26 Sep 2011

Haider's transcription of the Minoan medicinal text

Eureka! I've finally nabbed a detailed photo of the previously mentioned Minoan spell text. With all the silly errors I discovered being committed by Etruscologists alone, I suspected that a photo might reveal similar errors in the transcription of this text too. Sure enough, I'm reminded that many have a lazy eye.

Our Minoan text is written on lines 6 and 7 from right to left (see picture below).

I can see quite clearly now that in Minoan deities in an Egyptian medical text (2001), published in Aegaeum 22, Peter Haider's transcription is dreadfully loose. One word that begins sȝ-b-w-j-ȝ-jj-... is demonstrably inaccurate. The above text (upper left corner specifically) shows that there's an extra symbol between the b (foot) and the w (coil). Why and how was this overlooked?

It goes on. Haider's alleged god name Razija or Razaja is concocted out of the seventh line which shows only r-...-ȝ-yDEITY. The intervening gap could conceivably be anything but the author indulges in wishful thinking to connect with some Linear A fragment showing RA2-TI. Any gain from even bothering to associate these two things is hopelessly unproductive in my view. I'm also having trouble mapping his alleged *humekatu to the correlating portion in the picture, but then again my hieratic could be rusty.

And why would the Minoan text be broken up here by an interloping Egyptian phrase *pa wūra 'the great' (which he transcribes as pȝ-ȝ wr). Something is surely wrong with the overall handling of this text but it appears this will be a long-term ball of yarn for me to unravel.

(27 Sep 2011) I've deleted my confused/confusing statement: "A sure error however is in the reading of Ameja itself where Haider reads a trailing eagle glyph (the final ȝ in his ˀa-m-ˁ-j-ȝ) where it's visibly a different glyph, reused in fact on the next line in case there's any doubt of its true shape." This is unfair of me considering that I misread the sparrow (representing wr) as an owl (representing m), thereby assuming the sequence that Haider reads as Ameya starts sooner. Even still, I'm completely at a loss as to how he obtained Ameya out of this sequence because then the "m" is where a gap lies. Still problematic and confusing.


  1. Fantastic job, Glen! I wish I had better knowledge of hand-written Egyptian Hieroglyphs (the Hieratic system), to be able to read this without having to look each little sign up...

  2. Thanks but I must report that I committed a little error in reading Haider's sequence pȝ-ȝ wr 'a-m-`-j-ȝ. I can't say that the way in which this is transcribed isn't contributing to my confusion though. For instance what did Haider mean by 'a here? It looks like a glottal stop or ayin plus vowel but he uses other symbols for those already in his transcription. I think I now know what he meant but the answer is quite obscure to the average person and deserves elaboration.