"Qu'il est permis de rire entre mycénologues"
Les Rencontres égéennes internationales ont aussi été l'occasion, à partir de 1990, de faire revivre une heureuse tradition de la mycénologie, inaugurée dans les premières livraisons de Nestor, à savoir "Qu'il est permis de rire entre mycénologues". La page de frontispice des actes des Rencontres en garde le souvenir
(dessin Thomas G. Palaima)
Cette Rencontre corse devait enfin révéler un indice précieux de la présence égéenne sur les rivages de l'île de beauté, grâce à la perspicacité et à l'esprit d'à-propos du pinacologue de service. Ce document exceptionnel, dont on trouvera ci-contre une édition provisoire -et ci-dessus tous les éléments qui livreront la clé de son interprétation-, devra rejoindre sans tarder le corpus des inscriptions en linéaire B. Il restera à lui donner une dénomination appropriée (nous proposons aujourd'hui LG Fun 001, même si l'ajout d'une troisième lettre à la référence de la série pourra paraître peu orthodoxe), mais il confirme dès à présent une nouvelle fois qu' "il est permis de rire entre mycénologues" !
(extrait de Thalassa. L'Egée préhistorique et la mer. Actes de la 3e Rencontre égéenne internationale de l'Université de Liège, Station de recherches sous-marines et océanographiques, Calvi, Corse, 23-25 avril 1990, Aegaeum 7, 1991, p. 5)
(dessin Paul Rehak)
The long journey to Australia has also pointed to new possibilities for the interpretation of one of the most familiar Aegean images as well as new perspectives on Mycenaean expansion to the East. During their sojourn in the Great South Land, forgetful of Henry Hankey's "Leontopodi Gate", Paul Rehak and John Younger dreamed of the "Macropodi Gate". Illustrated on the opposite page, it will certainly remind those who came and explain to those who did not, that nothing is ever really the same after a trip "Down Under".
(extrait de EIKON. Aegean Bronze Age Iconography: Shaping a Methodology. Proceedings of the 4th International Aegean Conference / 4e Rencontre égéenne internationale, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, 6-9 April 1992, Aegaeum 8, 1992, p. 5)
(dessin de Barbara Niemeier)
Wie sehr der ägäische Geist für uns in den vier Tagen des Kolloquiums Heidelberg beherrscht hat, illustriert die auf dem Frontispiz abgebildete Vision des 'Heidelberg Master Impression' von Barbara Niemeier.
(extrait de Politeia. Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age. Proceedings of the 5th International Aegean Conference / 5e Rencontre égéenne internationale, University of Heidelberg, Archäologisches Institut, 10-13 April 1994, Aegaeum 12, 1995, p. 6).
Le même volume d'actes rapporte par ailleurs la trouvaille d'une tablette mycénienne durant la période de la Rencontre et en propose une édition critique rédigée avec une promptitude remarquable par son inventeur, Thomas G. Palaima :
A LINEAR B TABLET FROM HEIDELBERG
During the violent rainstorms that accompanied the 5th International Aegaeum conference in Heidelberg, one of the pinacologically minded participants, namely myself, was walking along the river near the congress hall and happened to notice in the eroded bank what looked like an irregular fragment of accidentally fired clay lying face down. I picked it up, turned it over, and-to my astonishment-read the following text in Mycenaean Linear B. Such a momentous discovery certainly should have a bearing on questions like the extent of Aegean trade contacts with northern Europe during the Late Bronze Age, the dissemination of writing, and even the uses to which Linear B writing was put. Unfortunately in my tremendous excitement the slippery document popped, like a wet soap bar, out of my trembling hands and fell into the murky and rapid river waters. Although lost forever in corpore, it lives on in mente, and I here produce a faithful drawing, transcription, and translation with commentary.
1. po-to-ri-te-i-ja-we-jo ru-qo ko-re-te ra-pi-ne-u po-ro-ko-re-te
2. VIR 41 o VIR 2 MUL 14 o MUL 2
3. a-pi-qo-ro pa-ne-pi-ti-mi-jo ko-wo ko-wa
4. BOSm 700 500 600 700 900 BOSm+VIRvolans[
5. *227VAS . KO 11 ZA 3 PA 1 PU 2 MU 6 *305 2 wa-na-ka[
6. VIN 1000 *280VAS 400 ka *221VAS[
As anyone should know from reading my paper, the first word has the form and the correct position to be a time designation. In this case, the word means "at the festival of" or "in the period of" ptoliteia, showing the typical pt- treatment of the word familiar from Linear B and Homer. Then follow entries wherein officials who are known elsewhere as "mayor" and "vice-mayor" are listed by personal names: lukwos = Wolf and the notorious ra-pi-ne-u, who is also attested on a Linear B text from Corsica which is suspected of being a forgery. It is reported that this personal name also occurs in Tasmanian aboriginal inscriptions. In any event, this individual was a kind of Odyssean figure, gadding about strange and wondrous lands in pursuit of abstruse knowledge and adventures. That his companion and slight superior here is identified as Wolf might have something to do with early totemistic notions.
The second line gives a listing of men and women, 41 and 14 respectively, and also records two missing men and two missing women. If we have identified ra-pi-ne-u correctly, we can hardly doubt that these individuals were in his band of traveling knowledge seekers. The proportions of men to women undoubtedly tell us something about the relative roles and status of the sexes in this period of social history. Might the missing men and women have suffered fates like those of Elpenor and other companions of the real Odysseus? We should remember what happened to Polyphemus after Odysseus offered him just a drop.
The third line refers to attendants from the locale of universal knowledge. They are then listed as young men (korwoi) and young women (korwai), but their numbers have not yet been entered. It is possible that at the ptoliteia-festival, the assistance of trained young men and women was vital. These entries recall the Ad series at Pylos.
Line 4 then lists two ideograms. The first is the bull. It is followed by an odd sequence of numerical clusters which I here interpret as a scribal attempt to convey what we mean by "hundreds and hundreds", that is, an uncountable number. Just before the tablet breaks off appears a new composite ideogram: a bull surmounted by what I interpret to be a flying man. This, I think, is the first textual reference to the central actors, animal and human, in the famous bull-leaping ceremony. It is reasonable to expect such an entry in a festival context.
Line 5 at first appeared problematical. The ideogram is a variation of the bull's head rhyton ideogram attested at Knossos. Here the only detail drawn is a broken snout. These broken snouts are then reckoned according to place, given by abbreviation: ko = Knossos 11, za = Zakro 3, pa = Palaikastro 1, pu = Pylos 2, mu = Mycenae 6. If my interpretation is correct, this is our first Linear B reference, albeit abbreviated, to the site of Mycenae. Even more startling is the adjoining of a Minoan fractional sign to the broken-bull's-snout ideogram. This is obviously an attempt by the scribe to make clear that the item in question is fragmentary. It also illustrates the longevity of the Minoan tradition of writing. Line 5 concludes with a new ideogram, the scarab. The juxtaposed number 2 here, I think, does not refer to the quantity, but to the archaeological period wherein some scholars like Watrous think that this object was meaningful for historical reconstruction. The following sequence wa-na-ka[ I take to be incomplete. It is to be restored as wa-na-ka-te-ro and indicates that the scarabs are 'royal'.
The tablet ends with a listing of other commodities suitable for a festival. First comes 1,000 units of wine. Then comes a new ideogram, in the form of a beer stein, which might suggest that the Mycenaeans, like their contemporaries in Egypt, Syria, Great Britain and Ireland, had a pint now and then. The tablet concludes in typically fragmentary fashion with an ideogram for a cup, partially preserved, preceded by the phonetic abbreviation ka. After much pondering, I propose that these be taken together as a reference to another custom which we might be surprised to find attested in such early times: ka = kaphes + BROKEN CUP signifies coffee break. Such a custom would seem to have been necessary as ra-pi-ne-u and his WOLF led their contingent of men, women and young assistants through the various stages of the ptoliteia-festival.
Thomas G. PALAIMA
(extrait de Politeia. Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age. Proceedings of the 5th International Aegean Conference / 5e Rencontre égéenne internationale, University of Heidelberg, Archäologisches Institut, 10-13 April 1994, Aegaeum 12, 1995, p. 669-670).
PH Up 1996
As I lay awake late on the night of Saturday, April 20, 1996 in my spacious room in the Abigail Adams Bed and Breakfast on 1208 Walnut Street in the City of Brotherly Love, USA, I was turning over again and again in my Mycenological mind the riotous variety of Mycenaean pottery motifs from the island of Naxos and wondering how individual artisans might have produced them according to the strict harmonic principles of geometry. How did they know enough to paint those motifs, before Furumark completed his catalogue? How? I decided to take a walk.
In my distracted state I wandered in the direction of Temple University, the host institution for the 6th International Aegean Conference, trying to clear my mind of bull horns, bee hives, bare-breasted but bogus chryselephantine snake-goddess statuettes, and radical proposals to resequence the phases of the Mycenaean Shaft Graves. Coming out of my near-delirious reverie, I found myself in an area where new houses were being built as part of an urban renewal project. I paused and gave my natural curiosity free rein.
They work at night in the big city, so I said to one of the modern practitioners of tekhne, an obviously skilled and experienced carpenter, “You know, the Mycenaeans would surely have used half-timbering technique.” He answered without missing a hammer blow, “Say, you must be a friend of Phil’s over at Temple. I did a Ph.D. with him in that Penn/Bryn Mawr/Temple Aegean prehistory consortium about ten years ago. Learned a lot from Jim at Bryn Mawr, too, about the old sure-fire Hittite ways of building. All that still comes in handy. And to this day I lay out driveway gates in these neighborhoods with the same eye for security the builders of Gla had. Learned that in Spyros’ seminar! Who says a Ph.D. in Aegean prehistory isn’t practical? Come here and see how we have placed our sunken posts, laid out a porch and apse, and included a spacious 3 m2 kitchen area, all in Sitagrian style. And, of course, we spruce up the fancier houses according to the Versailles effect.”
As I stepped forward, imagine my surprise when I saw, lying imbedded in the heap of earth formed from digging the post holes, a rectangular piece of what looked to my trained eyesight like accidentally fired clay. I picked it up and brushed it off with a hand wearied by taking pages and pages of notes on Minoan lamps, one of which I could have used at that moment in the nocturnal gloom of Philadelphia. My bleary eyes tried in vain to open wide with astonishment. I immediately noted the exact time (2:13 AM EST) and circumstances, since I did not want to set off any controversy about the genuineness of this discovery such as surrounds objects like the Phaistos disk and the notorious Heidelberg and Corsica tablets.1 Having had the misfortune once of losing a clay tablet that slipped from my hands in the rainstorms of Heidelberg, I took no chances. I immediately put the tablet securely in the pocket of my overcoat, right alongside my concealed handgun, and retraced my steps to the Abigail Adams as alert as Odysseus returning from the night raid on Troy.
Once back in my spacious room, I began the exciting process of transcribing and then interpreting the text. It lately has taken years and years to publish new Mycenaean texts—unless three or four people publish their versions in different languages in different journals all at once—but this tablet all but spoke to me. Fortunately I had forgotten my Walkman and blues tapes back in Austin, so I could hear immediately and clearly what it was saying. Here follows a transcription, commentary and translation of this remarkable discovery, which will surely take its place among equally startling finds in such far-flung outposts of Aegean studies as Heidelberg, Corsica, and Naples.2
In order to deal scientifically with this discovery, I handed it over later in the morning to Peter Day for analysis that might help us determine where the clay for the tablet came from. I asked Peter to perform a thin-section and he did so quickly and enthusiastically with two plastic knives in the breakfast room of the Abigail Adams. However, just as when dealing with Greek gods and goddesses—just ask Tithonus!—so too must we mere mortal prehistorians be very specific in making requests of our scientifically-oriented colleagues. Peter took the thin section from the recto surface, thus destroying forever the inscription. My drawing alone remains.
PH Up 19963
Physical description: Tablet broken at bottom edge along original lower rule-line for line .6. Upper left and right corners curved. Space between rule-lines of uniform width. Outer clay surface fine and colored nondescript dreary urban gray. Text evenly fired with no surface cracking or peeling. No trace of niello inlay or any impressions from seal rings. No reason to suspect this is refashioned from an Egyptian prototype. Some papillary line prints on the verso surface. They seem to be one set from a very young tablet-handler and one set from an older tablet-handler.4 Modularly Irregular Dimensions: upper left back to lower right front: 15.28 cm.; middle right edge back to lower mid edge front: 9.82 cm.; center to all points 4.5 cm. away: 4.5 cm.
Palaeography: The style of the handwriting suggests that the scribe was familiar with, without being a slavish adherent to, the Messenian palaeographical tradition and by extension the Kafkania galet. No connection at all with KN 115.
.1 pa-de , na-wo-jo , te-ka-na-e-ne-ka
.2a 31 38
.2b ra-wo-po-re-jo *271 2 MUL o 7 VIR o 8
.3 TA+VIR ko .+VIR po a-ko-si ta-to-mo-de
.4a re-u-ko , po-ro-te-ke
.4b .+VIR *272 ne-wo-jo-e-ne-ka *273
.5 me-ka-ro-po-de , ROTA+VIR po-ro-te-ke ta-ma-ra
.6a e *275
.6b *274 ko 9 *274 mi 8 *233 MUL ku *229 e
.1 pa-de: There are alternative interpretations possible here.5 This might be the Minoan theonym pa-de as found on tablets KN Fp(1) 1+31 and Fp(1) 48. This would be consistent with the interests of the BIG MAN of Aegean Studies in the vicinity of the discovery, Phil Betancourt, whose work has a decidedly Cretocentric thrust. However, in view of the scribe’s frequent use of adjunct phonetic abbreviations throughout the text,6 I propose that we should interpret by analogy and view pa-de as a phonetic abbreviation (pa) with the allative suffix -de appended. This yields the contextually preferable (pa = pa-ne-pi-ta-mi-jo) panepist}mion-de ‘to the university’. This is followed immediately by the genitive singular na-wo-jo = náÛoio (trans. ‘of the temple’), and then by the continuous phrase te-ka-na-e-ne-ka = téxnhw £neka (‘for the sake of TEXNH’).
.2 Line .2 introduces the first of many neologogramisms that our inventive scribe used on this tablet. In this case, the scribe identifies the logogram lexically.7 Here preceding the image of a traditional American primary or secondary school bus, we find the dual form ra-wo-po-re-jo = laÛoforeív = ‘people carrier’ or ‘bus’ with the Mycenaean spelling (cf. Mod. Gk. levforeîon) of the word for ‘people’ (cf. ra-wa-ke-ta). This is followed by a listing of 31 WOMEN 7 missing, and 38 MEN 8 missing. Judging from how the tablet was disposed in its find-spot, the bus was clearly traveling in the direction of the airport hotel when the text was first written and archived.
.3 In line .3, the experience of the Philadelphia scribe is clearly seen in several more and equally clever logographic coinings. The first complex of signs is distinguished by a unique form of framing device, as if the logogram were somehow confined or penned in within this frame. The logogram is a combination of the standard MAN logogram surmounted by the phonetic sign TA in place of a human head. At first I thought that TA here might be an abbreviation for ta-to-mo = a ‘herding pen’. But this did not make sense, given that none of the scholars at this colloquium exhibited any noticeably bestial behavior, at least not during the formal conference sessions. The second logogram likewise is puzzling. Here the body of the MAN logogram has a kind of rabbit’s head—undoubtedly the scribe (the older papillary lines) had recently been reading children’s books to his son (the younger papillary lines). By this time it was 4:30 AM.
With Porada-like instincts, I did not hesitate to call the airport hotel at such an hour and wake up my friend Robert Laffineur for his keen iconographical insights. Hearing my description of the first logogram, Robert made a bold suggestion: “My dear Tom, you know that America is a polyglot melting pot. And remember how Frenchmen like Lafayette helped out in the struggle for American liberty, so well commemorated in the Philadelphia area. I would not be surprised if your scribe had picked up more than the normal American French phrases like film noir, bonjour, au revoir, café au lait, and le hot dog. What you may have here is a kind of ‘beast in a courtyard’, or, as we say in French, a ‘bête en cour’ (TA standing for taûrow). Either this bull-man was kept penned up for breeding activities connected with the temple referred to at the outset or perhaps the beast was kept in the central courtyard of the House of the Double Axes (Labyrinth), in which case I think we must take seriously suggestions that the Minoan palace at Knossos was really itself a temple.”
Having learned that our scribe knew more than a smattering of French made it possible to interpret the next combined logogram as lapineus or RABBIT MAN (represented lexically in other odd texts as the celebrated intellectual champion ra-pi-ne-u). The phonetic adjuncts marked out Betancourt (bête en cour) and Laffineur (lapineus) as ko-re-te and po-ro-ko-re-te, the two head officials of the colloquium on TEXNH. But then this was followed by the puzzling phrase: ƒgousi staymónde ‘they lead to the pen’. I could hear Robert snoring on the line, and so I hung up and rang up Marie-Louise Gregersen for fresh Danish insights—she had also recently been in Paris in case the French perspective was still needed. She reminded me to remember Leonard Palmer’s emphasis on textual context in interpretation. Looking backward and forward made it plain at last that ‘temple’ and ‘pen’ were proper nouns read homonymously as Temple and Penn.
.4 Having gotten, as we say in American, the hang of this scribe’s peculiar techniques, the rest of the tablet was easier to interpret, though no less brilliant in its inventiveness. This is following the old law that I once heard the late Eugene Vanderpool enunciate about Greek inscriptions: “They are easy to read if you know what they say.” FISH-MAN (= Bass, a kind of fish) preceding a composite logogram of an Ulu-Burun-style diptych (standing here for the act of reading or lecturing) and surmounting a REBUS of ROD + KNEE (the influence of children’s books once again). This was followed in .4b by the lexical phrase ‘for the sake of YOUNG’. Line .4a contained the annotation Leukòw proyêke or ‘WHITE introduced’. The main line ended with a stunning composite of what I take to be a ship sunken under the surface of wavy water with ingots and anchors scattered about.
.5 As in line .1, we begin here with an allative locational designation: me-ka-ro-po-de = Megalofónde. This stumped me until I learned on one of our many bus trips about the strong Welsh presence out along the posh Main Line of Philadelphia. In Welsh, the site of BIG HILL is known as Bryn Mawr. And once we traveled there, ROTA + VIR or WHEELWRIGHT treated hypocoristically as WRIGHT made sense, as the scholar by that name ‘introduced’ a lecture by Tamara Stech.
.6 In the final preserved line, the scribe seems to be tallying the results of the kind of international competition in which field archaeologists often engage: a contest to see who can find the earliest, or the biggest, or the most unusual example, or simply the greatest number, of some cultural artifact. The meanings of the first two entries would have been totally opaque to me, but for the help of Despina Vallianou, who pointed out to me the similarity between the neologogramism *274 and the kinds of kilns she had discussed at the Minoan site of Gouves. It was then routine to be able to read the second phonetic adjunct as mi = mi-ra-ti-ja, the neuter plural of the ethnic applied to working women at the site of Pylos. The entry expressed proudly that the Cretan site still held a 9 to 8 lead over the site of Miletus in number of kilns excavated. Wolf Niemeier vowed later that he would find more! Then follows the logogram for a dagger with a marking for niello inlay. After the dagger comes the logogram for WOMAN, rendered with distinctive breast markings,8 with two phonetic adjuncts e and ku. Having laid awake the previous night with images from Kenneth Lapatin’s lecture dancing past my mind’s eyes, I had no trouble in reconstructing this complex as (e = \léfaw and ku = xrusów) a reference to chryselephantine bare-breasted statuettes. None were recorded, perhaps suggesting some hesitation on the scribe’s part about the authenticity of such objects. The preserved portion of the tablet concludes with a logographic rendering of ‘horns of consecration’—or are they grain bins?—and a conical cup modified by an adjunct e. Recalling that the Heidelberg tablet proved definitively that a phonetic adjunct could be used to specify the contents of a container,9 I discarded the idea that these cups, too, were ivory—a view that did not meet with a positive response or even a favorable look from Malcolm Wiener or Carole Gillis at lunch—and I now prefer the interpretation of e = e-ru-ta-ra as a reference to the unidentifiable sweet reddish refreshment we were served at coffee breaks. The bottom of the tablet is broken away, I believe because the scribe had to leave this highly successful 6th Aegean Conference early in order to catch a plane at the airport. Since no bus is inscribed here on the tablet, I assume he took a taxi.
.1 To the University of Temple for the sake of TEXNH
<come and go and come and go and come and go>
.2 on two school buses 31 women and 38 men, but 7 women and 8 men are absent.
.3 Betancourt as president and Laffineur as vice-president lead <them> to Penn.
.4 Bass <gives> the Rodney Young lecture on Bronze Age shipwrecks—White introduced him.
.5 To Bryn Mawr <they go>. Wright introduced Tamara.
.6 9 kilns at Gouves <are still better than> 8 kilns at Miletus. <Participants also partook of> niello daggers, chryselephantine female statuettes, and icky pink beverage in conical cups.
Thomas G. PALAIMA
A LINEAR B INSCRIBED GALET FROM LIEGE* LIE Ga 1998 A GAUFRE OR ‘GALET’ (Local Liégian dialect for Fr. Galette or ‘Waffle’)
This inscribed galet was discovered on a late night promenade by TGP in a pastry dump outside a patisserie somewhere in the area between the Vertbois and the Hotel Ibis in Liège. The galet was found together with fragmentary madeleines and uninscribed galets in mixed stratigraphical confusion. The surface of the galet was fired crisp and uniformly yellow-brown; its inner biscuit whitish and fluffy with no inclusions. Accretion of powdered sugar was visible and tangible on the surface of the galet. Date of discovery 16.4.98. Date of object determined by thermoluminescence and by taste analysis ca. 15 days. Probable date of manufacture 1.4.98. The surface is impressed by a ‘labyrinthine’ waffle mold. The general design in its complexity is reminiscent of the graffito of a labyrinth on the verso of Pylos tablet Cn 1287 or any of the numerous plans of the fortification systems at Tiryns or Thebes (Iakovidis and Aravantinos) that were shown at the Polemos conference. This inscription takes its place alongside other similar discoveries of genuine Linear B inscribed objects at various places where Aegeanists have gathered in recent years. Unfortunately, like those other finds, the inscribed galet suffered a tragic fate. One earlier tablet had popped out of the hands of the discoverer into the river in Heidelberg, another had its surface obliterated by a thin section taken by an overly eager petrologist. This find, as explained below, was literally devoured.
The drawing here presented was made with the assistance of Erik Hallager before consumption of the galet by TGP brought on by ravenous hunger caused by the local tradition of the ‘leisurely waiter’. The galet was extremely tasty and went well with café Liégois. The inscribed galet seems to function as a kind of maze game whereby a man named de-u-ka-ri-jo (Deukalion) at lower left must perform an Odyssey along a tortuous road system unrivaled even by the Minoan ‘road and tower’ system of East Crete (Chryssoulaki). The player encounters famous threatening weapons, polla astea, tempting feasts, frustratingly escargot-paced waiters, crazed Liégian drivers, alluring women, Zakro-Master-style multi-sex monsters, incurable and unrepentant girls of the sort formerly cared for in the Vertbois, public restoration projects, and a ‘coffee break’ packed with Aegean prehistorians, one of whom seems to be taking the idea of warfare very, very seriously – all to reach his sweetheart pu-ra2 (Pyrrha) located, upper right and according to inscriptional clues, beyond the Hittite homeland. The reward for bringing them together will be the creation of genealogical charts stemming from this Greek ‘Adam-and-Eve’ pair of lovers. The historicity of these charts in turn will be debated by scholars like Margalit Finkelberg and Aegeanists like O.T.P.K. Dickinson who adhere to the ‘Troy-is-windy-even-in-1998’ school of myth-history separatists. Truly an ‘arrow to the heart’ (Kopcke in absentia) of all romantics as we look toward Anatolia for solutions.
There is no reason to doubt the authenticity of this galet. First we have the incontrovertible fact of a continuous tradition of da-pu2-ri-to (= labyrinth) representations from the Minoan protopalatial period to the present. Secondly, if the waffle-press which produced this galet were a modern Liégian forgery, it is impossible to imagine that its fabricator could have resisted inserting the most formidable danger and terror of navigating the sidewalks of Liège: merde de chiens. To begin, Deukalion mounts a chariot of a type familiar to us from the work of Crouwel, Driessen and Vandenabeele-Olivier. He obviously is expecting a cloudy but rainless day, because he has not bothered to put up the parasol-top on his late-model convertible i-qi-ja (B. Hallager). Heading directly north he encounters a javelin (pa-ta-jo) of the type prevalent on land (Poursat) and sea (Wedde) in the late Aegean Bronze Age. Changing direction to avoid being wounded and dying of infection (Arnott), he will confront either a type A sword (frightening even with a defective haft design: Peatfield) or a long boat at the very southern limits of its sailing range (Branigan). Whether the latter is being used for ‘raid’ or ‘trade,’ Deukalion does not linger to find out.
Heading northward again Deukalion comes to a locale designated by the ethnic mi-ra-ti-ja (Miletos) where he attempts to have lunch. Here we face our first interpretive problem. At Miletos we have inscribed: VIR 3 a-ka-i-jo. Because of the convenient multivalency of certain Linear B signs and the ingenious flexibility of its spelling rules, we can interpret this in three ways:
1. a-ka-i-jo = Akhaioi and a direct and explicit reference to the Ahhijawa whose troublesome meddling in Hittite affairs Niemeier and Korfmann have explicated at length by reciting soothing euphonic lists of lilting Hittite and Ahhijawan names (e.g., Wilusa, Milluwanda, Tawagalawa). This seems improbable because Ahhijawans, like Aegean prehistorians, usually gather in crowds of 50 and upwards.
2. a-ka-i-jo = arkhaioi and an explicit reference to the presence of certain distinguished individuals of senior or near senior age (e.g., the van Effenterres and Malcolm Wiener). This seems improbable because the use of single-gender ideograms to refer to creatures of both genders, or even those who have been neutered, occurs only in texts dealing with sheep and other livestock. Wiener’s prompt, proud and frequent showing of photographs of his two beautiful daughters rules out the option of reference to neutered males. That and the ageless intellectual powers of the van Effenterres eliminate this as a possible interpretation.
3. a-ka-i-jo = argaioi a heretofore unattested derivative of the modern Greek word arga meaning ‘slow.’ This interpretation makes the most sense if taken as a reference to the fact that restaurants in Bronze Age Miletos, like those in modern Liège, have three waiters all of whom wait table in a manner that even the tolerant and generous would term au pas lent.
Winding his way further northward Deukalion comes to the site of a-pa-sa, undoubtedly = Ephesos, where he must take evasive action to dodge a squadron of arrows (Myc. SAG) each of which has inscribed on its tip (visible only in autopsy of the original with magnifying lens) the image of a fearsome and cartoon-like cigar-puffing mosquito in keeping with a long-established tradition of decorating war implements, from the Shaft Graves burials to the modern fighter plane (Laffineur).
At the very limits of the northwest edge of the labyrinth, Deukalion reaches a site identified as wi-ru-za. Allowing once again for multivalency and uncertainty in the spelling of foreign toponyms, this seems to be equivalent to Wilusa in the Hittite documents, a fact that might be confirmed by the heretofore unattested iconographical feature of parallel oblique lines which I have interpreted as representing winds blowing from SW to NE. As Dickinson reminded Bloedow “Troy is just as windy in the 8th century B.C. as it was in the twelfth.” Just below the site of Troy, reportedly in the excavation of the ramparts, was discovered a Hittite seal with a Linear B inscription, the first trace other than loom weight decorations of Aegean ‘writing’ in the Troad. The inscription reads po-to-re-mo-jo ‘of P(t)olemos.’ The seal may well be a souvenir of the 7th International Aegean Conference which fell out of the pocket of one of the participants who is very active at this site (Korfmann). Just to the east of Troy we find a circular hearth with the phonetic ligature re-wo-te = lewontes = ‘lions.’ Just below the hearth is the inscription: VIR 4 a-ka-i-jo. Following our above line of argument, we interpret this as referring to a feast of lions à la those reconstructed by Nancy R. Thomas at Shaft-Grave period Mycenae in the “big house on the hill.” This feast lasted many days because 4 slow-moving waiters had to carve and serve the barbecued lions to an assembled force of at least 100 Ahhijawan charioteers (Niemeier).
By snaking his way to the center, Deukalion confronts the supreme image of Minoan power and religion, a double-ax. Although the radiant strokes emanating from the ax are iconographically unparalleled in Minoan-Mycenaean art, we know from reading Asterix and other Belgian cartoon books that a tradition going back at least to Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse uses such strokes to indicate the radiance of the object itself. TGP had little trouble in identifying the illuminated double-ax as the equivalent of his son Emmett’s Star Wars light saber, the supreme weapon of those who believe in the power of the force. Confirming the authenticity of the galet beyond doubt is the inscription running beneath the double-ax: ra-pi-ne-u. This reference to the famed itinerant wanax of Aegeanist conferees, rapineu = Laffineur, found on other incontestably genuine inscriptions proves that this galet is part of an intact scribal tradition going back to at least LH IIIB.
Heading south from this obvious sanctuary area, Deukalion narrowly avoids, at the place of the double-ax (da-pu2-ri-to), a head-on chariot collision that leaves one chariot in complete disrepair and the other with its horse attachment bent. We should perhaps imagine that such accidents were frequent in an age before stoplights and to judge by the tendencies of drivers in Liège to travel as quickly as possible. Thus undoubtedly the need for such stores of spare tires and chariot parts in the workshops of Mycenaean palaces and second-order centers. After calling the emergency number for the local police, Deukalion heads northeast, where he finds himself confronted first by an object that looks very much like the royal/divine helmet associated with Hittite gods and kings. However, Deukalion, like any good tourist-shopper, reads the attached label: ko, wa. This indicates to him that he has actually come across a church steeple ornament carved as part of a restoration project of the Commission (ko) Royale (wa-na-ka-te-ro) des Monuments, Sites et Fouilles headed by the suave and amiable Jacques Barlet. Stepping around this architectural curiosity, Deukalion meets face-to-face with a formidable armed warrior complete with figure-of-eight shield, spear, sword, helmet and body armor. Deukalion breathes a sigh of supreme relief when he recognizes beneath this armor not the Mycenae Warrior Goddess (Rehak) or Colin McDonald at a wild party (Driessen), but Alan Peatfield engaged in another demonstration of practical weapon technology. The ideogram to the east of the ‘Peatfield warrior’ is one familiar from the famous Heidelberg text: the coffee break. Above is recorded:
VIR 26 MUL 15
o 5 o 3
VIR biceph 2 MULbiceph 1
TGP was at a complete loss as to how to interpret this section until Massimo Perna with typical Neapolitan pragmatism suggested reading the conference program. A quick tabulation showed that in attendance at the 7th Aegean Colloquium were: 26 men and 15 women, with 5 men and 3 women ‘missing’ (cf. PERNA on o-pe-ro). In addition two pairs of men (La Rosa-Militello, Bennet-Davis), 1 pair of women (Demakopoulou-Divari-Valakou), and a single gender-hybrid pair (Driessen-Schoep) read joint papers. Mycenologists continue to be amazed at the creative virtuosity of Linear B scribes in ‘coining’ such ideograms as needs arise. The location of all this activity is specified by a word unit which TGP read ha-za. This yielded no sense at all. Perplexed, he consulted with Jean-Pierre Olivier who proposed an elegant solution: the sign with value ha is also known as a2. Read in that way we determine that the site is in fact (h)a2-za or Ha-two-ssas.
Just south of the coffee break is a large room which cannot possibly be identified as a megaron (not even slightly uncanonical megara like those at Midea [Walberg] or the Pylos SW Building = megaron of the ra-wa-ke-ta [Bennet-Davis]) to which the assembled conferees undoubtedly resorted to engage in a kind of ritual ceremony. The ritual featured (cf. the luminous rays of the central double-axe: once invented, twice used) the projection of images from a central light box upon a pair of screens, while select acolytes chanted ritual texts from a raised sacred podium. Avoiding entrapment in this alluring ritual which is known to have deep soporific effects upon even the most stalwart participants, Deukalion heads southward towards his final test. He finds himself at a harbor town where a ship has pulled in laden with the kinds of stirrup jars known from Knossos, Armenoi and now Midea – inscribed with the name wi-na-jo (Demakopoulou). The stirrup jar has hanging from its plug a sealing which provides an example of the multiple-sealing system discussed by Weingarten and Pini. On one of its faces appears the impression of the image of a boar’s tusk helmet; on the other a sexually remarkable hybrid male/female figure. On the shoreline stand a man, a woman and a man-woman. This seems to be the kind of ‘anything goes’ port town with which Malcolm Wiener and other sailors became familiar during service in the navy. A curious rectangular element at the upper left with a pointed insignia inside (spear point? Linear B e?) defied interpretation, until Stella Chryssoulaki pointed out that the name of the community was written in Linear B characters just below: ka-to za-ko-ro = Kato Zakro. It then became obvious that the structure on the hill with its surcharged insignia was in fact ‘House A.’ This may be the earliest evidence for the Canaanite alphabet in the Aegean, although it hardly is sufficient to prove the theories of Martin Bernal.
Wrenching himself away from the sensual enticements of the easternmost Minoan port and from even the slightest involvement in theories on the origins of the Greek alphabet, Deukalion directs his chariot straight north and in a feat of daring athleticism leaps the last hurdle, turns right and at last finds himself in the arms of his dear Pyrrha. Let the human race now begin!
Thomas G. PALAIMA
* I wish to thank Drs. Shelby Carter and James R. Cullington of Austin, Texas, for the skilled application of surgical techniques much more advanced than those of the Mycenaean period surveyed and explained by Robert ARNOTT in this volume. Their skills at saving and reconstructing my right leg made it possible for me to discover yet another surprising inscription in Linear B while strolling the streets of Liège after dark. The normal meaning of galet is ‘pebble.’ Robert LAFFINEUR alerted me to its special meaning in the dialect of French spoken in Liège.
1. Cf. discussion in T.G. PALAIMA, “Mycenaean Scribal Aesthetics,” in R. LAFFINEUR and J. CROWLEY (eds), EIKVN. Aegean Bronze Age Iconography: Shaping a Methodology, Aegaeum 8 (1992) 63-75, Pls XX-XXIII.
2. Cf. T.G. PALAIMA , “PH Up 1996,” in R. LAFFINEUR and P.P. BETANCOURT (eds), TEXNH Aegaeum 16 (1997) 539-543; “A Linear B Tablet from Heidelberg,” in R. LAFFINEUR and W.D. NIEMEIER (eds), Politeia: Polity and State in the Aegean Bronze Age, Aegaeum 12 (1995) vol. II, 669-670; and in R. LAFFINEUR and L. BASCH (eds), Thalassa L’Egée Prehistorique et la Mer, Aegaeum 7 (1991) 4; T.G. PALAIMA, I. HAJNAL, A. KOLOSIMO, J.-P. OLIVIER, C.J. RUIJGH, “Linear B in the Bay of Naples,” in E. DE MIRO, L. GODART, A. SACCONI (eds), Atti e memorie del secondo congresso internazionale di micenologia (1996) 1645-1648.
3. For its function as a game, we might compare one of the thousands of proposed interpretations of the Phaistos disk.
4. This name appears on PY o-ka tablet An 654, thus establishing a suitable militaristic context for the appearance of Deukalion at the Polemos conference.
5. The most recent example seen by the author appears on the ‘15-minute-service-challenge’ cards in rooms of the Ibis Hotel.
6. Supra n. 2.
A LINEAR-B-INSCRIBED ‘HERRING’ FROM GÖTEBORG: AN ICHTHYOMORPHIC EPIPHANY
We dedicate this new text to Professor Robin Hägg in thanks for his many great and successful efforts to advance our understanding of Aegean prehistory. In the last decade of the twentieth century, we have been blessed with many exciting new discoveries and publications of Aegean inscriptions. These have revolutionized our outlook on Minoan and Mycenaean culture in general and specifically on the Minoan, Mycenaean and pre-existing Aegean components of religious practice and ideology in the 2nd millennium B.C.E. The publication of the Thebes sealings in 1990 in BCH by Piteros, Olivier and Melena and in Aegaeum 5 by Aravantinos has provided rich new insights into the processes by which sacrificial animals and other items were collected for the major commensual ceremonies that served as rituals of social unification and legitimation of power at Mycenaean palatial centers. Publication of the Thebes sealings and comparison of their contents with the contents of Linear B tablets from Pylos and Knossos has enabled Mycenologists and archaeologists like John Killen, John Bennet, Cynthia Shelmerdine and Jack Davis to shed light on aspects of ceremonial practice and even on ceremonial use of architectural space. The discovery of the famous ‘Zeus and Dionysos’ tablet Gq 5 at Khania by Erik Hallager and the Swedish excavation team and its prompt triple publication led not only to renewed interest in the mainland and Cretan pantheons of the late Bronze Age, but also to a reexamination of problems and methods concerning palaeography. Emmett Bennett’s palaeographical and archival reassignment of a single tablet fragment at Pylos (Ea 102) led first to further secure evidence for the Dionysos cult in the late Greek Bronze Age, and lately to a sensational new join by José Melena which enables us to identify a sacrificial fire altar of Dionysos. In the middle of the past decade, new Linear B tablets were found at Thebes by Vassilis Aravantinos and his team of expert Greek archaeologists. The careful work of Aravantinos, Godart and Sacconi and of collaborators like Cornelis Ruijgh and the late Michel Lejeune in moving towards a definitive interpretive edition of this material has added virtual riches to our understanding of diverse aspects of Mycenaean culture:
1. music: we now have a reference in the texts to a pair of lyre-players that can be compared to the famous lyre-player painted on the wall of the megaron at Pylos;1
2. inter-regional relationships: who would have imagined finding someone named Lakedaimonios at Thebes!??!
3. language: the Thebes texts have revealed a potentially new phonogram and possible regional variants of values for standard phonograms;
4. religion: the Thebes texts raise the possibility of theriomorphic deities and may support the identification of a ‘mother earth goddess’ otherwise possibly attested within the Linear B tablets only on Knossos F 51 from the Room of the Chariot Tablets.
We should also mention the chance find of a sealing at Pylos that more closely links the wanaks with military weaponry, the discovery of a Linear-A-inscribed stone libation table on the island of Kythera, of Linear-B-inscribed sealings and stirrup jars at Midea, of Linear A at Miletus, and of a puzzling inscribed pebble at Kaf kania near Olympia. Yet, as many of you know, there have been equally spectacular discoveries outside of the Aegean orbit. Throughout the decade we have had reports of amazing finds of Linear- B-inscribed tablets and even an inscribed galet or Belgian waffle at farflung conference sites associated with some of the principal scholars involved in this latest Aegaeum conference. I am speaking, of course, of organizers and devotees of Aegean prehistory such as Louis Godart and Anna Sacconi, Robert Laffineur, Phil Betancourt, Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier, Lucien Basch, and most recently Ingo Pini and Walter Müller. These finds have generally been associated with an American Mycenologist of Lithuanian ethnic background now living in Austin, Texas,2 who has traveled almost as peripatetically as the just-mentioned scholars in his quest for intellectual enlightenment de rebus Aegaeis. Many of you know him as a gentleman of such impeccable integrity and cautious scholarly reserve3 that the authenticity of the finds that he has made and published can hardly be questioned. His absence in corpore from the present gathering might seem to preclude further discoveries. But this is why the Greek philosophers from Socrates onward were careful to distinguish between tò dokeîn ‘seeming’ and tò eÂnai ‘being’. In May of 1998, on my fourth of five scholarly trips to Sweden this decade, Robin Hägg and I sat at dinner in surely the only restaurant in the modern world outside of the People’s Republic of China whose name is an ideogram. The restaurant is called simply ‘?’, and I hope you have the opportunity to eat there while attending this egaeum conference. Robin was very distracted at the time. He was adjusting to the demands of fatherhood and to the service of yet another potnia, in this case of the alokhos variety. He was also planning this splendid conference. Nonetheless I asked for some explanation of the peculiar identity of the ‘?’ restaurant. Such whimsicality was inconsistent with my own growing understanding of the defining characteristics of Swedish culture. I could not imagine characters in any of Bergman’s films or Lars Gustafson’s stories—tilers, beekeepers, ministers, aristocrats, wealthy tradespeople and industrialists, split personae, people crying, people whispering, people mainly not talking, even death and the devil himself—dining at a restaurant that advertised its own selfdoubt. The Swedes, as you will discover even in Göteborg, have a certainty about them. They may not be certain about the cosmic essence of life, but they are about food. It is this national sense of certainty that enabled Martin Nilsson to write what he declared to be a Geschichte der griechische Religion and even to issue a revised edition in 1950, well before Linear B was deciphered and well before modern scholars of religion, with the exception, we should stress, of Robin Hägg and a few others, seemed intent upon forgetting that the Bronze Age does have something to say about later historical Greek culture. How else can we explain Nanno Marinatos’s own temerarious certitude in her book entitled Minoan Religion? In it she explains virtually all aspects of Minoan cult and ritual- without even using any of the many translations proposed for key Minoan written and imprinted religious documents like the Phaistos disk and inscribed libation tables. In my opinion, post hoc ergo propter hoc: Nanno’s book was published in 1993 right after her eleven-year marriage (1981-1992) and scholarly association with a Swede named Robin Hägg. Do you doubt my reasoning? Well then, I ask you to consider how many of us Robin Hägg has corrupted —and more than once!—into thinking we could say something about the most questionable topics, not only in Greek religion and Greek prehistory, but even in Greek history. Professor Hägg would seem to know no sense of shame. We Americans have a saying:
“Fool me once, shame on you! Fool me twice, shame on me!” Well, I say, shame on all of us for being seduced by Robin Hägg into thinking time and again that we could meet, discuss and then write about questionable topics, and even enjoy ourselves in the process! How many of us he has lured into speaking and writing about the function of Minoan palaces and later the function of the Minoan villas, the Greek renaissance of the 8th century B.C.E., and—as a foreshadowing of this potnia conference—early Greek cult practice.4 Recall that these conferences have even led us to question fundamental notions like what we mean by ‘palace’ and ‘villa’ and ‘cultural continuity’! He outstrips Socrates in being indiscriminate in whose minds he confuses and whose souls he corrupts. Young and old, male and female, Swede and non-Swede are all potential victims of Robin Hägg’s fiendish and ever-questioning mind. One is tempted to liken the song of this particular Robin to the alluring and maddeningly destructive song from the honeyed lips of the beautiful sirens in book 12 of Homer’s Odyssey. Remember what they promise those who attend their conferences and listen to their songs:
He journeys on delighted
and knows more than before.
After attending the important conferences organized by our modern siren Robin Hägg and after reading the many important books and articles that he has written and edited, we go
away delighted and knowing—or maybe, and just as well, not knowing—much, much more than before. The sirens, too, specialized in Bronze Age topics. Just as Robin Hägg, in 1974 in his dissertation5 on the Sub-Mycenaean, protogeometric and Geometric burials of the Argolid, claimed to have done a systematische Untersuchung leading to a Musterung of the available data, the sirens declare that they have seriously researched a central problem in Aegean prehistory and that they
...know everything that the Greeks and Trojans
Suffered in wide Troy by the will of the gods.
Even Manfred Korfmann has not been able to find out everything about Troy, but then again Prof. Korfmann may not have had the empirical knowledge that Robin Hägg’s association with beautiful feminine creatures like the sirens—or three wives—brings to a prehistorian. On this last point I myself can attest that = \mpeiría didáskei kaì = \mpeiría = triôn gunaikôn málista didáskei.6
But let us return to my dinner with Robin Hägg. As has so often happened to me in life,
I had to satisfy my own craving for knowledge on the subject of the restaurant named ‘?’. After dinner Robin went home to the comforts of wife and child, while I set out to stroll, as Bergman would say, with the best intentions. As I passed the Poseidon statue that dominates part of the Göteborg cityscape, I glanced downward and then picked up what I thought at the time were the fossilized remnants of a pickled herring, certainly detritus from some Viking excursion.
It struck me at that moment as the perfect questionable souvenir to remind me of my trip to Göteborg and my dinner at ‘?’. But I was also aware of the strict prohibitions against transporting antiquities or food items from any foreign country into the United States. So I immediately took an antiquities collector’s precautions. I wrapped this object inside a bundle of student papers that I had brought with me to Göteborg from the course on Mycenaean religious administration that I was then teaching at the University of Uppsala. I also convinced myself through the kind of self-hypnosis that collectors use that the object was an item of no value, was known to earlier collectors already in the 18th century, and would certainly be cared for better in my private study collection or in an American museum than it would be hanging around Poseidon and Robin Hägg in Göteborg.
Given that the object was bundled with student papers, I of course never looked at it again throughout the rest of my stay in Sweden. Upon my return to the United States, however, the trained dogs in the Dallas airport customs hall sniffed out the ‘herring’ and it has been confiscated and shipped to the customs and immigration headquarters in San Antonio, where, like a little Cuban boy, it has now long awaited a decision as to whether it should return home to Sweden or take up residence permanently in the Buckhorn Museum of hunting, shooting and fishing in San Antonio.
Fortunately for our scholarly interests, as the ‘herring’ was being unwrapped in the Dallas Airport, it fell to the airport floor making the sound not of a fossilized fish, but of a wellbaked Linear B tablet. Imagine my excitement when I examined it and found out that the first zoomorphic tablet in the Aegean scripts was clenched firmly in the teeth of a canine customs agent. Here follows my learned commentary on the rough drawing I was able to execute under very trying conditions.
Commentary on GÖ IKH 1935-2000
This unusual tablet was found near the grand Poseidon statue in Göteborg and later transported clandestinely into the United States, where it was confiscated by customs police in late May 1998. Unfortunately, as is so often the case in elaborate bureaucracies—witness the number of items such as sheep that are recorded as ‘owed’ or ‘missing’ in Linear B tablets—the tablet has been misplaced by the customs and immigration authorities in San Antonio, Texas while awaiting a judicial and congressional ruling concerning its citizen status. We have two causes for hope that it may eventually be found. First San Antonio or Hagios Antonios is known to be the patron saint of ‘lost items’. Second, the world-famous Buckhorn Museum in San Antonio specializes in curiosa relating to hunting and fishing—cf. its Luristan dagger and its ‘dressed fleas’. If the tablet has not been lost, but purloined for later sale, it may well turn up in the Buckhorn’s collection.
The tablet is zoomorphic or, to be more precise, ichthyomorphic. It has been molded into the shape of a fish. From the perspective of the text upon it, the tail fin is at the left and the gaping mouth of the fish is at the right. The text is arranged in blocks according to four vertical columns. The shape of the tablet and the text at first cast doubt on their authenticity. But close study suggests that they are authentic. The text has revealed many clear references to sites in Sweden (Uppsala: lines C.2, B.3, A.5; Göteborg [ko-te-wa-tu = Gothenburg] in line C.4; Sweden itself in line D.2) and Greece (Athens and Asine in line D.3). Both countries have strong ties to the sea in prehistory, history, legend and lore. We may note the reverence for psaria shown by the extravagant prices charged for fish in most Greek seaside tavernas and the infinite ways that the Swedes have of cooking herring. Lastly the justly famous ra-pi-ne-u once again appears
on a Linear B tablet—here in an intriguing phrase on the verso—and he has strong associations with Thalassa at yet another locale: Calvi, Corsica.
Archaeologically we have fish and boats represented on prehistoric Cycladic ‘frying pans’, no doubt in reference to a kind of sympathetic ritual whereby the catch of a boating expedition was hoped eventually to make it into breading and oil for a commensual ceremony. Note that the Linear B texts contain ample references to grain and olive oil, spices and wine that would be perfect for making a fish dinner. Skeptics may assert that we have not found the word for fish yet in the Linear B tablets. To that I reply that we did not have references to snakes or geese either until Aravantinos, Godart and Sacconi did something to correct that failing. Remember, too, that our commensual banqueting texts refer to ceremonies at the central palaces, where the ‘Homeric’ nobility, like modern Texas ranchers and businessmen, liked two kinds of food: rare beef steak and well-done beef steak. We must excavate a Mycenaean seaside resort if we
want to find tablets referring to fish.
GÖ IKH 1935-2000
recto: A B C D
.1 e-ri-ta-ko-jo ke-ra-so-jo e-ne-ka 1976-1994 ra-wa-ke-ta wa-na-ka-qe
.2 1962-78 u-pa-sa-ra su-wi-di-ja di-da-ka-re-jo-jo
.3 a-to-ro-qo-jo a-ka-to-jo a-ka-jo-ro-ko-jo 1975 u-pa-sa-ra pa-ne-pi-ti-mi-jo a-ta-na a-si-na-qe
.4 pa-ne-pi-ti-mi-jo-te 1979-83 ko-te-wa-tu-wo o-pi-ka-pe-e-u
.5 u-pa-sa-ra 1935 ke-ko-nu-wo-to e-ke-qe-qa-ku-wo-to pa-ne-pi-ti-mi-jo su-ne-di-ri-jo po-ro
.6 e-pi-ko-wo di-da-ka-ro di-a-ko-me-ta 1981-84-86-92
.7 pu2-*22-ri-jo-pu2-ra-ka pa-te pa-te ko-wa e-mi-ri-ja 1 po-si MUL 3
verso: pa-ra3-ma ka-ra-pe-u , ra-pi-ne-u e-pi-ta-ta, po-ta-mo-ro-wo
.1 for the sake of Robin Bird-Cherry 1976-1994 lawagetas and wanaks
.2 1962-78 of Uppsala of the Swedish School
.3 a good man and archaeologist in 1975 of Uppsala the University at Athens and of Asine
.4 from the University 1979-83 of Gothenburg overseer of digging
.5 at Uppsala in 1935 born having graduated the University of many sunedria
.6 assistant professor organizer in 1981, 1984, 1986, 1992
.7 his father a librarian father of daughter Emilia 1 husband WOMEN 3
back side: Palaima scribe Laffineur epistates (i.e., commissioner), for Potamorowos (= 'River-Stream' = Åström)
Some may be surprised by or suspicious of the ichthyomorphic shape of the Göteborg tablet. But as comparanda we may cite the Near Eastern hepatoskopic tablets in the shape of livers and the famous Liège galet in the shape of a Belgian waffle. The actual text here seems to be honorific in nature. It celebrates the remarkable achievements of an individual named Erithakos Kerasos (in the genitive in line A.1). In ancient Greek, \ríyakow means the bird we call the ‘robin’, while the kerasów is the tree known as the ‘bird-cherry’. Since the text deals with Swedish as well as Greek toponyms, we should not necessarily conclude that the Greek form of the name here means that the individual is of Greek ethnicity. If we assume that the name is a translation into Greek of an original Swedish name, we might render it in the original language as Robin Hägg. Likewise on the verso the last name translates from the Greek as ‘River-stream’ which would yield ‘Åström’ in Swedish.
Among terms previously unattested in Linear B, we note the following as of particular interest:
pu2-*22-ri-jo-pu2-ra-ka = bubliophulaks = ‘librarian’ with special treatment of the syllables bu, phu, and *22 = mbi.
ke-ko-nu-wo-to = perfect active participle genitive singular masculine. Later Greek gegonótow.
e-ke-qe-qa-ku-wo-to = perfect active participle genitive singular masculine. Later Greek \kbebhkótow.
The text contains two terms of archaeological interest: a-ka-jo-ro-ko (arkhaiologos) in A.3 and o-pi-ka-pe-e-u (opiskapheeus) in D.4. The latter term is attested in the plural form in PY Jn 829. There has obviously been a semantic shift from an original meaning ‘overseer of (agricultural) digging’ to ‘overseer of (scientific) digging’.
Much care was obviously taken to achieve the ‘fish form’ and stylistic niceties of the text. Note the balance achieved by recording the father of the honoree in A.7 and the fatherhood of the honoree in D.7. This obviously reflects the great esteem in which the honoree is held by his peers in Aegean prehistory and the generational process by which progress is made in the field of archaeology.
The text varies in A.3 from the standard phrase ?n|r ?gayów of ancient honorific inscriptions and uses the word ƒnyrvpow instead. This may reflect general social attitudes in the period when the honoree lived or even his own desire to be remembered as a ‘good person’ rather than explicitly as a ‘good man’.
Thomas G. PALAIMA
1 J.G. YOUNGER, Music in the Aegean Bronze Age (1998) 69, cat. no. 31.2 Namely Thomas G. Palaima. These texts have been expertly edited, transliterated, translated and discussed
by T.G. PALAIMA in R. LAFFINEUR and L. BASCH (eds), Thalassa, Aegaeum 7 (1991) 4; POLITEIA 699-670;
E. DE MIRO, L. GODART, A. SACCONI (eds), Atti e memorie del secondo congresso internazionale di micenologia
(1996) 1645-1648; R. LAFFINEUR and P.P. BETANCOURT (eds), TEXNH, Aegaeum 16 (1997) 539-543;
POLEMOS 507-511; W. MÜLLER (ed.), Minoisch-mykenische Glyptik. Stil, Ikonographie, Funktion, CMS Beiheft
6 (2000) 361-8.
3 He has even been known on occasion not to intervene following a paper during Aegaeum conference sessions.
hoc viderunt Hallager vir et uxor.
4 R. HÄGG (ed.), The Greek Renaissance of the Eighth Century B.C.: Tradition and Innovation (1983); Function
Palaces; R. HÄGG, N. MARINATOS and G.C. NORDQUIST (eds), Early Greek Cult Practice (1988); R. HÄGG
(ed.), The Function of the Minoan Villa (1997).
5 R. HÄGG, Die Gräber der Argolis in submykenischer, protogeometrischer und geometrischer Zeit. 1. Lage und Form
der Gräber, Boreas. Uppsala Studies in Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Civilizations 7:1 (1974) inserted
6 “Experientia docet and the experience of three wives really docets!”
A NEW LINEAR B INSCRIPTION FROM THE LAND DOWN UNDER: AUS HO(ME) BO 2008
Wooden object. 15 x 8.5 cm. (maximum length and height); 5.0 cm. wide in middle; maximum thickness 3.0 cm. Polished and tapering. Inscription made with a thin blade-like stylus not at all dissimilar to the ‘exacto-blade’ stylus used for actual Linear B clay tablets. Reverse completely devoid of writing.
This object was found in the epichoric shrubbery on the grounds outside the J.H. Mitchell Theatre of Melbourne University at 3 AM March 29, 2008. At this time the discoverer, as is his wont at Aegaeum conferences, was in a slightly intoxicated state producing, as ably described by Helène Whitaker, “dislocation of the mind,” from having imbibed just a drop, or two, of products from the Shelmerdine Winery following one of the many ample southern hemispheric feasts that were distributed amply throughout the DAIS conference. He was actually, at the time of chancing upon the inscribed object, trying to relocate his mind, a task that many view as comparable to the underworld labors of Sisyphus or the Nile River flowing upstream.
Immediate use of his handy on-the-spot Carbon-14 testing kit proved inconclusive. Dendrochronological examination was frustrated by the absence of a saw and the hardness of the native wood. By employing smell, taste, touch, sight and sound, in the sensuous and sensitive manner proposed by Rachel Fox, it was determined that the object was made of wood cut from the Tamarind, Diploglottis Cunninghamii, a species of tree which once grew to heights of 60-80 feet in Queensland and New South Wales. It appeared to have been cut from a specimen slightly less than 16 years ago.
The discoverer, plagued already in a Midas-like way with a preternatural knack—some would call it a curse— for chancing upon inscribed linear documents in out of the way places like Calvi, Corsica; Liège, Belgium; Heidelberg, Germany; Göteborg, Sweden; Marburg, Germany; Naples, Italy; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was not at all surprised to find himself again in the presence of an inscribed object of unusual form and material. Having in the past discovered an inscribed herring and even a delicate and tasty galet—fortunately for him a waffle and not a pebble—in his nocturnal peregrinations in the neighborhoods where conferences have been held on many diverse topics in Aegean prehistory, nothing surprises him.
Wary of the notoriety that these former publications had already brought to him, instantly ruing the change of heart that had brought him again to hazard attending another Aegaeum conference, and fully grasping the universal element of all Greek myths, that any knowledge, especially of Linear B texts, is a dangerous thing, he was determined to rid himself of this inscription before it could do his reputation any further harm. Employing another topos familiar from Greek mythology, he threw the object once, twice and three times. Each time it fluttered and arced through the air returning to hit him squarely in the back of the head.
Having thus been brought into a state of mental clarity not experienced since a succession of Pythia’s ascended tripods at ancient Delphi, he immediately grasped the totality and the significance of the inscribed signs upon the surface of this object. In one last act of desperation, he flung the object out toward Swanston Street, where, by the kind of stroke of coincidental luck Aristotle criticizes in the meeting of Medea and Aegeus in Euripides’ Medea, it entered the window of a passing lorry that sped off into the night.
The text and interpretation offered here are of a quality equal to those in the publication of prior discoveries. Again the scholarly world has every assurance that the triple blow to the skull of the discoverer rendered him clear-minded and quasi-mantically gifted.
According to the principles with which other Linear B texts have recently been studied and published, the discoverer has here produced an editio princeps that has not been sullied by any serious consideration of the informed opinions of other Mycenological experts in palaeography, linguistics, or specialized branches of textual interpretation. Nor has he bothered to question whether a text of this kind with so many peculiar features of writing and language could possibly have been produced by a Mycenaean scribe in the period to which it is attributed (the late 20th century CE).
The text has been given the following identification: AUS HO(ME) Bo 2008. AUS designates general provenience, the continent of Australia. HO(ME) marks the place of discovery (parenthetically, ME = Melbourne) and the place of manufacture, as designated in the inscription: HO = Hogarth. Bo stands for the general class (B) that deals with human beings logographically and the page-shaped (o) type of text. By chance, this also produces a handy mnemonic for the shape and aerodynamic characteristics of the object: Bo(omerang). Since the object cannot be given an inventory number unless the lorry driver recognizes the value of the ‘boomerang’ and brings it to the attention of Mycenologist Stephie Nikoloudis who is affiliated with the University of Melbourne, it has been given the number 2008 to mark the year of discovery.
1. me-no , a-re-i-jo-jo , me-qo-u-ne-i , 25/29 , de-qo-no-jo , e-ne-ka
2. VIR 21 MUL 34 ra-pi-ne-we , a-ko-ti , i-zo-ko , wo-zo-ti , BIG *103 + KA ta , de ,
3. MUL + *215 VAS + MUL e-ro-to , e-ne-ka , SUS + SI pi
SUS + SIo-u-i-do-e-u-ro-pe-ja-si *215 VAS 3 a ↑
4. pi-ni , o-u , po-re-ne , o-u-qe , da-i-te , o-te-a , me-na , po-ra *204 VAS + ? *213 VAS + KA 7 VIN + SE
5. sa-ma-ri-ta-ne , we-re-zo-u-si , zo-a , 45 e-ko-no-ka-ra-pi-ja , o-u , ka-wa
6. pi-na-ki-de , o-u , ka-wa , o-pi-ka-pe-we , o-u , ka-wo , ke-ra-mi-ka , o-u , ka-wa
7. e-pi-ta-ma , a-ri-ta
8. 1992 pa-te , o-u , wo-da-me , o-u-de
9. o-qa-ta ko-ro-we-re-u
10. ta-sa-ma-ni-ja wo-ze-me
1. mēnos Areïyoyo Melgwournei 25/29 deikwonoyo heneka
2. VIR 21 MULIER 34 Laphinewei arkhonti (H)itscock wordyonti BIGA KANGAROO ta de
3. gunaikes duo + kuliks erōtos heneka hus sialos + phi
hus sialosou Indoeuropeayasi kuliks IIIA ↑
4. Pini ou phorenes oukwe daites ostea men polla VAS + ? COFFEE BREAK 7 woinos S(h)elmerdinios
5. Samaritanes wredwousi zoa 45 eikonographiyā ou kalwā
6. pinakides ou kalwāi opiskaphewes ou kalwoi keramika ou kalwa
7. epistāmā aristā
8. 1992 pantes ou woidamen ouden
9. Hogwarth Krowleu
10. Tasmaniya wordyei me
1. In the month of Ares , at Melbourne , 25/29 for the sake of deipnon (i.e., meal)
2. 21 MEN 34 WOMEN Laffineur leading Hitscock working CHARIOT ANIMAL + KA ta de
3. WOMAN kylix WOMAN for the sake of love by means of fatted pigs no fatted pigs for Indoeuropeans kylix III A onwards
4. Pini no offerers , no banquets , but many bones VASE + ? Coffee Break 7 WINE S(h)elmerdine
5. Samaritans sacrificing animals 45 iconography is no good;
6. tablets are no good ; excavators are no good; pottery is no good.
7. knowledge is best
8. 1992 all of us know nothing
9. Hogwarth Crowley
10. Tasmania makes me
This text obviously is oracular (see the specification of date of manufacture in line 9: 1992) in content, predicting the epistemological despair that was cast over the assembled scholars at the DAIS conference that took place in Melbourne, Australia in the month of Ares (March) 25-29 in 2008.
Mycenaean Greek did not have as part of its lexicon the word dais, ‘distributive meal’, no doubt because the Mycenaean rulers, despite the nice-sounding titles examined in one paper, were really the prototypes for the social meanness displayed on the other side of the world in eight years of the Bush-Cheney administration. The text therefore uses the attested Mycenaean word deipnon, here, as in the Thebes tablets, clearly a reference to a banquet meal, and not to an agent of banqueting.
The richly attested figure named ra-pi-ne-u again is designated as leading this event, but here it is specified that all the work is done by someone named, as we reconstruct despite some unrepresented elements in Mycenaean spelling, Hitscock.
The conference seems to have made use of a large vehicle pulled by an indigenous creature known from other sources as the Ka(ngaroo). What are clearly phonetic abbreviations ta and de are somewhat opaque in this context, and it is unclear whether they refer to the animal tentatively identified as the kangaroo or in some way to the material of the chariot-like vehicle, or if they are meant to provide supplemental information like the TA and DA that appear to mark supervisors in the Pylos women ration texts.
There seems to have been some representation at the conference of women in pairs toasting one another by means of the standard drinking vessel, known as the kylix. There seems, also, to have been hints of an erotic element in feasting and especially in mass sacrificial and banqueting ceremonies which involved fatted pigs slaughtered (and we assume cooked). For some reason it is specifically mentioned that Indoeuropeans, in whatever context this cryptic text is discussing, do not partake of the slaughtered and roasted pigs. And the kylix, we take it, is identified as a phenomenon from III A either onward or backward in time (see the heretofore unattested ‘arrow’ symbol; what temporal direction it is marking is not entirely clear). Scholars are referred to papers by Salvatore Vitale, Charlotte Langohr and Jan Driessen.
Then there is an equally cryptic word, given in the asyntactical rubric manner, Pini. This figure is somehow associated with a denial of the existence of people bringing offerings and of banquets, but at the same time admitting the clear data of many animal bones (whether from the Neolithic to MM IIB levels in the Hagios Charalambos cave, or from early Mycenaean to IIIB and IIIC Midea, or at sites outside the Aegean, like Tel Miqne-Ekron, is unclear) and some kinds of vessels with what appear to be multiple projections (straws?, or a fermented effervescent spray? [see the discussion by Sarah P. Morris for elite bonding and the introduction of knowledge of fermentation into the Aegean]).
The entire event recorded, or, as we should say, predicted in 1992, was punctuated by seven coffee breaks (cf. logogram *213 VAS + KA, known from previous texts in this series); and here we also have a new ligature to the wine logogram, SE, which is taken to refer to the wine of the sponsor of this event. The conspicuous consumption concludes with Samaritans recorded as sacrificing 45 animals in a fantastically sensual atmosphere resembling an Aeageum banquet.
Then despair descends with the swiftness of Attila the Hun as iconography, tablets, excavators and pottery are all declared ‘no good’.
Still the conference ends on a positive note, as knowledge itself is celebrated as ‘best’: εjπιστήμη αjρίστη (as it would read in classical Attic Greek). The date of 1992 and location of manufacture of Hogarth, Tasmania are given at the bottom left. At the extreme bottom right a declaration is made: “Crowley work(s) me.” There also the state of satisfied know-nothingness of these scholars is declared:
ουj üοίδαμεν ουjδέν.
Besides giving us our first confirmed reference to the ethnic designation Samaritans and Indoeuropeans, the boomerang text is notable for new ideograms and for adding to the extensive prosopographical data for the prominent figure of ra-pi-ne-u. It is clear from this text that this figure is able to be in so many places at so many high intellectual occasions because, following practice as old as Agamemnon, he merely rules or presides while others, as Achilles knew and here the poor figure of Hitscock has found out, do the work. Another female figure who did ra-pi-ne-u’s work in the past is the figure named Crowley, who undoubtedly was compensated so poorly that she has had to take up a side job as a craftsperson manufacturing boomerangs out of Tamarind wood.
On the textual side, the plene spelling of the monosyllabic particle μέν as me-na is welcome as is the ideographic indicator of ‘negation’ with the second entry of SUS + SI on line .3. The first occurrence of that logogram is followed by what looks like the first instance of a grammatical determinative, pi, marking the form as an instrumental plural. The 3rd person plural ending o-u-si in line .5 is unexpected and a clear indication of the modern date of writing of the text.
Finally we must give thanks to the te-o-i that the feasts associated with the DAIS conference produced no instances of cannibalism, of the kind viewed as possible when Minoan bodies, and by extension Minoanist bodies, are subject to the exhilaration of food and wine consumption.
Thomas G. PALAIMA
1 For earlier discoveries, see T.G. PALAIMA, “A Linear-B-Inscribed ‘herring’ from Göteborg: An Ichthyomorphic Epiphany,” in POTNIA, 485-491, and with partial bibliography p. 486, n. 2.
2 See T.G. PALAIMA, “Reviewing the New Linear B tablets from Thebes,” Kadmos 42 (2003) 31-38.
3 See T.G. PALAIMA, “OL Zh 1: Quousque tandem?” Minos 37-38 (2002-2003) 373-385.