By Steven R. Fischer
1 IN ODYSSEUS'S WAKE 1 1 emblems thirteen three the hot LABYRINTH forty seven four THE SKEIN OF ARIADNE sixty five S "HEAR YE, CRETANS AND GREEKS!" ninety three 6 THE conflict OF NAXOS 119 7 RAPANUI 139 eight TALKI NG forums OF TH E PACI FIC 153 nine ATOP TERE VAKA 167 10 "ALL THE BIRDS ... " 187 eleven browsing THE RONGORONGO 205 instructed analyzing 223 Index 227 A "glyph" (short for hieroglyph) is an indication in a script. And a "breaker" is someone who cracks a script's code. A "glyph breaker" is then a decipherer, a person who shall we us learn the unreadable, that linguistic magician who offers voice to the mute earlier. till 1984 nobody have been in a position to learn Crete's 3600-year outdated Phaistos Disk, Europe's earliest literature and maximum written enigma. till 1994 not anyone can make feel of Easter Island's mysterious Iongorongo writing, Oceania's merely script predating the 20 th century. nobody had ever deciphered thoroughly diverse old scripts earlier than. before. this is often the real tale of those achievements.
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And so, out of economic necessity, a script is born. Scholarship acknowledges three major and four minor scripts in the ancient Aegean and neighboring eastern Mediterranean. C. on pottery fragments, clay seals and tablets, and other objects of bronze, gold, silver, and stone on Crete and nearby islands. , is found overwhelmingly on seals and tablets on the Greek mainland and also at Knossos on Crete. And the Linear C script, up to a thousand years later, was used on the island of Cyprus in the east.
7 Minoan Crete's hieroglyphic syllabary with the phonetic values proposed by Prof. Paul Faure of France in 1973. 42 LOGOS 43 pictographic scripts-in order to write their Minoan language on Crete and the neighboring isles. Perhaps here in the Linear A script lay the key to the entire Minoan world, many scholars believed once Linear B had been successfully deciphered. Michael Ventris's grid approach wasn't applicable to Linear A after all, as it happened; only one-eighth of the amount of Mycenaean Greek Linear B's 57,OOO-glyph inventory was available for Minoan Linear A.
Yet what had been my magical skein? What had led me out of the philological maze in which I had been battling another sort of Cretan monster since the summer of 1982? Ordered common sense. An anything-but-magical methodology. One that was based on the scientific contributions of many gifted scholars from many nations. And it was an adventure in its own way no less exciting than the mythical Theseus's, no less fraught with adversity than Sir Arthur Evans's, and no less replete with personal challenge-and gratification-than Michael Ventris's.