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Event 

Open Seminar: The Undeciphered Script of the Minoans: What we know about Linear A, what we don't
Title:
Open Seminar: The Undeciphered Script of the Minoans: What we know about Linear A, what we don't
When:
11.06.2015 19.00 h
Where:
Greek Centre Melbourne (Mezzanine) - Melbourne
Category:
Education

Description

Lecturer: Dr Brent Davis
Entry: Free

Synopsis

The Minoans' enigmatic writing system, conventionally called 'Linear A', remains stubbornly undeciphered, despite more than a century of scholarly effort. Given the importance of the Minoan civilisation, the decipherment of this script has always been of the utmost importance to archaeology.

The script is clearly an indigenous Minoan invention, possibly based on an earlier Minoan script called Cretan Hieroglyphic. Like Linear B, Linear A was used extensively for administrative recordkeeping... but unlike Linear B, it was also used to inscribe ritual objects—especially stone offering tables, which are found by the hundreds at ritual sites throughout eastern and central Crete.

Nearly 50 of these stone offering tables contain various versions of the so-called 'libation formula', a long series of Linear A signs. Parts of this formula never vary from vessel to vessel, while other parts always vary from vessel to vessel. By comparing these variants of the formula, it becomes possible to make some well-supported statements about the nature of the language behind Linear A—a crucial step toward decipherment, as the first key to deciphering the script is to identify the language behind it.

 

Bio

Dr Davis received his undergraduate degree in Linguistics from Stanford University. In 2011, he completed his PhD at the University of Melbourne on Minoan ritual vessels and Linear A; his thesis was published as a book in 2014. With a background in both archaeology and linguistics, his interests include not only the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean, but their languages as well. He has published numerous articles and chapters on ancient cultures and scripts, as well as on archaeological theory, and he has undertaken several years of archaeological fieldwork in Israel at Tell-es Safi/Gath, the site of a major Philistine city.


Sponsors

During the course of the year considerable expenses are incurred in staging the seminars. In order to mitigate these costs individuals or organisations are invited to sponsor a lecture of their choice, please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Our sincere thanks to: Thanasis Koletsos, Daughters of Penelope - AHEPA, Con Petropoulos and P. & M. Mitrakas of Mitrakas Savas & Co Solicitors for sponsoring this seminar.

You too can sponsor one or more seminars and (optionally) let your name or brand be known as a patron of culture to our members, visitors and followers, as well as the broader artistic and cultural community of Melbourne.

We also thank the seminars' corporate sponsors:

Venue

Venue:
Greek Centre Melbourne (Mezzanine)   -   Website
Street:
168 Lonsdale Street
Postcode:
3000
Suburb:
Melbourne
State:
VIC
Country:
Country: au

The Mezzanine floor (press "M" in the elevator) of Greek Centre Melbourne - located at the corner of Lonsdale and Russell streets in Melbourne, Australia.

Alphington Grammar Koinotika Nea - the Greek Community newsletter Requirements for Greek Citizenship

 

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