• Translation of 9 Commercial Minoan Linear A Texts from Malia (1700 BCE)

    David Olmsted (see profile)
    Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean archaeology, Alphabetic Akkadian
    Antiquities, Prehistoric, Europe--Aegean Sea Region, Akkadians, Commerce, History, Ancient
    Item Type:
    Online publication
    Crete, Malia, Minoan, Minoan snake goddesses, Trade and Industry, Aegean prehistoric archaeology, Akkadian, Ancient trade
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    These are the first Minoan Linear-A translations ever made. Linear-A was solvable because its texts fit between the previously translated and highly pictographic Phaistos Disk (Olmsted May 2020) and the previously translated first alphabetic texts from the Sinai (Serabit el-Khadim) (Olmsted not yet published). The underlaying language of all these texts are Akkadian which was the empire trading language of the Bronze Age and early Iron Age. Like the Phaistos disk, Linear A is a mix of alphabetic and phoneme signs. These texts were excavated from the workshop area of the northern coastal Cretan town of Malia which was adjacent to a large early palace (temple) complex. They date to 1700 BCE based on archaeology and were buried when an earthquake destroyed the area. Their content shows on ongoing economic relationship with that temple complex. Three deities are mentioned: full moon god Su (astrological powers), his feminine complement and night sky goddess Mesu (emotional powers, ancestral spirits), and wind god Thesu. Magic crafters (witches, wizards) are mentioned whose rituals are based upon emotional magic, most notable being the two styles of envy release rituals. Items are spiritually charged by the full moon in the temple complex. Significantly, these texts show the first stages of the lordification process in Minoan culture. Finally, the name Thesisa (Greek Theseus) is mentioned as one who is involved with pirates.
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    2 years ago
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