LINEAR A ROUNDEL

MS 249
MS Short Title LINEAR A ROUNDEL
Text UNIDENTIFIED TEXT, POSSIBLY A TRANSACTION BETWEEN AN INDIVIDUAL AND THE "CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION", KNOSSOS
Description MS in Minoan on clay, Knossos, Crete, 16th c. BC, 1 black roundel, 3,0x2,7 cm, 4 characters of late Minoan I Linear A script, 2 impressions (1,6x1,0 cm) on opposite edges by an amygdaloid seal with head of papyrus plant.
Provenance 1. Possibly the archive in the West Wing of the Knossos Palace (16th c. BC - ca. 1950); 2. Erlenmeyer Collection, Basel, CMS no. 120 (until 1981); 3. Erlenmeyer Foundation, Basel (1981-1988); 4. Christie's 5.6.1989:99.
Commentary The famous Linear B script of the Mycenean kings, consisting of syllabic signs, ideograms and numerals, resisted decipherment for a generation. When Michael Ventris deciphered it in 1952, the achievement was called the "Everest" in classical archaeology. The language was archaic Greek. Linear A, the earliest script of Europe, has so far resisted all attempts of decipherment, partly because the language is unknown, and the material small, ca. 700 copies only, while Linear B is known in 12,000 - 13,000 examples. This roundel is the only one in private ownership. Outside the Greek museums, they are, in fact, represented in 2 Italian museums only. KN Wc 26 in Erik Hallager: The Knossos roundels, BSA 82(1987).
Exhibited The Norwegian Institute of Palaeography and Historical Philology (PHI), Oslo, 13.10.2003-06.2005.
Place of origin Crete
Dates 1600 - 1500 BC

Location