Linear-Script Signs: NA to NO

· Philology, Phonetics


*= Proposed

By Numeric Reference
006 (NA) | 024 (NE) | 052 (NO) |

By Phonetic Value
NA (006) | NE (024) | NO (052) |

AB 006

  • na | 柰 (NA, NAI) | to bear, to endure
  • naichuu | interior pillar
  • ναός (naos) or νηός (neos) | a dwelling, a shrine, a temple
  • ne-wo | νέω or Ionic νηώ (neo) | to heap, to pile up
  • 根石 neishi  | a base stone or a pedestal for a pillar; a plinth stone

006 NAThis sign appears inevitably confounded with AB *024 NE in the LinB word, ne-wo. Its resemblance to a pillar may be compared with the L. pila “stone barrier”, which is also related to pile. Compare the third sign, which appears to represent a pile or column of stones. Further confirmation is found in the on reading, NA, NAI “to bear, to endure”, which appears to incorporate the sixth sign. Note that an alternate reading for 柰 is DAI, which may also refer to 台 dai “a stand, a table”; cf. 台座 daiza “pedestal” and O. Fr dais “platform, table”.  While a shrine may be marked by a heap of stones, a temple may be marked by its columns. Cf. 根石 neishi “base stone for a pillar”, from ne + ishi 石 “stone”.

A further association between ne-wo and shrines may be found in ne-wo-pe-o (PY Cc 665).

The meaning of this sign is also confounded with that for AB *024 NE.

Entry added on 08 Sep 2014
Updated on 15 Nov 2016

AB 024

  • ne-wo | ναός (naos) or νηός (neos) | a dwelling, a shrine, a temple
  • ne | 袮 (NE) | ancestral shrine
  • ne | 峯 (ne) | peak, summit

024 NEVariations of this sign show both a coiled serpent and what appear to be two serpents’ heads extending from the second line of the third variation. (See also AB *058 SU.) The stylization of the coiled serpent appears identical to the Egyptian uraeus, which is discussed in detail on Sekiban (石版) 2. The complementary meanings of the readings, ne and NE, confirm the Minoan peak sanctuary as a place of worship. From the beginning of the Middle Minoan (MM) period, several mountain peaks–notably Mt. Juktas–became places of worship. Some sanctuaries included buildings and others included small shrines. Worshippers brought offerings as well as votive clay figurines, of which thousands have been found [Davares 1976: 245]. Likewise, in early Japan, the mountain peaks served as the first shrines [“Shinto”].

This sign no longer stands alone in its original meaning but is included as the third sign in two variations of the kanji that mean “peak, summit”. Also included in these kanji is 山 “mountain”. Some may argue that, in these variations, the ne sign can be read as te, which is identical in form and pronunciation to AB *04 TE. However, context argues more convincingly for ne.

Moreover, the Japanese kanji that is identical to the first sign in the AB *024 group now means “king”–with on reading, OU, and kun reading, oo–and is consistent with the association of the Egyptian uraeus with royalty.

On an interesting side note, an alternate reading for NE “ancestral shrine” is DEI. Compare L. dei < gen. of L. deus “god”.

The meaning of this sign is also confounded with that for AB *006 NA.

Entry added on 28 Jan 2013
Updated on 06 Feb 2013 * 08 Sep 2014


  1. Davares, Costas. 1976. A Guided to Cretan Antiquities. Park Ridge, NJ: Noyes Press.
  2. Shinto shrine. Ret. on 06 Feb 2013.

B 052

  • no | 典 (no, nori) | ceremony; code, law, rule
  • 典 (nori)  | affair, case, matter; constitution, method, model; control; law, regulation, rule; principle
  • νόμος (nomos) | custom, law, ordinance, usage

052 NOThis sign is intriguing for at least two reasons.

On the one hand, it challenges assumptions about the mutual exclusivity of the underlying languages of both LinA and LinB. While this sign is presumed to belong to the Greek language, the character appears to have been preserved in the Japanese language. On the other hand, via the acrophonic principle, the sign can assume its phonetic value from either language.

While the reason for the ‘s’ on the right is not clear (however, cf. B *075 WE), the main body of the sign is reminiscent of a lectern from which laws may be read or upon which code tablets may be placed. The first kun readings, nori and no, are associated with the kanji on the right. The second reading, nori, comprises definitions from numerous kanji, to demonstrate the invested ideas of law and principle.

It should be noted that, as in Minoan society, in Japanese society, nori (priestesses) perform the sacred rites. This role is especially prominent among the women of the imperial family  [“Emperor’s daughter”].


  1. Emperor’s daughter becomes special priestess at Ise Shrine.  08 May 2012.  The Japan Times.  Ret. on 20 Jun 2015 <>.

Entry added on 11 Feb 2013
Updated on 25 Nov 2015

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