Toponyms in Linear A Texts: to qe.ri.ja

· Toponyms, Trade Destinations | qe.ri.ja |

Return to Toponyms in Linear A Texts.

HT 20 (HT Scribe 10)

  • | 隠れ (kakure) | concealed, hidden; crypto-, underground
  • ku.ra | 倉 (kura) | a cellar, a depository, a granary, a magazine, a treasury, a warehouse
  • Κόρκῡρα (Korkyra) | Kerkyra, Corcyra, Corfu

[Kerkyra, Greece]

A notable example of the cryptic meaning of Kerkyra, Greece, is that of the Aghios Franghiscos of Assisi. This church is among the oldest in Kerkyra and features a crypt (reliquary), which contains the holy relics of three saints. Reliquaries appear to have been regular features in Kerkyran churches. The Minoan reference suggests that these reliquaries antedate Christianity and that they were used to house the sacred relics of heroes or, perhaps, the icons of deities. appears to be a reference to the temple of Arktemis (Artemis) on Kerkyra. Excavation of the ruins could, perhaps, reveal a reliquary.


  1. Corfu Churches / Monasteries. Ionian Ret. on 29 Nov 2011.
  2. Relics. Catholic Online. Ret. on 30 Apr 2015 .

Entry added on 30 Apr 2015


HT 3 (HT Scribe unknown)

  • qe.ri.ja | 仮屋 (kariya) | temporary residence or shelter
  • qe.ri.ja | カリヤ (kariya) | Kal’ya

Kal’ya (Qal’ya), [Israel]

Younger transcribes this word as qe.ra2.ja (qe-ri-ja.ja) with the suggested alternate, qe.ri.ja; however, the compelling evidence for the latter is the basis for this entry.

Qal’ya is an Israeli settlement on the north shore of the Dead Sea. Its name is said to be derived from kalium, which is Latin for the abundant potassium that is found in the region. However, I am inclined to believe that kalium, rather than Kal’ya, is the eponym, as is typical with many chemical elements, and that Arabic al qalīy “calcined ashes” is a reanalysis of the toponym that was likely derived from an ancient, possibly Minoan, word.

Not far from the settlement of Qal’ya are the 11 caves where nearly 900 Dead Sea scrolls have been found. While some scholars believe that the caves constituted a library system for the storage of scrolls, other scholars believe that some caves were also used as shelters. Cave 11Q provides evidence for the latter belief. According to Taylor [2012:8], some artifacts–such as bits of basketry, a knife, and some pottery–found at the front part of the cave suggest brief habitation. Consequently, excavator Roland du Vaux characterizes this cave as a habitée. Taylor elaborates: “[Travelers who deposited] the scrolls . . . presumably used the front part for temporary shelter, since it would have taken a long time to reach this cave from Qumran.”

While scholars date the deposits of scrolls as early as the second century BCE, the use of caves as shelter is timeless, and it is reasonable to believe that the caves were used by travelers and refugees when the Minoans were trading about. Compare the popularly known Kalyan caves near Mumbai, India, which were built to provide rest for travelers between the ancient ports of Kalyan and Sopara.

For a discussion regarding the use of potash, see si.di.ja.


  1. Kalya. Ret. on 13 Sep 2012.
  2. List of chemical-element-name etymologies. Ret. on 13 Sep 2012.
  3. Mumbai: Kanheri Caves. Mary Ann Campbell. Ret. on 13 Sep 2012.
  4. Qumran. Ret. on 13 Sep 2012.

Entry added on 14 Sep 2012


Comments RSS
  1. Dardan Leka: Independant Scholar, Sanskrit and Indo-European (IE) Languages

    Editor’s note: This comment has been translated from French.

    A review of common words can easily resolve QE-KU-RE (HT 20):

    Lékuré “the skins of animals” (root word). Lékur “skins” seems good, but, with further research, becomes difficult. Why?

    Because QEKURE is a commercial product, both then and now. Compare qébérré, which are domestic wooden barrels, used in lieu of terracotta jars.

    Adding the syllable, /po/ or /bo/ or /vo/, as in the language of Thrace, is optional:

    QEKURE + PO, or

    The sounds /b/ and /g/ are missing in the linear inscriptions and are probably hidden somewhere, and the letter /k/ is often replaced with /g/, as in the word, gouriél > kouriél “rocky place with pebbles”.

    I think that QEKURE is a barrel with a tap to dispense liquid, either wine or red cabbage juice.

    QE(P)URE > QEPORE “barrel” + “tap”
    = QEP(K) “a tap”
    = kure / bûré “a barrel”
    = QE-BE-RRE (QE-bérre) “barrel”
    = QEP + BURE (QEP + buré) “barrel” + “tap”
    = bure + qéporé “barrel” + “tap”, because there also exist barrels without taps.

    The word, qébérré “barrels”, is surely inherited from the ancient language of either the Hittites or the Cretans. The Turkish language has also retained Hittite words: sahân for Hittite lahân “trackbed”.

    Compare the Japanese kakure (隠れ) to kakuret and kakuda, two ancient Albanian names for plants. Perhaps I can add images of the plants to distinguish the words from the Japanese word. I can also add two more possibilities: kaqureta “cock’s comb” and kaqube “forest with small trees”, a place to play hide and seek (French cache-cache), which may be a reference to cache “hidden” [Japanese kakure].

    • Gretchen E. Leonhardt: Independant Scholar, Minoan / Japanese Studies

      Since the entry reads ,, I’m curious about your analysis of as it relates to

      As for the “missing” consonants, /b/ and /g/, one of the first things that I learned in linguistics is that language typically progresses from unvoiced to voiced consonants. Unlike many scholars, I don’t believe that voiced consonants, such as /b/ for /p/ and /g/ for /k/, are missing from the linear scripts; I do believe that their presence in plausible words indicates late development along the diachronic continuum. Note that /g/ is absent in LinB (ca. 1450-1100 BCE) and present in Arcado-Cypriot (LinC) (ca. 1200-600 BCE). While the inclusion of /g/ in LinC in significant, its use is still rudimentary. Thus far, I have found three words: ga-i, ga-ne, and a-ga-ta-i.

      In some LinC words, /g/ for /k/ is possible. In the Idalion tablet (ICS 217), consider ka-si-ke-ne-to-se > κασίγνητος (kasignetos) “brother”. However, while a word that includes /g/ may yield two possibilities (e.g. ga-i > γαι (gai) “land” or και “and”), I’m inclined to choose /γ/ rather than /κ/. In context, “and” is awkward and unlikely, whereas “land” is plausible. Consider, also, ga-ne (ICS 217) > γᾰνάω (ganao) “the glitter, the gleam (of metals)” (cf. Jap. 金 kane “gold, money; metal”); and a-ga-ta-i > ἄγασθαι (agastai) “to wonder” (found on a Paphian statuette).

      While my scholarship of LinC is in its infancy, I ascribe to the following parameters: if /k/, then /κ/ and /γ/ are possible; if /g/, then /γ/ is probable.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: