Skip to main content
Select Source:

Linear Scripts

Linear Scripts, forms of Minoan writing. The earliest Minoan writing consisted of pictographs, called Cretan hieroglyphs, which date from about 2000 BC The first linear script, Linear A, dates from about 1700 BC and was also partly pictorial in nature. It appears on clay tablets written between 1750 BC and 1400 BC and has been classified as a West Semitic script. Linear A was replaced by Linear B, a new script, about 1450 BC Since Linear B also appeared on the Greek mainland, many scholars believed it to be an early form of Greek. This hypothesis was verified in 1952 when Linear B was finally deciphered by Michael Ventris, a British architect. The content of the Minoan texts that have been unearthed is predominantly economic and religious.

See D. W. Packard, Minoan Linear A (1974); J. Chadwick, Decipherment of Linear B (1970) and, with others, Corpus of Mycenaean Inscriptions from Knossos (4 vol., 1987–99).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Linear Scripts." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Linear Scripts." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/linear-scripts

"Linear Scripts." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/linear-scripts

linear script

linear script Early form of writing, found on clay tablets in Crete and Greece. Linear A was in extensive use during the middle period of the Minoan civilization (c.2100–c.1550 bc). Linear B was an adaptation of Linear A, used by the Mycenaean civilization of mainland Greece to write their early form of Greek. Linear B was used from c.1450 bc to the end of the Mycenaean period (c.1120 bc). In 1952, Michael Ventris deciphered Linear B; Linear A still defies analysis.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"linear script." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"linear script." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 25, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/linear-script

"linear script." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved June 25, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/linear-script