Monthly Archives: April 2014

Our Star Student, Rita Roberts, has scored 89 % on her Final Examination at Levels 1 & 2 (Basic)!

For those of you who are following my progress of the Linear B Ancient Scripts here is my final results for Levels l and 2 More to come later.

Canadian Zen Haiku canadien ISSN 1705-4508

Our Star Student, Rita Roberts, has scored 89 % on her Final Examination at Levels 1 & 2 (Basic)!Congratulations are in order! Rita first came on board with us here at Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae just 2 short months after the blog was brought online, in May 2013. So now, in just less than a year, she has mastered all of the 70 or so basic syllabograms in Mycenaean Linear B. Having passed the Final Examination at Levels 1 & 2 with flying colours, Rita is now at a crossroads. In May she begins Mycenaean Linear B Level 3 (Intermediate), which will seem like a cake-walk after the tortuous path she (and I and anyone) would have to follow to master the most challenging part of the Linear B syllabary, i.e. the entire Basic Syllabary, especially in those instances where the student has no prior knowledge of Greek…

View original post 625 more words


Posted by on April 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


Offa’s Dyke Secrets Revealed.

When in England I walked Offa’s Dyke many times as it was very near to where I lived, so I was surprised at the recent news stating that archaeologists have uncovered evidence which suggests that Offa’s Dyke may have been built up to 200 years earlier than previously thought. Samples from Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust excavations on a stretch of the dyke have been radiocarbon dated to the second half of the sixth century .Historians have always associated the dyke with King Offa who ruled the kingdom of Mercia in the eighth century. But now archaeologists believe it might have been in use before he ruled. The trust explains it was a tremendously exciting discovery”. The excavations were taken from a section of the protected ancient monument at Chirk near the Shropshire border.

Map  showing Offa's Dyke Path

Map showing Offa’s Dyke Path.

Stretch of Offa's Dyke Knighton Powys

Stretch of the Dyke in Knighton  Powys. This part of the Dyke is near

to where I lived.

Along Offa's Dyke in the surrounding forests

Along the Dyke in the surrounding Forests.

It had been believed that the linear earthwork stretching l77 miles (285km) was built by King Offa of Mercia during his reign between 757 and 796. However there has been no firm archaeological evidence to support this.But now the trust claim that accurate scientific dates have been obtained from Offa’s dyke for the first time. The trust said that the dated material came from an ancient layer of re-deposited turf underneath the bank suggesting that this material was laid down as part of the construction process.

The importance of this tremendously exciting discovery means that we must re-think some of our assumption about this monument”, said Paul Belford, the trust director, ” Certainly the dyke was built to make a statement about the power of the kingdom of Mercia”. Carbon dating tests revealed a 95 percent probability that the Chirk section of the dyke had been built between 480 and 652 It is now likely that parts of the dyke system was in place before Offa’s time but it is also likely that he would have consolidated the existing network into what we now call Offa’s Dyke”, said Mr Belford. It is now clear that it was not the work of a single ruler but a long term project that began at an earlier stage in the development of the kingdom. Offa’s Dyke is the longest linear earthwork in the U.K., and one of the longest in Europe. The modern border between England and Wales closely follows much of the route of the dyke. Of course these samples are only from one section of the dyke and further work is needed on other parts of this enigmatic monument before anyone can say who built it and why.

1 Comment

Posted by on April 29, 2014 in Uncategorized


The Hill of Life

It was while John was helping the family to sort out his mothers belongings as she had recently passed away, he came across this poem. We don’t know who the author was or if  Johns mother or father had written it themselves or copied it from somewhere. If anyone knows the original author I would be most grateful to hear.


You stand at the bottom of the hill and look up

But you simply just can’t see the top.

So now starts the uphill climb

Go steady and you’ll get there in time..


Its easy going for a while

And you stride out in style,

Now the path is getting rough

And climbing is starting to get tough.


Half way there so you begin to tire,

Take a breath with the view to admire.,

Now the journey to carry on

The path to the top seems so long.


Its getting very slippy

So the climbing gets tricky,

Two steps forward one step back

Must find another track


Ah its a bit easier now

Soon you’ll be on the brow,

Few more steps and you’ll be there

The scenery with the birds you can share.


Right, you have reached the top,

It was worth those bumps, and a little knock

As you look at the lovely view

So serene and peaceful too.


Life is like a hill to climb

With some hazards most of the time.

But there are times when your on top.

And those problems are soon forgot.

This was dated 1983 and hand written in pencil .



Posted by on April 28, 2014 in Poems


Our Long-Term Project: Translations & Transliterations of up to 1,000 or more Knossos Tablets & Fragments # 1

As my fellow blogger friends already know that I am studying to read and wright Linear B Ancient scripts. Here is a re blogged post from my teacher which explains more about this course which is a fascinating subject indeed.

Canadian Zen Haiku canadien ISSN 1705-4508

Our Long-Term Project: Translations & Transliterations of up to 1,000 or more Knossos Tablets & Fragments # 1In the next 3 years, it is our intention to translate or transliterate at least several 100, if not more than 1,000, of the some 3,500 tablets & fragments unearthed by the famous archaeologist, Sir Arthur Evans, at the site of Knossos, all of which are catalogued in his famous “Scripta Minoa”, originally published by Oxford University Press in 1909, and re-released in 1952, and available online in their entirety here:

Heidelberg University
This is a huge undertaking, never before assayed. Our task will be daunting, but not overly-stressful, provided that we tackle only a few tablets or fragments at a time, for fear of overwhelming you, our blog visitors, readers and researchers of Mycenaean Linear B (let alone ourselves).  Each new post will display no more than 10 Knossos Fragments from the “Scripta…

View original post 386 more words

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 25, 2014 in Uncategorized


Linear B Show & Tell # 5: Girls & Bath by Rita Roberts

This is a post about my progress of the Ancient Srcipts I am studying, some will be fun ones such as this with pictures and translations.

You will need to click on the original source to see the full post.

Canadian Zen Haiku canadien ISSN 1705-4508

Linear B Show & Tell # 5:  Girls & Bath (Click to ENLARGE):

Show&Tell # 5 girls taking a bathOf course, all those lovely Minoan girls would have taken plenty of baths, washing their gorgeous ringlets, and perfuming themselves, so that they would always remain attractive to those handsome Minoan boys!Rita Roberts

View original post

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


Following Hadrian in Achaea


In just a few hours I will be travelling to Greece in Hadrian’s footsteps, retracing the journey he undertook in the province of Achaea in 124-125 AD.

“Hardly any emperor ever traveled with such speed over so much territory” the Historia Augusta tells us. Surely Hadrian was the emperor who honored the provinces with his presence the most. Nicknamed ‘Graeculus’ or ‘the little Greek’, Hadrian held a fascination for Greek philosophy and culture. The foundation for Hadrian’s affection for Athens and Greek culture in general may well have been established during his childhood education. Prior to becoming Emperor he was archon of Athens in 112. Not surprisingly, as Emperor he turned his attention to the east. He visited Athens at least three times, Sparta and Eleusis twice, in 123-124 and again in 128-129. Many Greek cities would benefit greatly from the emperor’s patronage in the form of numerous building projects and…

View original post 385 more words

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Uncategorized


A Special Day Out

During the winter months there isn’t much to do here in Crete as most  Museums and  tourist shops are closed. Now spring is here everything comes to life and tourists begin to arrive. So John and I decided to go to the Archaeological Museum of Siteia where there is a renewed Exhibition. We were especially interested as John and I had helped with conservation of some of the vessels displayed in the museum, while at the Institute for Aegean Prehistory Study Center for East Crete.

The Archaeological Museum of Siteia, like all the local museums of Greece constructed in the 1980’s employed an object-orientated display program. Over the years, the need for re-evaluating the exhibition was expressed. The idea matured into a necessity to upgrade the existing objectives of the exhibition, and to bring them into accordance with modern museological data. Thus, it became imperative to restructure and enrich the exhibition in order to a) highlight the many significant finds that have emerged from recent excavations in the areas of Siteia, and b) provide comprehensive to the visitor, creating both a pleasant museum experience, and setting the foundation for educational programs and other activities.

A combined approach was adopted for the purposes of the ” re-exhibition ”  A concept- orientated model organizing the archaeological material was blended with the tradition object-orientated approach, which organically connects the thematic and chronological sections , and at the same time encourages the development of notional correlations attractive to the museum visitor.  In brief, the underlying concept of the re-exhibition of the Archaeological Museum of Siteia  can be expressed as, Siteia from  Prehistoric to Roman times through the excavated remains”.

Each display section follows the chronological and developmental progress of the civilization in the area of Siteia and the wider region, integrated and presented within time periods in individual thematic sections and subsections. The Prehistoric sections utilize the dating system developed by Nikolaos Platon in 1966 and published in Archaeologia Mundi. His chronology is based on the development of architechtural complexes frequently called palaces in Aegean Bronze Age periods (such as the Prepalatial period. the Protopalatial period etc.)This gave us the opportunity to display the changes and evolution of the urban environment throughout the specific phases.

The opportunity to realize a renewal of the Siteia Museum exhibit was due, in part, to the large project of expansion and re-exhibition taking place in the Archaeological Museum of Hagios Nikolaos. The old display cases from the Hagios Nikolaos Museum were transported to the Siteia Museum and were adapted to fit the needs of the new museological and museographical study of the museum.

The process of renewing the exhibition in the Archaeological Museum of Siteia is not yet complete. The creation of informational signs and the labeling of objects are in progress and should be finished in  the coming months.

Even though the new exhibition was not yet complete John and I found the new Siteia Museum delightfully light and the displays well set out with plenty of room to walk around each of the many artifacts and display cabinets. We look forward to visiting the Siteia Museum again. No doubt our colleagues at the Instap Study Center will let us know when all is complete.

Below are a few of the Photo’s

2007-01-08 22.32.41

Minoan Bathtubs and Storage Jars.

2007-01-08 22.28.59

Vessels from a Shipwreck from the Island of Pseira Crete

2007-01-08 22.37.03

These small figures are connected with worship.



Posted by on April 12, 2014 in Uncategorized


Made in China: an imperial Ming vase

I just love Ancient pottery.

British Museum blog

detail of Ming vase Yu-Ping Luk, Exhibition Project Curator, British Museum

Early last year, when the idea of a Spotlight tour to complement the BP exhibition Ming: 50 years that changed China was raised, we had to consider which single object from the British Museum collection could possibly represent early Ming dynasty (1368?1644) China. The answer seemed obvious – it had to be a spectacular blue-and-white porcelain vase.

Press launch in Room 33 of the Spotlight tour and Ming exhibitionPress launch in Room 33 of the Spotlight tour and Ming exhibition

Without knowing much about the Ming dynasty, most people will probably have heard of the ‘Ming vase’. The phrase ‘as precious as a Ming vase’ is often used to describe an antique object of great value. The plot device of a priceless Ming vase being smashed to pieces or stolen has been used in films and on television for comic or dramatic effect. The spotlight tour, together with the exhibition at the British Museum…

View original post 514 more words

1 Comment

Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Uncategorized


Our Star Student Studying Linear B in Preparation for the Final Exam at Levels 1 & 2

This is a blog about myself which is self explanatory. Thanks to my teacher for which I am truly grateful for guiding me through this extremely fascinating subject of Linear B Script writings.

Canadian Zen Haiku canadien ISSN 1705-4508

Our Star Student Studying Linear B in Preparation for the Final Exam at Levels 1 & 2 (Click to ENLARGE):

Studying Linear BLest anyone think that the Final Examination even at Levels 1 & 2 (Basic) is easy, it would be wise to disabuse oneself of such notions, as will become perfectly clear when I post the 20 questions in the Final Examination once our student has taken it. She is already extremely proficient at this level, and has even managed to translate parts of some Linear B tablets, and can in fact translate at least one of them in its entirety, if she puts her mind to it... which I am sure she will. Considering that she was not greatly familiar with Greek, ancient or modern, prior to taking our course, I am simply astonished at how quickly and methodically she has mastered the basic syllabary of Linear B in…

View original post 259 more words


Posted by on April 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: