[Chapter Thirteen: The Hyksos and the Hebrews]

 

Chapter Fourteen: The Phaistos Disc and the Early Kings of Crete

There are also remains of some imports from Egypt and the Levant.
Even in the Early Minoan period,
Knossos was a considerable settlement and, as we have seen,
Egyptian Predynastic and Old Kingdom stone bowls
and locally and foreign worked ivory objects
have been found there as elsewhere in the Aegean region.

—Martin Bernal, Black Athena, Volume II

The Problem of Minos

As with many Greek myths, the story of King Minos makes little sense chronologically. In the most complex form of the story, due to Diodorus of Sicily, there were two Kings Minos, one the son of Zeus, as Menes was the son of Sosos in Egypt, and one who lived two generations later, two generations before the Trojan War. Since we have already seen that Menes ruled Egypt beginning in 2950 BC and that the Trojan War was fought between 1195 and 1186 BC, there must be something radically wrong with this tale that has come down to us from Crete by way of Greece.

What we have in King Minos is a tale that manages to compress most of the ancient history of Crete into a simple narrative that could have been performed by actors on a stage in a few evenings. Fragments survive from both Euripides and Sophocles of lost plays about Daedalus, Minos, and Theseus that would have presented the legendary tale in just such a format. Our quest then is to extract the various elements of these plays and to restore them to their proper positions in the history of the Mediterranean island. The story told in these plays and their sources would have begun with Minos the son of Zeus, again, a clear reference to Menes the son of Sosos, implying that a single sovereign ruled Egypt and Crete at the beginning of the 3rd Millennium BC. This is all the story tells us about the early years of Crete. It immediately jumps to a point where the inhabitants of Crete—I am studiously avoiding Sir Arthur Evans's use of the term "Minoans," at least for now—have hired one Daedalus, transformed into an Athenian by the later Greek playwrights, to build them a Labyrinth. The purpose of this Labyrinth is to house a monster—half man and half bull—who is the product of an unholy union between Pasiphae, the wife of Minos, and a white bull. But we are getting ahead of ourselves here, for the Labyrinth was not originally associated with the Minotaur, but served a much more useful, though no less gruesome, purpose.

According to Hans Georg Wunderlich in The Secret of Crete, the constructions at Knossos and elsewhere on the island, identified by the British archeologist Evans as palaces, were in actuality built not for the living but for the dead. They were complex tombs, necropolises, reminiscent of Egyptian custom and meant to provide all of the useful objects and sources of entertainment enjoyed by the living. Evans, in fact, found huge piles of bones near the exits of his "palace" at Knossos, apparently left there by grave robbers, suggesting the origin of the legend of the Minotaur and his hunger for human flesh, a legend perhaps concocted by the tomb robbers themselves to cover their nefarious activities. These mortuary complexes first appear on Crete at the beginning of the Old Palace Period. By the current reconstruction this would have been shortly after 2002 BC, not much more than 10 years after the end of the reign of Amenemhet III in Egypt, again according to the current reconstruction. The interesting thing about Amenemhet is that his second pyramid was built next to a Labyrinth displaying many of the same features as the one supposedly built on Crete, and the one in Egypt was clearly not a palace, so that we have to wonder whether the latter was built by the same "Daedalus" (meaning "craftsman") as the former. As Diodorus tells us, the Labyrinth at Knossos was modeled after the one in the Fayum, though modern scholars discount this assertion on—surprise!—chronological grounds. One of the names given to Amenemhet, along with the Lamares of some versions of Manetho, was Labaris, either the origin of the word Labyrinth or a derived form of it used to indicate the king's association with it.

A Brief Timeline of Crete

Writing System in
Use on Crete

Languages in Use on Crete

Event

Year BC

 

 

 

 

 

Egyptian,
Eblaïtic,
Indo-Iranian*

Minos I (Menes/Manu) of Thinis becomes king of Egypt, Crete, and India until 2920

2950

Cometary event. Deluge in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Desiccation of Sahara

2949

Loss of India. Deucalion becomes king of Egypt and Crete

2920

Iahu II (Minotaur) becomes king of Crete 2897
Minoqore (Minos II) becomes king of Crete 2859

Kulbanu (Qobane) of Ebla defeats Minoan forces on Crete, including characters later incorporated into the Iliad by Homer

after 2859

Cometary event. Egyptians again temporarily lose control of the island

2826

End 1st Dynasty of Egypt & Crete. Begin 2nd Dynasty of Egypt and Crete

2824

 

 

 

 

 

Egyptian,
Indo-Iranian

Cometary event. Gilgamesh defeats the Amorites in Lebanon

2723

 

 

 

 

 

Ugaritic,
Indo-Iranian

Kerit (Keret/Kret/Kerita) becomes king of Hubur (Habura), defeats P-b-l (Pebe-el/Pebeqore) of Udum (Mt. Ida). End of 2nd Dynasty of Egypt & Crete. Begin 3rd Dynasty of Crete

ca 2673

Cometary event

2600

 

 

 

 

 

Indo-Iranian

Cometary event

2477

 

 

 

 

 

Akkadian,
Indo-Iranian

Cometary event. Tree-ring minimum

2354

Sargon conquers Egypt & Crete. Begin Early Minoan II

circa 2323

Production of scarabs on Crete resembling those of Egyptian 1st Intermediate Period

after 2323

Cometary event 2230

Cometary event

2126

     

 

 

Indo-Iranian,
Egyptian

Amenemhet III (Lamares/Labaris/Imandes/Moeris) builds the "Minoan" Labyrinth in Egypt

2016-2012

Proto-Linear A at Troy before 2002

Cometary event. Begin 2nd Intermediate Period in Egypt. Begin Minoan 14th Dynasty at Xois

2002

End Pre-Palace Period on Crete. Begin Old Palace Period

ca 1950

 

 

 

 

Linear A,
Hieroglyphs,
Phaistos Syllabary
Indo-Iranian,
Phoenician

Cometary event. Phoenicians invade Crete

1752

Phaistos Disc created using Semitic characters after 1752

Phoenicians ("Hyksos") invade Egypt

1718

Frescos appear in Egypt

after 1718

Production of MMIII alabaster lid with name of Hyksos King Khyan

before 1628

   

 

 

Linear A,
Hieroglyphs

Indo-Iranian,
Phoenician

Cometary event. Tree-ring minimum. Cretans evacuate Santorini. End Old Palace Period. Begin New Palace Period

1628

Egyptians drive Phoenicians from Egypt

1534

Egyptians defeat Phoenicians at Sharuhen

ca 1531

Cometary event. Flooding in Upper Egypt

1526

Amenhotep I becomes king of Egypt until 1505

1525

 

 

 

 

Linear A,
Linear B

Indo-Iranian,
Greek,
Egyptian

Greeks and Egyptians defeat Phoenicians on Crete. Begin Egyptian client state on Crete (17th Dynasty of "Hellenic Hyksos")

ca 1509

Mycenaean arrival on Crete. Greeks begin using Linear B script at Knossos [MacGillivray]

ca 1460

End Linear A [MacGillivray]

ca 1460–1440

Amenhotep II becomes king of Egypt until 1405

1430

Cometary event. Catastrophic collapse of Santorini (Thera). Tidal wave destroys Minoan fleet on northern coast of Crete. End New Palace Period. Begin Post-Palace Period

1403

Amenhotep III becomes king of Egypt until 1358

1396

Egyptians (and Danaans [Graves]) invade Crete, southeastern Greece, and Troy under Amenhotep III (Manasseh)

ca 1374

Amenhotep III dies. Akhnaton becomes king of Egypt until 1341. End Egyptian client state (17th Dynasty) on Crete. Theseus ends human sacrifice on Crete

1358

Akhnaton establishes seat of his new Cretan influenced religion at Akhetaton

1349

 

 

 

 

 

Greek

End Linear B [MacGillivray]

ca 1200

Trojan War begins. Cyprus falls to Seti II

ca 1195

Troy falls to the Greeks & Egyptians

1186
Hittite Empire falls to Seti II

1185

Cometary event. Tree-ring minimum. Destruction of Mycenaean palaces on Crete. Dorian invasion

1159

       

*This is La Marle's identification of the Indo-European language represented by the Linear A.

All in all, the heyday of civilization on Crete paralleled the rule of foreigners at Xois in Egypt, the following Hyksos Period, and the pre-Amarna part of the 18th Dynasty. Upon the defeat of the Hyksos at Sharuhen they immediately disappear from the stage of history. Yet the locations of the two cities of Avaris and Sharuhen at places with direct access to the Mediterranean Sea are instructive. According to Martin Bernal in Black Athena; Manfred Bietak, the excavator of Tell el Dab'a, sees the Hyksos as seafaring, not land-based, invaders from Byblos, the oldest Phoenician city. Bietak's theory is based on the presence of huge numbers of clay jars at the Hyksos capital, which he sees as an indication of a massive trading network in the eastern Mediterranean, though recent research places the origin of the clay used in those jars at Ashkelon, according to Patrick McGovern in his Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture. As we have already noted, Eusebius, referring to Manetho, also identifies the Hyksos with the Phoenicians. This identification is echoed in the Scholiast on Plato's Timaeus as reproduced in Berossos and Manetho: "The Seventeenth Dynasty were shepherds, Phoenician brothers, foreign kings, who also took Memphis ...." The latter is the 17th Dynasty of Eusebius, the equivalent of the 15th (Hyksos) Dynasty of Africanus.

According to Martin Bernal, again, in Volume II of Black Athena, there is evidence of Hyksos in Crete in the 2nd Millennium BC. "...Stubbings maintains that there was a conquest of parts of Mainland Greece, though not Crete, by Hyksos princes. I believe that the same probably took place in Crete." Furthermore, there is the "Hieroglyphic Deposit," which contains seals using Cretan hieroglyphs but in a style unknown in Crete, Egypt, or farther east, illustrated with, as described by Friedrich Matz, "a directness of their reproduction of nature."

The Linear A script appeared in Crete sometime around the time of the arrival of the Hyksos in Egypt in 1718 BC, according to my reconstruction of the Egyptian timeline. "Cyrus H. Gordon was the first to identify, in 1957, some words, written out syllabically above vessel ideograms on a Linear A tablet from Hagia Triada (HT 31), as Semitic vessel names," according to Jan G. P. Best and Fred Woudhuizen in their Lost Languages from the Mediterranean, and the 1982 revision of Gordon's Forgotten Scripts was, in fact, the first place I actually encountered the notion that Linear A was Phoenician. Gordon was later supported in his identification by M. C. Astour and Robert R. Stieglitz. In short, the linguistic evidence, as far as it currently goes, points toward a Phoenician occupation of the island of Crete at about the same time as the "Hyksos" were conquering Egypt, in 1718 BC, or perhaps even earlier, in 1752, that lasted until the Greeks arrived around 1525 BC.

The Phoenician practice of sacrificing their children is well known, and the sacrifice of other people's children would have gone over a bit better with the native inhabitants of Crete. If there is any truth to the notion that the Greeks, upon their conquest by the rulers of Crete, agreed to send them seven young men and seven young women for sacrifice, either every year, or every seven years, or every nine, depending on the source consulted, their dispatch had nothing to do with the presence of a bull-headed man in a maze, but rather with the well-known techniques by which the Phoenicians sacrificed their own children. Thus, we can divide the myth of the Minotaur into two separate elements, one from the period of Phoenician rule and one from the period after, perhaps long after, the Phoenicians had been driven off of the island by the Greeks in consort with the Egyptians. Whatever the relationship between the Greeks and the Egyptians during this period, it was not as simple as either the Eurocentrists or the Afrocentrists make it out to be. From the available evidence, which is limited, it would appear that the two parties had a long history of working together.

If we place the beginning of the 17th Dynasty of Africanus in the year 1509, 151 years before the death of Amenhotep III ("Minos"), we are left with a dynasty that would have run from 1509 until 1358, the latter year near the end of the so-called Mono Palace Period on Crete. The latest object found below the destruction level has been identified with the wife of Amenhotep, and the earliest object found above the destruction layer is from the reign of Akhnaton. This is close to Claude Schaeffer's 5th catastrophe, which he places between 1370 and 1360, and slightly after our own cometary event of 1403. Apparently there were political ramifications of the latter that only began to manifest themselves three decades later. An example of this was the radical change in Egyptian art during the reign of Akhnaton, when it began to resemble the naturalistic style of Crete.

Manetho, as transmitted to the modern world by Africanus, tells us that the 17th Dynasty consisted of "Hellenic Hyksos," meaning Hellenic "rulers of foreign lands," commonly "corrected" to other Hyksos by those who have not recognized the error in the numbering of the dynasties of Manetho in Africanus. The implication is that Phoenician fortunes took a turn for the worse across a broad front beginning in 1534 and that as a result their domination of Crete was ended by the Greeks and the Egyptians around the year 1509. Even with the decipherment of the Linear B script from Crete, little is known about the history of the island. The Linear B tablets, written in Greek, were little more than receipts for goods, and votive tablets, and the Linear A, though far from completely read, shows every sign of being the same sort of common document, though written in a Semitic language. There is also evidence of Luvian speakers in some of the votive tablets. The important evidence of the Linear B is the fact that it was an early form of the Greek language, confirming that the island of Crete was already populated by a Greek speaking people before the final collapse of Thera in 1403. There is no indication in the Hebrew bible of these rulers, despite the identical description by Africanus of Abraham and his descendants of the 16th Dynasty and the rulers of the island of Crete of the 17th Dynasty as "Hellenic shepherds." Or is there?

Cornelius Tacitus, Roman senator and historian of the 1st and early 2nd Centuries, enumerating six possible origins of the Jewish people, mentions one possibility he may have gotten from Antonius Julianus, that they were expelled from the region of Mount Ida on Crete and that the term Idæi had later become Judæi. There is no other extant reference to this theory, but if there is any other evidence for it, we must search for it in the years surrounding the defeat of the Hyksos by the Egyptians. Tacitus himself places the expulsion from Crete during the period when Zeus defeated Cronus. We have already explored the implications of the identification of the name Joseph with that of Cronus, both in Chapters Two and Twelve.

As we have seen, more than one Near Eastern king-list began with 12 eponymous ancestors. Both the Assyrian and Lukan lists do so. Yet the eponymous ancestors of the Jews appear in the bible not in the beginning along with Adam (or Adamu), who can actually be found in the early part of the Assyrian list, but later on, as the purported sons of Jacob. This is significant, as it indicates another one of those cut-and-paste jobs on the part of the editors of the Hebrew Scriptures, this time grafting Joseph and his descendants onto the line of Abraham and his purportedly Babylonian ancestors. But who was this Joseph in actuality and where did he come from if he was not really a descendant of Abraham and Sarah but the progenitor of another line of kings?

 If the theory transmitted by Tacitus is at all close to the mark, Joseph arrived in Egypt before the final destruction of the necropolis at Knossos, before the ascension of Amenhotep III to the throne, and even before the catastrophe of 1403. We may even begin to suspect that an intermediate Minos was really the Sun King himself, Amenhotep III, and that perhaps Amenhotep was the son of Joseph, the Manasseh of the bible, a name that approximates even closer to the name Minos. There is even evidence of his conquest of Crete and parts of mainland Greece.

At the site of the so-called Colossi of Memnon at Kom el-Hetan across the Nile from Thebes, there is a temple erected to the memory and for the continued worship, not of the legendary Memnon, but of Amenhotep III. Around the back of the temple one finds the remains of five of an original ten statues of Amenhotep that we may assume originally recorded a total of ten victorious campaigns carried out by the successor to Thutmose IV and the second employer of Joseph. Only the feet and bases remain. Fortunately, it was on these bases that the workmen inscribed the overall focus of the king's campaigns, as well as the specific sites captured. In one case the former include the land of Keftiu (Crete) and that of the Tanaja (the Danaans). The latter read like a veritable travelogue of the Aegean, including such sites on Crete as Knossos, Phaistos, and Amnisos. These names are found inside of ovals that resemble cartouches on the outside of which are seen images of captives, leaving little doubt as to the nature of Amenhotep's visit, though the extent of these conquests has led some to suggest that the captives simply represent the Egyptian method of portraying foreigners. Even if this were true, it accentuates the Egyptian notion of just what exactly foreigners were good for.

 Little is known of the period of Greek rule on Crete from the end of the New Palace Period until the end of the 151-year period marked by the death of Amenhotep III, but the parallel between the occupation of Canaan known to Africanus as the 16th Dynasty and the occupation of Crete by the Greeks known as the 17th Dynasty would suggest that there existed some sort of client state on Crete ruled nominally by the Greeks at Knossos but ultimately under the control of Egypt. We do not have the names of these Greek rulers of Crete, with perhaps the exception of Theseus who may have been the last, nor do we know how long they ruled. We might construct a kind of skeleton chronology, assuming that each king ruled for an average of 3½ years, or 7 equinoxes, which would tell us nothing except that none of the Greek rulers could have lasted very long, reminding us of both the period of the 14th Dynasty at Xois and the 13th Dynasty at Thebes. It is still not clear what these short reigns actually meant. Neither do they go very far in explaining whether there ever actually existed a king on Crete named Minos any time after the reign of Menes in Egypt, nor whether there ever existed a "Minoan Empire" as envisioned by Evans. We can, however, suggest the following.

It has been noticed more than once that the story of Moses and Mount Sinai, as opposed to other parts of the Exodus saga, appears to describe an active volcano, none of which exist on the Sinai Peninsula. As Laura Knight-Jadczyk writes in The Secret History of the World and How to Get Out Alive,

Regarding the "hearsay" recitation of Tacitus is that he states quite clearly that the nation of Israel was an amalgamation of tribes, including people who had once lived on Crete, who brought a volcano story with them.

Now Moses was the lawgiver of the Jewish people, as Minos and Menes and all their other permutations were primal lawgivers in other parts of the ancient world. Until now, the inclusion of Moses in this group of original legislators has been obscured by the existence of what looks for all the world like a second Moses, who led the Hebrews, or at least their rulers, out of Egypt during the disruption that occurred during the New Kingdom at the end of the Trojan War. But, if we are correct in identifying him with Minos and Menes, there was an earlier Moses who, in the person of Menes, led his people out of Upper Egypt into Lower Egypt and then on to the "Land of Milk and Honey" on Crete, whose administrative capital of Herakleion near Knossos was formerly known as Candia, the origin of our word candy, as the island was a major exporter of honey candy. The descendants of this first Moses went on to rule Egypt for a total of six dynasties until finally replaced by Sargon and his Egyptian wife Nitokris. The presence of Moses in Upper Egypt correlates with the presence of Mekh, apparently the Lamech of the Hebrew bible, on the Palermo stone as ruler of Upper Egypt before Menes.

Perhaps the key to this entire quandary is that Minos became judge of the dead after his death. If Wunderlich is correct and the entire commercial base of Crete was founded on the care and entombment of the dead, Minos must have been ruler of those dead for a long time, from the day that he died and perhaps even earlier as a result of his former position as a high official of that North African kingdom that turned to dust when it stopped raining round about 2950 BC. And now we begin to catch a glimpse of what exactly those idyllic scenes pictured on the walls of the mortuary complex at Knossos are really showing us. Those female-dominated representations of high civilization came not from Crete at all. Neither were they originally images of the afterlife as conceived by the Cretan priesthood, though they may have evolved into that over the centuries and even insinuated themselves into Egyptian religion. Rather, they are pictures of a lost world, the urban equivalent of the Tassili frescos, showing life as it was lived under the Amazons and later under the Egyptian Hercules and his descendants before the antediluvian world came to an abrupt end when Typhon changed the weather patterns of a continent and sent its refugees fleeing to the river valleys east of Eden.

 

The Phaistos Disc and the Egyptian Presence on Crete

[Snakes and Ladders] is a modification
of the ancient Indian game of
Moksha-Patamu,
whose grid is very similar in appearance
to contemporary representations of the planets,
the signs of the zodiac and the constellations,
where the eight-petalled flower
representing the sun is at the centre.
—Nigel Pennick, Games of the Gods

Eight-petaled rosettes similar to those on the disk
and on the various ancient gameboards
appeared also on many other objects.
They were generally a symbol for the sun,
or more precisely its cycle of birth, death, and rebirth,
and so indicated the passages from one state of existence into another.
H. Peter Aleff, The Board Game on the Phaistos Disk

[Note: The following sections use the Georgia typeface rather than the usual Arial in order to make the linguistic argument easier to parse. The Greek and Hebrew elements are in Times New Roman. The tables, as always, use Trebuchet. If you do not have any of these fonts for some reason, you can get them here. The Phaistos symbols were borrowed from Wikipedia.]

I will not pretend that I solved this problem in a few hours or even a few days. It took me many months to finally identify the Phaistos Disc with one particular example of the myriad uses of tabular and grid-like forms that have come down to us from the distant past. As I learned while writing my earlier work, these included representations of the information contained in calendars, divination boards, and gameboards. In the current work we have added lists of kings to the mix. After many a false start, my first useful clue was the identification of the image of a flower at the center of the front of the disc with the star at the center of our solar system—the sun. This identification has been remarked upon by some of those authors who have studied board games, and even by H. Peter Aleff in The Board Game on the Phaistos Disc. We will see shortly that the latter association is incorrect, though not terribly wide of the mark and certainly not lacking in usefulness.

We have already seen in Chapter Nine that the sun appears on the Tarot Board, as constructed—or at least transmitted to the West—by Pythagoras. And we have further seen that the sun in this particular context represents the letter I, the pure vowel and not the semivowel of the Semitic alphabets. On the Tarot Board, the letter I begins the name IAHUEH, so that we may suspect that the word in the first compartment of the Phaistos Disc is some variation on this name. As Robert Graves (1966) writes,

... The name Iahu is far older that the sixteenth century B.C. and of wide distribution. It occurs in Egypt during the Sixth Dynasty ... as a title of the God Set: and is recorded in Deimel's Akkadian-Sumerian Glossary as a name for Isis. It also seems to be the origin of the Greek name Iacchus, a title of the shape-shifting Dionysus Lusios in the Cretan mysteries. Thus although I.A.U. are the vowels of the three-season year of Birth, Consummation and Death ... they seem to be derived from a name that was in existence long before any alphabet was formed, the components of which are IA and HU. "Ia" means "Exalted" in Sumerian and "Hu" means "Dove"; the Egyptian hieroglyph "Hu" is also a dove.

Hence, the name represented in the first compartment on the disc may very well be Iahu. In which case, the second symbol, that of a bald and pockmarked head, would appear to be a representation of the moon, the letter A on the Tarot Board. Now there are 45 symbols on the Phaistos Disc, so that it is commonly accepted that the system is generally syllabic and not alphabetic. In other words, the symbols represent a consonant and a vowel, that is, a syllable. It is not unusual, then, that the last symbol in the first compartment should represent the consonant Hu:

I

A

Hu

We have already seen that the third symbol in the six-letter representation of the holy name IAHUEH on the Tarot board is represented by an image of the Dawn Goddess. As E. A. Wallis Budge writes in his translation of The Book of the Dead,

Net, or Neith ..., "the divine mother, the lady of heaven, the mistress of the gods," was one of the most ancient deities of Egypt, and in the Pyramid Texts she appears as the mother of Sebek. The centre of her cult was at Saïs in the Delta. Like Meh-urt she personifies the place in the sky where the sun rises.... She is depicted in the form of a woman, having upon her head the shuttle or arrows, or she wears the crown and holds arrows, a bow, and a sceptre in her left hand ....

Thus Neith is the Egyptian equivalent of Ishtar, whose weapon was wielded by Sargon.

We have also already seen that folding the Tarot board into the form of a parallelepiped places the Holy Name on the front of the tower, a tower we have previously identified with the Tower of Zeus, so that Iahu (and by extension Yahweh) is an equivalent name of that king who ruled Crete and Egypt before his son Menes/Minos took the throne. And this, dear reader, is the first of two keys that, figuratively speaking, broke the disc from Phaistos wide open. For the second compartment of the disc contains the name of the successor of Zeus/Iahu, and the entire disc, whatever its other use or uses, is a concise list of the kings of Crete from Zeus through Sargon and on to Djedkare Shema of the 10th Dynasty of Egypt.

Mi

No

Unfortunately, not every character has been decoded, so that we do not know the exact names of all of the native rulers of Crete, the ones who did not sit on the Egyptian or Akkadian thrones, but we know enough to reach some startling conclusions about exactly who these folks were. But first, let us continue our decipherment.

The second key to the puzzle of the disc derives from the notion that the Linear A script, the written language that preceded the Greek Linear B script on Crete, was used to write a Western Semitic language akin to Phoenician. This idea was pioneered by Cyrus H. Gordon (1968), among others. We have already mentioned the claim of Cornelius Tacitus that the Jews may have originated near Mount Ida on Crete. It turns out that a significant number of the glyphs on the Phaistos disc resemble fairly ornate representations of the images assigned to the 19 asterisms from which the Phoenician alphabet was derived. There are also a limited number of other signs that appear to derive from other common interpretations of these signs. In some cases, more than one glyph was derived from the same asterism using alternate impressions of the shape of the asterism, in order to create glyphs that represented syllables that began with the same consonant but ended with a different vowel. In short, the Phaistos Disc, a list of the kings of Crete up until approximately 2200 BC, uses syllabic characters derived from the same source as the later Phoenician alphabet and uses the very same rules of construction, the only caveat being that they used the first two sounds of each word.

A prime example of this is the arrow in the name of Iahu. The equivalent asterism in the Indian lunar zodiac is Pushya. As the Reverend Ebenezer Burgess wrote in 1860,

The other two [stars] are doubtless γ (4.5) and θ (6) of the same constellation: the asterism is figured as a crescent or as an arrow, and the arrangement of the group admits of being regarded as representing a crescent, or the barbed head of an arrow. Were the arrow the only figure given, it might be possible to regard the group as composed of γ, θ, and β (4), the latter representing the head of the arrow, and the nebulous cluster, Præsepe, between γ and θ, the feathering of its shaft . . . .

The following table illustrates this process:

Syllabic Progenitors of Phoenician Letters in the Phaistos Disc

Phaistos
Glyph
Meaning Phoenician Letter Greek
Letter
Phaistos
Syllable
Asterism #
(see Chapter Nine)
           
Daughter Beth Beta Be 2
Door
(of a tent)
Daleth Delta Da 5
Tomb or
 Labyrinth
He Epsilon He 6
Balance or
Manacle
Zayin Zeta Za 15
Skein of Wool Teth Theta Te 23
Head of Lion Waw Upsilon Wa 8
Rear of Lion Yod Iota Yo 9 & 10
Branch
(of a Palm?)
Kaph Kappa Ka 11
Goad Lamed Lambda La 12
Waters Mem Mu Me 13
Fish Nun Nu Nu 14
Support Semekh Xi Se 15
Corner
(of a Field)
Pe Pi Pe 18
Scythe Tsadi Zeta Tsa 19
Surround Qoph Qoppa Qo
Chief Resh Rho Re 20
Tooth Shin Sigma Shi/final Sh 21 & 22
Sign of the
Sacred Bull
Taw Tau Ta/final T 23
           

Other interpretations of the same asterisms—some of which appear as known alternate prototypes of the Phoenician letters, some of which were arrived at cryptographically—were also used:

Alternate Glyphs from the Same Asterisms

Phaistos
Glyph

Meaning

Phoenician
Syllable

Variant
Syllable

Asterism #
(see Chapter Nine)
         

Horn

Be

Ba

2
Boaz (Ithyphallic Orion) Be Bo 2

Delta

Da

De

5

Honeybee

He

Ho

6
Arrow*
(Pushya)
He Hu 6

Ear of Wheat

La

Le

12

Open Hand
(of a mummy)

Ka

Ke

11

Tholos or Hive

Me

Ma

13
? Me Mi 13

Breast or Shield

Me

Mo

13
Axe Me Mu 13

Hoof

Nu

Na

14

Spreading Branches
or Gateway*
(Viçâkhâ)

Nu

Ni/final N

14

Serpent

Nu

No

14

Axe

Re

Ri

20

Snake & lotus
(or papyrus)

Re

Ru

20

Sheep

Shi

Sho

21 & 22

Dipper?

Ta

Ti

23

Bow

Tsa

Tse

19

(Espaliered) Fig Tree*
(Phalgunî)

Yo

Ya

9 & 10
         

*Images associated with the indicated Indian asterism in the Burgess (1978) translation of the Sûrya Siddhânta.

A small number of foreign words may also have been used. These were generally arrived at cryptographically and are subject to change:

Glyphs from Other Words

Word

Meaning

Phaistos
Glyph

Phaistos Syllable

       

Neter
(Egyptian)

Life Force (dove)

Ne

Sipinatu
(Minoan)

Boat

Si

Porphyra
(Greek)

Murex Shell

Po

Tugu
(Sumerian)

Dove

Tu

Thes (Egyptian)

Slave

The

 

 

 

 

It is now possible to construct a preliminary grid of the Phaistos syllabary:

Phaistos Syllabic Grid

  A E I O U
     
B    
D      
H    
K/Q    
L      
M
N
P      
R    
S/Z    
Sh      
T  
Th        
Ts      
W        
Y      
           

 

The Early Kings of Crete

The third line of the disc reads as follows:

He

Ru

Ka

Ta

Ta

Qo

Re

Qore is a recognizable variation on the Egyptian khare or kare, the physical sun, Higgins's cheres, and appears to be related to the biblical "Q’re Adonai ('Lord Q’re')" mentioned by Robert Graves in his White Goddess. As Graves says,

Qre sounds Cretan. The Carians, Lydians and Mysians, who were of Cretan stock, had a common shrine of Zeus Carios at Mylassa in Caria, a god whom their cousins the Tyrrhenians took to Italy as Karu, and who is also Carys, the founder of Megara.

Graves identifies Q’re with the Syrian Ker, then continues,

His chief Carian title was Panemerios ("of the live-long day")—at least this was the Greek version of a Carian original—and he seems to have been a god of the solar year ....

Godfrey Higgins goes much further in Book X, Chapter II, Section 4 of the Anacalypsis, linking together a whole series of related names. The orthography has been slightly modernized. (The Hebrew is read from right to left):

In the Celtic Druids, Chap. V, Sect. XV, I have shown that the Irish Ceara, the wife of Ceares, was the Goddess of Nature, and the same as Ceres. She had a daughter called Porsaibhean, pronounced Porsaivean, the Persephone of the Greeks and the Proserpine of the Romans. According to Schelling, Ceres is the Hebrew חרש hrs or chrs, and Kersa the Chaldæ חרשא hrsa or chrsa, from חרש hrs, aravit, sata. The meaning of this name was præstigiatrix, mago, or fabricatrix. The Maja of India was the same as the Maia of the Greeks, but she was the same as Persephone, and Persephone was Ceres, and Ceres was the mother of the Gods and Queen of heaven. From the same source came the Χρυσωρ and Chrysaor of Sanchoniathon. Cres or Κρης or כרש krs was the being to whom astrologers came on the birth of Christ, the 25th of December, to make the solar offerings at the temple of Bethlehem or Ceres, where Adonis or Adonai was worshiped, as described in Book V, Chap. II, Sect. 3. Gen. Vallancey says, Creasean, Crisean, a priest. It is the Chaldæan חרשין  (hrsin), i.e. Magus, supposed by the Orientalists to be derived from חרש (hrs) Chrish, siluit, whence חרשא (hrsa) Chrisha, incantator, magus, præstidigiator. Syr. Chrasa, magus, incantator, magicam artem exercens: חרש (hrs) Chris, apud magistros, mutus, vulgarissimè respicitur. Krishen, one of the thousand names of God in the Hindostanee dialect. Creas, Creasna, Cheres, Creeshna, Cur, Cores, and Κυρος all mean the sun.

It is not unusual that qore should be found exclusively at the ends of names in the Phaistos list. This is where kare is found in the names of many Egyptian kings. With this discovery, we are left with little doubt as to the direction in which the names should be read, if this were not already obvious enough from the direction of the symbols themselves.

As for the element Heru, it was the name of the so-called Elder Horus. As E. A. Wallis Budge writes in his translation of The Book of the Dead,

Heru or Horus, the Sun-god, was originally a totally distinct god from Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, but in very early times it seems that the two gods were confounded, and that the attributes of the one were ascribed to the other; the fight which Horus the Sun-god waged against night and darkness was also at a very early period identified with the combat between Horus, the son of Isis, and her brother Set.

Heru-Ka (Horus-Ka) has been identified with the name of the king who appears in Manetho as Bienekhes at the end of the 1st Dynasty, known also as Qaa to the Egyptologists, though Flinders Petrie had him as an antediluvian king, perhaps the "Egyptian Hercules" of the Greeks. The third king of that dynasty, our Cretan Heru-ka-tataqore, appears in the Abydos List as Teti, the latter a clear abbreviation of the former. The archaeologists call him Hor-Aha, not a great distance from Heru-ka. This first element may also be related to Hellen, the son of Prometheus and Celaeno, the legendary ancestor of the Greek people. Variants of the second element of this name, tataqore, appear in Greek, Phoenician, and Hebrew chronologies as Deucalion, the son of Minos; Tubal Cain, a son of Lamech; and Taautus, the grandson of Amynus.

We can now identify eight of the first ten entries in the Phaistos List with eight of the kings of the 1st Dynasty of Egypt, making up, apparently, also the 1st Dynasty of Crete, with the inclusion of the last antediluvian king, known to the Greeks as Zeus. A few of these glyphs have been transliterated using identifications from farther down the list:

The 1st Dynasty of Crete

1

I

A

Hu

 

 

 

 

2

Mi

No

 

 

 

 

 

3

He

Ru

Ka

Ta

Ta

Qo

Re

4

I

A

Hu

 

 

 

 

5

/Ka

Se

Ti

 

 

 

 

6

Mi

No

Qo

Re

 

 

 

7

Qo

Ba

Ne

 

 

 

 

8

/Se

Mo

Pe

Be

 

 

 

9

Ta

Pe

Tu

Za

Ta

Qo

Re

10

/ Ba

Ne

Qo

Re

     

11

/Mi

Na

 

 

 

 

 

12

Pe

Ti

Hu

Si

Ta

Re

 

Just exactly what the relationship was between the Egyptian throne and that of Crete during this period, from 2950 until 2824 BC, is unclear. Whether the two regions were united and ruled from one or the other capital, or whether the king of one territory held sway in the other as a conquering ruler is not obvious from the available data. We do know that Vaivaswata Manoo ruled India before the establishment of a native dynasty there, which would tend to suggest that he functioned as a conqueror and not simply a ruler. We also know that the forms of the names of the rulers of Crete appear to be Egyptian and not Semitic or Greek, suggesting Egyptian control of the island. Placing the Cretan, Egyptian, and Greek lists side by side, we have the following:

King #

1st Dynasty of Crete

Manetho [#]

Abydos List

Eratosthenes

Greek Legend

Eblaïtic

 

 

 

 

1

Iahu I

Zeus

 

 

IAO/Asterion I (Asirai)

 

2

Mino

Menes [1]

Meni

Mines

Minos I/"White Bull"

 

3

Heruka-tataqore I

Athothis [2]

Teti

Athothes

Deucalion

 

4

Iahu II

Kenkenes [3]

Itet

Athothes

Asterion II/"Minotaur"

 

(missing)

Ouenephes [4]

Ita

Diabes

Idomeneus

 

5

′Kaseti

Ousaphaidos [5]

Hesepti (Turin: Khaseti)

Pemphos/Semphôs

Lycastus

 

6

Minoqore

Miebidos [6]

Merbiape

Tœgar Amachus Momchiri*

Minos II

 

7

Qobane

 

Kulbanu

8

′Semopebe

Semempses [7]

? (Turin: Semsem)

Stœchus

 

 

9

Tapetu-zataqore

 

 

10

′Baneqore I

Bienekhes [8]

Khebeh (Saqqara: Khebwe)

Gosormies

 

 

11

′Mina I
(queen of ′BaneqoreI?)

 

 

12

Peti-hu-sitare I

 

 

             

*Jablonsky, according to Williams (1789), has Mono-Cheir, a closer approximation to Minoqore.

The name of the fourth king in the Phaistos List repeats that of the father of Mena, and appears in the Abydos List as Itet. The following entry, Ita, may be a variant of Itet, though Ita may actually be Idomeneus, the son of Deucalion. The Ido in Idomeneus is supposedly a reference to Mount Ida, which, as we have seen, some of the ancients thought was the original home of the Judeans. It has been suggested by some that Asterion, the early king of Crete and supposed stepfather of Minos, was actually the Minoan equivalent of Zeus, so that the second Iahu in our list may very well be a second Asterion who appears in Greek legend under the guise of the Minotaur, the son of Pasiphaë, the wife of Minos, and brother of Deucalion.

The fifth king of the Egyptian list, Hesepti (Den), the Khaseti of the Turin papyrus, is similar to the fifth king on the Phaistos List, ′Kaseti. Here, for the first time, we see the peculiar slash mark that appears on the disc and has been a source of considerable confusion on the part of its attempted decipherers. From the fact that it appears consistently in all repetitions of the same name and often in names that begin with the same glyph, though not always, we can conclude that it is indicative of a characteristic of the name itself and not of its position on the disc, perhaps either an indication of an initial aspirant or what is called in Yiddish a "shtumer," or silent, aleph. ′Mina, in particular, reminds us of the Phoenician Amynus. If the Greek legends are to be taken seriously, ′Kaseti must be Lycastus, the father of the second Minos, though the attributes of the two Kings Minos would appear to have been reversed in the legends.

Minoqore only bears a passing resemblance to Merbiape, but strongly resembles an Egyptian name that appears three times in the king-lists of Egypt, Manetho's Menkare or Menkheres, including that of the builder of one of the pyramids at Giza. The name, however, bears a striking resemblance to the third part of the one given to this king by Eratosthenes, Tœgar Amachus Momchiri, or Mono-Cheir.

Qobane is missing from all Egyptian lists, as are some of the members of the 2nd Dynasty of Crete as we shall see in a moment, suggesting either a loss of control by Egypt or the appointment of a governor by the Egyptian authorities. In line with the former possibility, the eighth king in the surviving king-list from Ebla is Kulbanu, a close approximation to the syllabic Qobane. It was common practice among the Egyptian scribes to eliminate any rulers who were not native Egyptians from the official inscriptions, as was the case with the Hyksos, so that we may speculate that Kulbanu controlled Egypt as well as Crete. Here we begin to catch a glimpse of the reasons behind the identification of some of these players with the protagonists in the Iliad. Homer appears to have enhanced the story of the Trojan War with that of an earlier regional conflict involving the Minoans and the rulers of Syria.

The next king in the Abydos list, Manetho's Semempses, appears in the form of ′Semopebe. Manetho, as epitomized by both Africanus and Eusebius, tells us that during his reign "there were many extraordinary events, and there was an immense disaster." This is confirmed by the Cairo Stone, which tells us that the first year of his reign saw "the destruction of Egypt." I would submit that this "destruction" refers to the defeat of Egypt by Kulbanu of Ebla and, at the very least, the temporary loss of Crete and possibly the actual conquest of the Nile Delta. This would suggest that the Egyptian hold on Crete was tenuous at best and that the other early kings from the disc that do not appear in the Egyptian records also represent cases where the Egyptians lost control of the island, either to other foreign rulers or to local kings.

After Qobane, the kings of the 1st and 2nd Dynasties of Crete that do not appear in the Egyptian lists are ′Mina I & II, Peti-hu-sitare I & II, ′Tinu, and Tapetu-zataqore. For what it is worth, sitare, in Peti-hu-sitare, turns out to be the Persian word for "star" and hu means "good" in Avestan (formerly called Zend and the language of the Avesta). According to Godfrey Higgins (1965), peti is the Pali word for "father"Dyauspita is the Sanskrit version of Jupiter or "Father Jove"—so that, in line with the recent claimed decipherment of the Linear A by Hubert La Marle, we may be looking at something on the order of the Proto-Iranian form of "Father Good Star" and we may begin to suspect that there were Indo-Iranians sitting on the throne of Crete between the catastrophe of 2826 and the rise of the 2nd Dynasty a couple of years later. If this "good star" is taken to be the sun, then the name Peti-hu-sitare was their equivalent of the father of the gods. According to Alexander MacGillivray in his preface to La Marle (2010), a commonly mentioned god on Crete was called Itar. Another common god was Asirai, the local equivalent of Asura/Ahura (and in my opinion, perhaps Asterion), which MacGillivray thinks may have been a variant of Itar, though we might suspect that Itar was actually Ishtar.

Along the same lines, the zata in Tapetu-zataqore may be akin to the Avestan word meaning "born," in which case zataqore would mean "sun-born," an epithet of Manu and again suggesting an Indo-Iranian presence on the island, this time directly following the reign of Semempses and perhaps contributing to, or resulting from, the disaster mentioned by Manetho. It should be noted that all of these missing kings except Tapetu-zataqore follow the three ′Baneqores, the second and third of whom are mirrored in the 2nd Dynasty of Egypt.

′Baneqore I is followed by ′Mina I, the latter perhaps having taken advantage of the disorder that resulted from the cometary approach of 2826. By 2824, Crete was again in the hands of the Egyptians.

The following is a preliminary attempt to construct a genealogy of the first rulers of Crete leaning heavily on Greek legend.

Tentative Genealogy of the Early Rulers of Crete


__________

* Bold entries are from the Phaistos Disc. Italic entries are alternate names
from various king-lists. All others are from Greek mythology.

Note that Cadmus, the purported purveyor of the alphabet to the Greeks, appears in the same generation as Iahu, thus suggesting that the survival of the king-list on the Phaistos Disc resulted from its existence in Phoenician translation. Cadmus was clearly associated in the Greek mind with Phoenicia, whether or not he was really the brother-in-law of Asterius/Ishwara/Iahu, suggesting, at the very least, that the Phoenicians had commercial relations with Crete as early as the beginning of the 3rd Millennium.

 

The 2nd Dynasty

The 2nd Dynasty of Crete

13

/ Ba

Ne

Qo

Re

 

 

 

14

/Ti

Nu

 

 

 

 

 

15

He

Ru

Ka

Ta

Ta

Qo

Re

16

/ Ba

Ne

Qo

Re

 

 

 

17

/Mi

Na

 

 

 

 

 

18

Pe

Ti

Hu

Si

Ta

Re

 

19

Tse

Le

 

 

 

 

 

20

/ I

Ti

Tu

Qo

Re

 

 

21

Shi

Yo

Te

Mi

 

 

 

22

Ka

Se

Te

Qo

Re

 

 

23

Ka

Ba

Ne

 

 

 

 

24

Pe

Be

Qo

Re

 

 

 

  Unlike the Egyptian 2nd Dynasty, with the exception of the two Baunetjers, the late 1st and early 2nd Dynasties of Crete are marked by repeating names, reminding us of the 18th and 19th Dynasties of the New Kingdom, which resulted from a naming convention that saw a king's first son named after the king's father and his second son named after the king himself.  We see here a clear example of the repetition of the slash mark in the same name.

What finally convinced me that Egyptian control of Crete continued long after the reign of the last Baunetjer was the presence of Kaseteqore in the Phaistos list. Looking at the Saqqara equivalent, we see the name Neferkasekre, which, unlike Manetho's entry, maintains the element kase between nefer and kheres. At this point it becomes fairly obvious that the element nefer was never used on Crete. As for the significance of the element te, we turn to J. P. Leslie (1882):

The tablets of Abydos and Saqqara give the following combined list of names of the kings of the first three dynasties: Mena (Menes), TeTA, ATeTh, ATA, Kenkenes, Husapti (Sapti), Meribapu, Semempses, Qebuhu, Botau, Qakeu, Ba-n-neter, Watnas, Senda, Hetefa, TTAA (T'atai), Neferqara, Sokarneferka, Nubkara, Sar, Sar-TeTA, Huni, Snefru.

It will be seen that TTA occurs with slight variations five times in this list of 23 Kings. . . . I give little weight to Krall's etymologies of these names . . . . I prefer to refer them all (as mere modifications) to Tat, the sacred symbol, Nilometer, or what not, used incessantly in the priestly literature and on the monuments with numerous meanings more or less radically different.

Note that Leslie includes the simplified form "ATA" (currently spelled Ita) of the 1st Dynasty among the names in his list. The full element appears in ′Itituqore, the Neferkare of the Saqqara List, so that we have to suspect that tat (spelled tet and defined as "stability" by Budge) was used consistently on Crete in place of nefer. The latter word means "good" or "perfect."

As for Shiyotemi, he is likely to be a misplaced version of Manetho's Sethenes, the Sendj of the Saqqara List. In any event, Manetho mentions no alternate dynasty, so that we may conclude that the missing kings or queens were not part of a semi-independent dynasty like the Hebrew rulers after the Exodus.

We also see in the Saqqara List the second appearance of the element we in its rendering of the third ′Baneqore as Baunetjerwe. The first was in Khebwe, its version of the first ′Baneqore. This element will appear in the 3rd Dynasty of Crete as wa, found in Howawa and other names. The Egyptian equivalent, spelled ui by Budge, means "two," as in the two gods Horus and Seth, the great cosmic rivals we have been tracking in the current work, or as in Upper and Lower Egypt, though the former meaning would make more sense in the context of a Minoan king-list, though it could conceivably refer to the unity of Crete and the land around Ugarit.

Pebeqore, Manetho's Kheneres, was the last native Egyptian king to appear on the 0bverse of the Phaistos Disc. Somewhere very near 2673 BC, Crete fell to the conqueror of "Udum," commonly known as Keret of Hubur.

King #

2nd Dynasty of Crete

Manetho [#]

Saqqara List

Modern

Eratosthenes

Ugaritic

 

 

 

 

13

′Baneqore II

Boethos [9]

Baunetjer

Hotepsekhemwy

Mares

 

14

′Tinu
(queen of ′Baneqore II?)

 

15

Heruka-tataqore II

Kaiekhos [10]

Kakau

Reneb Nubnefer

Anoÿphis*

 

16

′Baneqore III

Binothris [11]

Baunetjerwe

Nynetjer

 

 

17

′Mina II
(queen of ′Baneqore III?)

 

 

18

Peti-hu-sitare II

 

 

19

Tsele

Tlas [12]

Wadjnas

Weneg

 

 

20

′Itituqore

Khaires [14]

Neferkare

Peribsen?

 

 

21

Shiyotemi

Sethenes [13]

Sendj

Sened

 

 

22

Kaseteqore

Nepherkheres [15]

Neferkasekre

Neferkasokar

 

 

23

Kabane

Sesokhris [16]

Hudjefa

Khasekhem

 

 

24

Pebeqore

Kheneres [17]

Bebi (Turin: Bebti)

Khasekhemwy

 

P-b-l (Pebe-el?)

             

*At this point the chronology of Eratosthenes jumps to Sirius, the Soris of Manetho's 4th Dynasty.

 

Kerit of Habura and the First Wa Dynasty

The Levantine Rulers of Crete

25

Ke

Ri

T

 

 

 

 

26

Qo

Shi

Me

T

 

 

 

27

Nu

Yo

The

Qo

Re

 

 

28

Ho

Wa

Wa

 

 

 

 

29

/Shi

Me

Wa

 

 

 

 

30

Qo

Yo

Ma

 

 

 

 

31

/Pe

Mi

No

Qo

Re

 

 

King Kerit presents a special case and may provide a window into the relations between Crete and the shores of the eastern Mediterranean at this period, for he may be identical with the King K-r-t (commonly rendered Keret) of the Legend of Keret, surviving parts of which were found on three clay tablets at the archaeological site of Ras Shamra, the ancient trading city of Ugarit (modern Latakia of tobacco fame) that we have already mentioned in reference to Abraham and his relations. The Keret tale resembles that of the Iliad in that his wife runs off to the city of Udm (rendered Udum) where Keret has to retrieve her from the house of her father P-b-l, sometimes rendered Pubala, though I should point out that the vowels have been supplied, as in the Egyptian lists, by the archeologists. Cyrus Gordon has suggested that Udm is related to the name Idomeneus (Keret ruled over the "House of Hubur," perhaps a reference to the early Hebrews), though it has also been associated with the land of Edom south of the Dead Sea, so that Keret may have been an invader of both Edom and Ugarit who ultimately gave his name to the island of Crete. As Nick Wyatt writes in Religious Texts from Ugarit,

If we wanted to continue to speculate, we might consider Keret the eponym of the Cretans, who appear, apparently among the Philistines, as mercenaries of David, the so-called 'Cherethites' . . . of 2 Sam. 15.18 etc. This link was already suggested by Virolleaud.

Cyrus Gordon (1952), in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, also associates Ugaritic civilization with that of Crete:

It is evidently the Caphtorian element in Ugarit that is accountable for bridging the epics of that city with those of Homer. The Minoan sphere spans the worlds of Greece and Ugarit. The Ugaritic god of arts and crafts comes from Caphtor. Minoan influence, however, has affected Ugaritic literature no less than Ugaritic architecture or metallurgy.

Some have suggested that Habura was an ancient city near the headwaters of the Habur River, a tributary of the Tigris, and that this city of Habura was the Hubur of the Keret legend.  In this regard, Michael C. Astour references his own A North Mesopotamian Locale of the Keret Epic? in a footnote to his paper, "A Reconstruction of the History of Ebla (Part 2)," in Eblaitica: Essays on the Ebla Archives and Eblaite Language, edited by Cyrus Gordon and Gary Rendsberg. Whether this is the proper location for the origin of King Keret,  and whether Keret, the Kerit of the current reconstruction, was therefore an Aramaic invader of the lands near Ugarit, or not, we are now in a position to identify the opponent of Kerit whom he defeats, most likely on the island of Crete in the land of Idomeneus (the Udum of the legend) and not in northern Mesopotamia nor even on the mainland of the eastern Mediterranean.

It took me a good while to realize that the victory of Kerit over the ruler of Egyptian dominated Crete at the end of the 2nd Dynasty should make it possible to identify the "Pubala" of the Keret legend with one or more of the various names of the last king of that dynasty as they are found in various Egyptian records. Though there is no immediate resemblance between Manetho's Kheneres and the unvocalized P-b-l of the Legend of Keret, the situation changes radically when we look at the Saqqara List. Here we find Bebi, making it fairly obvious that the Semitic element el has been substituted for the Egypto-Cretan qore in the name of this king in its Ugaritic representation, so that his vocalized name would have been something along the lines of Pebe-el; and we see that the Phaistos Disc calls him Pebeqore. My slow progress in this area resulted partially from my early identification of the first symbol in Pebeqore, an angle like symbol, with the Phoenician letter samekh, sometimes derived from the image of a "fulcrum." It was not until I became aware of the theory ascribed to Theodor Nöldeke, that the Phoenician letter pe was originally derived from the Canaanite word for "corner," that I realized I was looking at Pebeqore and not *Sabeqore. Nöldeke supposedly identifies the original word as pi't, though I have yet to find the actual reference. Leila Avrin, however, suggests "the Hebrew word for the corner of a field, pe-ah," in her Scribes, Script and Books. The "corner" symbol is the only one I have found so far that is identical to an Egyptian hieroglyph with the same meaning, though with a different pronunciation. Budge (1973) spells it qenb.

What we appear to have in the story of Keret is a legendary, perhaps even partly factual, representation of the events that led to the loss of the island of Crete by the Egyptians in the course of its conquest by eastern Mediterranean Semites who may have hailed from as far away as northern Mesopotamia. As a result of this recognition, we may even be in a position to catch a fleeting glimpse of the origin of the later notion that the Jewish nation somehow arose on Crete. We may also begin to suspect that the marriage of Kerit to the daughter of Pebeqore was not simply a matter of the survival of his royal line. It had the added advantage of loaning legitimacy to the presence of a Semite on the formerly Egyptian occupied throne of Crete.

Beyond his conquest of Crete, Kerit's defeat of Pebeqore would suggest that he also sat on the throne of Egypt. The first king of the 3rd Dynasty, Nebka, Manetho's Nekherophes or Nekherokhis, may have married Nimaethap, thought by some to have been the daughter of Khasekhemwy, the Bebi of the Saqqara List and the Pebeqore of the current reconstruction, in a move reminiscent of the actions of Kerit, though her name in the Legend of Keret, Hurriya, is problematic. Another theory is that Nimaethap was the wife of Khasekhemwy, which, if true, would have been the final humiliation of the last Egyptian ruler of Crete. The seal of the subsequent king, Djoser, thought by some to have been the son of Nebka and Nimaethap, was the only one found at the entrance to the tomb of Khasekhemwy; that of Nebka was missing, not surprising if Nebka/Nekherophes was the foreign invader Kerit.

Keret's eldest son Yassub does not appear in the Phaistos List—in the legend, Yassub attempts to seize power from his father, who was ill and near death but is now healed, as a result of which his father curses him—so that we may conclude that Qoshimet was the second son, or that Crete then fell into the hands of another line of kings; the story is incomplete in the surviving tablets. On the other hand, one wonders if Yassub may have been Djoser—the names are similar enough to raise the question—suggesting that he was ultimately successful, going on to become king of Egypt, leaving someone else to rule over Crete at the death of his father. Djoser was the first king to build a step pyramid in Egypt, a form common among the Sumerians, who will appear in a moment in the guise of one Gilgamesh.

The succeeding rulers of Crete may also have been foreigners, indicated by the appearance in the Phaistos List of kings whose names end with the element wa, represented by a feline head and consisting of the first consonant and vowel of the Phoenician letter waw, derived from the front part of the constellation of Leo, which heretofore has not appeared. The first of these, ending in wawa, reminds us of the opponent of Gilgamesh (ruled 2715–2704) in the earliest, Sumerian, version of the Epic of Gilgamesh. His enemy, the dragon Huwawa, lived in the cedar forests of Lebanon, indicating a conflict between the rulers of Sumer and the Amorites living on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. Here we have an indication of the continued worship of the comet god, Typhon-Set, and the tendency of kings to name their children after him. As Morris Jastrow writes in The Epic of Gilgamesh: An Old Babylonian Version,

The name [Huwawa] would thus present a complete parallel to the Hebrew name Howawa (or Hobab) who appears as the brother-in-law of Moses in the P document, Numbers 10,29. Since the name also occurs, written precisely as in the Yale tablet, among the "Amoritic" names in the important lists published by Dr. Chiera, there can be no doubt that Huwawa or Hubaba is a West Semitic name. This important fact adds to the probability that the "cedar forest" in which Huwawa dwells is none other than the Lebanon district, famed from early antiquity for its cedars.

What looks like the same element, wa, appears at the ends of the names of some of the kings of India from both the solar and lunar lists between the time of Vaivaswama or Yáoú and that of Sargon. See the end of Chapter Eleven for the full lists. Since we have no solid dates for the Indian lists, and only dates for the first two dynasties on Crete, it may be useful to do a quick comparison between the three lists based on the ratio between their positions in the lists and the total number of kings in the entire lists, assuming for the moment that ′Shimesh from the Phaistos Disc was Sargon:

Relative Positions of the "Wa Kings" within the
King-Lists of India, Egypt, and Crete Expressed as Ratios

Saqqara List [#]

Indian Lunar [#]

Indian Solar [#]

Crete [#]

 

 

 

 

.17 [E8]

.18 [L6]

 

 

.24 [E16]

 

 

 

    .32 [S11]  
 

 

.38 [S13]

 

 

 

.41 [S14]

 

 

.52 [L17]

.47 [S16]

.51 [C28]

 

.55 [L18]

.53 [S18]

.53 [C29]

 

 

.65 [S22]

 

 

 

 

.80 [C44]

 

 

 

.84 [C46]

 

 

 

.89 [C49]

 

 

 

.91 [C50]

 

 

 

.93 [C51]

We see immediately that there was a period when all three kingdoms were ruled by these enigmatic kings whose names terminated with "the two," approximately halfway through this portion of the various lists. Variswa [L17] of the lunar list and Varunaswa [S16] of the solar list are almost certainly the same person. What his relationship was to Howawa [C28] is currently unclear. It is conceivable that all three names refer to the same individual and that his successors represented the classical case where a kingdom was divided among the three sons or three generals of a former ruler, in this case Rookmawa [L18], Sénajíta [S17, and ′Shimewa [C29]. The origin of these kings appears to have been in India, perhaps reflecting the rise of the Indus Valley Civilization, since they began to consistently appear in India and only then did they move on to Crete, though kings with similarly terminated names reappeared there later on and there are scattered earlier examples in both India and Egypt, suggesting early interaction between the two civilizations. The locations of Crete, Syria, and India and the lack of similar rulers in Egypt and southern Mesopotamia during the same period would suggest a domain whose western provinces were tied to India either by a sea route that included the Red Sea and the seas around the southern coast of Arabia or a land route across northern Mesopotamia and Persia to the Indus River. The sheer extent of such a political organization would tend to explain the short time that it survived, reminding us of the rapid fragmentation of the empire of Alexander.

As Hubert La Marle wrote in 2010 in an attempt to explain the presence of an Indo-Iranian language on Crete during the period when the Linear A was in use,

The discovery of an Indo-Iranian language (or of an ancient Indian language) in Bronze Age Mitanni, in Northern Syria, confirms what we know through modern ethnology; apart from the Gypsies, the westernmost Indo-Iranian speakers are the Kurdish of southeastern modern Turkey and Northern Syria.

Diakonoff (1995) explains that this Indo-Iranian language of Western Asia "has only indirect relationship" with Anatolian, and that it is "quite distinct" from it. He adds that the area of this language coincides with that of the spread of Mitannian influence, i.e. Northern Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine. Two of these three lands—Syria and Palestine—had commercial links with Minoan Crete and Cypro-Minoan Cyprus.

What La Marle fails to point out is that even if we limit the arrival of Indo-Iranian speakers on Crete to the beginning of the period when Linear A was in use, this predates the rise of Mitanni by as much as two centuries. When we take into account the presence on the island of kings with Indo-Iranian names before the arrival of Sargon, we are forced to conclude that these rulers were from an earlier Indo-Iranian civilization, perhaps, as I have already suggested, the one that flourished in the Indus Valley. Interestingly enough, La Marle translates the word wwa, which he finds in an example of the Linear A from Hagia Triada, as "both."

The symbol that represents the other element, ho, in the name Howawa is a honeybee, perhaps another interpretation of the nebula filled square in Cancer that produced the symbol he, the labyrinth or tomb, in the name of the third king of Crete, Heruka-tataqore. As I wrote in 1988,

The next letter is he, "dipper" or "measure," clearly a direct reference to the shape of its star group. The Chinese mansion was Kuei, "ghosts," attributed by Moran (1969) to its similarity to the primitive for "a ghost's head," and was made up, despite Needham, Kelley and others, of the four stars surrounding Praesaepe plus the nebula itself, five "stars" in all. It was Epsilon [ε Cancri], the brightest of the nebular stars, that, after all, was called "Tseih She Ke, Exhalation of Piled-up Corpses" [Allen (1963)]. The Persian and Coptic stations were identical.

As to the origin of the symbol for ho, apparently a bee, the source of a major export item of Crete, the honey candy of the island that came to be called Candia, Richard Hinckley Allen writes about this central nebula:

With us it is the well-known Beehive, but its history as such I have not been able to learn, although it undoubtedly is a recent designation, for nowhere is it Apiarium.

Clearly, Allen's supposition only applies to a Greek path of transmission via Latin. It ignores a possible path directly from the Western Semitic or indirectly through Greek to the Germanic or Romance languages that underlie English vocabulary. It also ignores the fact that Mycenaean tombs were shaped like beehives, thus linking the two concepts during the earliest period of Greek history. What we are missing is a Semitic or other word for bee or beehive that begins with the syllable ho. However, the English word "honey," akin to Old High German honag, though normally attributed to Latin canicae  meaning "bran," whatever the logic of that path of transmission is supposed to be, would appear to be more closely related to whatever was the full extension of our Minoan element ho.

Howawa is followed by ′Shimewa I, as Nokewa is later followed by ′Shimewa II, suggesting that ′shime is a form of the Ugaritic shem, meaning "son," the full name meaning "son of Wa" or "son of the two."  The Egyptian for "two" is commonly written we or wy in the names of kings.  Budge spells the hieroglyphic dual, ui. Khasekhemwy, our Pebeqore, is sometimes credited with reuniting the two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt.

As for Nuyotheqore and ′Peminoqore, and  Shiyoniqore from the next section, the reader may wonder whether the Indo-Iranians would have maintained the use of the -qore extension even as they supplanted the Egyptians on Crete. In this regard, we may note that La Marle finds a King Wanakhorai in a Linear A inscription from Mount Iouktas. One wonders whether the difference between -qore and -khorai results from their representation in two different syllabaries or whether it is simply an artifact of the two different methods of decipherment.

King #

Rulers of Crete

Ugaritic

Manetho [#]

Modern

Sumerian
Equivalent

 

 

 

25

Kerit

K-r-t (of Habura?)

Nekherophes [18]

Nebka

 

26

Qoshimet

 

 

Synch. with Djoser

 

27

Nuyotheqore

 

 

 

 

28

Howawa

 

 

 

Huwawa

29

′Shimewa I

 

 

 

 

30

Qoyoma

 

 

 

 

31

′Peminoqore

 

 

 

 

With glyph 31, we come to the end of the front side of the disc, and it becomes necessary to determine where on the reverse side the list continues, in the center or at the periphery.

 

The Double Spiral and the Sequence of the Text

There has been significant discussion among experts and amateurs alike about whether the two sides of the disc should be read from the center to the edge or from the edge to the center. Much of this speculation has been based upon various minor inconsistencies in the way the physical disc was produced by the craftsman who made it. What no one seems to have understood is that this was not an object made by a literate scribe, like the unfired receipts for goods found on the island, written in the Linear A and B scripts. The disc was fired in a furnace, like any other practical ceramic object found on the island—whether a bowl or a container or a votive object—but in this particular case it was most likely commissioned by someone else who knew what he wanted it to look like. There is, in fact, no reason to assume that the craftsman himself, though quite skilled as an artist, could even read and write. Remember, though what he was manipulating amounted to movable type, it was not used, like modern printer's type in use until the late 20th century, to reproduce abstract phonograms unrecognizable to the untutored. The Phaistos symbols are large pictorial characters that could be manipulated by a skilled artist without any knowledge of the underlying message conveyed by them. So that the means by which the ceramist produced the disc may very well have had nothing whatsoever to do with how it should be read.

The outer edges of both sides of the disc are terminated by vertical columns of four dots connected by a line, the same line that separates the various words one from another. All manner of peculiar explanations have been advanced for these dots, but the most obvious is that they represent the connecting point between the two sides, so that the entire disc may be represented schematically in the following manner, where the numbers from 1 through 31 are identical with the normal progression used to number the words, whereas 32 through 61 run in the opposite direction from that normally used. Thus, word 61 is actually the 32 of the standard representation, so that the disc amounts to nothing more nor less than a double spiral, a motif found in an archaeological context all over the island of Crete, where they commonly interlock with other double spirals in a progression that we will later use to understand the practical use of the object.

Once we have recognized the proper direction in which the reverse side of the disc should be read, we immediately see that the element qore terminates precipitously with the first element on the second side, never to be used again. Thus, we might call the era represented by the front side, the "Qore period" and the reverse, the "Post-Qore Period," which, nevertheless, begins with the final Qore.

 

The Last of the Qores

The name Mash, more than has been realized, figures prominently
in the Eastern as well as the Western Semitic cultures.
Mash in the Old Testament is called one of the sons of Aram (Gen. 10;23).
Mâshu is the mountain where the gates of the setting sun were found.
This, as has been stated, is probably to be located in Amurru
and perhaps in Hermon, near Damascus.
The element Mash is frequently met with in the Babylonian inscriptions.
It occurs in a number of temple names . . . .
—Albert Tobias Clay, Amurru: The Home of the Northern Semites

32

Shi

Yo

Ni

Qo

Re

 

 

The reverse side of the Phaistos Disc begins with the last appearance of the element qore, the Minoan equivalent of the Egyptian kare that appears as late as the 25th Dynasty in the names of two Nubian kings near the turn of the 7th century BC. The disappearance of this element on Crete is roughly equivalent with the rise of the 5th Dynasty at Elephantine, four of the names of its nine kings, at least according to Manetho and beginning in 2421 BC, ending with it. The element was common during the 2nd Intermediate Period among the kings of the 14th Dynasty at Xoïs and continued to appear during the 18th Dynasty until the successor of Akhnaton, identified by some with the pharaoh's queen, Nefertiti.

King #

Ruler of Crete

 

32

Shiyoniqore

 

♦♦♦

The Post-Qore Period

33

Ka

Shi

Me

T

 

 

 

34

/Bo

Ti

Ru

Re

 

 

 

35

 Ta

Si

N

 

 

 

 

36

Qo

Po

Ma

Nu

 

 

 

37

/De

Pe

Ti

La

 

 

 

38

Nu

Le

Mi

No

 

 

 

39

Pe

Mi

No

Shi

Mu

 

 

40

Si

Tsa

Ru

N

 

 

 

41

Ka

Yo

Ma

Sh

 

 

 

42

Yo

Ya

Ba

Re

 

 

 

The name of the third king of the Post-Qore Period combines the elements ta and sin. We have already dealt with the meaning of ta. Sin was the moon god at Harran, represented by a boat or a bull and sometimes by a tripod, suggesting elements of Syrian religion on Crete, whether native or imposed from the mainland. Abraham worshipped+ the god Sin at Harran before he came under the influence of the Egyptians.

Farther down the list, it is unclear exactly what Peminoshimu means, though it contains two previously encountered elements, mino and a variation of shime. Pemino, marked with a slash, occurs earlier in the list in the name 'Peminoqore, suggesting that shimu is another form of the Ugaritic shem, making this king the "son of Pemino," whoever he ultimately turns out to be.

A pattern is beginning to emerge here. Though many of the names of the kings of Crete contain within them the names of gods that have never been directly associated with the island, they often refer to those worshipped in the lands on the borders of the sea at whose heart the island rests. Clearly, there was a theological interaction among the lands of the Near East, not always directly but on occasion by way of an intermediate path through the island itself. As another example of this, by the time of the 41st king on the disc, Kayomash, we find the name of a king with the terminal element mash. As the above quotation from Albert Clay suggests, this  indicates the presence of an Amorite from the land of Amurru, located in what is now Lebanon, on the throne of Crete, implying another incursion, among many, from the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the fact that Josephus identifies Mash, the supposed son of Aram (or Syria), with Charax Spasini at the head of the Persian Gulf, our previous interpretation of the Table of Nations clearly makes it a province of Syria at the time of the Akkadian Empire, as it threatens to become even today. At the heart of the land of Mash was the mountain Mâshu where the sun was thought to set, the one visited by Gilgamesh in his quest for immortality. The mountain was guarded by two scorpion beings, no doubt a reference to the constellation of Scorpio where the sun rose and set in the autumn.

Even as the gods of Syria continued to appear, various permutations of the name of the eponymous ancestor of the Minoans, the Mino of our decipherment, remained a staple element in the names of the kings of Crete—but not for long. For as with the 1st Wa Dynasty, as we have styled it for lack of a better term, the 2nd Wa is equally as devoid of any reference to King Minos in the form of Mino, ′Mina, or the distinctly Indian sounding Manu. Manu, meaning "wise" in Sanskrit, was the author of the Laws of Manu.

King #

Rulers of Crete

?

33

Kashimet

 

34

′Botirure

 

35

Tasin

 

36

Qopomanu

 

37

′Depetila

 

38

Nulemino

 

39

Peminoshimu

 

40

Sitsarun

 

41

Kayomash

 

42

Yoyabare

 

 

The Return of the Wa Kings

The Second Wa Dynasty

43 Mi I Si T      
44 Ka Po Ma Ma Wa    
45 Pe Za La        
46 Mi Nu Wa        
47 Nu Le Tu Ka Be    
48 Mi Ta Da Re      
49 /Ke Shi Ya Wa      
50 No Ke Wa        
51 /Shi Me Wa        
52 /Ke Shi Ya Wa N    
53 Si Ti Ho T      
54 Ka Pe Sh        

The first entry in this section of the disc, Mīsit, resembles the name of a king in the Sothis List of Pseudo-Manetho, one Armiyses, though the two names would appear to represent kings from different dynasties.

We have already identified earlier examples of what we have called the "Wa Dynasty" with rule of Crete by the rulers of Ugarit, wherever they may have originated. Thus, the return of the Wa kings would suggest a return of Ugaritic rule to the island, either directly or as representatives of another power, perhaps La Marle's Indo-Iranians.

The second element Yawa, in ′Keshiyawa, suggests a theophoric name derived in part from the Semitic Yawa or Yahweh, translated as "Lord" in the English version of the Hebrew bible. As William Hayes Ward wrote in 1893,

Much more interesting and instructive are other names which occur in the time of the Jewish captivity at Babylon. One of these is Netanu-Yawa, meaning Yawa, or Yahwah gives, and corresponding to the biblical Nethaniah, except that the full name of Jehovah, or Yahweh, is given. Another name is that of Gamar-Yawa, Yahweh will complete, or reward, and corresponding to the scriptural Gemariah. . . . Yet another tablet gives the name of Shubunu-Yawa, corresponding to the biblical Shebaniah.

Full evidence that in these names the element Yawa is the name of a deity is found in another name, Akabi-Yawa, Yahweh will seize, or supplant. This name would be Akabiah in Hebrew, but does not occur in the Bible. It does, however, occur in the Mishna. The Babylonian tablets also afford the names Akabi-Ya and Akabu-Ilu. There can be no question that Ilu means God, corresponding to the Hebrew divine name El. We then have as variant or corresponding forms, Akabi-Ilu, and Akabi-Ya or Akabi-Yawa, the two divine names Ilu and Yawa interchanging as is frequent in such Hebrew doublets as Nethaniah and Nathaniel, Uzziah and Uzziel. There can be then no question that the divine name under its varying forms Ya, Yau, and Yawa was known to the Assyrians and Babylonians, and that the last form, Yawa, the precise equivalent of the sacred tetragrammaton, was familiarly pronounced in the time of the captivity.

Nick Wyatt (2002) identifies the Ugaritic yw as the word for "lord":

This is probably a Sanskrit loan-word (<yau <dyaus) occurring in various Near Eastern contexts, including, perhaps, the DN [divine name] Yahweh. The apparent sense was 'lord', or even 'God' . . . .

The first element ′Keshi appears to come from the Hurrian keshi, meaning "throne," thus making this king's name "The Throne of the Lord." The significance of this throne is spelled out by Wyatt:

What follows requires that this be interpreted as a formal enthronement, so that Yam is to be understood as sitting on the throne, which is that of El. The incumbency by successive gods of this same throne may be seen as ideologically significant for the monarchy of Ugarit. Just as it is sons of El who are enthroned, so it is also those who are enthroned who are declared to be sons of El. Thus the ritual is in part a legitimization procedure, which would incorporate any new king, whatever his personal antecedents, into the royal dynasty, in effect concocting a royal genealogy.

The name ′Keshiyawa appears twice more in the slightly modified form ′Keshiyawan, once in the same dynasty and once after the loss of Crete by the Akkadians. Yam, or Yaman, the latter a variant of Yawan, was the Ugaritic sea god. Hence we have the more precise "Throne of the Lord of the Sea." The Hebrew name for the Greek Islands was Yawan, apparently from their worship of the Ionian Poseidon.

King #

Rulers of Crete

?

43

Mīsit

 

44

Kapomamawa

 

45

Pezala

 

46

Minuwa

 

47

Nuletukabe

 

48

Mitadare

 

49

′Keshiyawa

 

50

Nokewa

 

51

′Shimewa II

 

52

′Keshiyawan I

 

53

Sitihot

 

54

Kapesh

 

 

The Arrival of Sargon

The Akkadian Incursion

55 /Shi Me Sh        
56 Ma Pe Ti Shi      
57 /Ke Shi Ya Wa N    
58 Shi Pe Le Sho Da    
59 Shi Ti Ka Be Re    
60 Si Ti Ho Wa      
61 /Shi Me          

′Shimesh is clearly a variation on the name of the Semitic sun god, commonly spelled Shamash or Shemesh. In this particular case it would appear to stand for one of two possibilities. It may simply represent the Akkadian king under whom,

Shamash acquires his pre-eminent position as the sun-god par-excellence . . . . Shamash is represented on monuments and on numerous seal-cylinders as a majestic figure seated on a throne, or stepping over a mountain, or passing through gates to symbolize the rise of the great orb of light, or sailing in a boat across the heavens,

as the god is described by Morris Jastrow (1915), who, nevertheless, fails to realize that these activities were precisely the way Sargon saw himself as he conquered the known world by land and sea, from the Pillars of Herakles to the mountains of India. Alternatively, Shamash may have been formed as a kind of pun, so beloved by the Semitic peoples even down to the present day, a conjoining of the first element of the name of Sharukin with the last element of that of his consort and successor,  often represented by his side in the guise of the goddess Ishtar, the lovely but quite deadly Rimush, that is, as we have seen previously, the former female ruler of Egypt, Nitokris.

′Shimesh is followed by Mapetishi, which looks like a distorted but still recognizable form of Manis-tusu, the son of Sargon and presumably of Rimush, the rules by which Akkadian names were transliterated into Minoan remaining to be worked out.

The appearance of ′Keshiyawan II would suggest that Crete then passed back into the hands of the rulers of the last dynasty, only to finally end up under the control of the Egyptians again in the persons of Shitikabere and ′Shime, who, I would suggest, were none other than the fragmentary Shed[...] of the Turin Royal Canon and Djedkare Shema of the Abydos List, both of the 10th Dynasty at Herakleopolis, the successors of the descendants of Sargon at Memphis.

King #

Rulers of Crete

Akkadian King

Egyptian King

Ashdod

 

 

55

′Shimesh

Sargon & Rimush

Sargon & Nitocris

 

56

Mapetishi

Manis-tusu?

 

 

57

′Keshiyawan II

 

 

Yamani?

58

Shipeleshoda

 

 

 

59

Shitikabere

 

Shed[...]

 

60

Sitihowa

 

 

 

61

′Shime

 

Djedkare Shema

 

The following should clarify some of the terminology used on the Phaistos Disc as it relates to the names of the kings of Egypt and elsewhere:

Equivalent Terms

Crete

Translation

Egypt

Translation

 

 

 

 

Heru

Horus the sun god

Heru

Elder Horus

Ma

Truth

Maat

Truth

Qore

Sun god

Khare, Kare, Cheres

Physical sun

Tata, etc.

Stability

Nefer

Good

Wa

Two (powers?)

We, Wy, Ui

Two (Horus & Seth?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crete

 

Syria

 

 

 

 

 

′Keshi

Throne

Keshi

Throne

Mash

Solar mountain

Mash

Solar mtn. (Hermon?)

′Mina

Minos

Amynus

Minos

Qore

Sun god

El

Time god (Cronus)

′Shime

Son of

Shem

Son of

′Shimesh

Sun god

Shamash, Shemesh

Sun god

Sin

Moon god

Sin

Moon god

Yawa

Lord

Yawa

Yahweh="Lord"

Yawan=Yaman

Yam, the Sea God

Yawan=Yaman=Yam

Sea God

       

 

 

 

 

Crete

 

Indo-Iranian

 

       

Hu

Good

Hu

Good

Peti

Father

Peti, Pati

Father

Sitare

Star

Sitare

Star

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are now in a position to construct a partially dated unified king-list of the rulers of Crete from the late 4th Millennium until the early 22nd century BC.

 

An Early King-list from Crete

The Rulers of Crete from Zeus until Djedkare Shema

King #

Ruler of Crete

Ruled Crete (BC)

Average Reign

 

 
1

Iahu I

3011–2950

14.1 years
2

Mino

2950–2920

3

Heruka-tataqore I

2920–2897

4

Iahu II

2897–2881

5

′Kaseti

2869–2859

6

Minoqore

2859–2846

7

Qobane

2846

8

′Semosabe

2846–?

9

Tapetu-zataqore

?–2837

10

′Baneqore I

2837–2826?

11

′Mina I

2826?–2825?

12

Peti-hu-sitare I

2825?–2824

 

 

 

13

′Baneqore II

2824–?

14

′Tinu

?–2805

15

Heruka-tataqore II

2805–2786

16

′Baneqore III

2786–?

17

′Mina II

?

18

Peti-hu-sitare II

?–2762

19

Tsele

2762–?

20

′Itituqore

?–2725

21

Shiyotemi

2725–?

22

Kaseteqore

?–2712

23

Kabane

2712–2688

24

Pebeqore

2688–2673

 

 

 

25

Kerit

2673–2659

26

Qoshimet

2659–?

11.2 years
27

Nuyotheqore

 

28

Howawa

 
29

′Shimewa I

 
30

Qoyoma

 
31

′Peminoqore

 
32

Shiyoniqore

 
 

 

 
33

Kashimet

 
34

′Botirure

 
35

Tasin

 
36

Qopomanu

 
37

′Depetila

 
38

Nulemino

 
39

Peminoshimu

 
40

Sitsarun

 
41

Kayomash

 
42

Yoyabare

 
 

 

 
43

Mīsit

 
44

Kapomamawa

 
45

Pezala

 
46

Minuwa

 
47

Nuletukabe

 
48

Mitadare

 
49

′Keshiyawa

 
50

Nokewa

 
51

′Shimewa II

 
52

′Keshiyawan I

 
53

Sitihot

 
54

Kapesh

?–ca 2334

 

 

 

 
55

′Shimesh

ca 2334–?

 
56

Mapetishi

 

 
       
57

′Keshiyawan II

 

 
58

Shipeleshodo

 

 
59

Shitikabere

ca 2193–ca 2187

 
60

Sitihowa

 

 
61

′Shime

ca 2183–ca 2174

 
 

 

 

 

 

61 Days—The Phaistos Royal Calendar

When I first began to study the Phaistos Disc, I immediately noticed that there were 31 entries on the front side and 30 on the back side, which brought to mind a calendar akin to the one described in Chapter Nine. The problem was, that there were repetitions in the presumed names of the days represented by the disc. What good is a calendar if you cannot easily and uniquely identify each day of the month or year? I went on to discover the relationship between the disc and the kings of Crete, but it always bothered me that there appeared to be some kind of calendrical function underlying the structure of, if not the entries on, the disc. The solution to this quandary was delayed until I had convinced myself of the truth of my king-list hypothesis and I had learned that the Minoan year began on the first day of summer. This solution involved the inverse of the notion that the days of a Minoan double month were identified by the names of the local kings. Rather, the names of the first 61 kings of Crete were identified, for religious and mnemonic purposes, with the days of a 61-day double month, in a manner analogous to that of the assignment of saint's days in the Roman and Orthodox Churches. Sometimes referred to as the Calendar of Saints, no one would attempt to use this later system as an actual calendar, but it is ideal for scheduling remembrances and celebrations for real and occasionally mythological personages. There are a small number of exceptions to this, of course. Certainly, Saint Valentine's Day identifies a specific calendar day, but one can imagine the impracticality of telling someone you are planning on starting your vacation on one of 365 so-and-so's days.

As I wrote in Origins of the Tarot Deck in 1988,

THE EMPRESS

There is little or no evidence of Rhea, the wife of Cronus, near Cancer the Crab. The symmetry of Cronus and Rhea, as well as Zeus and Hera, about the summer solstice looks like a remnant of a system which may have placed six gods over the months from summer to winter and six goddesses over the months from winter to summer. This would be analogous to the 12 Olympians who are usually given as follows:

Zeus

Ares

Hera

Aphrodite

Poseidon

Hermes

Demeter

Athena

Apollo

Hephaestus

Artemis

Hestia

Robert Graves informs us that the Greeks celebrated the marriage of Cronus and Rhea at midsummer. It is no wonder then that Cronion, or Hecatombaeon, was the first month of the Attic year.

The Kronia, on the 12th of Hecatombaeon, is a virtual mirror image of the feast of Epiphany or Twelfth Day which falls 12 days after Christmas.

Thus Zeus, the sun god, the Iahu of the Phaistos Disc, would be expected to start off the Minoan year on the first day of summer. Were there other discs, six in total including the one found at Phaistos? Perhaps. Perhaps not. There may simply have been a two-month period when the gods, the immortals, and the early kings were remembered, all during the summer season.

Full Expansion of the Early Double-Month Calendar Suggested by the Phaistos Disc

Sequence Number of Days Approximate
Roman Month
Approximate
Attic Month
Season
Month Disc # Month Disc      
1 1 31 61 Quintilis Hecatombaeon Summer
2 30 Sextilis Metageitnion
3 2 31 61 Septembris Boedromion
4 30 Octobris Pyanopsion Autumn
5 3 31 61 Novembris Maimakterion
6 30 Decembris Poseideon
7 4 31 61 Ianuarius Gamelion Winter
8 30 Februarius Anthesterion
9 5 31 61 Martius Elaphebolion
10 30 Aprilis Munichion Spring
11 6 31 60/61 Maius Thargelion
12 29/30*

Iunius

Scirophorion

*30=Leap Year. Bold: First month or season of the respective calendar.

By the time the Linear A came into use, the chief god on Crete was Asirai, as read by Hubert La Marle (2010). Joseph MacGillivray, in his preface to La Marle, identifies Asirai with Asura/Ahura. Malati Shendge (1977) associates Asura with the Indus Valley civilization and sees the Rigveda, when stripped of its mythopoetic veneer, as a record of the war between the Aryans and the Harappans, the latter the followers of Asura, but notes that Asura was worshipped in Iran where she thinks the Harappans may have lived after their defeat by the Aryans. One might suspect, on the other hand, that the Harappans were earlier Indo-Europeans and that the so-called Aryans were a later iteration of the same civilization. Furthermore, the evidence presented by Shendge for elements of the Akkadian language in Sanskrit would seem to indicate not the presence of an Akkadian speaking nation in India but rather of the armies of Sargon during the 24th century BC, which suggests that Sanskrit was already in place in the Indus Valley by the time of the Akkadian Empire, long before the appearance of the Hittite language in the backwaters of Anatolia. This supports our own position that there were already Indo-Iranian speaking rulers on Crete as early as the 1st Dynasty.

 

[Chapter Fifteen: AD 429—The Rise of the Pendragons]

 

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