than 1/4 (J = 1/2; E = 1/4; see below); but on KH 9.2, EB occurs after K (1/16?), and it is therefore tempting to read this set of fractions retrograde (BEK); if so, then a descending sequence could be maintained (1/3, 1/4, 1/16). An analysis of KH 7, however, strongly suggests that B = 1/5, which would go well with B's appearance after E.

    If, however, X (A711) is the half-mina and W is the mina, then W would be 1/60 talent -- that might explain the formal relationship between B (if B were 1/3) and W: W would be a conjoined BB with an implied value of 1/10 x 1/6.

  • D (A703) = ?1/5 (suggested by Dr Dieter Rumple; also see Double Mina, below). HT 115a.4 writes D four times, which suggests that five D's might equal a unit. It might, however, be a weight, equivalent to the mina (see below).
  • DD is a weight, the Double Mina ( D = single mina? [see above]. The demonstration is presented in my article "Cretan Hieroglyphhic Wool Units (LANA, double mina,") Younger 2005. See below.
  • E (A704) = 1/4 (Pope 1960) occurs 52 times, the 2nd most common fraction (Hallager 1995); see HT 9.a
  • F (A705) = 1/8 (Pope 1960). On HT 8b.3-6 (list 2), the numbers total 9 + 3J + E + 2F, or 10 3/4 + 2F -- if F = 1/8, the numbers total 11. On HT 93a-b.1, the total is ]165H; the numbers total 159 4J E F[ H, or 161 3/4 F[ H, leaving a difference of 3 F, if F is 1/8, to be filled by an entry on line a.9 or b.1.
  • H (A706) = ?1/6 (see notes to HT 123+124; also see HT 6, 94, 100); by shape related to E 1/4, D 1/5, F 1/8
  • J (A 707) = 1/2 (Pope 1960), occurs 93 times, the most common fraction (Hallager 1995); see PE 1, ZA 4a.4, HT 9.b, HT 104
  • JE (A732; A707+A704; Brice 1961: 7-8, table 2) = 3/4, occurs 25 times, 3rd most common fraction (Hallager 1995)
  • K (A708) = 1/16 (Pope 1960; see the discussion to HT 155+156+157)
  • L (A709), L2 (A709-2) (but see below), L3 (A709-3), L4 (A709-4), L6 (A709-6) = values are unknown
  • L2 (A7092), The discussion to KH 7 suggests that L2 = 3/20. This could mean that L is twice this, 6/20 or 3/10; and that the other L-fractions are subfractions of L: L3 would be 1/3 L, or 6/60 or 1/10; L4 6/80 or 3/40; L6 1/20 -- L5 is not extant, but it would represent 6/100 or 3/50. The L subfractions occur in combination with other fractions: EL2 (KH 9.5, KH 13.3), KL2 (KH 11.2, KH 16.1), EL4 (KH 26.2, KH 75.2), and BL6 (KH 7a.6) and EL6 (KH 76.1).
  • W (A710) = value unknown (only at Khania: KH 12, 21.1, 60.2, 61.4, 77); the family "resemblance" between this sign and X (A711) might relate the two values (like W is 1/2X or 2X). If X is the half-mina, then W could be a full mina (1/60 talent), which might explain its appearance as two conjoined Bs (1/3 + 1/3 = 1/6 x an implied 1/10) (see below).
  • X (A711), occurs on HT 91.1 and KH 9.6 -- these occurrences do not suggest a value. The discussion to HT 123a (also HT 91.1; KH 9.6) suggests the unlikely value of 13/12. Formally, the sign looks related to 709 W; it may represent a doubling of that ("4/3" or "1 1/3"), or a double 701 A "1/6"?.

    Or it may be the Linear A equivalent of Linear B *116 N, the half mina -- if so, then W could be the full mina (see above).

  • Y (A712) = value unknown, but it appears as a set of 3 (PH 26), so perhaps 1/4 (cf. PH 9a). Formally, the sign might be related to the 1/2 series.
  • Ω (A713), occurs only once at MA (MA 10b.1), as an adjunct to A405VAS. The sign is identical to Hiero *304 Λ , which can be demonstrated to be 1/2.

    For four of the fractions (J, E, F, K), we can demonstrate certain values, and can suggest, with much less certainty, values for an additional five fractions. The chart below also gives Hiero fractions that are similar in shape.

    The horizontal lines below the fractions point out "family" resemblances in shape.

    15. Metrology

    Minoan dry unit equals the Mycenaean (96 liters) (Palaima 1994)

    Liquid units: The pithos ZA Zb 3 records "VIN 32," probably the volume, 32 units; if these are Mycenaean units (1 unit = ca. 28.8 liters), the volume of the pithos would have been 921.6 liters. Since the pithos stands about 170 cm high, its maximum capacity (as calculated from its profile by the computer program "Vase" by Gregory Christiana, copyright 1994) would have been slightly over 1000 liters. It is possible, therefore, that the Minoan unit of liquid measure was also the Mycenaean unit. See my article, "Calculating Vessel Volumes" published in Metron.


    Petruso 1992: 17-20 posits a single Minoan (and Mycenaean?) talent as "a sexigesimal multiple of its mina." Major evidence for the talent includes the porphyry triangular stone weight from Knossos (just under 29 kg; Evans 1906) and the HT bronze ingots (Parise 1967: 119: 27-32 kg). Evidence for the mina and its fractions comes from many smaller weights.

    Linear ALinear BDenominationMass (gr, approximate)Fraction of TalentFraction of preceding
    A118 B118talent29,0001/1-
    A717, DD B117, Mdouble mina9671/301/30
    A703, D-mina4831/601/2
    A711, X B116, N1/2 mina2421/1201/2
    - B115, P1/24 mina20.21/14401/12
    - B*21, Q1/144 mina?(3.36)1/86401/6


    16. Word Separation
    Word separation is indicated in two major ways: by associating sign groups with numbers or logograms, thereby implying a separation (e.g., HT 1.2: ZU-SU 70; HT 18.1: PA-SE GRA+QE), and by placing a dot between two sign groups, thereby explicitly separating the sign groups (e.g., HT 1.1-2: QE-RA2-U • KI-RO) or between a sign group and some other sign like a transaction sign (e.g., HT 6a.1-2: DA-TA-RA • TE • FIC) or a logogram (e.g., HT 2.1: A-KA-RU • OLE+U).

    In texts that employ a string of signgroups, dots separate them. This practice is most notable on non-bureaucratic texts (like the hair pins, e.g., CR(?) Zf 1) and especially in dedicatory texts like those on the "Libation Tables" (e.g., IO Za 2).

    17. "Hyphenization"
    Most Linear A documents avoid splitting a word across two lines. Where a split in an expression does cut across two lines, there seems to be a semantic reason:
    a sign group and a number
    the components of a number (e.g., hundreds from units, units from fractions)
    sign group and logogram
    two sign groups

    The above are obvious examples, and I think of this as a Minoan practice similar to our practice of dividing words across lines of text by placing a hyphen between syllables. Where a split occurs within a sign group, the reason may involve separating prefixes from base words (the root of a sign group) or base words from their suffixes. These will require a demonstration that affixes are involved. But some examples will be apparent (e.g., U-MI- | -NA-SI, HT 28b.1-2 & HT 117a.1-2; U-NA-KA- | -NA-]SI, IO Za 21).

    In a PDF, I list all examples of separation within signgroups, between signgroups and logograms or numbers, and within numbers; I characterize the separation (e.g., sign group & logogram, term & fraction, hundreds & tens); and more controversially I suggest separations between base word and affixes.

    18. The Continuity Principle

    Many documents seem to have economized when listing commodities: the last cited NAME, situation, or commodity prevails until another situation is stated. I call this the "continuity principle." It is most apparent where a NAME is followed by a list of different commodities and amounts, each commodity related to that NAME until a different NAME is cited with its own list of commodities.

    Two clear examples are HT 18 & 19:

    HT 18
    .1  OLE+KI2  
    .2  *3043  
    .2-3  FIC10  
    .4-5 vacant       

    HT 19
    .1-2RA-*164a-TI• TE • VINa30  
    .2-3SA-RO  5J
    .3-4DU-ME-DI  43J

    HT 18 assumes that the first 3 commodities are associated with PA-SE and the second 2 commodities are associated with SA-RA2. In other words, the situation ("commodities associated with NAME") is assumed to be stable until a second name occurs which calls for a different distribution.

    HT 19, however, assumes that VINa is associated with (or continues among) all three NAMES. Presumably the situation would change if a fourth name were listed with a different commodity.

    HT 20 presents a more subtle pattern of continuity:

    HT 20
    .1-2KU-MA-JU    E
    .4  CAPmF
    .2SA-RE-JU F
    .2-3  WAE
    .4-5 *188+KU  J

    Here, KU-MA-JU (.1-2) could be KU-MA JU, with JU being a logogram. QE-KU-RE is associated with a different logogram DI, then CAPm, which is apparently the commodity also associated with (and continued to) SA-RE-JU, which is then associated with a different second and third commodity.

    The documents that employ the Continuity Principle might therefore reflect short initial documents that record contributions which are then organized in an outline fashion. For instance, I can imagine 5 separate documents being collated to produce HT 20:

    5SA-RE-JU*188+KUJ = *188+KUJ

    The implication of such a system is that the 5 separate short texts (really more like chits) were brought together, not because they represent the same contributions or contributions from the same place/person, but because they represent contributions organized according to a larger principle: 1) made at the same time, or 2) made from the same region/person, or 3) organized/collected by the same Collector.

    Comments, corrections, questions: John Younger:

    For the Linear A texts from Haghia Triada (Ayia Triada)

    For other Linear A texts

    Common Linear A Ideograms; GORILA's sign charts and palaeographic sign charts

    For Linear A religious texts grouped separately

    A Linear A Lexicon

    Phonetic Grids for Linear A & B.

    Hypothetical Phonetic Grids for Cretan Hieroglyphic.

    Bibliography from 1980 on (with select works prior)
    especially Schoep 2002, a must-read for anyone doing work in Linear A