Translation of Knossos Fragment KN 190 B with the Sypersyllabogram DI by Rita Roberts


My first translation of the Minoan Script writings Linear B

You will need to click to the original post  where you can enlarge my translation that is hand written.

Originally posted on Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae:

Translation of Knossos Fragment KN 190 B with the Sypersyllabogram DI by Rita Roberts Well over a year ago I became interested in the ancient script writings of the Minoans. These scripts are written on clay tablets and were discovered by Sir Arthur Evans whilst excavating the grand Palace of Knossos in Crete. It was Evans who named these scripts Linear B.My Linear B teacher and mentor Richard Vallance Janke is extremely helpful in guiding me through what would be a difficult course for me to follow. However, with Richards humour and patience and his unique way of teaching I have found this subject a delight to learn in so much that I have now completed levels 1-4 (Basic to Advanced, Part 1).Now Richard has given me my first assignment in translating Linear B fragments into English. These fragments seemed simple at a first glance as all of…

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Posted by on July 20, 2014 in Uncategorized


The Ancient Minoan Culture (DNA reveals their Origin)

Whenever family or friends visit us the conversation usually turns to archaeology and the Minoan culture, this is because it is one of the subjects I have an interest in. The main question is usually, what was the Minoans origin as it has always been a mystery until I recently came across the following  BBC News Science & Environment  report which I thought extremely interesting.


Analysis of DNA from ancient remains on the Greek island of Crete suggests the Minoans were indigenous Europeans, shedding new light  have on a debate over the provenance of this ancient culture.

Scholars have variously argued the Bronze Age civilization arrived from Africa, Anatolia or the Middle East.

Details appear in Nature Communications journal.

The concept of the Minoan civilization was first developed by Sir Arthur Evans, the British archaeologist who unearthed the Bronze Age palace of Knossos on Crete.  Evans named the people who built these cities after the legendary King Minos who, according to tradition, ordered the construction of a labyrinth on Crete to hold the mythical half-man ,half-bull  creature know as the minotaur.Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos in l907

Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos Palace.

Evans was of the opinion that the real-life Bronze  Age culture on Crete must have its origins elsewhere, and so he suggested that the Minoans were refugees from Egypt’s Nile delta ,fleeing the region’s conquest by a southern king some 5,000 years ago.


Evans was surprised to find this advanced civilization on Crete,” said co-author George Stamatoyannopoulos,from the University of Washington in Seattle,US. The evidence for this idea included apparent similarities  between Egyptian and Minoan art and resemblances  between circular tombs built by the inhabitants of southern Crete and those built by ancient Libyans. However other archaeologists have argued for origins in Palestine, Syria or Anatolia.

In this study, Prof Stamatoyannopoulos and colleagues  analysed the DNA of 37 individuals buried in a cave on the Lassithi  plateau in the islands east. The majority of the burials are thought to date to the middle of the Minoan period- around 3,700 years ago.

Bones from Cave Burial Lassithi Plataeu

Some  bones of Minoan people from the Cave burial on the Lassithi Plateau East Crete.


John Lewis and  myself working at The Instap Study Centre for East Crete on Minoan skulls from the Cave burial Lassithi Plateau


A close up of Minoan skulls from the Lassithi Plateau burial.   John Lewis and I found this a very exciting and interesting project.

The analysis focused on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) extracted from the teeth of the skeletons. This type of DNA is stored in the cell’s (batteries) and is passed down, more or less unchanged from mother to child.

The frequencies were then compared of distinct  mtDNA  lineages, known as “haplogroups” , in this ancient Minoan set with similar data for 135 other populations, including ancient samples from Europe and Anatolia as well as other modern peoples.

The comparison seemed to rule out an origin for the Minoans in North Africa: the ancient Cretans showed little genetic similarity to Libyans, Egyptians or the Sudanese. They were also genetically distant from populations in the Arabian Peninsula, including Saudis, and Yemenis.


The ancient Minoan DNA was most similar to populations from western and northern Europe. The population showed particular  genetic affinities with Bronze Age populations from Sardinia and Iberia and Neolithic samples from Scandinavia and France. They also resembled people who live on the Lassithi  Plateau today, a population that has previously attracted attention from geneticists .

The authors therefore conclude that the Minoan civilization was a local development originated by inhabitants  who probably  reached the island around 9,000 years ago, in Neolithic times..

There has been a lot of controversy over the years. We have shown how the analysis of DNA can help archaeologists and historian put things straight, “Prof Stamatoyannopoulos told BBC News.

“The Minoans are Europeans and also related to present- day Cretans- on the maternal side.” He added ” Its obvious that there was very important local development. But it is clear that ,for example, in the art, there were influences from other peoples. So we need to see the Mediterranean as a pool, not as a group of isolated nations.”  There is evidence of cultural influence from Egypt and going the other way.”




Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Uncategorized


Revolving dining room in Emperor Nero’s luxurious palace really existed | Ancient Origins

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Posted by on July 8, 2014 in Uncategorized


The Game of Thrones Written in Bone, Conquistador Edition

Originally posted on Strange Remains:

The tomb of Francisco Pizarro at the Cathedral of Lima.  Image Credit: Wikipedia.

The tomb of Francisco Pizarro at the Cathedral of Lima. Image Credit: Wikipedia .

The bones of infamous conquistador Don Francisco Pizarro (ca. 1476 – June 26th, 1541) rest in an ornate glass, marble, and bronze sarcophagus in a chapel in the Cathedral of Lima in Peru. Though Pizarro’s bones are now in a position of honor where they are visited by pilgrims and historians, this wasn’t always the case. A mummy, whose identity was lost to history, stole Pizarro’s post-mortem spotlight for decades due to a case of mistaken identity.

Francisco Pizarro was a Spanish conquistador who conquered Peru, decimated the Incan empire, and founded the city of Lima. Pizarro’s life was as treacherous as it was adventurous and could have inspired anything read about in the Game of Thrones series. This conqueror’s death was just as violent as his life and the marks his brutal assassination left…

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Posted by on July 5, 2014 in Uncategorized


The Bells of Cantre’r Gwaelod

An update from my precious post  ” A Sunken Kingdom”

THE  BELLS OF CANTRE’R GWAELOD (Translated by Dyfed Lloyd Evans)

This is the poem which children in Wales learn about the Sunken Kingdom of  Cantre’r Gwaelod, swallowed by the sea and drowned forever after. On a quiet night legend has it, one can hear the church bells ringing.

Welsh girl.

Welsh Girl wearing the traditional costume.




Beneath the wave- swept ocean

are pretty towns

That hearkened to the bell-rings

set pealing through the night

Through negligent abandon

by a watcher on the wall

The bells of Cantre’r Gwaelod

submerged beneath the wave

When the sea was surging

with gales upon the wave

The gull, so pale, was failing

to settle on their crest

When waves crashed on the sea-shore

with thunder in its wake

The bells of Cantre’r Gwaelod

are silent near the wave

But when the sea is quiet

with waves that aren’t  foam-flecked

and day is gently slipping

behind the far-hills slope

sweet tones are heard a-rising

and this I know as truth

The bells of Cantre’r Gwaelod

are sounding near the wave

O!  ring out bells of childhood

on oceans salty floor for early strains

of living sound in their song for me

Whilst live the shore, I’ll think of

on many quiet nights and bells of Cantre’r Gwaelod

still ringing near the wave.

Ancient Forest exposed at Borth

Welsh men and ladies

Welsh Folk in days gone by. No doubt discussing the tale of The Bells of Cantre’r Gwaelod







Posted by on July 3, 2014 in Poems


The Atlantis of Wales


For those who are interested in this wonderful legend here is more information which I will follow with the Poem The Bells of Cantre’r Gwaelod.

Originally posted on Fabulous Realms:

Cantre’r Gwaelod is a legendary ancient sunken kingdom said to have occupied a tract of fertile land lying between Ramsey Island and Bardsey Island in what is now Cardigan Bay to the west of Wales. It has been described as a ‘Welsh Atlantis’ and has featured in folklore, literature and song. Many versions of the Cantre’r Gwaelod legend exist; having been passed down from generation to generation. There was a time when, if you looked out towards Ireland from the Dyfi Estuary, you would see fertile lands stretching out some 20 miles into what is now Cardigan Bay. Until the 17th Century, this lost land was called Maes Gwyddno (the land of Gwyddno) ruled as part of the Kingdom of Meirionnydd by King Gwyddno Garanhir (Longshanks), who was born circa 520 AD. But the legend which is known and told today, calls the land Cantre’r Gwaelod (the Lowland Hundred). This early legend has it that the land was drowned when the priestess of a fairy well…

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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


Where I Once Walked (A Sunken Kingdom)


In May 20l3 shortly after the first set of storms to hit Britain there appeared what looked like many spikes protruding from the sands at a well known site in Borth Wales These were tree stumps exposed from a prehistoric forest, which had been flooded some 5,000 years ago by rising sea levels after the last Ice Age. The stumps previously disappearing from the sands for many years through the coming and going of the tides.

There is a poem children in Wales learn about the sunken kingdom of Cantre’r Gwaelod, swallowed by the sea and drowned forever after. On a quiet night legend has it, one can hear the kingdoms church bells ringing.  When the sea battered Britain’s coastlines during these storms many people were left homeless and lives lost, but the prehistoric forest tree stumps re emerged.

Ancient Forest exposed at Borth

Ancient Forest exposed at Borth Wales

Ancient Forest exposed at Borth

An ancient forest as it would have looked .


Animal footprints as well as Human prints.

As well as hoof marks from cattle & sheep also goats. human prints were also found at Borth

Just to think I have walked this stretch of sands with my children many times at Borth looking for fossils.

Not even thinking there may have been a sunken kingdom we were walking on.


Shortly after the first set of storms, Dr Nicholas Ashton ,Curator of the Paleolithic and Mesolithic collection at the British Museum commissioned Dr  Martin Bates, a Geoarchaeologist at the University of Wales Trinity St. David to work on Britain’s East coast  in Norfolk. The beach nr Happisburgh, a long standing archaeological site, had suffered severe erosion. Dr Ashton an expert in early humans, required a geophysical survey to map any channels and rivers that may lie beneath about 30 feet of sediment. Some of these channels, he believed may contain evidence of early humans because sources of fresh water would have natural gathering spots.


This ancient footprint with toe print and arch preserved was found at Happisburgh

It is the oldest ever found outside Africa

It was on the second visit May 10th 20l3, that Dr Bates noticed some indentations which looked like human footprints such as those found at Borth. Footprints of humans and animals in Borth had been dated to around 6,000 years ago, the site in Happisburgh was about 900,000 years old, a time when mammoths and hippos still roamed in these parts.


Ancient animal footprints. Borth Wales

A close up of ancient animal footprints discovered at Borth. Wales.

Standing on the ridge of Cardigan Bay  in Borth,  Dr Bates described what the area would have looked like at the height of the last ice age some 20,000 years ago: more than half a mile of ice overhead and dry land stretching across today’s North Sea. The sea level was 400 feet lower than today he said. You could have walked from Denmark to Yorkshire in those days, ” he said.

About 10.000 years ago, temperatures warmed sharply, by eight to ten degrees Fahrenheit. By that time the European ice sheets had melted, but the much thicker North American sheets took much longer. While the climate had warmed to today’s levels, allowing mixed oak woodland to grow and humans to recolonize Britain, the sea level remained some 130 feet lower for another 3,000 years.

When it did rise it would have been traumatic for the population, wiping out whatever settlement there was, and eventually the forest of Borth. The displaced humans of the time, Dr. Bates, said, were prehistoric refugees from climate change. Even in the reduced life span of the day, the coastline would have advanced dramatically, ” said Dr. Bates, who is convinced that the stories like Cantre’r Gwaelod originated in this period.

Similar tales abound on the western European seaboard: There are Cornish and Breton versions, and variations of the theme exist in Jersey and the Orkney Islands. The ultimate legend of course, is Atlantis, which Plato placed  somewhere in the North Atlantic.






Posted by on June 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


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