Minoan Linear A

Peter G. van Soesbergen

Engraved gold signet-ring (HM 530, 1927), Middle Minoan III, with spiral Linear A inscription, from the Necropolis of Mavro Spilio, east of the Palace of Minos at Knossos, Chamber Tomb IX, E 1, photograph by George Papadopoulos, Heraklion, Crete.

The inscription (KN Zf 13) consisting of 19 signs, engraved without word dividers from edge to centre, reads: a-re-ne-si-di-jo-pi-ke-pa-ja-su-la/ra-i-te-la/ra-me-a-ja-ku (the 11th sign is according to Peter van Soesbergen not ta, but su).

In his analysis of the text Peter van Soesbergen places word dividers in order to distinguish words and names: a-re-ne , si-di-jo-pi , ke-pa-ja , su-la/ra-i , te-la/ra-me , a-ja-ku. He interprets the inscription as a Hurrian sentence on a wedding-ring, starting with three personal names. The first A-re-ne can be analysed as a Hurrian name {ar-ene} that means ‘Give, oh God!’. It probably is the name of the priest leading the wedding-ceremony.

The inscription can be analysed as {Ar-ene=š} {Ši(n)d=i-(j)o/umpi} {Kebaja} {šul(l)/zul(l)=ai} {Telame} (Telame / Talame / Talme) {Aya=k(k)=un}, that can be translated as: ‘In order that (the priest) Arene may connect Ši(n)dijombi and Kebaja (in wedlock with this wedding-ring), oh Great Ajak(k)un !’ or ‘Let (the priest) Arene connect Ši(n)dijombi and Kebaja (in wedlock with this wedding-ring), oh Great Ajak(k)un !’.

See for an extensive analysis and interpretation of the text THE DECIPHERMENT OF MINOAN LINEAR A, Volume I: Hurrians and Hurrian in Minoan Crete, Part I, Chapter 10: Linear A inscriptions on metal objects, § 1.

Hurrians and Hurrian
in Minoan Crete &
Corpus of transliterated
Linear A texts

Peter van Soesbergen (born in Amsterdam, 7th February 1945) studied Classics at the University of Amsterdam (Doctoral Examination cum laude). He pursued research on The archaeological context of Minoan Linear A for the Netherlands Organization for Pure Research (report of 400 pp.), published several articles and gave papers at international colloquia and congresses (Heraklion, Bucharest, Sheffield, Nottingham, Prague, Rome, Naples), a Mycenaean Seminar on The historical significance of onomastic data from Linear A and B texts (Institute of Classical Studies, University of London, 28th May 1980) and special papers on Linear A at Cambridge and Groningen. He pursued research as a Leverhulme European Visiting Fellow and Independent Research Worker at the University of Sheffield, where he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) on the thesis The onomastics of the ‘Minoan Linear A’ and ‘Linear B’ documents and their historical significance, which formed the basis for the present monographs.

by Peter G. van Soesbergen


Vol I - Part I

Vol I - Part II

Vol I - Part III

Vol I - Part IV

Vol I - Part V

Vol I - Part VI

Vol II - Part I

Vol II - Part II