Wednesday, June 07, 2017


P: Pictophonograms (“hieroglyphs”) pictorial glyphs.[1]
PD: Phaistos Disc script (pictophonic, and linear).[2]
A: Linear A syllabary.[3]
B: Linear B syllabary.[4]
AB: Linear A signs identified with their B counterparts.[5]
CA: Cyprian Archaic syllabary (derived from Linear A).[6]
CC: Cyprian Cuneiform (Cypro-Minoan).[7]
C: Linear C, the Cyprian syllabary.[8]

   A (P42, AB8, CA2, CC101, 102, C A) is an ax (axinê), with triangular or curved blades, but these were squared in the stylization process.

   A/HA (B25) arrow?

   AI (A306, B43) possibly a goat (aiks) or an eagle (aietos); cp. QI and ME.

   AU (P17 13a, AB85) a pig.

   E (P28, AB38, CA17, CC38, C E; also PD2) can be related to etheira, “hair” or “horse hair crest on helmets” (Homer).

   I (P31, A28a, AB28, CA21/104, CC104. C I) appears to be an olive branch, hence ‘iketêria (elaia), a suppliant’s olive branch, wound around with wool, and the end of the thread is shown on some of the A28a forms; this causes confusion with the thumb of NO, and these are both mistakenly catalogued under A28; see NO below.

   O (P5, AB61, CC64 84 66, C O) is an eye, still detectable in some Linear A glyphs (HT Wa 1279 shows the pupil and the eyelashes); it has been confused with the BEER sign (AB123) on TL Za 1a

   U (P95, AB10, CC19 20 79, C U) apparently began as ‘ustrix, a porcupine or hedgehog, but its features were lost, and, like KU (dog), it was wrongly seen as a bird.

   BA/PHA (AB56) a ladder with 3 or 4 rungs (not klimaks, but bathron, a set of steps or ladder).

   BU (see PHU)

   DA (P27, P29, AB1, CA18, CC4, C TA) is a leafy twig (thallos) but reduced to a stick form (|-).

   DE (P37, P94c, AB45; CC97, C RO) is a dwelling on legs; its equivalent character on the Phaistos Disc (PD24) is more detailed, with a dome-top and a protruding plate; it resembles some of the later tombs in Lykia; perhaps thêkê, “grave” (or demein, “build”). Because Linear A RO (the + sign) was used for Cyprian LO, a new RO had to be found for the Cyprian syllabary, and apparently DE was adopted for RO.

   DI (P39, AB7) seems to be a net, perhaps on a pole in the present case, and Greek diktuon, “net” comes to mind; P39 represents network and would be the original sign.

   DO (P50, A304, B14) looks like a spear, and doru has that meaning.

   DU (P59, P60, AB51, CC32 46 47 106, C SU) can be seen as a man with a crook, though some of its developed shapes are enigmatic; its original pictogram would be the crook alone (P59, and P60, which has an angle rather than a curve at the top). The staff could be a symbol of power (Greek dunamis, dunasteia); the man (dunastês, potentate) must have been added for clarity, but this detail was obscured in the Linear B version; it reappears in Cyprian SU.

   DWE (B71, P4?)

   DWO (AB118) is a pair of scales, symbolizing “weight”.

   KA (P47, AB77, CA9, CC25, C KA) appears regularly as a cross (+) within a circle, like Tet in the Phoenician alphabet, and Theta; its source would be P47, a cane basket with a handle, sometimes with elaborate cross-hatching, but more often with no weaving indicated; the AB form has omitted the handle and simplified the wickerwork; the corresponding Egyptian hieroglyph (V31) of a wickerwork basket with a handle is viewed from the side; it represents k, but the reason is unknown; Kaptarian KA can readily be connected with Greek kaneon, “cane basket”. The Alashian KA (CA9) started as the encircled cross but the lower part of the circle was pruned.

   KE (P36, AB44, CA19, CC107 105, C KE) is a structure, possibly a booth or a shrine, or a stage for actors, skênê (initial s in a consonant cluster would not be represented in this writing system); the disc above it may be the sun, suggesting skias, a shady covering, “pavilion”.

   KI (P57, AB67, CC70, C KI) is obviously a stringed musical instrument (though it came to look like a drinking vessel), and thus kithara, “lyre”,

   KO (P62, AB70, CA10, CC21, C KO) flat-headed nail, gomphos, equivalent to alphabetic Waw.

   KU (P18, AB81, CC110, C KU) looks like a bird in flight (in its AB form), but on closer examination it must be the head of a dog in profile, with an eye and a protruding tongue (P18); the Greek word for “dog” is kuôn. The Cyprian form is on its side, with the tongue pointing upwards.

   KRA (P82, AB34, A308?) represents an eye with its pupil, Greek glênê.

   KRO  (P63 64, A326? 329? B35) depicts a cord wound on a stick (the origin of Q in the alphabet, from qaw, a line); the stick was eventually bent to make B35 (KRO) look like B34 (KRA), but they have opposite forms; they are usually regarded as unidentified.

   LA (CC87, from A60 RA).

   LE (CC76, a new creation; C LE resembles 8).

   LI (CC 9, from A53 RI).

   LO (CC5, from A2 RO).

   LU (CC 24, a new formation).

   MA (AB80, CC43, 49, 52, 53, C MA) is undoubtedly a cat (as also PD29) and the MA might be the sound of its mewing (mao); ME, MI, and MU apparently have a similar origin in animal vocalisation); but there are not many cat-glyphs in the pictophonic inventory (*P97); possibly the ma-syllable was first represented by a breast-glyph (P34a, see also PE, P34b), mastos or malon (Doric).

   ME (P16, AB13, CC35, C ME) the head of a sheep with horns; perhaps mêlon “sheep” (or sometimes goat), or mêkas (mêkaomai,“bleat”, of sheep or goat), as MA (cat), MI (bird), MU (cow) are apparently derived from animal sounds. The P16 collection of goats and sheep may include AI and QI.

   MI (P13b, AB73, CC91 89 90, C MI) is a bird with its beak open and vocalising, evoking minurisma, “warbling”; note that the P13 collection includes some animal heads, notably pig (P13a, P17, AB85, AU) and some bovines (P13c, P14).

   MO (P68, A321?, B15, CC73, C MO) is enigmatic; P68 might be a variant of TE (tree), but it could be a spine with ribs, like the Egyptian djed column, symbolizing “stability”, and this would match Greek monimos, “stable, steadfast”; the Cyprian forms support this view.

   MU (P12, AB23, CA5. CC55, 39, 42, 54, C MU) is a bovine head in profile, with horn and ear, and suggests mukêma, “bellowing”; the Cyprian forms seem to have moved to a frontal view; see QO.

   NA (P78, AB6, CA4, CC8, C NA) represents an eye with a flow (nama) of tears (Sophocles: dakruôn therma nama); the Phaistos Disc equivalent (PD3) has a man’s head with two tears on his cheek, and it also appears on PH Wc 45.

   NE (P52, AB24, CA20, CC2, 18, 34, 56, C NE) is a libation vessel with handle and spout; possibly from nektar, the drink of the gods; on KH 53 it stands beside the BEER mug with strainer.

   NI (P24, AB30, CA16, CC99, 100, 65, C NI) a fig tree, Cretan Greek nikuleon, “fig”.

   NO (P8, A28b, (A)B52, CC17, C NO) is an upraised hand, showing fingers and thumb, and this is clear enough in the Linear B forms; but Linear A NO  and I have been catalogued together in slot 28; they may now be distinguished as AB52 and AB28 respectively; the acrophonic origin may be in nomos, “law”, specifically kheirôn nomos, “law of force” (kheir, “hand”, hence the hand-sign for NO).

   NU (P9, AB55, CA12, CC68, 103, C NU) is a pair of vertical lines joined at the halfway point by a pair of horizontal bars, but also found with curved strokes; it seems to be derived from a hand pictogram (P9) with thumb but no fingers shown, and having two horizontal lines at the base, and so it looks like a mitten (cp. PD8); another example (P83) is closer to the stylized forms of AB55.

   NWA (P6, B48) two hands.

   NAU? (AB36).

   PA (P40, AB3, CC6, C PA) is possibly P40, a ship with its rigging (baris, “an Egyptian boat”?) but it is reduced to a mast with two horizontal strokes.                                                                                                     

   PE (P34b? A305, B72, CC11, C PE) appears to be a fetter (cp. PD14), Greek pedê; but its features are lost in transition.

   PI (P20 21 22 79 90, AB39, CC51, 52, C PI) is a bee (Indo-European *bhi, Latin apis); also PD34.

   PO (P43, AB11, CC12, 14, C PO) is certainly an ax (cp. A as a double ax, and PD15); pelekus is a word for “ax” that may or may not be relevant here; likewise bolis, “missile”.

   PU (P49, AB50, CC61, 23, C PU) is a stringed musical instrument; possibly phormingx, a seven-stringed lyre; or burtê, a rare synonym for lyra,“lyre” (Hesukhios). The Cyprian sign may be a development of  AB29; see PHU.

   PHU/BU (P30? AB29) from phulia, “wild olive’?

   PTE (P168? B62) pteruks, “wing”?

   QA (P44, AB16) could be a sauce boat, end view, with the two handles protruding.

   QE (P73 74 75, AB78) a circular object, either a ring or a circle with one or more dots, suggesting a ring, a shield, a pancake (cp. Luwian glyph 181 PANIS), and it may have a connection with kyklos (kwekwlo) “circle”, with extended meanings such as ring and shield.

   QI (AB21) apparently a goat; cp. AI and ME, and also PD30.

   QO (P11, B32, A345?) frontal view of a bovine head (cp. MU, profile), from bous (gwou), “ox, bull. cow”.

   QU (not attested?).

   RA (P7, AB60, CA1, CC87, 88, C LA) a human arm, with the forearm and hand horizontal; Greek brakhiôn means “arm”, but the initial b might block this as supplying acrophonic RA.

   RE (P23, AB27, CC33, C RE) a lily (leirion); neither Cyprian LE nor RE looks like the AB sign.

   RI (P10, AB53, CC9, C LI) a human leg (cp. PD28, an animal leg).

   RO (P70, AB2, CA7, CC5, C LO) is a cross; A2 is usually +, but B2 has the centre line elongated at both ends; P70 is the corresponding pictograph; the acrophonic source could be rhombos, something that can twirl, such as a spinning top; B68 (RO2, ryo) could be the same thing.

   RU (P92, AB26) is a lampstand (lukhnia) with two branches. In the Cyprus syllabary, RU (CA 11, CC 28) has an umbrella shape (rather than an umbrella blown inside out, in the Cretan form); Cyprian LU (CC24) is similar, but apparently a new creation.

   RAI (B76)

   RYA (P69, P71, A314, AB76) apparently a flowing stream, rheô (“flow”).

   RYO (B68) see RO.

   SA (P19, AB31, CA3, CC82, 57, 16, 48, C SA) is a squid, a cuttle-fish (sêpia).

   SE (P26, P3?, AB9, CA14, CC44,45, C SE) a plant, perhaps parsley (selinon), used for a victor’s crown in games (see P3, where it is on a human head).

   SI (P55, AB41, CC27 58, C SI) a tripod vessel containing a stalk of wheat (sitos).

   SO (P46. P80, P87, A301, A324, AB12, CC67, 60, C SO) has long remained unrecognized, but the adz of the craftsman is detectable; sophia means skill in arts and crafts, as well as wisdom. The Cyprus sign apparently has the tool turned on its side.

   SU (P35. AB5) appears to be a pig-sty (supheos). For Cyprian SU, see DU.

   SWA? (B82)

   SWE? (AB49)

   SWI? (B64)

   TA (P56, AB59) is a writing tablet; Greek tabella and tablion are perhaps too late, but trapeza might suffice. For Cyprian TA, see DA.

   TE (P25, AB4, CA13, CC7 62, C TE) is a tree (as perhaps in terebinthos, turpentine-tree, or possibly connected to dendron), originally with branches reaching upwards, but eventually outwards (like a telegraph pole).

   TI (P49, P93, AB37, CA15, CC23, C TI) is a pointed instrument, conjuring up the stig root (stigeus, “brander”, stigma,“puncture mark”, stizô, “prick” or “brand”).

   TO (P48, AB5, CC13 78, C TO) is a bow (toxon) with an arrow, but the curve was straightened, and the string was reduced to a small stroke (cp. PD11, a bow with no arrow).

   TU (P77, AB69, CC26 30 31 32, C TU) is a depiction of hanging fruit, ripe and ready for gathering (trugê); the verb trugaô means “gather in ripe fruits” (including grapes and grains); but a better acrophonic source might be found.

   TWE (B87)

   TWO (B91)

   TYA (P84? AB66)

   WA (P41, AB54, CA6, CC95, C WA) looks like cloth on a loom, so a connection with a weave word (root wa-?) seems likely.

   WE (P61, A319, B75, CC 1, C WE) seems to be a worm or snake (P61) and Latin vermis has the required WE (cp. PD42, a caterpillar?); B75 has the shape of a reversed S; and A319 is like capital I, the form that appears consistently in the Cyprus scripts; both are derived from an original oblique Z form.

   WI (P85, AB40, CC41 37, C WI)

   WO (P2? AB180, B42, CC29 41, C WO) a razor (cp. PD44)?

   WU (not found)

   YA (P38, AB57, CA8, CC69 71 72?, C YA) is clearly a door, and Latin ianua has to be invoked here for the ancient root ya (“go”), which occurs as ienai (“go”) in YE (AB46, a person walking).

   YE (P4?, P91?, AB46, CC36) a walker (cp. PD1); see YE.

   YI (AB47?, CC40?) a combination of o and x, with the arms protruding.

   YO (P54, A349, B36, CC98, C YO) a vessel with two handles.

   YU (uncertain, possibly AB65; no Cyprian syllabogram); YU is found together with U on tablets HT 117a and 122b.

   ZA  (AB17) the Egyptian symbol of life (‘ankh), Greek zaô, “live”, zôê, “life”.

   ZE (P45, AB74, CC88 86 93 92, C ZE) a saw (kseô, “plane”?) or a comb (ksainô, “card wool”?).

   ZI (not identified)

   ZO (P51, A312, AB20) a sculptor’s chisel (ksois)? (CC59 and C ZO are different).

   ZU (P81? AB79)

[1] P: Olivier and Godet 1996 (Corpus): 17, 19, 386-429.
[2] PD: Evans 1909: 22-28, 273-293, 276 (table of signs); Duhoux 1977; Fischer 1988; Faucounau 1999: 10 (table), 65-105 (signs). Colless:
[3] LA: Godart and Olivier 1976-1985 (Recueil) Vol. 5, XXII –LVII.
[4] LB: Ventris and Chadwick 1973 (Documents): 41, 385.
[5] AB: Godart and Olivier 1976-1985 (Recueil) Vol. 5, XXII.
[6] CA: Emilia Masson’s numbering is revised for citation purposes in Olivier 2007: 412 (Nos 1-21).
[7] CC: E. Masson1974: 12-15, Figures 2-4; Olivier 2007: 413-415; Ferrara 2012: 255:Table 5:10, “A tentative standardized signs repertoire”; both Olivier and Ferrara have arbitrarily reduced the number of signs on their tables; but until we know the sound-value of every sign and can dispense with numbering, Masson’s full set of numbers must remain in use.
Colless, tables and charts:
[8] LC: O. Masson 1983: Figures 1-6.

My studies on the ancient scripts of the lands in and around the Mediterranean Sea (West Asia, North Africa, Europe, Cyclades, Crete, Cyprus) have been life-long, but my first publication on the subject dates from 1988: it is an attempt to identify the original picture-signs (pictophonograms,  picture-symbols representing a unit of speech, either a syllable or a single sound) that produced the various letters of the Semitic (Phoenician, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabian) and Greco-Roman alphabets. Preceding this simple writing system, which was a consonantary (indicating consonants but not vowels), and which I call the protoalphabet, there was also a pictophonographic syllabary used in the West Semitic region (notably at Byblos), and this syllabic system was in use in the 23rd century BCE, before the invention of the West Semitic protoalphabet and before writing appeared in Crete. My working hypothesis is that the West Semitic syllabary provided the model for the Aegean systems, and also for the Luwian script ('hieroglyphic Hittite') of Anatolia, and even the Meso-American writing systems, including the Mayan logosyllabary.
There were four syllabic scripts used on Crete in the Bronze Age (before 1200 BCE approximately). In the subsequent Iron Age, the Phoenician and Greek alphabets were employed, and the syllabaries were discarded (though in Cyprus a syllabary based on the Cretan script, specifically Linear A, continued to flourish).
The three main Cretan systems were related, as a genealogical family.
(1) Pictophonographic syllabary (PA) > (2) Linear A syllabary (LA) > (3) Linear B syllabary (LB).
(4) The fourth script was another pictophonographic syllabary (PB), which is found on the Phaistos Disc and on other documents, and which seems to be related to the other family (at least to the extent that they have many of their pictorial characters in common).
We can speak of a northern pictophonographic script (KnP, particularly connected with the palaces of Knossos and Mallia) and a southern pictophonographic script (PhP, connected with the Phaistos palace). When the Linear A syllabary was established (as a stylized simplified form of the pictophonographic system) it became universal over the island, and (somewhat paradoxically) the largest corpus of administrative tablets (that have so far been discovered) comes from Hagia Triada, near Phaistos.
I refrain from applying the term 'hieroglyphic' to the pictophonographic signs; it is a word that should be restricted to Egyptology; it leaves the Phaistos pictophonographs out of the picture; they are all pictorial signs, with nothing 'holy' (hieros) about them.
It must also be remembered that the three main systems (northern PG, LA, LB) are found beyond Crete, and it is not inconceivable that the original Aegean script was invented on the mainland (Greece) or on another island. An example of the northern pictophonographic writing was found in Kea/Keos, an island east of Athens; it is an impression on a hearth rim; and also Linear A inscriptions. This fact provides support for my hypothesis that this system was constructed acrophonically on the basis of a Hellenic dialect (examples: A axinê 'ax', O ops 'eye', TO toxon 'bow'; NI nikuleon 'fig', a Cretan word).
The signs in the 'linear' forms (LA, LB, and Linear C in Cyprus) are known to have functioned as 'syllabograms' (and also as 'logograms' in LA and LB).
Two tables are offered here: the first (Cretan Syllabograms) shows my attempt to match up the signs of the three northern systems (PG, LA , LB, as P, A, B), on the principle that the pictorial signs become stylized in the Linear A inventory, and even more so in Linear B; the second table (Cretan Pictosyllabograms) presents the signs of the northern pictophonographic syllabograms.
The P standing for pictophonographic is actually KnP (Knossos P) in the northern context; where it has to be distinguished from the southern script, KnP and PhP (Phaistos P) will be used.
A paradox is that although the Linear A script evolved out of the northern picto-syllabary, the largest collection of Linear A administrative tablets comes from Hagia Triada, adjacent to Phaistos; while Knossos and Mallia have yielded only a few fragmentary clay tablets. However, at Phaistos there are tablets exhibiting the southern script (Phaistos syllabary) as well as the northern Linear A script.
Notice that I reject the defeatist nonsense that there were not many Consonant+O signs in Linear A; supposedly lacking were so, do, dwo, mo, qo, yo, wo, no, two, ryo, zo, though o, po, to, ko, ro were grudgingly accepted onto the table; but it is true that they were not used frequently, and this says something about the language or languages in the Linear A texts.
A    AB8     P42  (ax)  [axinê]
AI    B43 A306 [aix goat?] (cp ME and QI?) (#016 AI-TA-TI?)
AU  AB85 P17 P13b (pig) [hus?] (autoboulos, self-willed, pig-headed?!)
HA  B25 (cp Phaistos 10, arrow?) A368?
E    AB38   P28   (hair, crest) [etheira]
I    AB28    P31    (olive) [hiketeria elaia suppliant olive branch]
O    AB61    P5    (eye) [ops, omma, oculus]
U    AB10    P95   (hedgehog) [hustrix]
YA   AB57   P38   (door) [Latin ianua, Sanskrit go]
YE   AB46   P4?   (walking) [ienai going, Sanskrit go]
YI   AB47?
YO  B36 A349  P54 (amphora)
YU   AB65?
WA   AB54    P41    (cloth)
WE    B75 A319      P61  (worm) [werm]  
WI    AB40    P85?       
WO   B42/AB180?  A363? A364? P2? (razor)
RA    AB60       P7   (arm) [labôn taking with the hand??]
RYA    B76        P69?   (water-course)     (cp reô flow, roê stream?)
RAI   B33  (same as saffron logogram)
RE    AB27       P23   (lily) [leirion]
RI     AB53       P10   (leg)
RO    AB2         P70   (cross) [rhombos?]
RYO   AB68      P40   (ship? spinning top?) [rhombos?]
RU    AB26       P92    (lamp) [lukhnia menorah]
MA    AB80 (cat) P34 (breasts?) [masta, mala breasts] replaced by P97 (cat) [ma, meow]?
ME    AB13        P16  (sheep) [mêlon, mêkas bleating]
MI     AB73       P13a?  (bird-head?) [minurisma bird-warbling] (or P7 [arm] is not RA?) 
MO    B15  A321 A327 (cp Cyprian MO, and Egyptian djed)  P68 (spine?) [monimos stable]
MU    AB23        P12    (cow) [mukaomai, mukêma, moo-cow bellowing]
NA    AB6          P78    (tearflow) [nama] (dakruôn therma nama Sophokles)
NWA   B48       P6    (crossed arms) (neozeuktos newly-yoked, newly-wed?!)
NE    AB24        P52 + P53 (libation vessel) [nektar divine drink]
NI     AB30        P24    (fig) [nikuleon] (a Cretan word)
NO    B52 A28b P8    (hand) [nomos law] (kheirôn nomos law of force)
NU    AB55        P9 +83?  (glove?) 
PA    AB3          P40? (ship) [baris Egyptian boat]
PE    B72 A305?     P34b? (fetter) [pedê]
PI     AB39        P20 21 22 79 90  (bee)
PO    AB11        P43  (ax)  [pelekus?]
PU    AB50 A369?    P58  (lyre)  [burtê]  
TA    AB59        P56 (tablet) [trapeza, tabula] 
TE    AB4         P25   (tree) [tere-, as in terebinthos]
TI     AB37       P49 +93 (brander) [stigeus puncturing tool]
TO    AB5        P48 (bow and arrow) [toxon]
TU    B69        P77  (fruit)
DA    AB1        P27, 29    (twig) [thalos]
DE    AB45      P37, 94?   (house/tomb) [demein build; thêkê container, grave]
DI     AB7        P39? (= B64?) (netting?) [diktuon]
DO    B14 A304?   P50    (spear?) [doru]
DU    AB51        P59 +60? (crook) [dunastês power-wielder]
KA    AB77        P47    (cane basket)  [kaneon]
KE    AB44        P36    (pavilion)  [skênê]
KI     AB67       P57  (lyre) [kithara]
KO    AB70       P62    P51   (nail)  [gomphos, wedge-shaped nail]
KU    AB81       P18     (dog) [kuôn]       
QA    AB16       P44  (bolt-pin for bar of gate? or key?) [balanos, balanagra key]?
QE    AB78       P73-75   (circular object) [kuklos, kwekwlo]
QI     AB21       P14? P54b?   (animal?)   
QO    B32 B18?  A333? A345? A347?    P11 (bull)  [bous, gwou]
SA    AB31       P19 (cuttlefish, kalamari) [sêpia]
SE    AB9         P26 +3? (parsley, for victor's crown) [selinon]
SI     AB41       P55    (grain in container) [sitos]  
SO    B12 A301? P46 +80 +87   (adz) [sophia craftsmanship? skeparnon adz?]    
SU    AB58       P35 (enclosure) [supheos pig-sty]  
ZA    AB17  B19?      (Egyptian `ankh symbol, life) [zaein, zôê]
ZE    AB74        P45   (saw? comb?) [xainô comb, card; xeô plane, carve)
ZO    AB20  A312?      P51? P85 (WI)?  (chisel? sword?) [xois sculptor's chisel]  P51=LA36
ZU    AB79?        P81?        (sun with rays?)
RYA    B76        P69?        P69
RYO    B68                    P40
NWA   B48    006    P6    P6
NAU    B86?            P40?     P40
PA3     B56                        P39
PU2     B29            P30? P32?
TYA      B66            P84, P72?
KRA     B34            P82  [glênê eyeball, pupil]
KRO    B35            P63 P64  [klôstêr thread, line]         
SWI?    B64            P39? DI?
    CHIC  Brian Colless   (John Younger)
    001    seated human
    002    head? (razor? WO cp P88?)       
    003    head +026     SE (= 026)?
    004    upright human YE? DWE?     
    005    eye    O    (Rv)
    006     *X*  2 arms  NWA      (NWA)
    007    bent arm   RA/LA  (MI)    [MI 013? 057?]
    008    hand  NO  (A3)
    009    glove?  NU 009 +083? (A2)
    010    leg     RI  (RI)
    011    bovine head  (front)  QO (SI2) [11-16 mixed animals]
    012    bovine head  (side)   MU (MU)
    013    animal snout? (mixed?)  MI (MU2) [some 013? +015?]
    014    animal head    QI?  (I)
    015    animal snout (1x)   MI?  +013?  (DU?)     
    016    horned head    ME   (KI2)
    017    pig head      AU (AU)
    018    dog head + tongue  KU  (RA)           
    019    cuttlefish, sepia      SA  (SA)
    020    bee      PI  (AI)     [PI 020-022 +033? 079? 090?]
    021    bee      PI  (PI)
    022    bee      PI 
    023    lily flower? RE/LE   (TO)
    024    fig tree?     NI  (NI)
    025    tree?          TE  (TE)
    026      _(_(_(_(   SE             [SE 026 +003?]
    027      |/ (3x)     DA? (= 029?)
    028    hair crest    (KU2)
    029    double twig DA (MA)   [DA 27 + 29?]
    030    \}/  (1x)     DA? PU2 (phu)? (PU2)
    031    \|/    I 031? +032?  (RE)     
    032    \!/ (9x)       PU2 (phu)?  (RE2)
    033    }.{ (3x)      ZU? +81
    034    fetters? breasts?  PE +ME? (TA)
    035    pig-pen?       SU (SU)
    036    pavilion         KE (SA2)
    037    house/tomb   DE 037 + 094? (Rv)  [cp PhDisc 24]
    038    door + post    YA (JA)
    039    netting/trellis  DI  (PA3)             DI 039? (=LinB64?)
    040    ship               PA  (RO2)          
    041    cloth?            WA (WA)
    042    double ax       A  (A)
    043    ax                 PO (SO)
    044    metal object   QA (KO)
    045    saw                ZE (ZE)
    046    adz                SO 046 + 080 + 087  ( )
    047    cane basket    KA (QE)
    048    bow & arrow   TO [1x]  ( )                    
    049    /|\                 TI      (RO3)      TI 049 + 093?
    050    spear?            DO?  (TI)
    051    dagger? chisel? ZO? (KI3)
    052    ewer                NE  (NE)            
    053    jug                  NE      (KI?)
    054    amphora (2 rams?) YO?     (DE)     YO? +MA? +QI? 
    055    grain vessel?     SI   (KE)              
    056     talent? tablet?  TA    (KU)           
    057      V+  kithara      KI  (KI)          
    058     lyre                  PU (PU)              
    059     crook                DU                DU 059 +060?
    060        |\                  DU?
    061     snake? worm?   WE   or = RI 010?
    062    ___.     KO
    063    _._        KRO?
    064    --o--        KRO?  (DA)
    065    .__.        ?
    066    ||          PA?
    067    *||*        HA?
    068    spine?     MO     (Rv)                  
    069    ZZ        RYA?
    070   cross  +  x             RO (RO)          
    071    }}}       RYA?
    072    triangle   TYA??         (KA)
    073    circle        QE 073? +74 +75
    075    circle (dotted)      QE 075 (1x) + 074 (1x)
    076    ?        YU?
    077    fruit      TU   (RU2)                       MA? ME? NI?
    078    eye and tear-flow?  NA (DO)                             
    079    bee?        PI? (= 020)    
    080    adz        SO (= 046)
    081    (1x)        ZU?
    082    eyeball?        KRA?
    083    (=009?) (1x)        NU?
    084            TYA? TWO?
    085     /+\    WI? (WI)
    086            QO? (= 068?)
    087    adz        SO (= 046)
    088         [razor?     WO? RI =002?
    089    X         YE? PE? RI?
    090    bee?        PI? (= 020)
    091    ^^^        ?
    092    lamp?       RU    (RU)
    093    /|\        TI (= 049) (TI)
    094    /=\        DE? (= 037)
    (097)     (cat)        MA? (MA)

What you see here is a host of hypotheses struggling to become a grand unified theory.

This is a revised and expanded version of my release entitled "Table of Cretan pictoglyphs" (28 July 2003), providing a description or drawing of the characters, and an attempt to match them with their counterparts in the Linear B inventory.

The prefix 'P' stands for 'pictosyllabogram' (or 'pictophonogram'), with the CHIC numbering.

Friday, September 09, 2016


This is a supplement to CRETO-SEMITICA

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

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

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

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

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

KY Za 2  Ladle

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

PR Za 1 Stone box (offering receptacle)

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

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

TL Za 1 Ladle

. . . NA MA . SI RU . . . .
I bring my offering, beer,  O DN, and we shall certainly gather abundantly
VR Za 1 Offering table (corner)
certainly abundantly