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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2008 at 12:17
Btw, I will post soon some material about the writting of a Dimini culture in the Orestis area. I wonder in what sense Linear script was used amongst these Helladic civilizations.

The main difference of the Linear script of northern Greece compared to Cretan, is that it includes some familiar alphabet letters like y, Γ, Ε, Σ and digamma(F). That brings a lot of trouble in the tracing of the development of pre-phoenician scripts.

Just give me some time to collect my stuff and i want to hear your views.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2008 at 18:48
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

Btw, I will post soon some material about the writting of a Dimini culture in the Orestis area. I wonder in what sense Linear script was used amongst these Helladic civilizations.The main difference of the Linear script of northern Greece compared to Cretan, is that it includes some familiar alphabet letters like y, Γ, Ε, Σ and digamma(F). That brings a lot of trouble in the tracing of the development of pre-phoenician scripts. Just give me some time to collect my stuff and i want to hear your views.


Thanks Seko for posting the pics I took at the Cycladic Art Museum in Athens, Greece!!!

Flipper this would be interesting to explore. I only knew about the existence of Helladic cultures but I do believe they were still pre Greek or am I wrong??

Dimini culture- I am not familar with this but I would like to learn more. Tbanks for the link which I will check out latter.

Right now I am caught between the desire to study Bronze Greek culture and pre Greek and also Byzantine history. arrrghhh!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Feb-2008 at 19:03
I will post some interresting pics i've taken from tablets belonging to neolithic people classified as Dimini. Those built the first "Cities" having an acropolis (don't comfuse the term with Parthenon). Famous sites are Sesklo and Argissa-Magoula. They were also known for their farming techniques.

Ofcourse, you can't speak of a Greek civilization (we speak about 6000-4000BC), but various cultures that became a basis as well for the establishment of that civilization later. Besides, Greek civilization is defined as a culture and language, not a race. The people inhabited the area came from various origins (IE and Afroasiatic) at different timeframes, from early Neolithic to late neolithic.

My interrest about the northern script is how the knowledge was gained. Note, that the specific script is older than most Cretan findings. We know that cretans like the Bottians inhabited Boiotia in central Greece and Bottia in Macedonia, but this didn't happen back in the neolithic times we examine. So, the question is if this Linear scripting was a habit developed in the greater Helladic area, if it was imported from somewhere and if it was partially a basis for the Phoenician and later Greek alphabet.

I will prepare the material as soon as possible (i'm on the run now). Shall I make a parallel thread to this or post it here?

Btw, did you see the Daidalika releases I posted in the previous page? There are tons of PDFs on that site.


Edited by Flipper - 14-Feb-2008 at 19:04


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Feb-2008 at 22:07
Here is an interesting online article about Linear A & B But, it seems to mimic Chadwick in my earlier post.

Linear A: The Problems of Decipherment
Associated to Place: AncientWorlds > Hellas > The Greek Islands > Crete > articles -- by * Alektryon Alexandros (4 Articles), Historical Article   1 Featured March 15 , 2006
Why Linear A hasn't yet been translated
At some point after 2000 BC writing reached Crete. Where it came from, whether from Egypt or Mesopotamia, isn't known. But like most other developments that reached the island, it succeeded in going its own way. In 1900 Arthur Evans found two types of scripts on clay tablets in Crete, which he called Linear A and Linear B. Linear A was the older, c 1700 - 1550 BCE, and only about 300 tablets have been found. Linear B, used approximately 1500 - 1200 BCE was found on about 3,000 tablets at Knossos, and later on over 1,000 more at Pylos, the Mycenaean mainland palace. Whereas Linear B was deciphered back in the 50s by Michael Ventris and John Chadwick, attempts by scholars to decode the Linear A script have so far been totally blocked.

Much of the difficulty is that unlike the tablets written in Linear B, some of which were fairly lengthy, the Linear A inscriptions found to date are (so far as I am aware) at most a few lines long... no literature, correspondence or even complete inscriptions, hence the use of a very limited number of words. And such short fragments of text simply cannot be understood in a meaningful way.

The second huge problem is that the whole issue of decipherment is so closely related to that of language that until it can be determined what the underlying aboriginal Minoan language was, the decipherment of Linear A remains something of a "holy grail"! Where do you start when deciphering a script in an unknown language? If, when the symbols are deciphered they produce words that bear no relation to a known language, is it because the deciphering is incorrect, or is it in fact an unknown language? Unless you have something convenient to check your deciphering against... like the Rosetta Stone... you can go round and round in circles. Which is pretty much what is happening.

Because it's now generally accepted that Linear B, which seems to have been adapted from Linear A, was used to write an archaic form of Greek, a lot of decipherment attempts on Linear A itself have started from the not-entirely-illogical premise that Linear A was used to write an archaic Greek too. However!...

Linear B was, as a writing system, designed for a non-Greek language. Features such as consonant clusters, terminal -s, and distinctions between r and l , g and k, and p and b, all of which occur in Greek, seem to have been missing from the language that Linear A was originally designed for. It's almost as if the Mycenaean writers of Linear B took an existing script (Linear A) which had been devised for a totally different language and forced it to fit their own language...

It's all a bit of a puzzle isn't it?

Although the Mycenaeans evidently spoke some archaic form of Greek and used Linear B to write it, it's almost certain the Minoan language was non-Greek. Homer mentions the "Eteocretans" (ie "real Cretans", presumably as opposed to the later Doric inhabitants) as having their own language. I don't know how seriously the linguists take the Homer reference, but like a lot of things in Homer it probably has a grain of truth. Homer's say-so probably wouldn't account for a lot on its own, except that all other evidence points towards the Cretan language being non-Greek as well, and archaeology does back up the co-existence of Eteocretan and Dorian inhabitants in the post-palace period.

Attempts have been made to relate the Minoan language to Anatolian, Indo-European, Hamito-Semitic and even proto-Slavic languages but none of the attempts have been conclusive. For example, Cyrus Gordon (Ugarit and Minoan Crete: The bearing of their texts on the Origins of Western Culture, 1966) claimed that the Minoan language belonged to the North West Semitic group of languages, but that idea was dismissed by other scholars.

Similarly, the Linear A script has been compared to every known contemporary-ish script for similarities. Leonard Palmer's Mycenaeans and Minoans claims some similarity with Luvian or Hittite cuneiform, and that Minoan belonged to the Anatolian group of Indo-European languages. But as he wrote this in the 1950's and it still hasn't been proved or disproved it remains just one argument among many! I imagine there's a good chance though that if the Minoans adopted the art of writing from somewhere like Mesopotamia or Egypt, there might be some similarity in the characters used in the script, though that still doesn't necessarily prove any language similarities (ie you could write a sentence in English using the Russian alphabet but it isn't Russian....)

The situation at the moment is that there continue to be numerous publicised and non-publicised attempts at deciphering Linear A, but its generally accepted that no one has the found the magic key just yet.

Main sources:
Cyrus Gordon, Ugarit and Minoan Crete: The bearing of their texts on the Origins of Western Culture, 1966
Leonard Palmer, Mycenaeans and Minoans, 1961
Andrew Robinson, Lost Languages, 2002

http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/730819
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Feb-2008 at 01:19
Very nice text...Fragments like these are what I have read too. There are two proposals as well for decipherment of Linear A, being proto-Ionic. Those are just proposals though, nothing that can be prooved, nor are there any absolute claims by the decoders.

I believe the Minoans and the Cycladic cultures were people originating from the Afroasiatic migrations in the middle neolithic period. They were different than the other cultures of the mainland, although a contact with them is certain.


Edited by Flipper - 16-Feb-2008 at 01:20


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Feb-2008 at 22:46
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:



Very nice text...Fragments like these are what I have read too. There are two proposals as well for decipherment of Linear A, being proto-Ionic. Those are just proposals though, nothing that can be prooved, nor are there any absolute claims by the decoders.I believe the Minoans and the Cycladic cultures were people originating from the Afroasiatic migrations in the middle neolithic period. They were different than the other cultures of the mainland, although a contact with them is certain.


I will have to go to the university library and see what I can find about this topic. Also Gonzaga Catholic university which has a really nice library. Whitman in Walla Walla, Washington has a gigantic library with tons of books about Bronze Age Greece but it is a good three hour drive south of Spokane- beautiful drive through wide open spaces though. It is hard to believe how big the Whitman University library is since there are only 1300 students there, but it is very expenive tuition wise!

Since we can only speculate about Cycladic culture I do not think there is a whole lot out there and not much has changed since 2001 when I was in Athens, Greece at the Cycladic Art Museum. I will check Archaeology and back issues to see what I can find. I know Archaeology had an article about the Minoan language and Linear A. He had a theory that connected their language to the semitic language groups but it is been a while since I read it. I think it came out about 2001 or 2002 but I could be wrong.

Who were these people is my big question? Their religion, myths, family life, religion, art, world view etc etc - but all I can do is ??????? If we could translate Linear A and found some actual literature,not itemized lists, we could learn so much about them. Did the Cycladic culture have its own written language? As far as I know nothing has been found until the Minoan's dominated them. What did they call themselves? I have heard some references to what the ancient Egyptians called the people of Crete and this name could have even applied to the Cyclidic people. Off hand I cannot recall the name but I think it was Kefti or the people of Kefti. Does anyone know? Still, it could be a name used by the Egyptians and not what they actually called themselves. I love mysteries!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Feb-2008 at 11:08
In the Egyptian New Kingdom, you do encounter Kefti or "People of the Islands" (but then in Amos 9:7, Keftor is the original home of the Philistines). The tomb of Rekh-mire at Luxor,  Tjaty to both Thutmose III and Amenhotep II, includes a marvelous painting indicating the tributaries of Pharaoh among them the Kefti, and the record provides us a probable date of 1500-1450 BC, which is beyond the Cycladic horizon. And as you surmised, the name is probably a descriptive adopted by the Egyptians, yet...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 07:33
OK....here it is. This is the tablet from Dispilio, Kastoria, which I took a photo of last summer.



It is dated from 5260BC, a time where there are no suspicions about Cretans entering Macedonia. The Bottons arrived much later, so my questions are the following:

1) Was linear writting a common phenomenon of this side of the mediteranian and not only the greek islands?
2) In the case of Greece, was Dimini cultures of central and northern Greece in contact with cycladic cultures?
3) Did a possible contact result the exchange of knowledge of writting?
4) Did these types of writting result the creation of the Phoenician and later Greek alphabet?
5) Is it a coincidence, that the Greek alphabet emerges in Boiotia, a place where Bottons settled and where mixed tribes of Grecophoenicians like the Gefyraioi inhabited?
6) Is it a coincidence that the tablet above, is not far from Bottia (nowadays Emathia), Northern Greece, where the Bottons settled as well in later times? Note that phoenician precense is also recorded not too far away, specifically in Chalkidiki.

Now lets have a closer look on some of the symbols on that tablet.















Ofcourse, lets not get into hokus pocus discussions, about the symbols. We can't have an idea if those are equivalent to Phoenician and Greek letters. In any case, whatever language they represent, at the time speaking, it is nothing close to what exist today nor at the time of the Linear B era. This is a 7250 years old tablet, so lets be realistic.



Eaglecap and DrGonzaga, I want your views and comments.

For more info on the tablet above visit the official website of the dispilio excavations: http://web.auth.gr/dispilio/





Edited by Flipper - 18-Feb-2008 at 07:36


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 07:52
Lets not forget the Cypriot linear script as well...




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 15:05
What can one say that does not skirt the speculative in hopes of the polemical? One would be foolish not to grasp the undercurrent in any discussion whose principal flow is the disassociation of the alphabet from its Phoenician underpinnings. Further, in any discussion of the Dispilio tablet the disputative horizon should not be the alphabet but, instead, the Megalithic cultural horizon. Dr. Ana Maria Vzquez Hoys has maintained for several years that the similarities between discoveries at Huelva with earlier examples from the Danubian-Balkan region can not be discounted and indicates a common European proto-script prior to the Indo-European invasion. One can analyze the complex thrust as well as her thesis at these web sites:
 
 
 
Naturally, her position involves accepting the fact that script had several instances of original development among cultures according to religious and social needs, rather than the usual interpretation of adaptation consequent to dispersal from a common origin. The debate is one of long standing and perhaps this summation with respect to the Graeco-Phoenician will clarify the distinction:
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 16:20
5260BC?
Dude, that must be the oldest script on earth!
Either this is very important finding, or
something elludes me...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 16:37
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

Further, in any discussion of the Dispilio tablet the disputative horizon should not be the alphabet but, instead, the Megalithic cultural horizon. Dr. Ana Maria Vzquez Hoys has maintained for several years that the similarities between discoveries at Huelva with earlier examples from the Danubian-Balkan region can not be discounted and indicates a common European proto-script prior to the Indo-European invasion. One can analyze the complex thrust as well as her thesis at these web sites:
 
 
 
Naturally, her position involves accepting the fact that script had several instances of original development among cultures according to religious and social needs, rather than the usual interpretation of adaptation consequent to dispersal from a common origin. The debate is one of long standing and perhaps this summation with respect to the Graeco-Phoenician will clarify the distinction:
 
 
 


Thanks!
Hmm...Dr. Ana Maria Vzquez Hoys, has collected loads of data on that pages. Interesting.

Somewhere on the second page, it says that if it is proven that those early scripts are written language, then the begining of writting pushes back 2 millenias. In other words, it seems that archeologists and linguists are not sure if those scripts listed are indeed written language.

Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:


One would be foolish not to grasp the undercurrent in any discussion whose principal flow is the disassociation of the alphabet from its Phoenician underpinnings.


I hope i didn't give the impression of disassosiating the alphabet from the Phoenicians? This can be a popular issue sometimes which i do not support.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Feb-2008 at 16:39
Originally posted by xristar xristar wrote:

5260BC?
Dude, that must be the oldest script on earth!
Either this is very important finding, or
something elludes me...


if it is a script


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2008 at 02:04
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

What can one say that does not skirt the speculative in hopes of the polemical? One would be foolish not to grasp the undercurrent in any discussion whose principal flow is the disassociation of the alphabet from its Phoenician underpinnings. Further, in any discussion of the Dispilio tablet the disputative horizon should not be the alphabet but, instead, the Megalithic cultural horizon. Dr. Ana Maria Vzquez Hoys has maintained for several years that the similarities between discoveries at Huelva with earlier examples from the Danubian-Balkan region can not be discounted and indicates a common European proto-script prior to the Indo-European invasion. One can analyze the complex thrust as well as her thesis at these web sites:





Naturally, her position involves accepting the fact that script had several instances of original development among cultures according to religious and social needs, rather than the usual interpretation of adaptation consequent to dispersal from a common origin. The debate is one of long standing and perhaps this summation with respect to the Graeco-Phoenician will clarify the distinction:






Thanks - I will have to find to time to review these links and respond to them. My main queestion still sticks, who were the people in the lost civilization we call Cycladic? I wish I had a time machine but could only observe and listen. While I am at it I wish I could win the lotto ten times in a row!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cadmus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2008 at 10:33
Hi Flipper!
 
Emathia isn't exactly a coastal province right?
It is in northern Macedonia , so that particulair writing could had been used in far wider regions as well as northwards as to the south..
 
Or could it be the sole invention of an up till then isolated group that extended overseas to Phoenicia or to the Cretan islands?...the last option seems impossible since from what i have seen is that the Emathia texts differs to much from the linear A/B...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2008 at 11:54
Originally posted by Cadmus Cadmus wrote:

Hi Flipper! 
Emathia isn't exactly a coastal province right?


Hello Cadmus!
Welcome back. It is not a coastal province really. The only area that gets access to the sea is between the deltas of Aliacmon and Loudias rivers. I don't remember if this area belonged to the Pierians back in the days. I remember Akritas posting something in the past about these borders in antiquity.



Originally posted by Cadmus Cadmus wrote:


It is in northern Macedonia , so that particulair writing could had been used in far wider regions as well as northwards as to the south..


If it is writting, then that's a theory that wouldn't surprise me. The problem is that if those people wrote something back in the days, it seems that they did that on wood which would only by luck survive somehow. As for Linear B, we know it reached up north a bit after it was used in the south. The city of Aiani has the oldest writting forms in the region. There is a small fragment of incomplete Linear B there.

Originally posted by Cadmus Cadmus wrote:


Or could it be the sole invention of an up till then isolated group that extended overseas to Phoenicia or to the Cretan islands?...the last option seems impossible since from what i have seen is that the Emathia texts differs to much from the linear A/B...


To your first question, that was my main question as well. We know about Phoenicians in Chalkidiki.

As for the texts it is true. As DrGonzaga showed, all these Linear writtings are found as a proto script in various places. Note also that 5260BC to 1700BC is a timeframe that would alter any possible writting form a lot.

Maybe those writtings were just religious symbols, which were much later used to represent syllables.

I believe that so far we can only assume things until something more concrete is discovered or some progress is made.


Edited by Flipper - 20-Feb-2008 at 15:14


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Feb-2008 at 11:57
Btw Cadmus, the tablet i mentioned is not from Emathia. It is from Orestes which is pretty close to Emathia. I mentioned Emathia, because Bottia is located within it. Bottia got its name from the Cretan tribe of the Bottoi, who settled there as well as Boiotia in central Greece.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Feb-2008 at 20:00
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

In the Egyptian New Kingdom, you do encounter Kefti or "People of the Islands" (but then in Amos 9:7, Keftor is the original home of the Philistines). The tomb of Rekh-mire at Luxor, Tjaty to both Thutmose III and Amenhotep II, includes a marvelous painting indicating the tributaries of Pharaoh among them the Kefti, and the record provides us a probable date of 1500-1450 BC, which is beyond the Cycladic horizon. And as you surmised, the name is probably a descriptive adopted by the Egyptians, yet...


A good angle to look at this from!! Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2008 at 03:53
Years ago, perhaps in standard Cecil B. de Mille style, the "Sea Peoples" depicted in Egyptian art during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses III (1186-1155 BC) were equated with the Philistines [much in the same manner as declaring Ramses II as the pharaoh of Exodus]; however, archaeological suppositions have a funny way of raising more questions than they answer. Thus my reference to Rekh-mire's tomb and the Kefti as tributaries, which would be a natural consequence to the military activities of Thutmose III whose military expeditions moved out of Egypt along the coastal route, which would have taken his armies across what would later be the "Philistine" heartland as found in Judges (and would also pop the bubble of those who view the mention of Philistines in Genesis as a later anachronism). Some have surmised that the classic Greek reference to the Pelasgians has an echo in the term the Pelastu or as Donald Redford surmised in 1992 only to dismiss, the Peleset.
 
I would recommend this book as background for further musing or discussion:
 
Donald Redford. Egypt, Canaan and Israel in Ancient Times. Princeton: P.U.P. 1992. Chapters 9 and 10 of this tome are particularly relevant and have been excerpted on-line--
 
Now keep in mind that Redford espouses Late Cycladic/Early Minoan contact during the Early New Kingdom within the context of trade and mutual discovery, and distinguishes events in the 19th and 20th dynasties as extensions of the Dorian disruption.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Feb-2008 at 20:28
Years ago, perhaps in standard Cecil B. de Mille style, the "Sea Peoples" depicted in Egyptian art during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses III (1186-1155 BC)


This is interesting! The date above would have been after the eruption of Thera and the decline of the Minoans but the Egyptians could have still used this word when they were referring to the people of Crete.
I plan to contact the Cycladic Art museum and inquire about any new findings, but I will also look at their home page and see if there are any recent pulbications about Cycladic civilization.
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