Friday, January 07, 2011

The Origins of Writing and the Alphabet as a Derivation from Syllabic Script - 5 - LEXILINE JOURNAL 557

[In amended form later published as a book under the title Ancient Signs
I gave a syllabic value of LI  to the flying bird sign on the Phaistos Disk 30 years ago, not knowing of the existence of the archaic Ancient Greek term ἁλιάετος "osprey, sea eagle", a term now serving as "internal" confirmation of the correct decipherment of that syllable (then based on Latvian LIdo "to fly"). As written at

"On the south coast, near Matala, you can find ospreys.... In Minoan times, Matala was most likely the port for the Palace of Phaistos, which is about 10 km north of the village." [emphasis added]
F. The Elamite Connection to Crete and the Origin of Writing in the Western World (or) Who Discovered Ancient Greek Letters? [5]

The subsequent syllabic grid includes a column of signs and symbols from two Old Elamite scripts, which this author has deciphered to be Ancient Greek. The appropriate decipherments follow in this work subsequent to the syllabic grid. How could there possibly be any connection of Crete to far distant Elam, now a part of modern Iran? Sampled scholars tend to reject this hypothesis without thinking. What about the hypothesis that Minoan texts came to Crete via ancient seafaring merchants trading with Elam? It is after all at Elam that the technology of stamping letters into clay is first found, archaeologically speaking. Is this a case of technology transfer?

There is in fact ancient -- legendary -- source material about the discovery of ancient Greek letters which points clearly to technology transfer from one or more ancient locations. Is there an element of truth in these old accounts? How much?

Gaius Julius Hyginus
(ca. 64 BC – AD 17), who lived at the time of Christ, passed on many Greek tales in unadulterated form in his Fabulae, of which tale Number 277 deals with "Ancient Inventors". He wrote as follows:
"CCLXXVII. FIRST INVENTORS. The Parcae, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos invented seven Greek letters - A B H T I Y. Others say that Mercury invented them from the flight of cranes, which, when they fly, form letters. Palamedes, too, son of Nauplius, invented eleven letters; Simonides, too, invented four letters – Ó E Z PH; Epicharmus of Sicily, two - P and PS. The Greek letters Mercury is said to have brought to Egypt, and from Egypt Cadmus took them to Greece. Cadmus in exile from Arcadia, took them to Italy, and his mother Carmenta changed them to Latin to the number of 15. Apollo on the lyre added the rest...." [emphasis for Palamedes added]

[5] This material is adapted from Andis Kaulins, The Phaistos Disc: An Ancient Enigma Solved: Two corroborative Old Elamite scripts can be deciphered using the Greek syllabic values obtained for the Phaistos Disc by A. Kaulins in 1980, International Conference on the Phaistos Disk, London, Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, October 31, 2008,

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