The aim of this chapter is to appraise current developments on the origins of Cypro-Minoan, the Late Bronze Age script of Cyprus, while simultaneously discussing what can be determined about the processes leading to its creation. Cypro-Minoan is primarily a phonographic writing system of syllabic type. Based on recent research, it is argued that it essentially results from the adaptation of an Aegean template, specifically a form of Linear A. This adaptive-creative process led to significant structural modifications, alongside substantial palaeographical developments in the signs, motivated by various factors. These changes have helped to create the impression of a script that deviated greatly from, or was only indirectly related to, Linear A. These and other issues cast doubt on the traditional division of Cypro-Minoan into three alleged ‘sub-scripts’ (CM 1, 2 and 3) and have implications for its decipherment. The evidence suggests that the structural modifications made to the Aegean model of Cypro-Minoan include the discarding of some signs, the creation of new ones and shifts of value in some others. This accounts for the significant differences between the Linear A, Cypro-Minoan and Cypro-Greek syllabaries, which make decipherment even more difficult. Finally, this chapter explores the ways in which the earliest characteristics, functions and contexts of use of Cypro-Minoan relate to the social-cultural background and intentions behind its creation at the dawn of the Late Bronze Age.

Cypro-Minoan: An Aegean-Derived Syllabary on Cyprus (and Elsewhere)

Miguel Valério
2018

Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to appraise current developments on the origins of Cypro-Minoan, the Late Bronze Age script of Cyprus, while simultaneously discussing what can be determined about the processes leading to its creation. Cypro-Minoan is primarily a phonographic writing system of syllabic type. Based on recent research, it is argued that it essentially results from the adaptation of an Aegean template, specifically a form of Linear A. This adaptive-creative process led to significant structural modifications, alongside substantial palaeographical developments in the signs, motivated by various factors. These changes have helped to create the impression of a script that deviated greatly from, or was only indirectly related to, Linear A. These and other issues cast doubt on the traditional division of Cypro-Minoan into three alleged ‘sub-scripts’ (CM 1, 2 and 3) and have implications for its decipherment. The evidence suggests that the structural modifications made to the Aegean model of Cypro-Minoan include the discarding of some signs, the creation of new ones and shifts of value in some others. This accounts for the significant differences between the Linear A, Cypro-Minoan and Cypro-Greek syllabaries, which make decipherment even more difficult. Finally, this chapter explores the ways in which the earliest characteristics, functions and contexts of use of Cypro-Minoan relate to the social-cultural background and intentions behind its creation at the dawn of the Late Bronze Age.
Paths into Script Formation in the Ancient Mediterranean (Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici, Nuova Serie. Supplemento, 1)
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Miguel Valério
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/722678
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