Linear A

Linear A is an undeciphered script used in ancient Crete. Its decipherment is one of the "holy grails" of ancient scripts.

A related script, Linear B, was deciphered in the 1950s by Michael Ventris as representing an ancient form of Greek.

Though the two scripts share many of the same symbols, using the syllables associated with Linear B in Linear A writings produces words that are unrelated to any known language. This language has been dubbed Minoan or Eteocretan, and corresponds to a period in Cretan history prior to a series of invasions by Mycenean Greeks around 1400 BC.

As the Minoan language is lost to the modern day, it is unknown whether or not a given decipherment is the correct decipherment, or merely gibberish being generated by an incorrect mapping of symbols to sounds. Until further breakthroughs are made, the content of documents written in Linear A remains a mystery.

In 2001, the journal Ugarit-Forschungen, Band 32 [1] ( [2] ( published the article "The First Inscription in Punic—Vowel Differences in Linear A and B" by Jan Best, claiming to demonstrate how and why Linear A notates an archaic form of Phoenician.

See also

Phaistos Disc

Some preliminary remarks on the decipherment of Linear A. By Jan G. P. Best, ISBN 9025606253

Ugarit-Forschungen Band 32, ISBN 3934628001


Omniglot (Linear A)

Linear A (

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