Linear A Texts, Part 1

Stuart Harris BS, MS, MBA

Minoan texts describe an elaborate world of ceremony and celebration, love and poetry, weddings and dances, accounting and mathematics, weaving and farming, fishing and brewing, building and storekeeping, government and election.

These inscriptions reveal their origin, names of deities and cities, songs they played at weddings, parts of a loom, and types of fish. A ceremonial cup tells how to conduct an Easter ceremony. A 19-syllable poem laments an old woman taken away in marriage, while a 16-syllable poem celebrates love. A baker lists equipment for apprentices, a lover inscribes a gold pin, a merchant inventories leather wine bags, a factory orders looms and yarn for weaving, a priestess inscribes a gold ring with instructions on how to mediate, and two farms tally their acreage and assets. The governing council of women at Knossos called Hanna presented an inscribed cup of white clay to a woman from Poland in charge of storage facilities. They sang the word 'Eheys' meaning 'Harmony, Integrity, Perfection, Unity, One', retained in Greek 'eiz' meaning 'one'.

Part 1 translates Linear A texts prior to the eruption of Thera in 1628 BC, before there were dialects, when Finnish sounded much like it does today.

Part 2 translates texts after Thera, most with a distinctive dialect that changed the vowel sound of the second vowel. Several words with this dialect survived in Greek Linear B.

The most important inscription comes from a black stone cup found by Alexandra Karetsou in a crevice on Mount Juktas. Its eight stanzas employ six deities who participate in a dawn ceremony accompanied by lyre, pipe and caxixi (shee-shee) rattle. A secret code using the first letter of each stanza names the first ruling couple of Minoan Crete:

1) a general from Zeeland in Denmark, son of Doros, named Tekitammis, Taurus, Zeus, Ukko;
2) a priestess from Jutland in Denmark, daughter of Agenor and Telephassa, named KKorea, Core, Europa, Eos.