The Decipherment of Linear A: MY Zf 2

· Linear A Decipherments
MY Zf 2

Cauldron and flange inscription

A Bronze Cauldron

MY Scribe unknown

While Mycenae is known for its LinB tablets, at least two LinA inscriptions have been found on grave goods. One of these objects is a bronze cauldron that bears a single sign on the flange of one of its handles. This appears to be the only instance in LinA for AB *043 AI.

1. ai | 藍 (ai) | indigo, indigo dye; Persicaria tinctoria, dyer’s knotweed, the source of indigo dye

  • [a cauldron for dying with] indigo

Notes: As early as 2500 BCE, dyes have been used in Mesopotamia, especially among the Egyptians, who used indigo and woad. By the Hellenistic period, the practice of using vats (cauldrons) to dye wool with indigo was common [“Seeds”]. In Japan, “[a]rchaeologists have uncovered indigo-dyed cloth [that has been] buried for over a thousand years” [Perez 2002:205-6]. The inscription on the flange appears to limit this cauldron to the use of indigo; a chemical analysis, or perhaps a scraping, of the inside of the cauldron may confirm this conjecture. Moreover, it is likely that the occupant of Shaft Grave IV was the dyer who used the cauldron.


  1. Seeds of Trade: Dyes and Pigments. Natural History Museum. Ret. on 02 Jan 2013 <>.
  2. Younger, John. Linear A Texts in Phonetic Transcription: Other Texts. Ret. on 24 Mar 2015 <>.

Entry added on 02 Jan 2013
Updated on 25 May 2013 * 24 Mar 2015

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