Toponyms in Linear A Texts: u.di.mi to

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HT 117 (HT Scribe 9)

  • 氏見 (ujimi) | † clan visitation
    •  氏 (uji, uji-, shi) | family name, surname; bclan, lineage
    • 見 (mi) | seeing, viewing
  • ウシーミ (ushiimi) > † Σύμη (Syme or Symi, Simi) | Symi island, Greece

Symi island [Greece]

The main definition for u.di.mi is found in a single surname; other meanings are inferred from other words. Just as 氏 uji has been shortened to shi, it is plausible that Simi, which is found in シーミトウ shiimitou “Simi (island)”, arises from a similar shortening of ウシーミ ushiimi. Although Symi is thought to be derived from scimmia “monkey”, my initial research does not find any evidence of monkey habitation on the island. More than likely, “Symi” is derived, instead, from 染み shimi “blotch, spot, stain”, especially as a descriptive term for 島 shima, an island in the middle of the ocean.  Clan visitation may be a reference to the Minoans and the Mycenaeans who used Symi as a staging area.

Entry added on 29 August 2016

HT 117 (HT Scribe 9)

  • 臼 (usu) | millstone, mortar
  • 伐つ (utsu) | to attack, to cut, to fell, to strike

[Ušu, or Tyre, Lebanon]

In Minoan Crete, millstones were essential for grinding grain.  Since millstones ideally comprise volcanic material, Minoan millstones would have been imported.  Fortunately for historians, millstone composition is unique to each volcanic quarry. suggests Ušu, which, as the center of the ancient kingdom of Tyre, was located on the mainland adjacent to the island.  Durward [1913:753] states that, at the time of his visit, Tyre was still exporting millstones from the Hauran region.  Ušu is mentioned three times in the Amarna letters (1350 BCE). Cf. LinB u-su.

In modern Hokkaido, Japan,  有珠山 Usu-zan is an active volcano,  the  last eruption of which was in 2000 CE [Seach].  有珠山 “mountain possessing jewels”, which is generally true for volcanic, or igneous, rock,  is probably a phonetic reanalysis of 臼山.


  1. Seach, John. Usu Volcano.  Ret. on 02 Oct 2011.
  2. Ushu. The Full Ret. on 25 May 2015.
  3. Usu (Mortar). Ret. on 01 Oct  2011.

Entry added on 21 Apr 2011
Updated on 26 May 2015

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