The Decipherment of Linear A: PH Wa 32

· Linear A Decipherments

Nodule

PH Wa 32
PH Scribe unknown

su.ki.ri.ta is a Greek word that appears alone in this LinA context at Phaistos and at least five times on LinB tablets as they pertain to sheep. This LinA nodule has been dated to MMIII (sometime between 1700-1550 BCE). If this nodule belongs to LinB, rather than to LinA, it appears roughly 200-400 years before Knossos scribe 117 inscribed the five tablets, which have been dated to LM IIIA2 (sometime between 1400 and 1300 BCE). At this time, there appears to be no simple parallel in Japanese.

.1 su.ki.ri.ta

1. su.ki.ri.ta | συγχριστός (synkhristos) | to be applied as ointment
1. su.ki.ri.ta | συχρίτη (sukhritā) | to anoint with oil, to whitewash

.1  συχρίτη

  • to anoint with oil

Notes:  This nodule was likely hung on sheep that were to be anointed. During certain seasons, the sheep were plagued by swarming insects that would burrow in ears and noses. The ointment, which comprised olive oil, would be rubbed into the heads of sheep to discourage these insects [“Sheep”]. In the Christ myth, Jesus Christ is the Whitewasher who takes away sins; he is the Shepherd who anoints his flock. The Shepherd Psalm (Psalm 23) begins with “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalms 23:5 states that “thou anointest my head with oil.”  Cf. LinB alt. su-ki-ri-ta.

At the root of su.ki.ri.ta is ki-ri-ta, a LinB word that appears to be equivalent to χρίστης (khristes) “whitewasher”. Perhaps χρίστης is the anointer, who, by extension, whitewashes buildings to hide imperfections. The anointer of sheep, who protects them from distractions, becomes the anointer of supplicants to protect them from their enemies and, perhaps eventually, to “hide” or to erase their sins.

Reference:

  1. The Sheep and the Anointing with Oil. The Lighthouse Keeper. Ret. on 03 Dec 2013 <broraz.com>.

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