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Arkalochori Axe

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Title: Arkalochori Axe  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Cretan hieroglyphs, Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Axe, Minoan civilization
Collection: Archaeological Discoveries in Greece, Axes, Cretan Hieroglyphs, Minoan Archaeological Artifacts
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Arkalochori Axe

Arkalochori Axe. Its central part is inscribed.

The bronze Arkalochori Axe is a second millennium BC Minoan votive double axe (labrys) excavated by Spyridon Marinatos in 1934 in the Arkalochori cave on Crete [1] which is believed to be part of a religious ritual.[2] It is inscribed with fifteen symbols. It has been suggested that these might be Linear A, although some scholars disagree.[3] The axe and the Phaistos Disc are conserved in the Iraklion Archaeological Museum.

The Inscription

Of the fifteen signs, two appear to be unique. The suggestions for comparison with Linear A and Phaistos Disc glyphs are due to Torsten Timm (2004).[4]

Reading right to left, top to bottom, the symbols are as follows.

Sign Comment Linear A Phaistos Disc
01 01 A 304 01 KA ??
02 02 AB28 01 I D39
03 03 AB01 01 DA
04 04 D02
05 05
06 06 AB05 01 TO ??
07 07 cf. 04 D02
08 08 AB80 01 MA
09 09 AB04 01 TE ? D35
10 10 cf. 04 D02
11 11 AB31 01 SA ?? D19
12 08 cf. 08 AB80 01 MA
13 13 AB06 01 NA ?? D23
14 14 Root?
15 15 A338 01 ?


  1. ^ Best, Jan G. P.; Woudhuizen, Fred (31 December 1989). Lost Languages from the Mediterranean. Brill. p. 97.  
  2. ^ Whittaker, Helène (2005). "Social and Symbolic Aspects of Minoan writing". European Journal of Archaeology 8 (2): 157–181.  
  3. ^ Price, Glanville (2000). Encyclopedia of the languages of Europe. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 384.  
  4. ^ Timm, Torsten (2004). "Der Diskos von Phaistos - Anmerkungen zur Deutung und Textstruktur". Indogermanische Forschungen (109): 204–231.  (PDF 0.5 Mb)
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