Kostas – a kamaki

The Kamaki is a «character” in the recent history of Greece.

When the country opened up to tourism after the fall of the juntas in the mid-1970s, many young boys from the provinces found their way into the cities. For many, it was an opportunity to find a way out of poverty. The mature «tourist ladies» from other, more economically well-off, countries, became easy victims to the charming boys from the Islands or the rural areas.

Many of these women sought respite from their desperately frustrating marriages.

The profession is almost extinct in today’s Greece, but the young men have inherited the name. When they are out chasing girls, this is called «going kamaki!»

I read the short story in the book of the life of Liv Garas, called “a glimpse of Liv». The book gives a vivid description of a Norwegian woman’s contemplation of her meeting with Greece and her later life there. I highly recommend this book.

I suggested that she should write a sequel. She came back, however, with a counter proposal: do it yourself!

The first part is written by Liv, the second part, dealing with the Kamakis return is written by me, Sven Buchholz

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Part 1, Kostas, a kamaki.

(Professional Greek seducer of women)

Written by Liv Nilsen Garas, from the book «A glimpse of Liv». (Her Norwegian name means LIFE)

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Kostas had had problems lately, and he knew it. Kari’s return to Norway had been delayed whilst the plane carrying Berit was scheduled to arrive in half an hour.

Also, last month he had planned poorly with the result that Liv had been leaving at the same time that Inger was scheduled to arrive! Maybe he was starting to get too old for this life? He had been struggling to get some money from the girls so that he could start a business for himself, but he had never succeeded in getting any of them to pay out easily!

Kostas’ thoughts started to fly back in time to the year before he went to Athens for his final year in school. He was not amongst the brightest pupils, but he managed to get through the matriculation.

He had thought of going to sea for a period, in order to save up sufficient money to go into some enterprise of his own. The town of Paros was basically ok, but he found it rather boring in the winter. At the time there was no SeniorSchool at Paros, which was why most of the young people went to Athens for the last 3 years. He had lived in a wretched little bed-sit for the 3 years it had taken him to get through school. He remembered the loneliness and the cockroaches.

It was not easy for him to make friends with people in Athens. They did not trust provincial people; they looked down on them.  Many times he had tried to invite some of the girls in his class for a trip to a cinema, but they always declined. They took sly glances at him, because at this time, in the seventies, no girls would even consider going to a cinema with a boy, if engagement was not already in the air. He had learned that some of the other boys had visited prostitutes, but that thought had never appealed to Kostas.

One evening the ‘phone had rung; it had been Nikos, one of his mates from Paros. He told Kostas he had just got acquainted with some foreign girls and had invited them to a restaurant the same evening. He wanted Kostas to join him. Kostas hesitated, he thought of the expense and how he should be able to hold a conversationHe had only learned a little English at school, because in the third year they were still using the same textbook as in the first! Consequently, his command of the English language was rather limited. Nikos was more optimistic, he was sure they would get the girls to pay, and the language represented no problem for him. “Dress up a bit, buy some flowers, and we shall see!”

The evening was more than successful! The ladies paid for the food with pleasure, Nikos chatted, gesticulated cheerfully and threw out English phrases with great self-possession. When Kostas heard the words “Very poor” he realized what it meant, he could hardly believe his own ears! His father was not exactly an Onassis, but he owned some houses on Paros and a great deal of land. The girls however, swallowed the entire story with tears in their eyes. The meal, with its following discothèque, was free, and he spent the night with one of the girls. Kostas did not remember her name in the morning.

The next day Nikos phoned him again. The same procedure and the same tear jerking story about a poor childhood. This time the ladies were a bit older. They treated the boys to a more expensive restaurant, and instead of going to a cheap hotel they spent the night at one of the best hotels in Athens.

Kostas almost got homesick as the receptionist gave him the room key with a glint in his eye.

Three more years, an uncountable number of restaurant meals and hotel nights; Kostas had got this rhythm, this way of life, in his blood, under his skin. Most of the money his parents sent him for education was used for clothing and outfits. He had noticed that the girls preferred a special type of boy. He spent all the morning at the beach to get the right bronze tan, and then he slept in the afternoon in order to be in great shape in the evening. He dressed with great care. White ironed shirt and black pants, with a small jacket hanging over his shoulder. He had spent a small fortune on buying a golden cross in a chain at the second hand market.  He made the same good impression on the girls every time. He never thought of himself as a Don Juan, a kamaki, the girls just gathered around him. He did not meet Nikos that often any more. He preferred to work alone.

Now and then he thought of his parents with a bit of a bad conscience. After he had made up a story about going to a technical school, they just continued to send him money. They never doubted whatever he told them. It rarely happened that he had a rendezvous with the same girl more than once. He always chose foreigners; mostly girls from Scandinavia, as they were uncomplicated, kind and straightforward, demanding little whilst they were generous with money.

In the cupboard at home he had many home knitted sweaters and jackets, and he knew that even more were on their way. Neither was he short of invitations to go abroad and visit. He also had a drawer full of hot love letters to which he never replied. Occasionally they sent him air tickets; he sold them without any problem to students waiting at the airport. The name was changed and he came home with a lot of money. He quit his bed-sit and spent his nights at various hotels. He always found someone willing to pay. He even started to save up money for a car.

It caused him some problems when he suddenly learned that his parents were coming to Athens! His mother had been taken ill and had to go to hospital for treatment. Kostas had succeeded at the last moment in borrowing an apartment for the time his parents were staying in Athens. They were impressed to find out how well Kostas was able to manage his life. He had told them that he was working for a well-known company. They accepted everything without asking questions. Kostas breathed a sigh of relief when he put his parents on the boat to Paros! He had explained to them that unfortunately, his work did not allow him to visit Paros very often. He had however promised to go to his little sister Katerina’s wedding. It would take place in September, and all of Paros was invited. Kostas was nervous just at the thought.

In In a big city, like Athens, it was no problem to remain anonymous, but on Paros everybody knew each other, so he was sure to get awkward questions. However, it was impossible for him to avoid this journey.

He had decided to take the boat from Rafina, a small port east of Athens. It was a journey of 5-6 hours with departure in the afternoon and arrival at midnight. He dressed in a suit and tie and prepared for the questions he knew would come. In his suitcase he had his wedding gift, a crystal bowl from Costa Boda. A Swedish woman had told him that this was the finest and perhaps most expensive crystal in the world. His brother Giorgos, together with Katharina and her fiancé, met him in the harbour. His parents were waiting at home. The table was covered with all his favorite dishes. Everyone looked at him full of admiration. One lie followed the other. Kostas started to feel uncomfortable. During the night he lay down, unable to sleep for many hours after he had gone to bed.

The next morning everyone was up early. Katharina was to be married in a small church a little way outside the village. After the ceremony there would be a party at Babis’ tavern. Kostas had planned to go back to Athens the next day. All the guests turn up dressed up to the nines. All rejoiced to see him and congratulated him on his magnificent job in Athens. Kostas just sat there. He wished with all of his heart that he could tell the truth. He did not feel much better when he came back to Athens. What had become of all the years and what had become of all the cute sympathetic girls he had been acquainted with? He felt hopeless and stupid.

Why had he not taken the opportunity and begun a more serious relationship with one of them? He could not bring himself to accept the idea that he was a kamaki, a professional womaniser, approaching his forties, without a past to speak of and with no future. At the airport he could see many copies of himself; most of them were younger, but there were few older. All dressed in white ironed shirts and dark pants, and everyone wore a gold cross from the second hand market on a chain around the neck.

This concludes the first part written by Liv Nilsen Garas.

NEXT : The return of Kostas, written by Sven Buchholz.

Part 2.

The homecoming of Kostas. By Sven Buchholz

Kostas lay sprawled on the bed, fully dressed, in a white shirt and dark pants. As the sunlight came farther into the room Kostas began to wake up slowly. His eyes roamed over the sad and faded wallpaper in the poor and shabby bedsit. His clothes were in disarray. The shirt was no longer white and freshly ironed. Two of the buttons were missing. The pants were stained with food, and a severe headache pressed around his forehead like a burning iron band.  His stomach did not feel at all well. Kostas got up from the bed only by making a great effort. As he approached the window the sun hit him full in the face.

As he turned away, he met his own image in the mirror. He did not like what he saw. Ten more years, many more restaurant meals and hotel nights had passed. His hair was not the same raven black colour any more. Various experiments with different dyes had not been entirely successful in covering up the gray hairs. Nor had cosmetics helped him to hide the signs of aging, on the contrary, they made them even clearer. The image in the mirror reminded him more of a clown he once had seen many years ago as a child, when his grandfather had taken him to the circus on Paros, than of someone with whom  the ladies would like to be seen.

Things had not gone so well for Kostas lately. The cute girls from Scandinavia, who had always had plenty of money to treat him, seemed to prefer his younger rivals. This week had been a sheer disaster. The last time Kostas had had to settle for the more elderly customers, who mostly arrived by charter flights. He often went to Piraeus to try to catch them when they came by ferry from the islands. The competition was not so hard there. His young rivals preferred the airport. The delicate Scandinavian ladies were replaced by plump middle class English women, those who sought relief from their unsuccessful and frustrating marriages. In some cases, he had also had to make do with the older Greek women!  One practical problem was that his new category of customers tended to travel more together in a company. The day before he had again gone to Piraeus; he had spent the whole morning in a cafeteria that was near the bus and metro stops. Many of the English women were sitting there whilst they waited for each other or buses or trains. For each ferry that arrived at the port more and more people arrived in the cafeteria. After many cups of coffee Kostas ordered his first ouzo whilst he observed a company of English women at a table nearby. They drank one glass of beer after another and talked louder and louder.  Kostas thought of the pretty girls from Scandinavia as he reflected to himself. How was it possible to see such a collection of dowdy middle-aged matrons at the same table?

Some English men were sitting around a table a little further away. They were not a prettier sight. He thought with longing of the Scandinavian girls. Why was there such a difference between people from two northern European countries?  Kostas took a big gulp of his ouzo in an attempt to wash away the unpleasant impression. What could he really expect from women, in a country where even upper class ladies reminded him of horses! One of Kostas’ old school friends, who dealt with genetic research, had joked that it was due to many generations of inbreeding with horses!  

Kostas looked at his watch. The boat from Mykonos was due in a few minutes. He got up and left the cafeteria. He arrived at the port about the same time as the boat. It was full of tourists. As usual the majority of them came from Mykonos; mostly “nice young men”, but luckily also some potential clients, English women. Most of these, however, were travelling in groups of six or eight. Kostas avoided these companies. He had learned that there was no money to be made there. On the contrary, they represented only problems. He remembered one time, when he had allowed himself to be persuaded to go along with such a group of seven British women; they had ended up in a bar. Suddenly all seven of them got up and ran «to catch the bus» as they said, and Kostas was left to pay the bill.

When Kostas stood there on the pier and looked for «victims» he had learned to spot all the little details. His professional eyes scanned over the different groups of potential customers. He could quickly determine if there was something that could be profitable. That day the possibilities were rather meager. It was just larger groups of women and some older couples around all  quays. The boat was almost empty when Kostas discovered her. She was behind a bunch of “nice young men”. She could only be English; however she looked a better class of lady. Kostas had not noticed her immediately because she was bent over the two suitcases she was trying to carry.  In a fraction of a second, Kostas found himself beside the lady, grabbed the bags and lifted them up. She was a bit surprised at first, but she recovered quickly, smiled and thanked him. Kostas was pleased with himself. Finally, he had succeeded in making contact with a better class English lady.  In his many years of being a kamaki Kostas had learned to distinguish the different social and cultural classes from each other by listening to the language, English in particular.  This lady spoke a language that was completely different from those he had heard in the cafeteria. It was much easier for Kostas to understand. It was amazing that it could be the same language!

While they walked together in the direction of the bus stop, Kostas had already planned the rest of the day. They approached the cafeteria, but Kostas wanted to avoid walking past it again. He began to feel sick at the thought of it. They stood on the pavement while they looked for an opportunity to cross the street. It was not so easy with all the traffic. Meanwhile, the English lady walked a little further down the road. Kostas had
no choice but to follow. He caught up with her just when they were opposite the cafeteria. Traffic was now a little quieter so it was possible to cross, but when Kostas put down one suitcase to touch her arm as a sign that they should cross, he heard a loud yell from the cafeteria. When he turned, he saw his lady running into the cafeteria where she embraced one of the members of the British group that was still sitting at the same table. Kostas felt he had to follow her in, even if he would rather have dropped both suitcases and run away. A minute later, he sat at the table with the whole company. They still drank beer; food did not seem to interest them. Kostas consumed several bowls of peanuts and crisps while he continued drinking ouzo. He did not remember much of what happened afterwards, except that he began to feel hollow while it gradually dawned on him that alcohol was a poor substitute for food. He had no idea how he had got to her room that night, the only thing he knew was that his pockets were empty. The litle money he had was all gone.

Kostas realised that he could not keep up this way of life  much longer, something he had never wanted to admit, not even to himself, until his professional pride the day before had suffered total defeat when he failed to «accommodate» a customer. His old friend Nikos had gone back to Paros long ago. Kostas had heard from a mutual friend that things had gone very well for Nikos. With the money he had managed to save, and that he had from selling his car, he had opened his own shop. It was also said that he had married. Kostas did not even have money for a ticket if he had wanted to return to Paros. Furthermore, he owed more than two months’ rent. Money from Paros had stopped. He had no further contact with his parents after they had learned the truth about his real profession; that he had been a kamaki ever since he had left school. It turned out that one of his Greek «customers» had been from Paros. When she explained who he was, she blurted out the whole story to her parents. She had even taken pictures! And this was only a single event in the series of disasters that had marked his life recently …………..

Kostas did not know how long he had stood and watched his own image in the mirror. His gaze fell upon the gold cross. After he had sold the car last year, the cross was the only asset he had left. Kostas smiled. The yellowed teeth grinned back at him from the mirror. A thought flashed through his brain …… that his teeth were part of his skeleton ….. The only visible part…..

………. The last rays of the sun sank below the horizon in the MyrthosBay. Kostas glanced at the Attica coastline just as the sun disappeared below the horizon in the distance. At the same time the last 30 years of his life disappeared; the only form of life that Kostas had known since his childhood on Paros. He had sold his gold cross to get money for the ticket. Kostas cursed, and blamed himself because he had been so stupid. Seven years ago, whilst he was still getting on successfully, he had had a good relationship with Kari, a beautiful and very rich Norwegian girl. When Kostas came up with the question of financial assistance to start something on his own Kari had said yes. She added, however, the condition that they should marry. It came as quite a shock to Kostas. He hesitated and thought to himself, on the one hand he had this free life, without liability and without obligation, on the other hand, he had Kari, an immensely beautiful Norwegian girl who was also very rich. Kostas wondered why he was questioning his good fortune.  Was he so entrenched in this way of life that he could not tolerate any change?  He had realised, however, that he could not continue the rest of his life in this way, so he had agreed to Kari‘s proposal.

The next day she took Kostas to Norway, where he was introduced to her family. This meeting with the family passed without any problems; then Kostas went back to Athens. They had agreed that Kari would follow him the next week and join him in Athens, when they would go to Paros together, so that she could be presented to his family. When Kostas had got up, the morning when he should have met Kari at the airport, he had been lying sleepless all night. He had had great difficulty imagining himself as a husband with a family. Just the thought of children made him pause.  Kostas had had a big appetite for women at that time. Four or five different partners a week had been normal. Only on Sundays had he rested. He had also acquired many expensive habits that did not quite fit into married life; trendy clothes, bars, hotels and travel. Kostas had thought that marriage was something he could postpone for several years yet. He had been certain that there would be other chances. The more this idea took root in his mind, the more Kostas developed cold feet!. Consequently, he did not meet Kari at the airport as agreed. He simply ran away from it all. He had had no idea at all of what had happened to Kari.  Kostas had gone into hiding. He had never heard anything more from her again. ……….

In fact, Kostas had not planned to return to Paros. What was he going to do there now, after he had broken with his parents? All he knew was that he had to change his life radically, but he had no idea how. Meanwhile, he had gone to Piraeus every day in order to make some sort of living. It was a cold autumn day. While he was waiting on the pier he remembered the words of Nana Moskouri’s old hit, » Efige to Kalokeri”, «The summer has gone”. It really was one of those autumn days that made the words of this song come to life. There were no more tourists. Kostas had waited five hours without seeing any sign of an appropriate client.  Slowly he came to realise the situation. For Kostas it was not only the summer that had passed, his life had come to a dead end.  When he had been young, his time had seemed endless…but that was once upon a time…….

The boat arrived and left again. Kostas stood motionless on the pier. He thought about what kind of work he could do if he could not be a kamaki any more. He had never learned any other profession. It was hard for him to accept that there was nothing else he could do, but that was the way it was. He stared out over the sea. As he had grown up on an island, he had been – familiar with the sea since his childhood. As he stood there and stared, he felt drawn closer to the moving water’s edge. He had the feeling that the sea wanted him to come closer. He took one step and then another. It was as if he had been seized by an invisible hand. There remained only a single step….. The moment he went to take the last step, he felt another hand, this time on his shoulder and from behind, whilst he heard a voice he knew very well. This hand was very much alive and visible. It belonged to his old school friend Nikos.

A few minutes later they found themselves sitting in a tavern. Since he had not had any food for quite some time, he was grateful that Nikos invited him to eat. News from Paros, however, was not very good. Kostas’ grandfather had died that morning. He had been very old; over 95 years, but to Kostas, his grandfather was identical with the first memories from his childhood. Nikos told him about his new life. Kostas learned that he had not only a store but also a hotel and a restaurant…

It was nearing midnight when Kostas saw the lights of Paros from the deck of the ‘Ocean Mist’. This was the beginning of his new life. Kostas had offered him both work and somewhere to live.

Having spent an entire winter in England, some time earlier, Kostas had learned to speak the language quite well. He had met with an English lady at the very end of the season and followed her back to England. Jane was a sympathetic but determined mature lady. Kostas had been sent to College at the same time as she practised English with him both morning and evening. Jane was several years older than Kostas and a very educated lady from a good family. She was a teacher at a secondary school. She lived in a semi detached house with a small garden in one of the north-eastern districts of Outer London called Ilford. It was not exactly the sort of place that Kostas would have chosen to live, but Jane told him she had moved there when she got the job at a nearby school. Her old father lived in the other part of the house. In the garden was a shed where her father’s old Rolls Royce was kept. The car looked as good as it had in 1928, when it had been new, but it had not been on the road since the father’s license had expired some 20 years earlier. He was however not able to part with it. Her father always joined them for meals. Apparently he spent most of his time reading newspapers and watching the news on television. Jane‘s old father was the reincarnation of “a fine old English Gentleman”. He always greeted Kostas very politely and he always referred to what he had just read in his newspapers, followed by some regretful remarks about “the sad state of affairs in his beloved country, England.” “After the mob had taken over and ruined the entire industry, all the English had to look forward to would be a glorious past”. Jane told him later that by the word “mob”, her father meant the Trades’ Unions.

Jane was like a Mother to Kostas, she arranged everything in his life; food, clothing and education. If Kostas had not been so industrious with his education, he would not have lasted very long in England. The climate did not agree with him. He did not find it easy to get in contact with the locals. England is an island, much bigger than Paros of course, but residents considered it as the centre of the world. Everything outside was «continental» The residents had no confidence in ”continental  people” In particular, the Greeks  They came from a far away place and they spoke an incomprehensible language. Kostas realised that there was no future for him in England. Consequently he decided to leave before the next tourist season started. Both Jane and her father regretted Kostas’s decision. The father could however easily understand as Kostas was not all that enthusiastic, that he wanted to leave.  The father said “Now that everything in my beloved England seems to be disintegrating, I only hope I will not live to see the day that the Germans would take over Rolls Royce and Jaguar.  From that day England will have become the country of the living dead”

Kostas stay in England was by no means a waste of time. His knowledge of English would be very useful! After the meeting with Nikos in Athens, Kostas’ confidence began to return. Of course, he could no longer play the role of kamaki, but the new role he envisaged was more appealing to him. Although he had some grey hairs and had aged a few more years, Kostas had preserved his representative Greek appearance. Along with his knowledge of English, this would be sufficient for him to play an important role in Nikos’ new tourist centre.

Nikos met him at the harbour and took him to his new home. The apartment was not large or luxurious; it was over the kitchen of the restaurant. In comparison with lodgings in Athens, it was still like a different world. It was the chef’s apartment, but when he was not there, out of season, it was empty so Kostas could stay there until he could move into the new tourist centre. Kostas was impressed when Nikos showed him around. He had purchased the hotel and restaurant and he was in the process of a major expansion. Kostas saw drawings of the new buildings where he would get a bigger apartment before the season started. Kostas was curious. He wondered where Nikos had found all the money….

When Kostas asked about his wife, Nikos said that she was abroad at the moment.

.

The first night in the new home did not promise to be very good. For many years Kostas had had problems with sleeping. He poured himself a large glass of raki in order to help him sleep.

In his dreams he travelled back many years to the time of his childhood. He was out walking with his grandfather. Together the two of them went towards a special cake shop. There was a light fog but the sun was high in the sky. The rays of the sun penetrated the fog and made it radiate a blinding white light that struck Kostas’ face and eyes. He did not recognise the houses and streets of the city on the way to the cake shop where they always used to go. The sun came through the fog even stronger and caused the streets and house walls to glow with the same intense white light. It looked as though he had come into a part of town he did not know. All the houses were empty. Most of the windows were shattered.  He could no longer see his grandfather. He tried to shout; but he could make no sound.

Kostas was afraid, he began to run and run, but without knowing where he was going. After some time he got a certain feeling of recognition, he felt as though he were in one of the streets with which he was familiar and stopped. It had to be the street where the cake shop should be but it was completely empty, there was not a living soul there. Everywhere around him he could see piles of rubbish and dilapidated houses. They were all damaged as though a war had taken place there many years ago.

Kostas suddenly recognised the entrance to the cake shop .The door was broken and the pieces lay on the pavement. The freezer and all the display cases which used to be full of cakes, pastries and ice-cream were broken and pieces were lying on the floor. At the same moment, the fog began to lift so that Kostas could see a little further down the street.  Some distance away, he could sense the outlines of a human figure. Kostas went towards the figure. As he was approaching, he recognised his grandfather’s hat and coat from behind. He tried to shout, but again, no sound came out of his mouth.

His grandfather just stood there, motionless. Kostas took a few more steps and approached him. He was only one step behind his grandfather when he put his hand on his shoulders and tried to turn him around. Kostas had to exert all of his strength, but his grandfather moved only slowly.  Suddenly he got to see his grandfather’s face. It was completely without any expression, was totally motionless and the same white colour as the rest of the surroundings. Just at that moment the sun came through even stronger and struck against the motionless face; his granfather’s features began to radiate the same penetrating white light that Kostas had seen before. As he stared at the face, it began to disintegrate in front of his eyes. The skin, eyes, nose, mouth, his whole face melted away like a piece of wax. The blood began to freeze in Kostas’s veins….

He suddenly woke up, almost swimming in his own sweat. He could not recognise either the bed or the room in the new apartment. He could not even understand in what world he was; could he be in the world of dreams, fantasy, or in the real one? He quickly got up from the bed, ran to the window and drew the curtains. Kostas could not believe his eyes when he looked out. The sun was high in the sky and there was no trace of fog anymore. All the buildings were clean and undamaged. The streets were full of people.

Kostas started to wake up slowly. He gradually realised that it had been a nightmare. It had been caused by all the raki of course. Kostas had learned that raki is a dangerous companion, a bad friend and an even stricter master, but what else could he do when he could not sleep?  He dressed quickly and ran, without stopping, down the road to the cake shop. A few minutes later he found himself in front of the door. Although he knew that everything had been a bad dream he had to convince himself that he was once more in the real world. Everything looked normal. The owner was behind the counter and there were two customers there. The freezer and all the shelves were full of cakes, pastries, ice-cream and sweets. Kostas was relieved, even though he could not accept the truth right away.

The memory of the nightmare was still all too vivid; the image of his grandfather standing in front of him in the fog on the damaged street with his old coat and his old hat. There was nothing similar to that hat in the whole wide world. It was yellow and had a green ribbon around it resembling a tiny laurel wreath. The most remarkable things, however, were two small “ears” in the same green colour as the ribbon; that looked just like little wings! His grandfather had been given this hat as a gift from some young friends as a joke. They called him “the flyer” since, in his youth, he had shown great interest in aviation. His grandfather was very proud of that name and wore the “flying hat” for many years.

Kostas did not know how long he had been standing outside the cake shop when he heard a voice shouting out his name. When he turned, he froze as he saw his grandfather’s face. It did however not take him many seconds to realise that it was his grandfather’s obituary, with an old photograph, that by Greek tradition had been displayed on a nearby pole. The poster announced that the funeral would take place the next day. Standing next to the pole with the obituary he saw Giorgos, his brother. The expression on his brother’s face did not display kindness. Kostas realised immediately that he would forever remain unwanted, a ‘persona non grata’ in his own family. Neither was he welcome to be present at the funeral the following day.

Nikos was waiting for him when he got home. They went together to Nikos house to look at the plans for the new centre and to discuss Kostasnew job. When the phone rang Nikos went to take it in the next room and Kostas was left alone. While he waited, his eyes roamed around the entire room. They stopped at a shelf where there was a photograph that appeared to be from a wedding. The groom was Nikos. When Kostas suddenly recognised the bride, chills of ice ran through his veins, while his face changed colour and became as white as a sheet. The woman in the picture, the bride, was none other than Kari, the Norwegian girl who Kostas had left seven years ago, although he had promised to marry her!  A thousand thoughts ran through his mind: When would Kari come back? Had she learned who Nikos’ new assistant was? What would she say when she learned that he was going to work for her husband?  Kostas mind continued to go round in circles until he heard Nikos’ voice as he pointed at the photo and said, “Pretty girl, don’t you think, Kari, my Norwegian wife”? Kostas, standing there with the picture in his hand, did not know right away what he was going to reply, but after a few seconds, that for him seemed like hours, he gathered himself together and put the picture back on the shelf whilst he stammered out a few words  “Ehhh …… yes,,,,,,,, very pretty ..”. Kostas, however, did understand that Nikos could hardly have known anything about an affair between himself and Kari. Neither could Kari have learned who was going to be her husband’s new assistant, since she had spent the two last months in Norway taking care of her mother, who was ill.

Kostas did not feel particularly well as he came home to the apartment that night. His nerves were as taut as violin strings. The entire first day of his new life seemed like a disaster. He could not imagine other than that Kari would not endure to be so close to him after he had so ruthlessly betrayed her, seven years ago. Nor would it be possible to keep the history of their past love affair secret from Nikos. What would he say when he learned about it? Luckily, Nikos had been so full of enthusiasm, as he showed his plans to Kostas, that he had not noticed that Kostas was totally absent minded. He had only one thought in his mind; When would Kari come home? He was not looking forward to this homecoming. He soon had the answer to his question, when he was about to leave: “I am looking forward to introducing you to Kari; she arrives home on Saturday with her mother!”

Nikos’ words had burned in his mind. His hands shook as he grabbed the bottle and poured a glass of raki, even though he had promised himself to stay away from the alcohol. As he sank down into the armchair, Kostas again lost himself in the world of dreams. Again he returned to his childhood. It was a day in spring. Everything was beautiful. Kostas went along with his grandfather towards the mountain. His grandfather was, as usual, wearing his strange “flying hat” and both of them walked along the tiny trail leading upwards towards the hills. The family owned two small houses in the mountains. In the one lived a shepherd who cared for the animals, whilst the family used the second one when they wanted to take a mountain trip. Kostas looked at his grandfather as he walked in front of him on the trail. The wind made the small wings on his hat look as though they were flapping. Kostas would not have been in the least surprised to see his grandfather starting to fly up into the sky. He always rejoiced when his grandfather allowed him to borrow his “flying hat”.

Just beside the two little houses there was a steep hill. On one side there was a little path leading to the top. The other side fell steeply down the bottom of the valley. From the top there was a magnificent view of the island. One could see the valley, the mountains, the city and, far away, the ocean. Kostas was on top of the hill and closed his eyes. When he heard his grandfather shout: “Fly Kostas ……. fly!”  He felt as if he really was flying. He flew over the earth, over the mountains, the sea, and over the whole world.

The two little houses were situated in a meadow, only separated by a small hollow. Kostas and his grandfather came over to the shepherd’s house. The shepherd was out with the animals. Only a small kid stood behind a small fence in the shade of the house. When he looked over at the house on the other side Kostas caught sight of his father and mother. When they discovered him they waved; he felt as if they smiled at him. Everything was just perfect, melancholic and nostalgic…

When Kostas woke up, he felt a litle more rested, and he was not that tense anymore. The dream was, however, so vivid in his mind that he had the feeling that the whole sequence had happened in the present. The strangest thing was the image of his grandfather with the yellow hat. The hat had suddenly disappeared, many years ago; Kostas had actually been only ten years old at the time. Grandpa had loved this hat above all other things, and the whole family had looked everywhere, but it seemed to have gone forever.
Kostas made ​​a decision. He would go to the funeral tomorrow under any circumstances, because his grandfather represented the first stage in his life, his childhood. If he did not go he knew he would come to regret it for the rest of his life.

It was a pleasant, quiet evening in the late autumn. As Kostas opened the window he could hear voices in the street below. From next door came the sound of music. Somebody was trying to play an old melody on an out-of-tune piano. People went in and out of the café and the two houses further down the street. On the pavement across the street a young couple walked with their arms around each other. They stopped every so often and embraced each other more closely. Kostas was sure that they loved each other deeply and honestly. When he looked at them, he realised that ‘love’ was, for him, just an unknown word. Although the couple was only a few yards away on the other side of the street, for Kostas, they might just as well have been on the other side of the world.

The sun was about to set. From a distance came the sound of thunder, whilst the bells of the church were ringing for the evening mass. Kostas tried to follow a series on the television, but he could not concentrate. Many thoughts roamed around in his brain. He thought of the family, his early life, Athens, all the girls he had known, especially Kari. How could he have deceived her in such a brutal way, just running away after he had promised to marry her? The more his thoughts were wandering around in his brain, the more uneasy Kostas started to feel. When his thoughts eventually concentrated on the funeral that was to take place the next day, they went into even more turmoil resulting in increasing anxiety and fear. He did however refrain from taking to the bottle.

He did not know how long he had been sitting there in front of the television screen without really seeing anything. Then his eyelids felt heavy, after a while, he was taken by fatigue and fell asleep.

Another restless night; his sleep was filled with people, places and memories. In his ears was the sound of church bells and the distant peals of thunder still sounded. Kostas again did not know in which world he was, in the world of reality, in a dream, or in a fantasy. Neither could he understand in what time he was. Maybe it was yesterday, maybe today, tomorrow, or the day after? Faces, figures and memories chased through his brain. Over all of this he could hear the church bells and peals of thunder, increasing in intensity to a roaring satanic crescendo.

Kostas heard music from somewhere far away. At first he imagined that the quiet voices of the polyphonic womans choir came from angels. When he saw the white-dressed women in the choir, on the television that he had forgotten to turn off, Kostas thought that he had gone to heaven. When he eventually came back to reality, he found that he had no power to stand up. He remained sitting in the chair listening to the music. He watched the white-dressed women. As he focussed his eyes on the television screen he had the feeling that he was being drawn towards the choir. He moved closer and closer; he did not stop even when he came to the screen, but continued through it. In a moment he arrived at the white dressed women, it seemed to him as if they were as transparent as mist .They dissolved and Kostas continued on, right through them.

The music sounded more distant. Kostas was in a misty landscape. The fog had the same blinding light that he knew from his dreams. The music from the choir had disappeared, but from a distance he heard a different music. It sounded like the mass being sung in an Orthodox church. The fog started gradually to condense into the outlines of trees, monuments and gravestones. Kostas was in a cemetery. In the distance, a funeral procession came out of the fog. As it came closer Kostas recognised his parents, brother and sister and the rest of the family. The three priests in front of the procession chanted. Six men carried the coffin. Kostas was anxious, he wanted to run away and hide behind a big tree, but his legs would not obey him so he stood, riveted, in the same place. The funeral procession was barely twenty paces from Kostas when they discovered him.

He realised that they had recognised him, but Kostas could not move. The procession stopped for a moment. All of them gazed at Kostas before they started to move again. They came towards the place where he stood. The whole beginning of the procession with the three priests became transparent, like fog, continued through Kostas and vanished. The coffin, however, bumped into him and hit Kostas on the head. He was seized by fear, and in a new attempt to escape he hit the coffin with his arm so hard that it fell to the ground and lay there whilst the rest of the group disappeared. The coffin, as it lay on the ground, was half open. Kostas took a step closer to it, then another, and another. When he got so close that he could see into the coffin, Kostas felt as though he had frozen to ice in that same moment. The face that stared at him from inside the coffin was not his grandfather’s, it was his own……..

Kostas woke up, dripping with sweat. He was only just able to walk as far as the window. He was trembling all over as he drew open the curtains. Outside, he discovered the same radiating mist with the intense white light that he knew. He quickly poured himself a large glass of raki. He had decided to quit, but it did not matter anymore. Nothing was important for Kostas anymore. He understood that his dreams had been a ‘deja vue’, an experience of something that was going to happen. Kostas had nothing to look forward to anymore. The past had caught up with what little he had left of his future. He realised that he would soon be facing the last ….the final…, the great horror.

Kostas ran through the fog. Grandfather’s voice kept singing in his ears: “To the top, Kostas, to the top.” He barely managed to follow the path upwards. As he climbed higher the fog became lighter and he could distinctly see the outlines of a man a little further ahead of him on the trail. Kostas had not recognised his grandfather immediately because this time he did not have his hat on his head, he held it in front of him, in both hands. His grandfather smiled at him as he put his hat on Kostas’ head before he disappeared into the mist. Kostas ran and ran. He reached the end of the trail and began the ascent to the top. When he arrived there, he came out of the fog and the sunlight struck him from a clear blue sky. He stared out over an endless sea of ​​white fog. Over it all, far away, as if from outer space, he heard his Grandfather’s voice: “Fly Kostas, fly!”…… And Kostas flew, above the clouds, over the mountains, the sea, and over the whole world.  He did not worry any longer; he was not afraid…… Kostas was free.

Confidential report from the Paros Police
The body of a man was found by a shepherd today, in the valley at the bottom of the mountain.  It was thought likely that he had fallen from the steep rock cliff above. The strange thing was that the man was wearing a peculiar yellow hat, with wing-like green ears, that had a green ribbon around the crown resembling a tiny laurel wreath. The man had apparently pulled this hat down over his head with both hands as he fell.

Because of the somewhat mysterious circumstances of this case it is not recommended that this report be made available to the general public.

Archeological mystery:

Place Thoulos Bay, Eastern Crete

Look at the bay in Google Maps! 

Do you se the rectangular structure left an south from the bay? Size is abou 40 x 4 meters, it must be very big in order to show that clearly on the satellite map!

 

This enormous structure, 40 x 8 m stone set walls is clearly visible at the lower left side of the bay.

 

The structure seen from inside.

Details of bricks. Look closely at the bricks and the way the structure is put together.

 The bricks are unmistakably of roman type

The answer may be found in the geographical l position of the structure. The entire valley is full of olive trees!

If you se this in relation to the history of Crete it is not difficult to get an idea. Notice the island Psira to the north, the town Mochlos to the northwest, both within distance 10 km.Both places had substantial Minoan setlements in the Bronze Age.

Se locatin on Google Maps

I brought all the material to the arcaological museum in Agios Nikolaos.

Comments: There is no record that there is anything of arcaeological inerest in this area, consequently, the structure must be quite modern.

Ένα μινωικόμ μήνυμα σε βράχο στη Νορβηγία

Posted: September 2012  inMinoan History and culture

Sven Buchholz:

Έχουμε αποδείξεις ότι υπήρχαν προϊστορικές
σχέσεις μεταξύ Κρήτης και Νορβηγίας

Ένα μινωικό μήνυμα σε
βράχο στη Νορβηγία

Αυτό ισχυρίζεται ο Νορβηγός Ιωάννης Ιάρνες (Johan Jarnes) από τη μικρή πόλη Κόνγκσμπεργκ (Kongsberg) 80 χλμ. δυτικά του Όσλο, την πρωτεύουσα της Νορβηγίας.

Μια μέρα του Οκτώβρη παρατήρησε κάποια σημάδια σ’ ένα βράχο που βρισκόταν κοντά στο αγρόκτημα ενός φίλου του. Ο βράχος ήταν καλυμμένος με λειχήνες και μούσκλια. ‘Όταν σκούπισε και καθάρισε ένα κομμάτι του αποκαλύφθηκαν κάποιες επιγραφές, στοιχεία γραφής, παραστάσεις και δώδεκα κυκλικές γούβες που έμοιαζαν με μικρά φλιτζάνια και είχαν διάμετρο από 4 ως 8 εκατοστά

                        

 

Εικόνα 1

 

Εικόνες 2 και 3

Οι επιγραφές φαίνονταν να ανήκαν σε διαφορετικές εποχές. Η ανακάλυψή του ήταν εντυπωσιακή. Οι πιο παράξενες επιγραφές – πέντε άγνωστοι χαρακτήρες ανακαλύφθηκαν σε μία γωνία του βράχου. Στην αρχή o Ιωάννης Ιάρνες πίστεψε ότι επρόκειτο για χαρακτήρες του φοινικικού ή αρχαίου ελληνικού αλφαβήτου. Στον ίδιο βράχο λίγο πιο πέρα αποκαλύφθηκε κάτι πολύ περίεργο: μία απεικόνιση που δεν έμοιαζε καθόλου με τους πέντε χαρακτήρες της επιγραφής. Το κάτω μέρος της απεικόνισης αναγνωρίστηκε αργότερα. Ήταν ένας σάκος νερού ή κρασιού από δέρμα. Στο εσωτερικό της απεικόνισης του σάκου υπήρχαν τρεις οριζόντιες κυματοειδείς γραμμές που πιθανώς παρίσταναν νερό. Πάνω στο σάκο υπήρχε ένα σχήμα που έμοιαζε με το γράμμα V. Το πιο μυστηριώδες της απεικόνισης ήταν ότι οι κυματοειδείς γραμμές έμοιαζαν με εκείνο το ιερογλυφικό της αιγυπτιακής γλώσσας που σήμαινε νερό.

Εικόνα 4

Εικόνα 7. Ένα πλοίο

Δίπλα στους χαρακτήρες, όμως, βρισκόταν και μία παράσταση που γνώριζε, ένα πλοίο. Στη Νορβηγία υπάρχουν πολλοί βράχοι με χαραγμένες παραστάσεις. Το πλοίο συναντάται συχνά χαραγμένο σε τέτοιους βράχους. Και το πλοίο και οι χαρακτήρες φάνηκαν στον Ιωάννη Ιάρνες να είχαν χαραχθεί την ίδια εποχή – επειδή τα σημάδια των σκαλισμάτων ήταν τα ίδια – δηλαδή είχαν σκαλιστεί με πέτρα. Επομένως, θα ήταν δυνατόν να προσδιοριστεί η χρονολογία τους. Το πλοίο πρωτοεμφανίστηκε την εποχή του χαλκού, 2000 – 1500 π.Χ.

 

Εικόνα 9.  Λιθογραφίες σε βράχους

Το αίνιγμα

Ξαφνιάστηκε ο Ιωάννης Ιάρνες. Τι σήμαιναν τα ευρήματα αυτά; Από τη μία πλευρά υπήρχαν χαρακτήρες που φαινομενικά ανήκαν στο φοινικικό ή στο αρχαίο ελληνικό αλφάβητο και από την άλλη πλευρά υπήρχαν παραστάσεις της εποχής του χαλκού, δηλαδή ως και 1000 χρόνια πριν από το αρχαίο ελληνικό αλφάβητο.

Τι συνέβη στην πόλη Κόνγκσμπεργκ πριν το 1623;

Ο Ιωάννης Ιάρνες έχει πανεπιστημιακά πτυχία ιστορίας, αρχαιολογίας και γλωσσολογίας. Μαζί με μία παρέα φίλων του έχει μελετήσει την τοπική ιστορία του Κόνγκσμπεργκ. Η πόλη ιδρύθηκε το 1623, μετά την ανακάλυψη του αργύρου από κάποιο τσοπάνο. Μαζί με τη λειτουργία του ορυχείου αργύρου η μικρή πόλη μεγάλωσε φτάνοντας τους 10.000 κατοίκους. Τα κοιτάσματα αργύρου τελείωσαν λίγα χρόνια μετά το πόλεμο, το 1958. Κατά την κοινή γνώμη η πόλη δεν είχε καμία ιστορία πριν το 1623.

Δεν αποδέχτηκε όμως αυτό τον ισχυρισμό ο Ιωάννης και οι φίλοι του. Εδώ και 20 χρόνια η παρέα του Ιωάννη ξεκίνησε να μελετά την ιστορία του τόπου τους.

Αποτέλεσμα: Πολλά ευρήματα της εποχής του χαλκού αλλά και παλαιότερα. Τα πιο σημαντικά ευρήματα, όμως, ήταν απομεινάρια της προϊστορικής λειτουργίας του ορυχείου αργύρου. Τα προϊστορικά κοιτάσματα αργύρου του Κόνγκσμπεργκ μπορεί να ήταν τα πιο πλούσια της βόρειας Ευρώπης. Μεταξύ των φίλων του Ιάρνες υπήρχαν ειδήμονες αρχαιολογίας, ιστορίας, γλωσσολογίας, γεωλογίας και αστρονομίας. Το 1999 ο Ιωάννης Ιάρνες εξέδωσε ένα βιβλίο για την ιστορία της πόλης πριν το 1623: «Πριν την ίδρυση του Κόνγκσμπεργκ». http://jarnaes.wordpress.com/

Μεταξύ των ευρημάτων υπήρχαν και κάποιες ομάδες πετρών ταξινομημένες κατά ένα αστρονομικό σχέδιο, καθώς και γεωμετρικές παραστάσεις. Τέτοιες αστρονομικές και γεωμετρικές παραστάσεις μπορεί να χρησιμοποιούνταν ως ημερολόγια, τα λεγόμενα ηλιακά ημερολόγια. Ξέρουμε ότι οι Βίκινγκς χρησιμοποιούσαν την ίδια γνώση σαν ηλιακή πυξίδα δυο χιλιάδες χρόνια αργότερα. Ο πληθυσμός της Νορβηγίας την εποχή του χαλκού ήταν χαμηλού πνευματικού επιπέδου. Δεν θα μπορούσε να έχει γνώσεις στην Αστρονομία και τα Μαθηματικά. Τέτοια ευρήματα καταμαρτυρούν την ύπαρξη ενός υψηλού αρχαίου πολιτισμού. Από που έπαιρναν οι Νορβηγοί εκείνης της εποχής τέτοιες παρορμήσεις;

Γραμμική γραφή Α

Επειδή οι χαρακτήρες ήταν μόνο σύμφωνα, θα ήταν απίθανο να ανήκαν στο αρχαίο ελληνικό αλφάβητο. Η αρχαία ελληνική γλώσσα είχε πολλά φωνήεντα, έτσι η φράση δεν θα είχε κανένα νόημα. Οι επιγραφές στο βράχο βρέθηκαν το 1987. Μέχρι το 1994, όμως, το αίνιγμα δεν είχε λυθεί. Το 1994 ήρθε στο Κόνγκσμπεργκ ο Χιέλλ ΄Ορτουν (Kjell Aarthun). Ο Νορβηγός γλωσσολόγος Χιέλλ ΄Ορτουν είναι γνωστός από τις διαλέξεις του στα περισσότερα πανεπιστήμια της Ευρώπης. Η ειδικότητά του είναι οι αρχαίες γλώσσες της Μέσης Ανατολής και του Αιγαίου, ιδιαίτερα της Κρήτης. Ο Χιέλλ ΄Ορτουν ισχυρίστηκε ότι η επιγραφή στο βράχο ήταν σαφώς η γραμμική γραφή Α, η αρχαία μινωική γλώσσα της Κρήτης.

Οι πρώτες γραπτές λέξεις στη Νορβηγία

Η κατά λέξη αποκρυπτογράφηση της επιγραφής, όπως αυτή έγινε από τον Χιέλλ ΄Ορτουν, ήταν η εξής: «το μαλακό αμιγές». Όσον αφοράτην απεικόνιση αποδείχτηκε πως ήταν δυο από τους ιερογλυφικούς χαρακτήρες του δίσκου της Φαιστού. Το πάνω σχήμα της απεικόνισης που έμοιαζε με V ο Όρτουν αποκάλεσε ως « κοράλλι», ενώ το δεύτερο, το κάτω, ως «ασκί νερού» Σύμφωνα με την αποκρυπτογράφησή του, το διπλό σχήμα σήμαινε: «ο χώρος των επισκεπτών». Κατά τη γνώμη του Ιάρνες εκείνη η αποκρυπτογράφηση είχε πολύ νόημα. Μετά την ανακάλυψη των μινωικών επιγραφών ολόκληρος ο βράχος καθαρίστηκε με αποτέλεσμα να βρεθούν περισσότερες επιγραφές από διάφορες εποχές της Ιστορίας. Στις σκανδιναβικές γλώσσες οι βράχοι σαν αυτόν λέγονται: «πεδία με σκανδιναβικές λιθογραφίες προϊστορικής εποχής». Στη Σκανδιναβία βρίσκονται πολλά τέτοια πεδία. Χρησιμοποιούνταν ως σημεία λατρείας.

Οι Μινωίτες δε συνήθιζαν το χάραγμα σε βράχους. Στη Νορβηγία όμως οι χαραγμένες παραστάσεις στους βράχους ήταν για χιλιάδες χρόνια τρόπος λατρείας. Ο Ιάρνες είχε, όμως, ακόμα μία απορία: Τι σήμαιναν οι κυματοειδείς γραμμές του σάκου νερού; Αν και οι Μινωίτες δε συνήθιζαν να χαράσσουν χαρακτήρες στους βράχους, η λατρεία δεν ήταν λέξη άγνωστη για τους Μινωίτες. Στις χώρες της Μεσόγειου εκείνη την εποχή το φρέσκο νερό εκλαμβανόταν σαν ένα πολυδάπανο δώρο. Οι Μινωίτες είχαν συχνά επαφή με τους Αιγυπτίους. Έτσι, θα μπορούσαν να έχουν μάθει την ιερογλυφική γραφή τους.

«Το μαλακό αμιγές»

Ποιος θα μπορούσε να είχε γράψει μινωικούς χαρακτήρες σε ένα βράχο στη Νορβηγία 2000 χρόνια πριν οι Νορβηγοί γνωρίσουν τη γραφή; Οι Μινωίτες; Τι έκαναν οι Μινωίτες στη Νορβηγία; Τι
σήμαινε η φράση «Το μαλακό αμιγές»;

Οι Νορβηγοί χάραζαν αυτές τις παραστάσεις στους βράχους ως κάποιο είδος λατρείας, αλλά και για να κερδίσουν την εύνοια των θεών. Οι Μινωίτες ήταν οι ικανότεροι έμποροι της Μεσογείου την εποχή του χαλκού. Είχαν εμπορικές σχέσεις με τις περισσότερες χώρες της Μέσης Ανατολής και της Αφρικής και ιδιαίτερα με την Αίγυπτο. Μία από τις ειδικότητές τους ήταν το εμπόριο μετάλλων – χρυσού, αργύρου, χαλκού και κασσίτερου. Εκείνη την εποχή η αξία του αργύρου ήταν διπλάσια από αυτή του χρυσού, δηλαδή οι Αιγύπτιοι πλήρωναν ένα κιλ αργύρου για δύο κιλά χρυσού. Δεν θα ήταν απίθανο ο πρωτόγονος πληθυσμός της Νορβηγίας εκείνης της εποχής να μην ήξερε την αξία του αργύρου. Ο άργυρος ήταν πάρα πολύ μαλακός. Δεν τους χρησίμευε σε τίποτα. Αυτό που ήθελαν ήταν ο χαλκός . Έτσι, τα ταξίδια των Μινωιτών στη Νορβηγία θα μπορούσαν να αποφέρουν μεγάλα κέρδη. Άξιζε, λοιπόν, τον κόπο να χαράζουν λέξεις σε βράχους, όπως οι Νορβηγοί. Σύμφωνα με το ρητό, εξάλλου: «Εφόσον βρίσκεσαι στη Ρώμη πράξε όπως οι Ρωμαίοι». Wetuyu piti , το μαλακό αμιγές αναφερόταν, βέβαια, στον άργυρο. Σε αντίθεση με τον άργυρο της Μεσογείου, ο άργυρος του Κόνγκσμπεργκ ήταν αμιγής, χωρίς μόλυβδο. Για αυτό οι Μινωίτες ήθελαν να
ευχαριστήσουν τους θεούς για αυτό το ακριβό δώρο.

Τα πλοία των Μινωιτών

Πώς ήταν δυνατόν οι Μινωίτες να ταξιδεύουν ως τη Νορβηγία; Ξέρουμε ότι οι Μινωίτες ήταν περίφημοι ναυτικοί που εξουσίαζαν τη Μεσόγειο. Η κατασκευή των πλοίων τους ήταν πολύ προχωρημένη. Επειδή τα πλοία ήταν εξοπλισμένα με καρίνα, μπορούσαν να πλέουν κόντρα στον άνεμο. Δεν έχουμε λόγο να πιστεύουμε ότι τα πλοία των Μινωιτών ήταν κατώτερα αυτών που είχαν οι Βίκινγκς 1500 χρόνια αργότερα. Δεν έχει βρεθεί ακόμα το ναυάγιο κάποιου μινωικού πλοίου. Έχουμε όμως πληροφορίες από τις ανασκαφές στη Θήρα. Εκεί ανακαλύφθηκαν τοιχογραφίες που παρίσταναν μινωικά πλοία καθώς απέπλεαν από το λιμάνι της Θήρας. Συγκρίνοντας τις τοιχογραφίες, οι Έλληνες αρχαιολόγοι μπόρεσαν να προσδιορίσουν ότι τα πλοία είχαν μήκος περίπου 35 μέτρα. Αυτά ήταν σχετικά μεγαλύτερα από τα πλοία των Βίκινγκς. Το μεγαλύτερο πλοίο των Βίκινγκς που βρέθηκε, το «GOGSDADSHIP» είχε μήκος μόνο 25 μέτρα. Με πλοία σαν αυτό οι Βίκινγκς ταξίδευαν στη Μεσόγειο και ως την Αμερική και μάλιστα πεντακόσια χρόνια πριν τον Κολόμβο.

Εικόνα 10. το «GOGSDADSHIP»

Υπάρχουν, ακόμη, κάποια σχέδια επάνω σε μικρές κεραμικές πλάκες που απεικονίζουν διάφορα μινωικά πλοία – κάποιες από τις πλάκες αυτές χρησιμοποιούνταν ως σφραγίδες. Την εποχή του χαλκού οι Μινωίτες είχαν ολόκληρη την κυριαρχία της ναυτιλίας της Μεσογείου. Η έκρηξη και ο σεισμός στη Θήρα σήμανε το τέλος του μινωικού στόλου. Μετά την καταστροφή του μινωικού πολιτισμού και την παρακμή της αιγυπτιακής αυτοκρατορίας, η Μεσόγειος αφέθηκε ανοικτή για νιόφερτους, ιδιαίτερα για τους Φοίνικες, τους κληρονόμους του αιγυπτιακού εμπορίου. Όπως οι Μινωίτες έτσι και οι Φοίνικες ήταν έμποροι και όχι πολεμιστές. Οι Φοίνικες ήταν ήδη στη θάλασσα αρκετό καιρό πριν από τους αρχαίους Έλληνες και είχαν καθιερωθεί σαν έμπειροι ναυτικοί. Η πρώτη απόδειξη που υπάρχει αναφορικά με τα φοινικικά πλοία βρέθηκε σε μία αιγυπτιακή τοιχογραφία του 14ου αιώνα π.Χ. Αυτό συνέπεσε με την ίδρυση του πρώτου εμπορικού κέντρου της Μέσης Ανατολής, που σήμερα βρίσκεται στη Λεβάντα. Μολονότι οι δραστηριότητές τους είχαν καταγραφεί ενδελεχώς σε λογοτεχνικές πηγές, οι Φοίνικες άφησαν ελάχιστες εικονογραφημένες ενδείξεις των πλοίων τους, και ό,τι λιγοστό υπάρχει φαίνεται πως ήταν δουλειά των Αιγυπτίων και των Συρίων καλλιτεχνών. Οι περιγραφές που έχουμε, όμως, δείχνουν ότι τα πλοία των Φοινίκων έμοιαζαν μάλλον με αυτά των Αιγυπτίων παρά με αυτά των Μινωιτών. Δηλαδή, τα πλοία τους δεν είχαν την ήδη προηγμένη κατασκευή καιπλοϊμότητα των Μινωιτών. Τα μινωικά πλοία ήταν μοναδικά στον κόσμο όσον αφορούσε την πλοϊμότητα. Αυτό ήταν μία από τις πιο σημαντικές αιτίες της κυριαρχίας της Κρήτης στους ωκεανούς, ακόμα και για τη σταθερότητα της ναυτικής αυτοκρατορίας των Μινωιτών.

 

Εικόνα 8

Τα πλοία τους ήταν μάλιστα τόσο αποδοτικά, ώστε οι Μινωίτες μπορούσαν να διατηρούν την κυριαρχία τους χωρίς στρατό και χωρίς παράλια φρούρια. Δυστυχώς φαίνεται ότι τα μεγάλα κύματα που δημιουργήθηκαν από το σεισμό στη Θήρα κατέστρεψαν ολόκληρο το στόλο των Μινωιτών. Οι Φοίνικες παρέλαβαν, όμως, την κυριαρχία αυτή στη θάλασσα μετά τους Μινωίτες. Έχουμε μάλιστα αποδείξεις ότι οι Φοίνικες διέπλεαν τον ωκεανό μέχρι την Αγγλία. Η Ιστορία έχει υποτιμήσει τα μινωικά πλοία επειδή η γνώση και το μυστικό της κατασκευής τους χάθηκε. Πέρασαν πολλά χρόνια ώστε να κάνει κάποιος μία αντάξια κατασκευή των μινωικών πλοίων, μάλιστα ως και την εποχή των Βίκινγκς. Πιθανώς οι Μινωίτες χρησιμοποιούσαν την ηλιακή πυξίδα για να πλοηγήσουν τα πλοία τους. Δεν θα εκπλαγώ αν μάθω από μελλοντικές έρευνες ότι οι Μινωίτες ήταν μάλιστα στην Αμερική 3000 χρόνια πριν τον Κολόμβο. Βρέθηκε μέσα στις μούμιες στους αιγυπτιακούς τάφους κοκαΐνη. Εκείνη την εποχή δεν υπήρχε κοκαΐνη στην Ευρώπη. Υπήρχε αποκλειστικά στη Νότια Αμερική!

Ξέρουμε ότι τα μινωικά πλοία ήταν πραγματικά ανώτερα από αυτά των Φοινίκων. Επομένως, δεν θα ήταν πρόβλημα για τους Μινωίτες να διαπλέουν τον ωκεανό ως τη Νορβηγία. Υπάρχουν δε και αναφορές ότι οι Μινωίτες επισκέπτονταν την Ιρλανδία. Την εποχή του χαλκού ακόμα και τα μεγάλα πλοία είχαν τη δυνατότητα να ταξιδεύουν στα φιόρδ (Drammensfjorden) μέσω ενός μεγάλου ποταμού (Drammenselven) ως τη τοποθεσία Φίσκουμ (Fiskum), που απέχει 5 χλμ. από το Κόνγκσμπεργκ.

Εικόνα 6. Ο χάρτης των περιοχών γύρω από το Φιόρδ του Όσλο όπου απεικονίζεται το δρομολόγιο των Μινωιτών

Drammen, Mjoendalen Hokksund, Vestfossen, Fiskum.

Την εποχή αυτή υπήρχαν εμπορικοί δρόμοι που διέσχιζαν την Ευρώπη. Έτσι, βρίσκουμε αντικείμενα από την περιοχή του Αιγαίου στη Νορβηγία, ενώ κεχριμπάρι από τις Βαλτικές χώρες έχει βρεθεί σε μυκηναϊκούς τάφους. Το μετάξι ακολούθησε έναν από αυτούς τους δρόμους χίλια χρόνια πριν από το Μάρκο Πόλο. Για αυτό έχουμε λόγο να πιστεύουμε ότι και οι πληροφορίες για την ύπαρξη αργύρου μπορεί να είχαν ακολουθήσει μία τέτοια διαδρομή προς χάριν και του Μάρκο Πόλο αλλά και των Μινωιτών.

Επιγραφές με Μινωικές γραφές

Δεν έχουμε πολλές επιγραφές γραμμένες στη γραμμική γραφή Α. Δύο Γάλλοι αρχαιολόγοι, ο Godart και ο Olivier από το Γαλλικό σχολείο της Αθήνας εξέδωσαν το 1975 πέντε βιβλία που περιέχουν όλες τις επιγραφές εκείνης της εποχής που υπήρχαν σε πλάκες από άργιλο, κεραμικά, κοσμήματα και κτίσματα. Δυστυχώς τα περισσότερα ήταν θρυμματισμένα. Μόνο περίπου 80 θραύσματα έχουν αρκετούς χαρακτήρες από τους οποίους βγαίνει κάποιο νόημα. Ο δίσκος της Φαιστού είναι το πιο μακροσκελές κείμενο που υπάρχει. Έχει 242 ιερογλυφικούς χαρακτήρες. Η γραμμική γραφή Α μπορεί να είναι η πλάγια γραφή των ιερογλυφικών χαρακτήρων. Και οι δύο γραφές είναι συλλαβικές, δηλαδή κάθε χαρακτήρας αντιστοιχεί σε μία συλλαβή, έχει ένα σύμφωνο και ένα φωνήεν ή μόνο ένα φωνήεν. Ο γλωσσολόγος Χιέλλ Όρτουν εξέδωσε δύο βιβλία 1500 σελίδων σχετικά με την αποκρυπτογράφηση της γραμμικής γραφής Α και της γραφής του δίσκο της Φαιστού. Τα βιβλία του περιλαμβάνουν τη μινωική γραμματική και το συντακτικό. Ο Άγγλος σκιτσογράφος (William Brice), Ουίλλιαμ Μπράις, έχει καταγράψει όλους τους 121 κύριους χαρακτήρες της γραμμικής γραφής Α. Ο κάθε χαρακτήρας έχει και κάποιες παραλλαγές οι οποίες περιλαμβάνονται συνολικά στον κατάλογο του Μπράις. Έτσι μπορούμε εύκολα να συσχετίσουμε την οποιαδήποτε παραλλαγή με τον αντίστοιχο κύριο χαρακτήρα.

 

Εικόνα 5

Αποδείξεις

Υπάρχουν κάποιοι που ισχυρίζονται ότι έχουν αποκρυπτογραφήσει τις μινωικές γραφές. Δεν είναι δυνατόν να επιχειρηματολογήσουμε για το ποιος έχει δίκιο ή άδικο επειδή δεν υπάρχει τρόπος να συγκρίνουμε τις γλώσσες όπως στην περίπτωση της Πέτρας της Ροζέτας, όπου το ίδιο κείμενο αναγράφεται σε διαφορετικές γλώσσες. Κανένας όμως δεν έχει αμφισβητήσει τον κατάλογο του Μπράις. Αυτός ο κατάλογος περιγράφει τους 121 χαρακτήρες της γραμμικής γραφής Α.

Είναι εύκολο να διακρίνει κανείς ότι οι χαρακτήρες στο βράχο είναι πανομοιότυποι με εκείνους που περιλαμβάνονται στον κατάλογο του Μπράις, αν και ο βράχος έχει χαραχθεί με πέτρα. Οι χαρακτήρες της γραμμικής γραφής Α κατασκευάστηκαν για να γράφονται με πένα σε πάπυρο ή σε πλάκες από άργιλο. Η μετάφραση του Όρτουν για τις λέξεις WE TU YU PI TI, «το μαλακό αμιγές» σημαίνει κάτι και έχει σχέση με τον άργυρο. Οι μεταφράσεις του και των άλλων 80 κείμενων της γραμμικής γραφής Α, επίσης, σημαίνουν κάτι. Μας αποκαλύπτουν μια καινούργια και ενδιαφέρουσα πλευρά του μινωικού πολιτισμού.

Υστερόγραφο

Ο Jarnaes και ο αρθρογράφος για την πλάκα, Ιούλιος 2012

Έχω επισκεφτεί εγώ ο ίδιος, μαζί με τον Jarnaes, τις περιοχές γύρω από το Kongsberg και έχω φωτογραφίσει αυτά που ο Jarnaes ισχυρίζεται ότι είναι κατάλοιπα προϊστορικών ορυχείων. Έχουμε βρει, ακόμη, αποδείξεις και λεπτομερείς πληροφορίες προϊστορικών ορυχείων και από πολλές ευρωπαϊκές χώρες. Οι φωτογραφίες που πήρα μοιάζουν πολύ με τα ευρήματα στην Ισπανία και τη Σερβία. Επικοινώνησα, μάλιστα, με αρχαιολόγους στη Σερβία που υποστηρίζουν τις θεωρίες μου. Αυτό που είναι πραγματικά ξεχωριστό με το ασήμι του Kongsberg, είναι ότι τον έβρισκε κανείς σε καθαρή μορφή κατευθείαν στην επιφάνεια. Ποιος θα μπορούσε να πιστέψει ότι τέτοια ευρήματα θα περνούσαν απαρατήρητα μέχρι και το 1623; Μόλις η πηγή μειώθηκε, το υλικό της πέτρας, που είχε εξορυχτεί μαζί με τον άργυρο, ξαναγέμισε τα ορυχεία.

 

 Προϊστορικό ορυχείο στο Kongsberg

Ο άργυρος στις χώρες της Μεσόγειου δεν ήταν αμιγής. Ήταν ανάμικτος με μόλυβδο, και γι’ αυτό δεν ήταν γυαλιστερός όπως αυτός του Κόνγκσμπεργκ. Όταν ο Ναπολέων επέστρεψε από την εκστρατεία του στην Αίγυπτο, έφερε ένα μεγάλο θησαυρό αργύρου, ο οποίος εκτίθεται σήμερα στο μουσείο του Λούβρου. Οι επιστήμονες του μουσείου αυτού ανέλυσαν τα αντικείμενα αργύρου. Η ανάλυση επέτρεψε στους επιστήμονες να εντοπίσουν την προέλευση του αργύρου κάθε αντικειμένου. Γνώριζαν, όμως, μόνο τα ορυχεία της Μεσογείου. Υπήρχαν και κάποια αντικείμενα των οποίων η προέλευση δεν εντοπίστηκε, πιθανώς γιατί τα ορυχεία εκείνου του αργύρου βρίσκονταν μακριά από τη Μεσόγειο.

 

Κομμάτι καθαρού αργύρου, όπως βγήκε από το ορυχείο

 Θανατική καταδίκη στη νορβηγική Αρχαιολογία και Επιστήμη

 Μου πήρε αρκετό χρόνο να εμβαθύνω στο κίνητρο και την περίεργη συμπεριφορά των καταξιωμένων Νορβηγών αρχαιολόγων επιστημόνων όσον αφορά την κατηγορηματική αντίκρουση των ευρημάτων του  Jarnaes.

 «Ημάχητου Kongsberg»

 Αυτή είναι μία σύντομη περίληψη:

 Ένα ειδικό μουσείο εξόρυξης αργύρου, σχετικά με την επίσημη εξόρυξη αργύρου το 1623, ιδρύθηκε στο Kongsberg. Ο διευθυντής αυτού του μουσείου έχει αφιερώσει τη ζωή του γράφοντας την «Ιστορία εξόρυξης αργύρου στο Kongsberg». Αν ο ισχυρισμός του Jarnaes μπορούσε να αποδειχτεί, η δουλειά του, μιας ολόκληρης ζωής, θα συνθλιβόταν. Επιπλέον, αν αποδεικνυόταν ότι οι Μινωίτες πήγαν στο  Kongsberg για άργυρο και ότι οι χαρακτήρες στην πλάκα γρανίτη ήταν Γραμμική Α, η καταστροφή θα ήταν ολοκληρωτική και ο «παππούλης» θα γινόταν περίγελος! Η αντίσταση ήταν τόσο μεγάλη ώστε διήρκεσε μέχρι και το 2007, οπότε και η υπόθεση τέθηκε υπό περαιτέρω έρευνα. Ο Jarnaes δεν παραιτήθηκε ποτέ· συνέχισε να αλληλογραφεί μέσω διαδικτύου στέλνοντας φωτογραφίες ακόμη και βίντεο σε ειδικούς σε άλλες χώρες. Το 2007 ένας από αυτούς τους ειδικούς αναμίχθηκε στην υπόθεση και ξεκίνησε την έρευνα. Τα καλούπια είχαν καλυφθεί από ξένες πηγές! Ένα από τα τεστ που οι Νορβηγοί αμέλησαν να πραγματοποιήσουν όλο αυτό τον καιρό ήταν η προφανής παλαιομέτρηση με άνθρακα 14! Το πρωταρχικό τεστ παρέσυρε το «όριο 1623» μίλια μακριά! Ήταν, πλέον, απολύτως επιστημονικά εξακριβωμένο ότι η προϊστορική εξόρυξη αργύρου στο Kongsberg λάμβανε χώρα χιλιάδες χρόνια πριν το 1623!

 Όντας αναμεμιγμένος στην υπόθεση Kongsberg για πολλά χρόνια, έλαβα βοήθεια από τη γείτονα χώρα στα ανατολικά, τη Σουηδία. Όπως φαίνεται, ένας Σουηδός αρχαιολόγος, ο Oscar Monteliusείχε αυτή την ιδέα 100 χρόνια πριν.  Ήταν πρωτοπόρος στην ιστορική παλαιομέτρηση!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Montelius

 Ισχυριζόταν ότι είχε παρατηρήσει ότι η χρονική περίοδος μετάβασης από τη Λίθινη Εποχή στην Εποχή του Χαλκού ήταν πολύ μικρή. «Η Εποχή του Χαλκού εμφανίστηκε ξαφνικά από τη μια μέρα στην άλλη»! Ακόμη κι αν ο Montelius μπορούσε να κατασκευάσει ευρήματα ξεκάθαρα επηρεασμένα από τη Μεσόγειο, ειδικά το Αιγαίο, οι θεωρίες του ήταν πολύ προχωρημένες για να γίνουν αποδεκτές τότε. Παρόλα αυτά, κίνησε το ενδιαφέρον και την περιέργεια των Σουηδών, που ασχολούνται με αυτό από τότε! Πολλά χρόνια αργότερα, την εποχή της τηλεόρασης, ένας από αυτούς ξεκίνησε ένα τηλεοπτικό πρόγραμμα «Οι λιθογραφίες» (λιθογραφίες σε βράχους, που ήταν τα σημαντικότερα σημάδια της αρχαίας Ιστορίας στη Σουηδία, υπήρχαν εκατοντάδες). Το τηλεοπτικό κοινό άρχισε να παρατηρεί και να αναφέρει ευρήματα όπου και όποτε έκανε περιπάτους! Το τηλεοπτικό πρόγραμμα έγινε πολύ δημοφιλές, εκατοντάδες αγνώστων αρχαιολογικών χώρων ανακαλύφθηκαν και περίπου 6000 ιστορικά ευρήματα βρέθηκαν. Έχοντας εξετάσει τα αντικείμενα δύο Σουηδοί αρχαιολόγοι εξέδωσαν το 2005 ένα βιβλίο με τίτλο: «Η άνοδος της κοινωνίας της Εποχής του Χαλκού»1. Οι αρχαιολόγοι αυτοί, οι οποίοι διδάσκουν σε δύο διαφορετικά πανεπιστήμια της Σουηδίας, έχουν εξετάσει στην διάρκεια έξι χρόνων χιλιάδες γραπτά και αντικείμενα, ευρήματα από τη Νότια Σουηδία, που έχουν ανακαλυφθεί εδώ και πολλά χρόνια. Μελέτησαν, ιδιαίτερα, προϊστορικές σκανδιναβικές λιθογραφίες σε βράχους. Υπάρχουν χιλιάδες τέτοιες στη Σκανδιναβία. Πολλά από τα αντικείμενα και τις λιθογραφίες καθρεφτίζουν τις ιδέες, τις θρησκείες και τις τέχνες των χωρών της Μεσογείου. Στο βιβλίο περιγράφονται τα αποτελέσματα των μελετών. Οι δύο αρχαιολόγοι ισχυρίζονται ότι τα ευρήματα προέρχονται από μια κουλτούρα που ξαφνικά ανέβηκε σε υψηλό επίπεδο, περνώντας στην Εποχή του Χαλκού, όπως ακριβώς συνέβη στις χώρες της Ανατολικής Μεσόγειου. Το πιο μυστηριώδες είναι, όμως, ότι αυτή η υψηλή κουλτούρα διάρκεσε περίπου 1000 χρόνια, δηλαδή μέχρι το 500 π.Χ., πριν παρακμάσει και εξαφανισθεί τόσο ξαφνικά όσο άκμασε. Αυτά τα αποτελέσματα των μελετών είναι αλήθεια συνταρακτικά. Δείχνουν ότι έχουμε πραγματικά αποδείξεις για την ύπαρξη σχέσεων μεταξύ της Σκανδιναβίας και των χωρών της Μεσογείου την εποχή του χαλκού.

 

Εικόνα 9. Προϊστορικές σκανδιναβικές λιθογραφίες σε βράχους

1 Το βιβλίο: TheRiseofBronzeAgeSociety

Kristian Kristiansen Göteborg
Universitet,Sweden

Thomas B. Larsso, Umeå
Universitet, Sweden

OxfordUniversityPress. 2005

(ISBN-13:
9780521843638 | ISBN-10: 0521843634)

  Γενετικές ενδείξεις

 Η αρχαιολογία έχει αποκτήσει πρόσφατα νέα εργαλεία, μερικά από αυτά κληρονομημένα από την Ιατρική, όπως το ραντάρ και η σάρωση με λέιζερ των αρχαιολογικών χώρων και η ανάγνωση του μοριακού DNA οστών μέχρι και 5.000 ετών. Το Φεβρουάριο του 2007 το αναγνωρισμένο Ινστιτούτο Έρευνας του Stanford εξέδωσε μια αναφορά εκ μέρους της αρχαιολογικής κοινότητας των Η.Π.Α. Στην έρευνα χρησιμοποιήθηκε η νέα τεχνική ανάλυσης του μοριακού DNA στα οστά που συλλέχθηκαν από εκσκαφές σε διάφορες χώρες της Μεσογείου. Τα πρότυπα του DNA συγκρίθηκαν τότε με οστά από μινωικούς τάφους. Το συμπέρασμα ήταν ότι ο μινωικός πολιτισμός είναι πιο πιθανό να  προέρχεται από χώρες ανατολικά της Τουρκίας, κάπου μεταξύ του Ιράν και του Ιράκ. Αρκετή ποσότητα μινωικού γενετικού υλικού βρέθηκε, επίσης, στη Νότια Σκανδιναβία, κάτι που ενισχύει τις θεωρίες του βιβλίου «Η άνοδος της κοινωνίας της Εποχής του Χαλκού».

Η πρωτοπόρος αθηναϊκή εφημερίδα «Καθημερινή» γράφει:

 

Το DNAριχνει (πέταχνει)  φως στους Μινωίτες

 Ο φημισμένος μινωικός πολιτισμός αναπτύχθηκε από ανθρώπους από την Ανατολία σύμφωνα με μία καινούρια μελέτη από Έλληνες και ξένους επιστήμονες, που αντικρούει μία προηγούμενη θεωρία σύμφωνα με την οποία οι πρόγονοι των Μινωιτών προέρχονταν από την Αφρική. Η νέα έρευνα – μία σύμπραξη ειδικών στην Ελλάδα, τις Η.Π.Α., τη Ρωσία και την Τουρκία – έβγαλε τα συμπεράσματά της από την ανάλυση του  DNA 193 ανδρών από την Κρήτη και άλλων 171 από πρώην νεολιθικές αποικίες στην κεντρική και τη νότια Ελλάδα. Τα αποτελέσματα δείχνουν ότι ο νεολιθικός πληθυσμός της χώρας ήρθε στην Ελλάδα από τη θάλασσα από την Ανατολία – στις μέρες μας Ιράν, Ιράκ και Συρία – και όχι από την Αφρική, όπως επέμενε ένας λόγιος των Η.Π.Α. ο  Martin Bernal. Η ανάλυση του DNA υποδεικνύει ότι η άφιξη του νεολιθικού άντρα στην Ελλάδα από την Ανατολία συνέβη ταυτόχρονα με την κοινωνική και πολιτιστική ακμή που οδήγησε στη γέννηση του μινωικού πολιτισμού. Ο Κωνσταντίνος Τριανταφυλλίδης του Αριστοτέλειου πανεπιστημίου της Θεσσαλονίκης  είπε στην «Καθημερινή»: «Μέχρι τώρα είχαμε μόνο τις αρχαιολογικές ενδείξεις – τώρα έχουμε και γενετικά δεδομένα και μπορούμε να χρονολογήσουμε το DNA».

Αρκετά στοιχεία DNA βρέθηκαν, επίσης, στη Σουηδία, τη βορειοδυτική Γερμανία και τις βρετανικές νησίδες ώστε να αποδεικνύουν όχι μόνο ότι το βιβλίο «Η άνοδος της κοινωνίας της εποχής του χαλκού» – “ The  Rise of Bronze Age Society” – βασίζεται σε επιστημονικά γεγονότα, αλλά και ότι οι Μινωίτες ήταν ακόμη καλύτεροι ταξιδιώτες από ό, τι γνωρίζαμε. Η νεότερη ανακάλυψη έρχεται από τη βορειοδυτική Γερμανία, “Fricia”, κοντά στα σύνορα με τη Δανία, όπου βρέθηκαν τα χαλάσματα ενός μινωικού οικισμού. Ένα από τα αντικείμενα ήταν ένα δαχτυλίδι σφραγίδα με χαρακτήρες στην Γραμμική γραφή Α!

 Είναι εφικτό να αποκρυπτογραφηθεί η Γραμμική γραφή Α;

 Γιατί δεν πιστεύω πια στην αποκρυπτογράφηση του Aartun. Έχοντας διαβάσει τα βιβλία του, έχω συμπεράνει, όπως και πολλοί άλλοι, ότι οι μέθοδοί του είναι υπερβολικά απλοποιημένες, μη συστηματικές και μη επιστημονικές. Έχουν γίνει πολλές προσπάθειες να αποκρυπτογραφηθεί η Γραμμική Α, αλλά το πρόβλημα να ξεκινήσει κανείς, είναι ότι δεν γνωρίζει ούτε τι κατηγορίας γλώσσα πιθανόν να είναι. Ύστερα από 100 σχεδόν χρόνια έρευνας φαίνεται να υπάρχει μία συμφωνία ότι το 90 % των χαρακτήρων της Γραμμικής γραφής Β εμφανίζονται, επίσης, στην Γραμμική Α. Είναι, ακόμη, πολύ πιθανό τα περισσότερα από τα φωνήεντα να είναι πανομοιότυπα. Το ένα και μοναδικό πράγμα στο οποίο συμφωνούν οι γλωσσολόγοι είναι ότι αυτή η γλώσσα δεν είναι ελληνική. Κάποιοι επιστήμονες  υπαινίσσονται ότι είναι ινδο – ευρωπαϊκή, παρόμοια με τις γλώσσες από την Ανατολία: Huerrian, Uertian, Luvian, Hiti  και ινδο – ιρανική.

 Το δεύτερο γκρουπ  ο Kjell Aartun και ο Cyrus Gordon είναι της άποψης ότι η Γραμμική Α είναι μία σημιτική γλώσσα.

Επικροτώ την ειδικότητα του Kjell Aartun στις σημιτικές γλώσσες αν και δε συμφωνώ με την αποκρυπτογράφησή του των μινωικών γραφικών συστημάτων.

Πριν από μερικά χρόνια άρχισα να κάνω κάποια έρευνα στις διαλέκτους σε χωριά της Κρήτης. Εντελώς τυχαία, την προσοχή μου τράβηξε ένα χωριό κοντά στον Ψηλορείτη, τα Ανώγεια. Έχοντας συλλέξει έναν αριθμό λέξεων που ήταν άγνωστες τόσο σε μένα όσο και στο λεξικό του Μπαμπινιώτη, έστειλα κάπου 40 από αυτές που είχα συλλέξει από τη διάλεκτο στα Ανώγεια στον Aartun. Από τις 40 λέξεις ο Aartun αναγνώρισε ότι 29 από αυτές είχαν αραβική προέλευση. Ο Aartun το είδε αυτό αμέσως ως απόδειξη στον ισχυρισμό του, ότι η μινωική γλώσσα ήταν σημιτική. Δε συμφωνώ μαζί του.

Η Κρήτη την εποχή του χαλκού ήταν πράγματι μία πολυπολιτισμική κοινωνία. Είναι πολύ πιθανό να υπήρχε ένας αραβικός οικισμός στα Ανώγεια τον καιρό εκείνο. Έτσι, οι σημερινοί κάτοικοι ίσως είναι αραβικής καταγωγής! Έχουν κρατήσει ακόμη και αρκετές λέξεις με τις οποίες μιλούσαν οι πρόγονοί τους 3500 χρόνια πριν! Επιπλέον απόδειξη της δήλωσης αυτής είναι το γεγονός ότι δε μπόρεσα ποτέ να βρω κάποιο ίχνος μίας παρόμοιας διαλέκτου σε άλλο κρητικό χωριό.

Έχουμε λιγότερες από 100 επιγραφές που είναι αρκετά μεγάλες ώστε να εκφράσουν κάποιο μήνυμα με νόημα. Οι Chadwick και Ventris, που κατάφεραν να αποκρυπτογραφήσουν την Γραμμική Β, είχαν στη διάθεσή τους εκατοντάδες πίνακες αργίλου με επιγραφές στη Γραμμική Β. Επιπλέον, είχαν μία βέβαιη ένδειξη ότι η γλώσσα έπρεπε να ήταν ελληνική.

 Ο Champolion, που αποκρυπτογράφησε τα αιγυπτιακά ιερογλυφικά, είχε την πέτρα της Ροζέτα με την ίδια επιγραφή σε 3 γλώσσες, 2 εκ των οποίων είναι γνωστές! Πάντως, ο Champolion είπε ότι πιθανότατα δεν θα τα είχε καταφέρει αν δεν είχε μία ένδειξη για τη γλώσσα που σχετιζόταν με τα αρχαία αιγυπτιακά, Coptic  Το αν στο μέλλον καταφέρουμε να αποκρυπτογραφήσουμε τη Γραμμική Α εξαρτάται από τα νέα ευρήματα με υλικό σε Γραμμική γραφή Α! Διατηρώ τις ελπίδες μου για τις ανασκαφές της Σαντορίνης, στο Ακρωτήρι και το Παλαίκαστρο, όπου η Sandy McGillivray της βρετανικής σχολής μέσω της σάρωσης με ραντάρ βρήκε ίχνη από ακόμη ένα παλάτι, ίδιου μεγέθους όπως των Μαλλίων!

Έχοντας δεσμευτεί με το αίνιγμα όλα αυτά τα χρόνια, οφείλω να παραδεχτώ ότι έχω αλλάξει γνώμη και έχω ενημερώσει το άρθρο αρκετές φορές από όταν πρωτοεμφανίστηκε στην τοπική κρητική εφημερίδα «Ανατολή» το 2002.

Πολλά έχουν συμβεί κατά τη διάρκεια των 10 αυτών χρόνων. Έχουμε πολλές νέες πληροφορίες· κάποιες από αυτές θα έλεγα ότι είναι έγκυρες σαν αποδεικτικά στοιχεία: το βιβλίο των Σουηδών

Καθηγητών, η αναφορά του DNA από το Στάνφορντ και τα ευρήματα μινωικού πολιτισμού στη Fricia (FRIESLAND), τα βόρεια παράλια της Γερμανίας κοντά στα σύνορα με τη Δανία. Όσο για τη δική μου χώρα, τη Νορβηγία, έχει αποδειχθεί επιστημονικά ότι τα προϊστορικά ορυχεία υπήρχαν στο Κόνγκσμπεργκ και ότι οι Μινωίτες ήρθαν για τον άργυρο 3500 χρόνια πριν!

Το σημαντικότερο αποτέλεσμα αυτού είναι ότι μία νέα γενιά Νορβηγών αρχαιολόγων ξαφνικά βρήκε κάποιο ενδιαφέρον για την περιοχή αυτή. Ό, τι έχει ανακαλυφθεί σε αυτό το χώρο έως τώρα είναι σχεδόν τίποτα σε σύγκριση με ό, τι αναμένεται στο μέλλον! Είναι αρκετά πιθανό να ξεκινήσουν νέες εκσκαφές στο άμεσο μέλλον. Τότε, ίσως να πρέπει να επιστρέψω με ακόμη μία ενημέρωση!

  

Εικόνα 11. Ο αρθρογράφος με ένα αντίγραφο των πέντε χαραγμένων χαρακτήρων

Βίλλα Αριάθνη του αρθρογράφος,

Άγιος Νικόλαος Κρήτις

 

Άγιος Νικόλαος, Κρήτη, Αρχαιολογικό μουσείο

 

Είναι η μινωική χρυσή βελόνα που δόθηκε από τον Jean Piere Olivier το 1981 στο αρχαιολογικό μουσείο του Αγίου Νικολάου αυθεντική;

 

Από τον Sven Buchholz

 

 

  «Γορίλα». CR Zf1. Epingle d’or. Μήκος 5 εκ.

 

Η πρώτη φορά που επισκέφτηκα το αρχαιολογικό μουσείο του Αγίου Νικολάου ήταν το 1993. Αυτό το μουσείο είναι σχετικά μικρό, αλλά τα ευρήματά του από τηΜινωική εποχή το καθιστούν ως ένα από τα μεγαλύτερα του κόσμου. Αυτό οφείλεται πιθανόν στο γεγονός ότι τα σημαντικότερα από τα ευρήματα του μινωικού πολιτισμού βρέθηκαν σε μία περιοχή εύρους περίπου 100 χλμ. Γύρω από τον Άγιο Νικόλαο. Το μουσείο της Σητείας, που βρίσκεται στον ίδιο νομό, το νομό Λασιθίου, διαθέτει επίσης μία αξιοσημείωτη συλλογή ευρημάτων από την ίδια χρονική περίοδο.

Το μουσείο εκθέτει μεγάλα αλλά και μικρότερα αντικείμενα από τη Μινωική περίοδο μέχρι και την Ελληνική, περίπου το 400 π.Χ.

Για να αφομοιώσει κανείς καλύτερα τα εκθέματα στο μουσείο πρέπει να βλέπει ένα μικρό τμήμα κάθε φορά μόνο.

Σήμερα, 19 χρόνια μετά την πρώτη μου επίσκεψη, οφείλω να παραδεχτώ ότι υπάρχει ένα αντικείμενο, ίσως το μικρότερο σε ολόκληρο το μουσείο, που μου αποσπούσε πάντα την προσοχή και συνεπώς το κοιτούσα με ενδιαφέρον κάθε φορά που επέστρεφα στην έκθεση του μουσείου.

Το αντικείμενο στην εικόνα είναι ένα κόσμημα, μία βελόνα από ατόφιο χρυσό. Στη μία της πλευρά είναι χαραγμένο ένα μοτίβο λουλουδιών, πολλά μικρά και μεγαλύτερα λουλούδια σε σπειροειδή διάταξη γύρω από ένα μίσχο. Κοιτώντας κανείς την εικόνα  πρέπει να έχει υπ’ όψη του ότι το χαραγμένο τμήμα της βελόνας έχει μήκος μόλις 5 εκατοστά! Μία από τις πρώτες απορίες μου ήταν πώς κατάφεραν οι Μινωίτες να κάνουν μία τόσο μικροσκοπική χάραξη χωρίς να διαθέτουν μεγεθυντικό φακό; Το δε πιο μυστηριώδες γεγονός σχετικά με τη βελόνα είναι ότι στην άλλη πλευρά της είναι χαραγμένοι 18 χαρακτήρες της μινωικής γραφής Γραμμικής Α που δεν έχει αποκρυπτογραφηθεί ακόμη! Για τη διευκόλυνση των επισκεπτών, ώστε να δουν με ακρίβεια τη βελόνα, έχει τοποθετηθεί σε αυτήν μεγεθυντικός φακός!

Για μένα η βελόνα αντιπροσωπεύει ένα τριπλό μυστήριο:

  1. Τι σημαίνουν οι 18 χαρακτήρες της Γραμμικής γραφής      Α;
  2. Πώς ήταν δυνατόν οι Μινωίτες να επιτύχουν αυτήν την      ποιότητα χάραξης;
  3. Ποιος ήταν ο σκοπός, η χρησιμότητα αυτής της      βελόνας με τη χάραξή της;

Είμαι σίγουρος ότι πολλοί από τους επισκέπτες του μουσείου έχουν αναρωτηθεί για την έννοια της επιγραφής.

Η σπουδαιότητα ενός υψηλού πολιτισμού έγκειται καταρχήν και πρωτίστως στην ύπαρξη ενός συστήματος γραφής. Κατά τη διάρκεια των διαφόρων ανασκαφών στην Κρήτη ανακαλύφθηκαν 3 διαφορετικές  γραφές. Η Ιερογλυφική (στο Δίσκο της Φαιστού), η Γραμμική Α και η Γραμμική Β. Και η Γραμμική Α και η Β είναι συλλαβικά συστήματα γραφής. Η Γραμμική Β έχει αποκρυπτογραφηθεί από τους Michael Ventris and John Chadwick. Η αποκρυπτογράφηση της Γραμμικής Β ήταν εφικτή χάρη στο άφθονο διαθέσιμο υλικό υπό τη μορφή πινακίδων από άργιλο που βρέθηκε στην Κνωσό. Βρέθηκε επίσης, ότι η γλώσσα αυτή ήταν μία πρώιμη διάλεκτος των μυκηναϊκών ελληνικών, 500 χρόνια πριν τον Όμηρο!

Δυστυχώς λόγω της αμέλειας και της τρομερής απροσεξίας του κυρίου Arthur Evans,του οποίου ήταν οι ανασκαφές στην Κνωσό και η ανακάλυψη του μινωικού πολιτισμού, εκατοντάδες πινακίδες με Γραμμική γραφή Α καταστράφηκαν από τη βροχή αφού είχαν φυλαχθεί σε ένα μέρος χωρίς υπόστεγο! Αν τις είχαμε στη διάθεσή μας, ίσως και να είχαμε αποκρυπτογραφήσει τη Γραμμική γραφή Α μέχρι τώρα!

Δεν έχουμε πολλά έγγραφα από τη μινωική Γραμμική Α. Από  αιγυπτιακά έγγραφα βρέθηκε ότι οι Μινωίτες αγόραζαν πάπυρο από την Αίγυπτο. Παρατηρώντας τους χαρακτήρες της Γραμμικής Α γίνεται σαφές ότι είναι σχεδιασμένοι να γράφονται με κάποιο είδος πένας πάνω στον πάπυρο. Παρόλα αυτά το κλίμα της Κρήτης είναι πολύ υγρό για να έχει διατηρηθεί κάποιο κομμάτι παπύρου. Τα περισσότερα διατηρημένα κομμάτια είναι αυτά πάνω σε πλάκες αργίλου. Αυτό το υλικό χρησιμοποιούταν για πιο σημαντικά, πιθανότατα για επίσημα έγγραφα.

Δύο Γάλλοι γλωσσολόγοι, ο Louis Godart και ο Jean – Pierre Olivier από τη Γαλλική Σχολή της Αθήνας αφιέρωσαν μεγάλο κομμάτι της ζωής τους διερευνώντας τη Γραμμική Α. Οι δύο καθηγητές δεν προσπάθησαν ποτέ να αποκρυπτογραφήσουν τη γραφή. Αυτό που έκαναν ήταν να συστηματοποιήσουν και να ταξινομήσουν όλα τα διαθέσιμα ευρήματα.

Το 1975 δημοσίευσαν το έργο τους σε 5 πολύ μεγάλους τόμους. Ο Louis Godart, γνωστός ως χιουμορίστας και μεγάλος χωρατατζής, αποκαλούσε το έργο «ΓΟΡΙΛΑ»! Τους χαρακτήρες της Γραμμικής γραφής αποκαλούσε «ΚΟΜΙΚΣ» και τα κρητικά ιερογλυφικά «ΚΟΜΨΟΣ»!

Τα τεράστια αυτά βιβλία είναι πιο εντυπωσιακά με την πολύ καλά εκτελεσμένη συστηματοποίηση όλων των ευρημάτων μέχρι και το 1975.

Ξεφυλλίζοντας τα βιβλία η πρώτη εντύπωση που σχηματίζει κανείς είναι ότι πολλά από τα κείμενα δεν είναι αρκετά μεγάλα ώστε να μεταδώσουν κάποιο μήνυμα με νόημα. Για το λόγο αυτό φοβάμαι πως δε θα είναι δυνατό να αποκρυπτογραφηθεί η Γραμμική Α, λαμβάνοντας υπ’ όψη ότι και η γλώσσα είναι άγνωστη. Διατηρούμε πάντως την ελπίδα ότι μελλοντικά θα βρεθούν και άλλα κείμενα Γραμμικής γραφής Α. Το ελπίζω αυτό για τις ανασκαφές στο Ακρωτήρι της Σαντορίνης και το Παλαίκαστρο, όπου η Sandy McGillillvray από τη Βρετανική Σχολή της Αθήνας, με τη χρήση ραντάρ, βρήκε ενδείξεις για την ύπαρξη ενός ακόμη παλατιού.

Όσον αφορά τη χάραξη της βελόνας ο Evans δήλωσε ότι είναι αρκετά πιθανό οι Μινωίτες να είχαν μεγεθυντικούς φακούς από κρύσταλλο!

Ο σκοπός, η χρησιμότητα της βελόνας ήταν ενδεχομένως να δοθεί ως δώρο.

Το μεγαλύτερο μινωικό έγγραφο που βρέθηκε ποτέ είναι ο Δίσκος της Φαιστού. Έχει 242 ιερογλυφικούς χαρακτήρες. Ωστόσο μόλις 42 από αυτούς είναι διαφορετικοί μεταξύ τους. Ο δίσκος ανακαλύφθηκε το 1908 από τον Ιταλό αρχαιολόγο Louis Pernier σε συνδυασμό με τις ανασκαφές στη Φαιστό. Μερικοί από τους χαρακτήρες απαντώνται και στο τσεκούρι του Αρκαλοχωρίου. Το μπρούτζινο Τσεκούρι του Αρκαλοχωρίου είναι ένα διπλό μινωικό τσεκούρι της δεύτερης π.Χ. χιλιετίας που ανακαλύφθηκε κατά τις εκσκαφές του Σπυρίδωνος Μαρινάτου το 1934 στη σπηλιά του Αρκαλοχωρίου. Έχει μία επιγραφή 15 ιερογλυφικών χαρακτήρων. Πιθανολογείται ότι πρόκειται για Γραμμική γραφή Α, ‘όμως ο καθηγητής Glanville Price συμφωνεί με το Louis Godart στο ότι οι χαρακτήρες στο τσεκούρι δεν είναι τίποτα παραπάνω από μία «ψευδό – επιγραφή» που χαράχτηκε από έναν αγράμματο με μία ακατανόητη απομίμηση των αυθεντικών χαρακτήρων της Γραμμικής γραφής Α όπως απαντάται σε άλλα παρόμοια τσεκούρια.

Αν συγκεντρώσουμε όλα μαζί τα ιερογλυφικά καταλήγουμε με λιγότερους από 50 ιερογλυφικούς χαρακτήρες.

Κανένας δε θα μπορούσε να ισχυριστεί ότι τα ιερογλυφικά στο δίσκο ή το τσεκούρι ταιριάζουν σε ένα φωνητικό σύστημα όπως το ελληνικό ή το λατινικό αλφάβητο. Τα συστήματα που γνωρίζουμε αποτελούνται από 22 έως 35 χαρακτήρες. Η Γραμμική γραφή Β αποτελείται από 100 χαρακτήρες. Συμπεραίνουμε, λοιπόν, με απλά μαθηματικά ότι κανένα συλλαβικό σύστημα αποτελούμενο από μόλις 45 χαρακτήρες δε θα μπορούσε να μεταδώσει οποιοδήποτε νοήμον μήνυμα. Γνωρίζουμε δε ότι τα εικονογραφημένα συστήματα απαιτούν χιλιάδες χαρακτήρες, όπως τα κινέζικα και τα γιαπωνέζικα! Για το λόγο αυτό ήμουν πάντα καχύποπτος τόσο για το τσεκούρι όσο και για το δίσκο!

Η αλήθεια είναι πως τώρα, 19 ολόκληρα χρόνια μετά την πρώτη μου επίσκεψη η καχυποψία μου για τη Χρυσή Βελόνα «Γορίλα»CR Zf1 Epingle d’orέχει αυξηθεί.

Το CR Zf 1 δεν είναι το μόνο έγγραφο Γραμμικής Α χαραγμένο πάνω σε κόσμημα. Ο Evans ανακάλυψε ένα στην Κνωσό με 46 χαρακτήρες Γραμμικής Α, το «Γορίλα» KN Zf 13 σε χρυσό,  δεν υπάρχει, ωστόσο, καμία ομοιότητα ανάμεσα στα χαραγμένα μοτίβα αυτού του αντικειμένου και της «Γορίλα» CR Zf 1.

 

 

Gorilla KN Zf 31

  

«Γορίλα» KN Zf 13

Δαχτυλίδι σε χρυσό

 Έχω ψάξει σε όλα το διαθέσιμο υλικό από τη μινωική Ιστορία της τέχνης. Κάθε μινωική περίοδος διακρίνεται από τον τύπο των μοτίβων που βρίσκονται στα αγγεία, στον πηλό κ.τ.λ. Δεν κατάφερα να βρω την παραμικρή ομοιότητα μεταξύ της βελόνας και οποιασδήποτε μινωικής περιόδου στην Ιστορία της τέχνης!

Στη «Γορίλα» όλα τα αντικείμενα είναι ευκρινώς διακεκριμένα με βάση την τοποθεσία που βρέθηκε το κάθε ένα από αυτά. Η βελόνα CR Zf 1 είναι το μόνο αντικείμενο του οποίου η τοποθεσία ανακάλυψής του είναι παντελώς άγνωστη! Αυτό που γνωρίζουμε είναι ότι η βελόνα δόθηκε στο μουσείο από τον ένα εκ των δύο Γάλλων τον Jean Pierre Olivier το 1937. ισχυρίστηκε ότι την βρήκε σε μία αντικερί στις Βρυξέλλες! Μαζί με τη βελόνα το μουσείο έλαβε, επίσης, μία λεπτομερή αναφορά με λεπτομερή ανάλυση. Ένα ακόμη γεγονός που αυξάνει την υποψία μου είναι η διαφορά ανάμεσα στην μπροστινή και την πίσω πλευρά! Ενώ η πλευρά με τα λουλούδια έχει χαραχτεί με την υψηλότερη ποιότητα δεξιοτεχνίας, η πίσω πλευρά περιγράφεται ως το αντίθετο!  Φαίνεται αρκετά ερασιτεχνική! Η επιφάνειά της είναι πολύ αδρής και οι χαρακτήρες έχουν χαραχτεί πολύ βίαια.

Ακόμη και αν οι Μινωίτες είχαν μεγεθυντικούς φακούς δε βλέπω πως κατόρθωσαν μία τόσο σχεδόν μικροσκοπική χάραξη, πολύ μικρότερη από όλες τις υπόλοιπες που γνωρίζουμε πάνω σε μινωικά κοσμήματα! Αμφιβάλλω, επίσης, ότι ο μεγεθυντικός φακός από κρύσταλλο θα μπορούσε να δώσει μία αρκετά ξεκάθαρη εικόνα.

Μην έχοντας βρει κάποια ομοιότητα στα μοτίβα της μινωικής ή έστω της μυκηναϊκής Ιστορίας της τέχνης, επέκτεινα την περιοχή αναζήτησης, διανέμοντας εικόνες σε ολόκληρο το διεθνές δίκτυο ανθρώπων με γνώσεις στην Ιστορία της τέχνης. Δεν ανέφερα την πηγή προέλευσης του αντικειμένου, δηλαδή ότι βρισκόταν στην έκθεση ενός μουσείου ως μινωικό περιτέχνημα.

Η απάντηση ήρθε σχετικά γρήγορα και ήταν τόσο καλή όσο και ανώνυμη:

Το μοτίβο έχει ξεκάθαρα εμπνευστεί από ιταλικό σχέδιο περίπου του 1870 – 1890! Δεν συγκλονίστηκα· λίγο πολύ περίμενα κάτι προς αυτή την κατεύθυνση!  Σιγά σιγά έλαβα πιο λεπτομερείς πληροφορίες: η χάραξη έχει μεγάλη ομοιότητα με τα σχέδια λουλουδιών της σχολής της Φλωρεντίας  που χρονολογούνται περίπου το 1870 – 1890. Ο τρόπος, ωστόσο, με τον οποίο έχει χαραχτεί η βελόνα δεν είναι αρκετά συνώνυμος! Το αντικείμενο μάλλον έχει διαμορφωθεί σε καλούπι. Ίσως έχει κατασκευαστεί εν μέρει σταμπάροντας τα ολόιδια λουλούδια στο καλούπι! Αυτή η διαδικασία μεταθέτει τη χρονική άποψη στον 20ο αιώνα! Μετά τον 1ο Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο εμφανίστηκαν τα φθηνά κοσμήματα που παράγονταν μαζικά στην αγορά, γνωστή ως κοσμηματοπωλείο. Πολλά αρκετά γνωστά κοσμήματα και περιτεχνήματα αντιγράφηκαν και παράχθηκαν μαζικά. Μία από τις επαφές μου ανέφερε ότι το αντικείμενο είναι βοημικό, προέρχεται δηλαδή από τη σημερινή Δημοκρατία της Τσεχίας. Εκεί ειδικεύονταν το 1920 – 1930 στην κατασκευή αυτού ακριβώς του τύπου μαζικών κοσμημάτων, χρησιμοποιώντας ως πρότυπο όλα τα είδη των υπαρχόντων μοτίβων. Η παραγωγή αυτή εξακολουθεί να γίνεται ακόμη! Το αντικείμενο είναι πιο πιθανό να κατασκευάστηκε το 1925 – 1935.

Αυτά είναι τα σημεία της υποψίας μου:

  1. Το αντικείμενο δεν έχει ομοιότητα με κανένα      διάκοσμο από ολόκληρη τη μινωική Ιστορία τέχνης
  2. Η χάραξη είναι τόσο μικροσκοπική ώστε να έγινε 1600      χρόνια π.Χ.
  3. Σε αντίθεση με όλα τα μινωικά αντικείμενα, η      τοποθεσία όπου βρέθηκε η βελόνα είναι άγνωστη
  4. Το σχέδιο έχει μεγάλη ομοιότητα με τα Σχέδια      Λουλουδιών της Φλωρεντίας του 19ου αιώνα
  5. Η τεχνική παραγωγής είναι μάλλον μία από αυτές της      μαζικής παραγωγής, χρόνος 20ος αιώνας, τοποθεσία Βοημία
  6. Η βελόνα δόθηκε στο μουσείο του Αγίου Νικολάου μόλις      το 1981 από τον Olivier!      Η ιστορία λέει ότι η βελόνα βρέθηκε από τον ίδιο Olivier σε μία αντικερί στις Βρυξέλλες!      Αυτή η βελόνα είναι το μοναδικό αντικείμενο σε ολόκληρο το μουσείο για      το οποίο δεν έχουμε καμία πληροφορία για το που βρέθηκε! Είναι διόλου απίθανο      το μικρό αυτό αντικείμενο να «δραπέτευσε» από οποιαδήποτε γνωστή αρχαιολογική      ανασκαφή;
  7. Μαζί με τη βελόνα υπήρχε μία εκτενής αναφορά με      όλες τις πιθανές επιστημονικές αναλύσεις γραμμένη από τον ίδιο τον Olivier. Επίσης, η      αναφορά που εκείνος έγραψε, η οποία είναι διαθέσιμη από το μουσείο του      Αγίου Νικολάου είναι πολύ ύποπτη! Είναι ακριβώς σαν εκείνη που εγώ θα      έκανα για να καλύψω ένα τέχνασμα σαν αυτό! Σε αυτό το διαδικτυακό σύνδεσμο      μπορείτε να διαβάσετε την πλήρη αναφορά …….
  8. Το άλλο μινωικό χρυσό κόσμημα του «Γορίλα»,που      ανακαλύφθηκε στην Κνωσό από τον Evans είναι ένα ξεκάθαρο υπόδειγμα του «Γορίλα»CR Zf1 Epingle d’or.

Ο Jean Pierre Olivier ήταν γνωστός ως χιουμορίστας και μεγάλος χωρατατζής. Φυσικά ο Olivier γνώριζε ότι το μοτίβο απείχε πολύ σε ομοιότητα από οποιοδήποτε μινωικό διάκοσμο! Παρόλα αυτά, ένας έντιμος χωρατατζής μπορεί να αφήσει ένα ίχνος όπως το ιταλικό σχέδιο και η διαφορετικότητα μεταξύ της μπροστινής και της πίσω πλευράς!

Ακόμη κι αν η βελόνα είναι πλαστή, οι χαραγμένοι χαρακτήρες της Γραμμικής Α μπορεί να είναι αυθεντικοί.

Ο Olivier ίσως προσδοκούσε ότι το αίνιγμα της Γραμμικής θα λυνόταν αργά ή γρήγορα και η επιγραφή θα είχε αποκρυπτογραφηθεί.

Για κάποια χρονική περίοδο είχε πρόσβαση σε άφθονο υλικό, τις πλάκες αργίλου από την Κάτω Ζάκρο. Δεν είναι απίθανο κάποιο από αυτά τα κείμενα να «εξαφανιστεί» υπό τη μορφή πλάκας αργίλου και να «επανεμφανιστεί» στη χρυσή βελόνα!

Παρόλα αυτά, σε τι θέση βρισκόμαστε αν και ο δίσκος της Φαιστού και το Τσεκούρι του Αρκαλοχωρίου είναι πλαστά;

Για την απόδειξη του αντιθέτου είναι ευθύνη του μουσείου του Ηράκλειο. Αρνούνται να διεξάγουν την οποιαδήποτε εξέταση στα προαναφερόμενα αντικείμενα.

Μήπως για τους προφανείς λόγους;

Τι θα έλεγαν οι Νορβηγοί αν κάποιος ξαφνικά ισχυριζόταν ότι τα «Καράβια των Βίκινγκς», η νούμερο ένα νορβηγική υπερηφάνεια, κατασκευάστηκαν από ένα ντόπιο ξυλουργό;

Αν ήμουν ψυχολόγος, πιθανόν να είχα αρχίσει να εμβαθύνω στην έρευνα των κινήτρων που οδηγούν καθιερωμένους επιστήμονες στην επινόηση τεχνασμάτων αυτής της φύσης.

Σύνδεσμος για την πλήρη αναφορά στα γαλλικά:

http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/bch_0007-4217_1981_num_105_1_1928

Η αναφορά του Olivier σελίδα 1

Μία άλλη σελίδα της αναφοράς του Olivier  όπου φαίνεται η βελόνα από όλες τις πλευρές

 Η δουλειά του αρχαιολόγου είναι μία από τις πιο μοναχικές που μπορώ να σκεφτώ. Καταρχήν η εκσκαφή γίνεται με πολύ μικρά εργαλεία, ακόμη και βούρτσες, για μέρες μέχρι και χρόνια χωρίς καμία εγγύηση ότι θα βρεθεί κάτι! Αν και όταν βρει κάτι ο αρχαιολόγος ίσως χρειαστεί περισσότερο χρόνο να το εντάξει σε ένα λεπτομερές σύστημα σε μορφή αναφοράς. Καταλήγει κανείς με ένα από τα πολλά βιβλία σε ένα ράφι. Μόνο εξειδικευμένοι συνάδελφοι θα μπορέσουν ποτέ να βρουν  περί τίνος πρόκειται! Πολλοί αρχαιολόγοι πρέπει να έχουν ένα κρυφό όνειρο αναγνώρισης και δόξας. Κάποιοι από αυτούς, οι νεότεροι, ίσως το χρειάζονται για να προχωρήσουν παρακάτω. Άλλοι ίσως έχουν απογοητευτεί έχοντας βρει λίγα ή και τίποτα, βλέποντας ωστόσο συναδέλφους τους να επιτυγχάνουν την ανακάλυψη όλων των εποχών, μερικά μόλις χιλιόμετρα. από τη δική τους περιοχή εργασιών! Τι πιο φυσικό, λοιπόν, τότε για εκείνον με την περισσότερη δεξιοτεχνία και δημιουργική φαντασία από το να επιταχύνει την εξέλιξη των γεγονότων!

 Ο Jean Pierre Olivier δεν ανήκει σε αυτήν την κατηγορία! Έκανε σπουδαία δουλειά· το ήξερε κι έγινε αρκετά διάσημος. Ο Olivier ήταν, πάντως, και ένας μεγάλος χιουμορίστας και χωρατατζής. Άφησε ένα ξεκάθαρο στοιχείο! Ωστόσο, θα χρειαζόταν περισσότερο από 70 χρόνια για όσους δε βρίσκονταν στο χώρο αυτό να το ανακαλύψουν!

Όπως έχω ήδη πει, είμαι πεπεισμένος ότι οι «εκ των έσω» γνώριζαν πάντα!

Sven Buchholz

Agios Nikolaos

araenil@yahoo.no

 

“A sailor comes to Crete”

Synopsis.

By Sven Buchholz

Clue to script writers in Italics bold.

 The drama takes place in

  1. 1.      A traditional village at the north coast of Crete in the present time.
  2. 2.      A rocky bay at the coast of Northern Crete.
  3. 3.      Selected places around suited to show the Cretan nature.

Persons:

……, The sailor.

Alexis, fisherman.

Eleni, his wife.

Maria his sister

Zina her daughter

Antonis, Zina s fiancée , owner of local cafeneion – taverna.

Village priest.

Village doctor.

Other fishermen and villagers.

Place northern coast of Crete, VlichadaBay, very wild and rocky with a sandy bay in the bottom, open out to the open sea.

Beginning:

Terrible weather, storm thunder lightning etc.. In a «vision» we se the misty ghost – like contour of an old sailing ship in a misty fading picture.

A person appears swimming ashore falling down in the sand as he reaches the beach.

Daylight next morning reveals a man lying in the sand. He is dressed in old 17 century sailor’s clothes. The captain uniform has been taken off, now lying besides him together with his hat.

Two fishermen are coming to look at a boat pulled further up in the bay.

One of them discovers the sailor after some time. After some shaking up we can se the sailor is alive but confused. Do not seem to understand any language, looks completely lost. The sailor is seen to leave the bay supported by the two fishermen.

The fishermen bring the sailor to their village.

The sailor is put to bed and taken in the care of the fishermen’s family. After some time he wakes up but speaks no known language, only a few phrases that no one understands, he no idea of who he is or where. His memory is probably lost. His old sailor’s clothes are put away in a cupboard and he gets to borrow some modern clothes of the same type as the villagers.

Now starts the «real drama». «The unreal in the real» Difficult, . It is a fine balance! The possibilities are everywhere

 The sailor is thrown into, a, for him strange and unknown world.

 It is important that the village is populated by inhabitants in giving an adequate description so that the script reflects a Cretan village the year 2010.

Al the standard «village elements» Must be present. The cafeneion, a tavern, etc +,all the typical characters and “originals to be found in the village , last but not least, the priest. Here I have the possibilities to describe the daily life of a perfectly normal Greek village with the undertone of mystery creeping closer all the time..

 Obviously not all the villagers take too easily to the stranger. There are many things to «play at» here, the conflicts are in the air everywhere. First, he is a stranger; the Cretans are traditionally suspicious to strangers. He speaks no understandable language and he is different from the other, the phrases that come out of him are of a no understandable language, the strange clothes he was dressed inn, the way he behaves etc.

An important element is the fact that the fisherman’s sister has a widow sister. Her beautiful daughter Zina is overprotected by dominating mother. No man is allowed to get near to her.  Zina was promised to her cousin Antonis by the father before he died. Antonis the antagonist in the story is a somewhat older and quite unsympathetic owner of the local tavern. In this village, like in most other villages in Greece marriage must be kept within the village.

Antonis is to be “built up as antagonist, the bad guy, with all it takes

Zina, with has managed to postpone marriage for some time using various excuses and objections. She got help of village doctor who fares result of inbreeding.

The conflict accelerates as the stranger seems to get a good contact not only with Zina, but he also seems to appeal to other women in the village. Zina is very curious about who he is and were he comes from. Although sailor belongs to a different place and a different time he represents “fresh air” for the poor women who are totally dominated by their boring macho men.

I must be careful here, the contact is «in the air», nothing substantial, at least not in the beginning.

Zina tries to try and communicate with him by teaching him her language, word by word.  She takes him around for walks in the surroundings (Great chance to describe the nature of Crete) during one of these walks she takes him back to the bay where he came ashore. During the walks they often clash Antonis who gradually becomes sick of jealousy and increasingly more hostile to the sailor. Anything can happen now. Conflict is growing.  Gradually, portions of the sailor’s memory returns. What comes out of his returning memory is strongly connected to the ocean. It becomes more and more likely that the stranger belongs to another time and another place.  At one occasion they meet the Priest and she asks him for advice. As a learned man, the Priest can identify the fragments of speech as ancient Dutch language. The priest can also tell a story of sailors that are doomed to sail for eternity on the ocean. One of them is told to be a Dutchman.  With gradual return of the sailors memory it becomes clear that the stranger has a lot in common with the the doomed sailor. He is condemned to sail on the sea for eternity. We all know from the legend that the only thing that can liberate him is the faith and love of a woman. At the same time however he will bring nothing but misfortune to the village. Zina desperately tries to make the sailor understand that IF he is the doomed sailor, she will make the sacrifice.

The stranger gives Zina no direct answer he only looks at her with his enigmatic expression on his face.

In developing the script further it is important to gradually build up aiming at the climax. There are already sufficient elements to design the necessary intrigues and following climax.

We get no clear answer to any of the questions, the mystery is in the air. The villagers are looking at the sailor with increasingly more dislike and suspicion.

Conflict is now growing even more as Antonis gets even sicker of jalousie.  Zina and Antonis, starts a quarrel that develops to a fight. The sailor enters the room just in the moment  that Antonis has thrown his arms around the Zina. His entrance causes Antonis to loose his temper. He pulls out a long knife and comes at the sailor who has no other alternative than to defend himself. He pulls out his own knife and the two start fighting. During a dramatic fight the sailor puts the knife trough Antonis heart, blood pumping out of his mouth… In the meantime the weather has «built up» to the same storm as in the beginning of the story. The sailor leaves the room in a hurry, goes to the cupboard and takes out the old “uniform” with the strange hat he was wearing when he first came and runs away towards the bay. In the meantime Zina has understood something is wrong as she can not find the sailor. Instantly she runs towards the bay through the storm. Parallel cutting to get at  climax.

Arriving at the beach she sees the last of him walking out against the open sea. A wave tears the uniform and the hat off him. That is the last we see of him. Again, in a faint vision the old sailingship comes through the storm and mist. The vision faints and picture goes in black.

Next morning on the beach. The storm is gone; Zina who has fallen unconscious on the beach gradually wakes up. Bright sunshine. Besides her half cowered by seaweeds and other bits and pieces thrown up by the storm she finds the old uniform and the hat of the sailor.

End of story.

Agios Nikolaos, Crete , Archaeological Museum

Is the Minoan Golden Needle  given by Jean Piere Olivier in 1981 genuine?

By Sven Buchholz

Gorilla. CR Zf 1. Epingle d΄or. Measure 5 cm !

 

I first came to visit the archaeological museum of Agios Nikolaos in 1993. This archaeological Museum is relatively small, but with regard to findings from the Minoan epoch it is amongst the biggest in the world. This is probably because the most interesting Minoan findings were made within a 100 km range from Agios Nikolaos. The Museum of Sitia, also in the same province Lasithi, has also got a substantial collection from the same period.The museum is exhibiting big and small objects from the early Minoan period and up to the Hellenic  around 400 BC.

In order to absorb all you can see in the museum it is necessary to take a small section only at atime . Today, 19 years after my first visit, I must admit that there is one, probably the smallest object of the entire museum that has caught most of my attention. Consequently I must admit that I had to look at it every time I visited the collection.

The object on the picture is a piece of jewellery, a needle made of pure gold. On one side there is an engraved a floral motif, many small and larger flowers alongside a spiral stalk. Looking at the picture one must have in mind that the engraved part of the needle is only 5cm long! One of my first questions was how it could be possible for the Minoans to make such microscopic engravings without having access to magnifying glasses? The most mysterious about the needle is that on the reverse side there are engraved 18 characters of the hitherto undeciphered Minoan writing LINEAR A! In order to help the visitors of the museum to see the needle accurately, it is mounted with a magnifying glass!

To me the needle represents a triple mystery:

1. What was the meaning of the 18 characters of Linear A?

2. How was it possible for the Minoans to produce this quality of engraving?

3. What was the purpose, the function of this needle with its engraving?

I am sure that many of the visitors in the museum have wondered about the meaning of the inscription.

The significance of a high culture is first and foremost the existence of a writing system. During the various excavations in Crete there were found 3 different systems: The hieroglyphic (The Phaistos Disc), the Linear A and the Linear B. The Linear A and B are both syllable systems. Linear B has been deciphered by Michael Ventris and John Chadwick. It was possible to decipher Linear B because there was a lot of available material in form of clay tablets to be found in Knossos. It was also found that the language was an early dialect of Mycenaean Greek, 500 years before Homer.

Unfortunately, due to negligence and carelessness by Sir Arthur Evans, the excavator of Knossos and the inventor of the Minoan civilisation, hundreds of Linear A tablets were destroyed by rain since he left them in a shelter at Knossos without a roof! Had we only had these to our disposal, we might have deciphered Linear A by now!

We have not got many documents of Minoan Linear A. From Egyptian harbour documents it has been established that the Minoans bought papyrus in Egypt. Looking at the Linear A sign it becomes clear that the signs are designed to be written with a sort of pen on papyrus. The Cretan climate is however too humid for any piece of papyrus to have survived. Most of the pieces that have survived are to be found on clay tablets. This material was used for more serious, probably official documents.

Two French linguists, Louis Godart, and Jean-Pierre Olivier from the French School of Athens spent a great deal of their life in researching the Linear A. The two professors never tried to decipher the writing, what they did was to systemize and classify all the available findings.

In 1975 they issued their work in 5 very big volumes. Jean-Pierre Olivier, who was well known as a humorist and a great practical joker, called the work for GORILLA! The Linear signs he called COMICS and the Cretan hieroglyphs he called CHICK!

These enormous books are most impressive with the very well executed systematisation of all findings made up till 1975.

If you take the time to go through the books, the first impression you get is that there are not many of the texts that are long enough to convey a meaningful message. For this reason I am afraid it will not be possible to decipher the Linear A, taking in consideration that the language is unknown. Hopefully we will in some future find more Linear A texts. I have hope for the excavations in Akrotiri at Santorini and in Palaikastro where Sandy Mac Gillivray from the British School of Athens, by the use of radar scanning has found evidence of yet another palace.

Concerning the engraving Evans has stated that it is quite possible that the Minoans had magnifying glasses made of crystal!

The only rational purpose I can guess, for the needle is to be given as a gift.

That is probably also the content of the inscription!

The biggest Minoan document that was ever found is the Phaistos Disc. It has 242 hieroglyphic characters. There are however only 42 of them that are different.  The disc was found in 1908 by the Italian archaeologist Louis Pernier in connection with the excavations of Phaistos.

https://araenil.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/is-the-phaistos-disc-genuine/

Some of the signs have also been found on the Arkalochori Axe. The bronze Arkalochori Axe is a second millennium BC Minoan votive double axe excavated by Spyridon Marinatos in1934 in the Arkalochori cave. It is inscribed with fifteen hieroglyphic signs. It has been suggested that these might be Linear A but Professor Glanville Price agrees with Louis Godart that «the characters on the axe are no more than a ‘pseudo-inscription’ engraved by an illiterate in uncomprehending imitation of authentic Linear A characters on other similar axes».

If we put all the hieroglyphs together we end up with less that 50 hieroglyphic signs. Nobody could possibly claim that the hieroglyphs on the disk or the axe fit into a phonetic system such as the Greek or the Latin alphabet. The systems we know need only 22 to 35 characters. Linear B has little more than 100 characters. It is therefore simple arithmetic to conclude that no syllable system consisting of only 45 characters would be able to convey any intelligent message. For idiomatic pictogram systems we all know it takes thousands of characters, ref. Chinese and Japanese! For this reason I have always been sceptical to both the axe and the disk!

The truth is however that now, 19 years after my first visit to the Museum, my scepticism concerning the Golden Needle Gorilla. CR Zf 1. Epingle d΄or has increased.

The CR Zf 1 is not the only Linear A document that is engraved on a piece of metal jewellery. Evans found one in Knossos with 46 Linear A signs. Gorilla KN Zf 31 , engraved on silver «Epingle d’ Argent«, and KN Zf 13 on gold.  There is however no resemblance between the engraved motifs on these 2 objects and Gorilla. CR Zf 1.

 Gorilla KN Zf 31

Gorilla KN Zf 13

Ring in gold.

I have looked through all available material on Minoan art history. Each Minoan period is distinctly noticed by the type of motifs to be found on pottery, terracotta etc. I have not been able to find even a remote likeness between the needle and any Minoan period in art history.

In “Gorilla” all objects are clearly defined by the place each single object was found. The needle CR Zf 1 is the only object where the place it was found is totally unknown! What we know is that the CR Zf 1 was given to the museum by one of the two Frenchmen Jean Pierre Olivier in 1937. He claimed he had found it on an antique market in Brussels! With the needle, the Museum also got a detailed report with detailed analyses. Another point that increases my suspicion is the difference between the front and the back side! Whilst the side with the flowers is engraved with the highest calibre of craftsmanship, the back can almost be described as the opposite! It looks rather amateurish! The surface is very rough and the signs have been engraved very roughly.

Even if the Minoans had magnifying glasses I can hardly see how they could have managed this almost microscopic engraving, much smaller than on all the other known Minoan pieces of jewellery! I also doubt that magnifying glass made of crystal could have been able to give a clear enough image.

Having found no resemblance of the motive in Minoan or even Mycenaean art history I extended my area of search, distributing pictures to my entire international network of people with knowledge of art history. I did not tell the origin of the object, i.e. that it was exhibited in a museum as a Minoan artefact.

The answer came relatively quick from some of the sources, and they were as good as identical:

The motive is clearly inspired by Italian design from around 1870 – 1890!

I did not get a shock; I more or less expected something in that direction! Little by little I received more detailed information:  The engraving has great resemblance with the school of Florentine floral design made around 1870 / 90. The style with whichthe needle is engraved is however not quite synonymous! The object may have been moulded in a cast. The cast may well have been made partly by stamping the identical flowers into the mould! This procedure moves the time aspect into the 20th century! After World War I the cheap mass produced jewellery came on the market, known as bijouterie. Many well known jewelleries and artefacts were copied and mass produced in exactly this way. One of my contacts mentioned the object as being Bohemian, that means it comes from today’s Czech Republic!   They specialized in the 1920 – 30 in making exactly this type of mass produced jewellery, using all sorts of existing motives as models. The production is still going on! The object is most likely to have been produced 1925 – 1935. Olivier has probably made a copy in pure gold. He remooved the one side and added the Linear A signs. Not a very good job if I may say so!

 These are my points of suspicion:

    1. The object has no resemblance with any decoration of the entire Minoan art history.
    2. The engraving is too microscopic to have been done 1600 years BC.
    3. Contrary to all other Minoan objects, the place where the needle was found is unknown.
    4. The pattern has a strong resemblance with Florentine floral design from the 19 century.
    5. The production technique is likely to be one of mass production, time 20 century, place Bohemia.
    6. The needle was given to the AgiosNikolaosMuseum by Olivier as late as 1982! Where was the needle found, when? The story tells that the needle was “found” by the same Olivier on a Brusselsantique market!”This needle is the only object in the entire museum that we do not have any information about where it was found! Is it at all likely that this small object cold have escaped from any known archaeological excavation? Where was the needle kept all the time until Olivier found it?
    7. With the needle there was an extensive report, written on 27 pages with all possible scientific analyses made by Olivier himself. Also the report he produced, obtainable from the Agios Nikolaos Archaeological Museumis highly suspicious! It is exactly like the one someone would have made in order to cover! up for a stunt like this?

http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/bch_0007-4217_1981_num_105_1_1928

Oliviers report page 1.

Another page of Olivier’s 27  pages report showing shape of needle from all sides. 

The other piece of Minoan metal  jewellery Gorilla CR Zf 13 and CR Zf 31, found by Evans at Knossos is an obvious model for Gorilla CR Zf 1. Epingle d΄or !

Jean Pierre Olivier was well known as a humorist and a practical joker. Of course Olivier knew that the motif was very far from resembling any Minoan decoration! However, an honest practical joker may well leave a clue, such as the Italian design and the difference between front and back!

Even if the needle maybe a fake, the engraved Minoan signs in Linear A may well be authentic. Olivier may well have anticipated that the Linear A enigma sooner or later may be solved and the script encrypted. He had for a certain period access to a lot of material, such as the clay tablets from Kato Zachros and others. It is not unlikely that one of these texts could have “disappeared” in form of a clay tablet for then to “reappear” on the golden needle!

However, where do we stand if also the Phaistos Disk and the Arkalochori Axe are faked?

To prove the opposite is up to the museum of Heraklion. They refuse to carry out any tests on the mentioned objects. Maybe for obvious reasons?

What would the Norwegians say if somebody suddenly claimed that the “Viking – Ships”, the Norwegians national pride number 1, were produced by a local carpenter?

I doubt that I am the only one who has made these observations, but others who might have come to the same conclusion may well be excluded from the opportunity of being able to publish their findings!

If I had been a psychologist, I might well have started to dig into the motivation that could bring established scientists to carry out stunts of this nature. I am not, but I will do my best.

To be an archaeologist is one of the loneliest jobs I can think of. First you excavate carefully with very small tools, even brushes days and years without any guarantee that you will find something at all! If and when you find something you spend maybe more time to put it into a detailed system in form of a report. You end up with one of many books on a shelf. Only skilled colleagues will ever be able to find out what it is all about! Many archaeologists must have a secret dream of acknowledgment and fame. Some of them, the younger ones may need it in order to get further. Other may have gotten frustrated to have found little or nothing and to observe colleagues making the find of all times just a few km away from his workplace! What is then more natural for the one with a little more skill and creative fantasy than to help speeding up the development!

Jean Pierre Olivier does not belong in this category! He did a great job; he knew it and he became quite famous. Olivier was however also a great humorist and a true practical joker. He left a clear clue! However it should take more than 30 years for some outsider to find out!

As I already have said, I am convinced that the ”insiders” have always known!

For category index use this link:

http://no.wordpress.com/tag/minoan-history-and-culture/

NEW!!!

SEE UPDATE 2012 AT THE END!

Did Crete have prehistoric connections with Norway in the Bronze Age? 

A Minoan message on a granite slab in Norway.

 Johan Jarnaes, a citizen of the small Norwegian town of Kongsberg, is the one making this assertion. Kongsberg is situated 80 km to the west of the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Johan Jarnaes holds university degrees in history, archaeology and languages. On a late evening in autumn 1987 Johan was out for a walk in the outlying fields surrounding the small town of Kongsberg. Due to the low sunlight he discovered some strange, unknown, signs on a flat granite slab. The slab was part of a farmyard belonging to a friend of his. Johan had been on the spot many times, but neither he nor his friend, the owner, had seen these signs before. The signs were revealed only because Johan happened to pass there just at the moment the sun was setting, thus throwing a beam of light onto the slab.

PICTURE 1. Johan Jarnæs and the author on the granite slab.

 After the slab had been cleaned, some engraved characters became visible.

PICTURE 2 and 3. The 5 characters.

Jarnaes found the characters sensational since they reminded him at first sight of characters from the classical Greek alphabet. Furthermore he discovered 12 circular cup shaped marks with a diameter of 4 to 8 cm as well as a drawing that apparently was an illustration of a boat! There were also other engravings on the granite slab. The engraving techniques indicated that they had originated in various different eras. In addition to the previously mentioned characters, signs and drawings, Johan discovered an even more peculiar one which had no resemblance to any of the others. The lower part Johan later recognised as a “bag for water or wine”. The strangest was, however, that on the outside of the “bag” a horizontal parallel wavelike drawing was visible. Jarnaes came to the conclusion that the wavelike drawing was apparently meant to describe water! On the top of the bag there was an even stranger sign that reminded him of the letter V in the Latin alphabet. The most mysterious in this whole figure was that the three parallel wavelike lines were identical with the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic sign for water!

 PICTURE 5,”The Wine Bag”

Picture 7. The boat. 

The boat was, for Jarnaes, a familiar drawing on many granite slabs in south-western Norway as well as in the Swedish county of “Bohuslan”. The carving technique was very similar to the above mentioned engravings from Kongsberg. Consequently Jarnaes could determine the time period to be the bronze age,  1500 – 2000 BC.

The enigma.

 Jarnaes was most surprised. What could these inscriptions possibly mean? They reminded him of characters in the ancient Greek alphabet, but there were also clear indications that the characters were almost a 1000 years older. The origin of the Greek alphabet can be determined with great accuracy to 750 BC.

 What happened at Kongsberg before 1623?

 The town was founded in 1623 because a shepherd found a large lump of silver. The silver mining led to the rapid growth of Kongsberg which soon became a town of 10,000 inhabitants. By 1958 the silver load had been exhausted and mining was discontinued. In accordance with “the official opinion”, the town of Kongsberg had had no history before 1623. This opinion was, however, not shared by Jarnaes and hisfriends in the “Kongsberg Archaeological Society”. For more than 30 years the society has carried out its own research in order to establish the fact that the town did have a history before 1623. Amongst Jarnaes’ friends were experts in many fields, such as languages, history, archaeology, geology, and astronomy. Jarnaes has summarised the results of this research in a book.

 “Before Kongsberg was founded”

 This book is very interesting to read. A lot of findings were made, not only from the Bronze Age, but also from earlier periods. The most sensational were the numerous discoveries that showed clear indications of prehistoric mining! It is likely that the silver mines of Kongsberg were amongst the richest inEurope! In addition to that, the silver from Kongsberg is almost 100% pure! The common way to produce silver in the Bronze Age, as it is today, is by smelting ores containing lead and silver, a most costly procedure. The silver produced in this manner will contain a certain amount of lead that gives it a grey colour in contrast to the Kongsberg silver that is bright and shining. Another sensational finding was stone settings carefully positioned in accordance with an astronomical or mathematical pattern! In one case the settings constituted a solar calendar. It is absolutely clear that the population of Norwayat that time was rather primitive and could not possibly have had such skills. This knowledge is characteristic of an advanced culture! From where could the knowledge have come?

 Linear A characters of the writing system belonging to the Minoan civilisation of Crete!

Jarnaes’ idea that the characters could belong to the classical Greek alphabet could not be correct because they were all consonants, whilst the Greek language was particularly rich in vowels. The findings on the granite slab at the farm
“Langkjern” were made in 1987. The enigma remained unsolved until the Norwegian linguist; Kjell Aartun came to Kongsberg in 1994. He is internationally well known in scientific linguistic circles. Amongst others, Kjell Aartun has received a prize from “The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters” for his research on ancient languages of the Mediterranean and theMiddle East. Aartun determined that the characters belonged to the Minoan writing system Linear A, fromCrete.

The first words ever written in Norway, in Artun’s interpretation, were  “The pure and the soft”. Concerning the other strange images, Aartun determined that the two were of the same hieroglyphic signs that were found on the Phaistos Disc;  “The Wine Bag” and “Coral”.  Those who have bought the disc as a souvenir will easily be able to recognize them. In accordance with Aartun’s deciphering, the two signs mean: “The place for visitors” that is, a ritual place to be used by visitors. For Jarnaes one more enigma needed to be solved: The wave-shaped lines on the bag, resembling the Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Minoans had very close trade connection with Egyptand it is most likely that they knew the Egyptian language and writing. The hieroglyphs read: WATER and, in the southern countries of the Mediterranean, water was regarded as the most precious gift. Even if the Minoans did not habitually make petroglyphs, stone carvings, such as the Scandinavians used on their numerous cult sites, were not unknown to them. It is believed that the Scandinavian “Helleristninger” petroglyphs were made in order to call on the favour of the gods.

 “The pure and the soft”

Who could have written these words on a granite slab at Kongsberg 2000 years before the Norwegians knew the art of writing? The Minoans? If so, what were they doing in Norway, and what did the words mean. In Jarnaes’ opinion both of Aartun’s translations could have a clear meaning.  In the Bronze Age, the Minoans were the most skilled tradesmen in the Mediterranean area. They were trading with all countries including the ones in the Middle East. One of their specialties was trading in metals; bronze, gold, silver, lead etc.  We have information from Egyptian hieroglyphs that the Egyptians, who possessed gold in great quantities, were willing to pay twice the weight of gold for one unit weight
of silver. It is not likely that our ancestors, primitive as they were at that time, knew the real trade value of pure silver. The metal was soft and not very useful for practical purposes; what they needed was bronze. That could have made the long journeys extremely profitable for the Minoans. This made it worthwhile to carve the words “The pure and the soft” on that granite slab near Kongsberg! The “pure and soft” was silver of course! The Minoans would have wanted to thank the gods for the costly goods in the same way as their Norwegian “trade counterparts” –  “When in Rome do as the Romans do”!

 PICTURE 5 / Bryce‘s list.

 The five characters compared with the catalogue of Minoan Linear A made by William Bryce.

How were the Minoans able to travel to Norway, and how did they know they could find silver there?

For those of our ancestors who lived alongside the DrammenRiver, around 3.700 years ago, it must have been an impressive sight to see the large Minoan Vessels sailing up the river! The boats were at least 35 meters long and the large sails, of the same type as we know from the Viking ships, were 20 meters high. In comparison, the largest Viking Ship, Gogstadskipet, was only 26 meters. Arriving up the river, at the place today named Hokksund, the sails were lowered and the crew started to use the oars. They rowed up the side river to Vestfossen. The land was much lower in the Bronze Age; consequently the waterway was navigable all the way up to Fiskum, only 5 km from where Kongsberg is situated today. From Fiskum there is a small valley and gorge leading directly to the target.

 PICTURE 6 Map of the area depicting the route.

 On the map you will be able to follow the possible navigable route, The Drammen Fjord, the DrammenRiver up to Hokksund, Vestfossen and on to Fiskum. We know that the Minoans were highly skilled sailors who were constantly navigating the entire Mediterranean. Their ships were already, in the Bronze Age, of a most sophisticated design. They were equipped with a keel so they could sail against the wind. We never did succeed in finding a wreck or even any remains of a Minoan ship. Not until quite recently have we been able to collect sufficient information that enables us to reconstruct a ship with a high degree of probability. In particular, the present excavations at Santorini have given us such information. Large wall-paintings, that were preserved by being buried in lava in some houses there, depict Minoan ships leaving the harbour. This is the largest and most famous of them.

 

image014[1]

 

PICTURE 8: The Flotilla , Wall painting from Santorini,

This wall painting was sealed by the lava in the house where it was found; consequently it is much better preserved than any painting from the Minoan palaces.By analysing the perspectives in all these paintings, the Greek archaeologists have been able to determine the sizes of the ships and to make reconstructions. The paintings can be seen in a museum at Santorini that was built specially for this purpose. A good aid in these reconstructions was the many images of ships found on fragments of pottery as well as on seal stones. If we compare the design of the Minoan ships with the ships of the other seagoing nations of the Mediterranean in the same era, in particular the Phoenicians and the Egyptians,
these were unable to match the ships of the Minoans in seaworthiness and manoeuverability. History has underestimated the ships of the Minoans because the secrets behind their design had been lost. After the fall of the Minoan civilization, many years would pass until ships of an equally sophisticated design could be made, actually 1500 – 2000 years, until the era of the Vikings. It is therefore not unlikely that the Minoans might have left some of their know-how during their stay in Norway. We are almost sure their ships were technically not inferior to Viking ships made 2000 years later. With these the Vikings cruised all the oceans; they often visited the Mediterranean, and they discovered America 500 years before Columbus!

PICTURE 10. Norwegian Viking Ship.

 Thanks to the superiority of their ships, the Minoans had complete domination of the sea in this era. They could even defend the long coastline of Crete without coastal fortifications.  The Minoans were tradesmen, not warriors; therefore there was no war in this era that lasted for 1500 years! Their superiority came to an end with the great tsunami caused by the volcanic explosion and eruption at Thera (Santorini). This was the beginning of the end for the Minoan civilisation.

The heirs of the Minoans as seafaring nations, who took over the trade in the area, were the Phoenicians and the Egyptians.  The Phoenicians were also tradesmen. Even if they had less sophisticated ships than the Minoans, we have evidence that they were in Cornwall, England, where they, amongst others, became involved in mining. It is likely that the Minoans, also like the Vikings,used a solar compass to navigate their way on the oceans.  We know the Vikings was in America 500 years before Columbus, why not also the Minoans? I am almost sure that future research will come to that conclusion!

image018[1]

Were the Minoans in America 3000 years before Columbus?

How else could one be able to explain the following:

We have evidence that traces of cocaine have been found in Egyptian mummies. We know for sure that the plant from which cocaine is extracted only existed in South America until a few hundred years ago! Who could possibly have brought it there other than the Minoans! They were the only ones who possessed ships with the ability for such an ocean crossing! Do we have evidence for the following? :

1. That the Minoans really came to Kongsberg in the Bronze Age,

2. That prehistoric mining did take place at Kongsberg in the Bronze Age,

3. That the signs on the granite slab really were characters of Linear A,

4. That Aartun’s deciphering is correct.

Nine years have passed since I got involved in what later for me became “The battle of Kongsberg”, the reason I got involved was an article in “Aftenposten”, Norway’s leading newspaper. Since my schooldays I was very interested in the
“Minoan Enigma”. I was lucky enough to have a teacher who was a great enthusiast of Minoan history. The rise of this civilisation is one of history’s greatest enigmas! The fall of the Minoans happened after the eruption at Thera (Santorini), not as a direct result of the tsunami itself but after most of their fleet was lost; they became an easy victim for the Greek warriors from the mainland, the Mycenaeans, who destroyed their palaces and most other traces of a civilisation that was thousands of years ahead of its time. The Greek history is one of war; the Minoan’s was one of peace! Until quite recently we had no indication of from where the Minoans had come. The civilisation was suddenly just there, indicating that the  Minoans must have originated from somewhere in the Mediterranean region, but from where? When I read the article I found it quite natural to involve myself further in the mystery, not necessarily in order to
solve it but to try to understand more.

We have determined that the Minoan ships may have been of a construction sophisticated enough to sail the great oceans but unfortunately this is not enough evidence to establish that they actually were in Kongsberg in the Bronze Age. The characters are there, on the granite slab, but we have no evidence of how they got there. Having involved myself in the mystery for some years I suddenly got unexpected help from our neighbours in the east.

It appeared that the Swedish archaeologist, Oscar Montelius, put this theory forward more than a hundred years ago! What gave him the idea was the narrow time span between the Stone Age and the Bronze Age that really was there “from one day to the next!” Some sudden influence must have been involved. His theory was not immediately accepted, but his idea has occupied the Swedish archaeological class ever since.

In the spring of 2005 a book was issued from Oxford University Press:

“The Rise of Bronze Age Society”  ISBN: 0-521-60466-4

Authors: Kristian Kristiansen, Professor of archaeology at theUniversity ofGothenburg, and Thomas B. Larsson, professor of archaeology at theUniversity ofUmeå.

Both professors had occupied themselves with the subject until they got the chance to start a more comprehensive research project that lasted for 6 years. During the research period the two professors had examined thousands of texts and objects, in particular the stone carvings, (petroglyphs) that are to be found on both sides of the Norwegian/Swedish border in the Norwegian county of Oestfold and the Swedish county of Bohuslan. Kristiansen and Larsson had good support from all the universities in Sweden as well as from the Swedish radio that for a decade been broadcasting a program called “Stenristarne” “The stone carvers”.  This program aimed at educating and motivating the people to be aware of and to report the discovery of objects that could be classified as “archaeological findings”

Résumé of the researches:

In the Bronze Age an advanced culture had suddenly arisen in the southern Scandinavian countries with clear influence from the countries of the Aegean; first the Minoans, later also the Mycenaeans and the classical Greeks. The researchers concluded that it was most likely not only that the areas were visited by people from the south, but also that the population had visited the southern countries over a period that lasted about 1000 years! According to Kristiansen, inscriptions in both Minoan and Mycenaean Linear A and B have been found. Whilst the result did not cause any great surprise in Swedish and Danish archaeological circles, the Norwegians were thoroughly shocked! Therefore this revolutionary thesis has passed unheeded in Norway, even if the truth is that we shall have to rewrite history! The same survey explains and supports Jarnaes’ many findings at Kongsberg, in areas where indications of
old silver mines, astronomical and mathematical stone settings, are strong indications of the presence of an advanced culture.

 

PICTURE 9, Stone carving from Oestfold, Norway.

In their book, the two professors claim that the stone carvings, the petroglyphs of Scandinavia, depict ships from theMediterranean.

Se also: http://www.catshaman.com/15Sailors/05sailors12.htm

Prehistoric mining at Kongsberg.

I have myself, together with Jarnaes, visited the areas around Kongsberg and made photographs of what Jarnaes claims were residues of prehistoric mining. From several other European countries, we have also found evidence and detailed information of prehistoric mining. The pictures I took are all very similar to findings in Spain and in Serbia. I even had contact by e-mail with archaeologists in Serbia who supported my theories. What is rather special, with the Kongsberg silver, is that it could be found in a pure condition directly on the surface. Who could possibly believe that such findings could remain unnoticed right up to 1623? As soon as the source was depleted, the stone material, that had
been picked out together with the silver, was filled back into the ”mines”.

What surprised me most was that Jarnaes’ finding should cause such a stir in the established archaeological circles that they succeeded in sabotaging further research for many years. To start with, Jarnaes reported the findings to the historical institute of Oslo University. They immediately sent a young archaeologist to Kongsberg in order to examine the site. The young man became very enthusiastic with what he saw. He could establish that the incised mark indicated that the carving was most likely from the Bronze Age. The local newspaper reporter, who was there at the same time, printed the news in the next day’s newspaper, referring to the young man by name. The very next day an extremely angry professor from Oslo arrived on the spot; he was the senior person in the Archaeological and Historical Institute. He demanded that the newspaper reverse all they had written the day before. He determined, there and then, that there were no such things as Bronze Age discoveries or prehistoric mining at Kongsberg. Everything that was printed in the newspaper “was caused by the inexperience of his young assistant!” The Minoan signs were letters of the Latin alphabet and what Jarnaes claimed were prehistoric mines had nothing to do with mining whatsoever!

Death sentence to Norwegian Archaeology and Science

It took me some considerable time to get to the bottom of the motivation and the strange attitude of the established Norwegian archaeological scientists for the categorical rebuttal of Jarnaes’ findings. I will deal with this, in detail, later.

”The Battle of Kongsberg”

Here is a brief summary:

In connection with the “official silver mining of 1623” , a special ”museum of silver mining” was established at Kongsberg. The chief of this museum had spent his life writing “The history of silver mining in Kongsberg”.  If Jarnaes’ claim could be proven, his “life’s work” would totally disintegrate. If, in addition to this, evidence could be found that the Minoans came to Kongsberg for silver, and that the characters on the granite slab were Linear A, the catastrophe would be
complete and the old chap would have made a complete fool of himself! The resistance was so severe that it lasted right up to 2007, until the case came under further scrutiny. Jarnaes never gave up; he continued to send e-mails with pictures and even videos to experts in other countries. In 2007 one of these experts became involved and started further research. Costs were covered from foreign sources! One of the tests that the Norwegians had neglected to undertake, in all this time, was the obvious Radiocarbon 14 dating! The very first test blew “the 1623 limit” miles away!

I am not able to tell anything more at this time, because the research is ongoing. However I have sufficient information to be convinced that Jarnaes will come out of the battle with flying colours! The loser is the Norwegian archaological establishment. They have sabotaged progress on one of the most interesting archaeological sites in the history of Norwegian Archaological science for more than 20 years, for no other motive than to protect a colleague! This case will, in due time, force them to rewrite history!

The five Linear A characters.

It is more than 100 years since Arthur Evans came up with the first clay tablets with Linear characters from Knossos. The name “Minoan” is Evans “invention”. The Egyptians, from whom we have a lot of information about the Minoans, called them:

“The civilisation of the Keftiu”.

The younger Linear B version was deciphered in the early 50ties by Michael Ventris. The older Linear A was more problematic.

During the 20th Century, a lot of work was done by Jean Pierre Olivier and Louis Goddard as well as William Bryce. They made complete catalogues of every known character, around 120. Each character has in some cases several variations

Linear A characters were meant to be written on papyrus or soft clay, not to be cut into stone! Taking that into consideration there is no more inaccuracy to be found in comparing the Kongsberg carvings with the characters in the catalogues, than you find if you compare the main character with the different variations of the same in the Bryce List.

Genetic evidence.

Archaeology has recently acquired new tools, some of them inherited from Medicine, such as radar and laser scanning of archaeological sites and reading molecular DNA of up to 5,000yr old bones. In February 2007, the prestigious
Stanford Research Institute issued a report on behalf of the Archaeological society of the USA. The survey used the new technique of molecular DNA analysis on bones collected from excavations in various countries in the Mediterranean. The DNA patterns were then compared with bones from Minoan tombs.  The result concludes that the origin of the Minoan civilisation is most likely to be the countries east of Turkey, somewhere between Iran and Iraq.  Enough Minoan genetic material was also found in Southern Scandinavia to support the theories of the book, “Rise of Bronze Age society”.

 The leading Athens Newspaper Kathimerini;

DNA sheds light on The Minoans

Crete’s fabled Minoan civilization was built by people from Anatolia, according to a new study, by Greek and foreign scientists, that refutes an earlier theory that said the Minoans’ forefathers had come from Africa. The new study – a collaboration by experts in Greece, the USA, Canada, Russia and Turkey – drew its conclusions from the DNA analysis of 193 men from Crete and another 171 from former Neolithic colonies in central and northern Greece. The results show that the country’s Neolithic population came to Greece by sea from Anatolia – modern-day Iran, Iraq and Syria – and not from Africa, as maintained by US scholar Martin Bernal. The DNA analysis indicates that the arrival of Neolithic man in Greece from Anatolia coincided with the social and cultural upsurge that led to the birth of the Minoan civilization, Constantinos Triantafyllidis of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University told Kathimerini. “Until now we only had the archaeological evidence – now we have genetic data too and we can date theDNA,” he said.

Is it possible to decipher Linear A?

There have been many attempts to decipher Linear A. The problem, to start with, is that we do not know even what class of language it could possibly be. After almost 100 years of research there seems to be an agreement that 90 % of the characters of Linear B also occur in Linear A. It is also most likely that most of the sound values are identical. The one and only thing the linguists are in agreement about is that the language is not Greek. Some scientists suggest that it is Indo-European, similar to the languages from Anatolia; Huerrian, Uertian, Luvian, Hiti and Indo-Iranian. The second group (Aartun and Cyrus Gordon) is of the opinion that Linear A is a Semitic language.

Having been engaged with the enigma for all these years, I must admit that I have changed my opinion and updated the article several times since it first appeared in the local Cretan newspaper “Anatoli” in 2002.

The reason is first and foremost the new information, the book by the Swedish professors and the DNA report from Stanford.

In addition to that I have spent more time studying the various aspects of the case on my own. Thanks to the Internet, everybody who is interested in the subjects can take part and add information to the discussion.

This website is open to everybody.

http://people.ku.edu/~jyounger/LinearA/

Having followed the discussion for some years, I am not very optimistic that we shall be able to decipher Linear A for some time. I believe the situation will not improve until we discover more material.

In Jarnaes own blog,

http://jarnaes.wordpress.com/

You will find more information. Jarnaes and I have different views on Aartun’s deciphering.

Kongsberg 2012, 10 years after my first visit.

 10 years ago I wrote my first article about the findings at Kongsberg. The article was published in the Cretan newspaper Anatoli in June 2002.

 A lot of things have happened in the 10 years that calls for an update. I found the best way for an update is a visit to the place. Together with Johan Jarnæs I have looked through most of the same archaeological sites that has engaged me most for the last 10 years. Afterwards we had a thorough discursion. By such an occasion it is natural that the both of us made a summing up.

Johan Jarnæs and Sven Buchholz on the granite slab July 2012. The Linear A inscription is whitened up with chalk; Note the small size of the characters!

The Linear A inscriptions as they are today.

Jarnæs cleaned some dirt away and moistened with water to make the signs more easy to see. Thanks to the very solid rock material the inscription has not deteriorated.The cutting mark alone is sufficient to indicate that the inscription was engraved with a stone in the Bronze Age. The Linear A characters were designed to be written with a pen on papyrus. Cutting with stone is bound to result in some inaccuracies.

 For photographic sessions a little cleaning and make up is needed.

 “The wine sack with coral”

On this picture it is easy to see that the figure is cut into the rock with a hammer and a ponted instrument.

About this inscription “The wine sack with coral” Jarnæs and I are not in agreement. One can easily observe that the cutting marks are totally different from the stone cut Linear A inscription. It can only have been made with a pointed instrument, probably iron. (se the first picture to make this impression more visible) Look at the pointed cutting marks! Then it may differ as much as 1000 years in time!

Joh. Jarnæs spent a lot of his childhood in Kongsberg. As a boy he loved to play around in the woods and he had since boyhood a highly developed ability to observe. What he discovered as a boy brought him to think further as a mature man.

 When Jarnæs came up with the statement that what we se here is a prehistoric mine, he brought the entire scientific – historic camp in Kongsberg to scream. In 2007 Jarnæs got foreign experts on prehistoric mining to look at the site. Further investigations, including  ,were carried out with foreign recourses. These tests  blew the 1623 time line tousansands of years away ! Jarnæs and a friend had already at his own expenses carried out a C 14 Radio Carbon testing on a piece of charcoal much erlier. This test already mooved the time barrier back to 300 BC!

 The mines are totally overgrown, after they have been excavated.

There is a long shaft underneath that comes up to the surface some 20 behind. In accordance with prehistoric mining habits, the stones were put back in the shaft after the metal had been extracted.

 Jarnæs shows me that the visible part of the granite slab is only a fracture of what is grass cowered.

 Only a very little part of the slab has been examined till now. The grass layer is not very thick, so it would not have been a big deal to clean it all. The owner is very interested and would give all permissions needed to dig out the entire area. Now, when it is established that it is more then likely that the Minoans travelled to Scandinavia, I would be surprised if there not were more Linear A inscriptions to be found underneath! My hope for the future is that the new generation of archaeologists will have a more open mind and that more and more of them will be finding their way to this unique site so that the entire area will be professionally and thoroughly examined.

 Piece of pure silver as it came out of a Kongsberg mine.

There could be lumps of 40 – 100 kg! Unfortunately, Norway was “owned” by Denmark at the time, all recourses were robed from us and went directly to the Danish King who used most of it to finance wars! Norway also had rich copper mines like in Røros and other places. The Danes robbed Norway for lots of money during those years! When I hear Norwegians complain about the 5 years we were under Hitler I always ask: What about the “500 year night” we were under Denmark! If we send the bill to Copenhagen one day, I wonder how much it would be!

Evidence?

Where do we stand to day in comparison with in 2002?

Are we closer to being able to prove that Kongsberg had a history before 1623?

Since foreign expertise came to Kongsberg and carried out examinations, a radiocarbon dating alone blew the 1623 mark sky-high.

Did prehistoric mining really take place in Kongsberg?

Examinations are still going on, reports are being written, and therefore excluded from telling  more at the time, but one thing is sure: We have sufficient evidence to claim: Prehistoric mining did take place at Kongsberg!

Is it possible that the Minoans could have travelled to Kongsberg?

Archaeology obtained recently 2 new tools that put the entire science miles ahead. SCANNING and DNA. The DNA evidence proves that this is more than likely!   Sufficient DNA evidence has also been found in Sweden, north westGermany and in the British isles to prove the book: The Rise of Bronze Age Society is based on scientific facts. This also speaks for the Swedish archaeologist Oscar Montelius

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Montelius

who brought the idea up more than 100 years ago! The Minoans were even greater travellers than we have known. The newest discovery is from North West Germany, “Fricia” near the border to Denmark where remaining of a Minoan settlements was found. One of the objects was a seal ring with characters in Linear A! The DNA testing is still going on; new reports are being published all the time. Personally I would not be surprised if we one day will learned that the Minoans travelled even to America, 3000 years before Columbus! (Reference: Kokain in the Egyptian mummies, se abowe.)

Can we prove that the inscriptions on the slate are Minoan Linear A?

With all this new evidence and so much more information than we had only 10 years ago I would say that this is more than likely.  (se picture abowe with comparison Brice List) What about the inaccuracies? I put the question forward to Jarnæs who showed me a fax from professor Cyrus Gordon, which he had received in 1995 where he writes that the first sign is we in Linear A, and the last sign is ti in Linear A. Gordon was not able to identify the other three signs, as he did not recognize the two rare signs which are rendered in the supplementary list of William Brice´s list of the Linear A, namely, the yu-sign and the pi-sign. The pi-sign in the inscription has clearly the interior form of a cup, which identifies it as the syllable pi. (At that time, Cyrus Gordon had not studied the Linear A syllabary since the sixties.) The tu-sign in the inscription is the most difficult sign to peck into the hard gneiss. As the four signs match Linear A-syllables, the fifth sign must also be a Linear A sign, and then it can be no other sign than the tu-syllable. As a matter of fact, there is some likeness, and since the first and last sign are Linear A, what could the signs in the middle possibly be? The signs are pecked into the rock with a blunt instrument, apparently e stone, and the same peck marks are to be found spread out over the surface of the rock, as is common on rock carvings sites in Norway from the Bronze Age. The state of erosion of the signs also accounts for their antiquity. They are impossible to discover without sidelight.

 Are we closer to the enigma, the decoding of Linear A?

On this point Jarnæs and I are of different opinions. I do no longer believe in Aartun’s deciphering. I have been reading Aartun’s books over a long period of time. The more I read of them the less I believed it could be correct! I totally disagree with his methods.  In addition to that there are more and more suggestions coming up that the Phaistos disk is a fake! When that is proven Aartun will b in real trouble.

See:      https://araenil.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/is-the-phaistos-disc-genuine/

There have been many attempts to decipher Linear A. The problem is to start with, is that we do not know even what class of language it could possibly be. After almost 100 years of research there seems to be an agreement that 90 % of the characters of Linear B also occur in Linear A. It is also most likely that most of the sound values are identical. The one and only thing the linguists are in agreement about is that the language is not Greek. Some scientists suggest that it is Indo-European, similar to the languages from Anatolia; Huerrian, Uertian, Luvian, Hiti and Indo-Iranian. The second group (Aartun and Cyrus Gordon) is of the opinion that Linear A is a Semitic language. We have less than 100 inscriptions that are big enough to convey any meaningful message. Chadvick and Ventris were able to decipher Linear B, they had hundreds of clay tablets with inscriptions in Linear B. In addition to that they had got a certain clue that the language had to be Greek.

We simply have not nearly enough material to make a deciphering under the mentioned circumstances.

Champolion who deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphs had the Rosetta stone with the same inscription in 3 languages, 2 of them were known! However, Champolion said that he probably would not have succeeded if he had not got a clue to a language related to the ancient Egyptian, Coptic! My only hope is that we find more written material, I have hopes for the Akrotiri excavations on Santorini and in Palaikastro where Sandy Mc Gillivray of the BritishSchool in Athens, by scanning has found evidence of yet another MinoanPalace!

 

The author with a copy of the 5 signs.

The authors residence in Agios Nikolaos Crete, Villa Ariadne.

Your questions are welcome to

 araenil@yahoo.no