الثلاثاء, ديسمبر 1, 2020
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الرئيسية الاعام The mathematical values of fraction signs in the Linear A script
The mathematical values of fraction signs in the Linear A script

The mathematical values of fraction signs in the Linear A script

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Under a Creative Commons license

open access

Highlights

The uncertain values of Linear A fractions are addressed from a multi-stranded perspective.

We applied palaeographical, typological and computational models to the undeciphered signs.

Using optimality, we established cogent values for the Linear A fractions system.

The results reached through this synergistic approach converge consistently and independently.

The proposed values explain the derivation of Linear B signs for measurement.

Abstract

Minoan Linear A is still an undeciphered script mainly used for administrative purposes on Bronze Age Crete. One of its most enigmatic features is the precise mathematical values of its system of numerical fractions. The aim of this article is to address this issue through a multi-stranded methodology that comprises palaeographical examination and statistical, computational, and typological approaches. Taking on from previous analyses, which suggested hypothetical values for some fractions, we extended our probe into assessing values for some problematic ones. The results achieved, based, on the one hand, on a close palaeographical analysis and, on the other, on computational, statistical and typological strategies, show a remarkable convergence and point towards a systematic assignment of mathematical values for the Linear A fraction signs. This contribution sets the agenda for a combinatorial, novel, and unbiased approach that may help advance our comprehension of some standing issues related to ancient undeciphered writing systems.

Keywords

Linear A script

Minoan Crete

Fraction signs

Constraint programming

Numerical notations

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© 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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