Monday, March 9, 2009

Southwest Script Deciphered 2

From Michel Boutet Sunday, March 8, 2009

Dear Jim and all,

"They are sepulchral and the language is Common Celtic with cognates from Greek and Latin and already, in some cases, moving towards Portuguese."
I fully agree with Mr. Buchanan's general appraisal. Moving towards Portuguese however, could be indicative of a strong Lusitanian trait within the later latinised Ibero-Celtic idiom.

Lusitanian, being a much more archaic idiom than Celtiberian, is at the Proto-Celtic level before the branching out of Italic and Celtic groups. Lusitanian, as Latin, preserves the initial and pre-vowel ‘P’ in words such as superta-, c.f.: Latin ‘super-’ = “super”, “hyper” compared to Proto-Celtic *uper- yielding uer- / uor- in Old Celtic. Hence the Lucitanian word ‘porcom’, cf. Latin ‘Porcus’, Celtic ‘*( p)-Orcos’ ; see also : Petranoi harking the P-Celtic idioms such as Gaulish and British name Petrani < Petranis = “quadroon”, “set of four” compared to Q-Celtic Qetueres. Unlike Gaulish, Celtiberic was a continental Goidelic language similar to insular Gaelic of Hibernia.
The Lusitanians were primarily a single nation occupying the territories between the rivers Douro and Tagus. Later, the name Lusitania (from Celtic Lusitanoi = “Mountain Ash People”) was adopted by ancient Calaicians or Gallaeci (tribes living along the north of the Douro River).
So what was long previously thought as non-Celtic or Iberic was in fact a Pre- or Proto-Celtic Indo-European idiom now qualified as Calaician or Lusitanian. Just to compare, here are two examples, one of Lusitania inscriptions and one of Celtiberian proper.
This being said, I pretty much agree with Mr. Buchanan,

Friday, March 6, 2009

Southwest Script Deciphered

Dear Jim -I wrote to Donal Buchanan about the tablet as he is the expert in Southwest Iberic.Can you post what he wrote to me? Maybe someone can send him a good photo of the stone. Thanks, Zena (Zena Halpern)

Dear Zena,

The photo they show at the top is usually the one I told you was Almodovar III (known and deciphered by me years ago and published in 1991 as a supplement to ESOP volume 20/2 (see my Decipherment of Southwest Iberic). I successfully deciphered 43 of the stones. They are sepulchral and the language is Common Celtic with cognates from Greek and Latin and already, in some cases, moving towards Portugese. They are not as early as supposed (other scholars have said 400-200 BC). It is my contention (principally based on the language used) that most of the Iberic inscriptions in Spain and Portugal (a version of this script appears in East Central Spain and has been deciphered by me and published in ESOP) fall within a period from 200 BC to 200 AD; and the inscriptions of SW Portugal may be rather late, perhaps dating between 100 and 200 AD. I spent something like 30 years working on the Iberic scripts and feel that I was successful in solving the SW inscriptions. I look forward to seeing this new stone. The picture you sent with your message does show it (way down the page) and you cannot see the inscription because the chap who is pointing it out for the photographer is in the way. I need to see a good photo of the whole stone and/or a graphic. I'll keep looking through the Internet till I find it. Meanwhile, as I told you, Zena, I will now tell your friends. I can provide The Decipherment of SW Iberic in .pdf format on CD for $15 plus $5 postage and handling (total $20; check to be made out to The Epigraphic Society; a snailmail address will be needed (international shipping will be higher, depending on where it is going). Also available are CDs containing volumes 1-15 and volumes 16-25 for $50 each plush shipping and handling and a DVD containing volumes 1-25 for $100 plus shipping and handling. Volume 26 of ESOP is out and available now (paper copy) for $40 plus s/h.Thank you, Zena. I have sent this to all your correspondents so they can be as well-informed as you are.
All the best,
Donal B. Buchanan
Secy/Treasurer, The Epigraphic Society
Editor, ESOP

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Best Wishes

What a great way to share data and new information on ancient writings, and how they link our continent to the rest of the world. Thanks for making the effort...and spreading the news.

Best Wishes,
Judy M Johnson
Sec. AAPS/Ancient Artifact Preservation Society

Re: Boutet - on the Ancient Writing

From: Penny Loafier
To: Jim Leslie
Sent: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 12:02:44PM
Dear Jim-Michal.

The SW script is a 36-7 letter syllabify. Glozel and Novelana [and the late Tartessian] at BC, are 23-6 letters alphabets.

The SW script is correctly dated by the workers in Portugal, at about 2700-2400 BP. It is partly ancestral to at least five dialect Iberic scripts, and partly co-eval, not entirely, with N Iberic, which is also a syllabify, with a number of syllabic characters. The SW script is based itself on some supra-alphabetic [more than 28 characters probably] precursor of Etruscan [or maybe of Lycian,] see D Stewart's idea, probably from the Lydian to Lycian, and Hittite zonal area.

Glozel has been translated quite adaquately by D Buchanan, [[Epigraphic Soc. O.P's-No's 24. 26 [2006, 2008 etc.,] articles, with Donal seeing it as a mixed, "Semitic trader-Celtici scipt," dating about [4th-3rd [350-250?] century BC, and also now translated by three European main scholars, who found many of the same texts to contain Romainzing personal and place names, in an Italic-Celtici patois, indicating Romanization in progress, [about 140-1 BC; and maybe to about 40 AD.] Some of the same names are known prosopographically real persons [from regular Latin-script inscr. texts, and even literary texts.] [120 BC-40 AD]; and some of the place names involve Romanization at the nearby Vichy Opida-dependent, sub-communities, [about 14 local village to small town place names,] and just later at Claimont.

Glozel derives directly from Lepontic, which derives partly from Neo-Etrsucan, all post-450 BC scripts.

Novelana often has a ligatured, or semi-iconic-logoramic "Emblem Glyph" involved-with it, as on the BC cave wall panels Falcon's tex; [tsee -An Am current issue article,] see the two connected middle elements-[being a located geographically recently by us Emblem Glyph,] also on the BC-EG stone, [in Frank Joseph 2008.]

But we may have two examples of a SW script-type short text, from real BC contexts, indicating a 5th to 4th century BC date, maybe???..

More soon, Genny.

Favorite websites

Hello, Everyone.
I think we should list associated websites among our links in the left-hand column. I've started with the MES website. What other ones should we list? Bill Conner: you have a website and a blog, don't you? Would you send me their urls? I'll add them to the list. Everyone, please email me or post your favorites here on the blog and I'll compile the list.
Thanks very much.
Siebahn Gallagher

Re: More on the Ancient Writing

From: M.-G. Boutet
Jim Leslie
Sent: Monday, March 02, 2009 3:22 PM

Hi folks,

Very interesting post. This quote from the site sent by Siebhan caught my eye :

ALMODOVAR, Portugal, tablet

“"We hardly know anything about (the people's) daily habits or religious beliefs," he says.
Southwest Script is one of just a handful of ancient languages about which little is known, according to Swiggers. The obscurity has provided fertile ground for competing theories about who wrote these words.
It is generally agreed the texts date from between 2,500 and 2,800 years ago. Most experts have concluded they were authored by a people called Tartessians, a tribe of Mediterranean traders who mined for metal in these parts — one of Europe's largest copper mines is nearby — but disappeared after a few centuries. Some scientists have proposed that the composers were other pre-Roman tribes, such as the Conii or Cynetes, or maybe even Celts who roamed this far south.
Another translation difficulty is that the writing is not standardized. It seems certain that it was adapted from the Phoenician and Greek alphabets because it copied some of their written conventions. However, it also tweaked some of those rules and invented new ones.” (Hatton, Barry. Experts Try to Decipher Ancient Language. AP, Feb 28, 2009.

To me, the pre-Roman Celtic connection looks just right. The Connii (those of Knowledge) or Cunetes (Hunters) are the most likely linked to these inscriptions. And of course, the script looks very much like the Glozel and BC tablets! As old Caesar himself wrote concerning the Gaulish tribes : “It is said that these young men have to memorise endless verses, and that some of them spend as long as twenty years at their books; for although the Druids employs Greek characters for most of their secular business, such as public and private accounts, they consider it irreverent to commit their lore to writing. I suspect, however, that a double motive underlies this practice; unwillingness to publicise their teaching, and a desire to prevent students relying upon the written word at the expense of memory training; for recourse to text-books almost invariably tends to discourage learning by heart and to dull the powers of memory.” (De Bello Gallico, Book VI )

Caesar could not mistake Greek for some other script. The Druids were just careful to whom they entrusted their knowledge and Julius was not just not one of them.

The pictures of stones cited in the articles just look too blurred and hard to see. But if I can trust your transcription, here is what I can read (with ease pardon me and the transliteration is exact I hope!) on one document:

Iine iihâ deorho raserohiie bueleco nii s’indiâ ceo ceanonâ neco elohlâli anach tshebu aballe bue coel.

That is :

“Here (within) She (this One) overcomes too long (those of) dwelling (the abode) here shame to cause to die (death causing) little progeny (very young ones) the local showers of Apple-tree which would be sign in the sky (omen).”

Seems all too clear. They were trying to conjure a drought famine.

But, this being said, methinks I will let the Phuds take further notice. Read the textperts for further notice.


[Jim’s comment: Many thanks Michel! Like you John White has noted the significance of these plates with those of Burrows Cave.]

Re: Responses: Experts trying to decipher ancient language AND the Human FootpriGreat picture!

Assembled and distributed by Jim Leslie Mon, 2 Mar 2009 7:45 pm

Hi everyone,
I don't want to be a party pooper, but two of my computer geeks have told me that since my computer is so critical to my income, that I should throw away, unopened ALL FORWARDS and open GROUP mailings, because literally every group email contains viruses. You see my dilemma.

Certainly a blog...a place that people can go and share data would be useful. Rick Osmon is working on a Chat Room covering ancient American (and beyond) subjects. That may be a good place to go. Susan English has something relating to ancient waterways. I know there are others out there, but I am not the best person to ask. Susan would be a good contact as she is quite "networked" in the field. Her address is
AAPS has a LINKS page with many connections too. We can add more if you let me know. go to:

Up to here with paper doll business...working on spring newsletter for AAPS too.
Anything you want included? Notices of events? interesting finds that connect the world to America?
Let me know.
Judy M Johnson, Sec. AAPS (Prev. AAAPF)Ancient Artifact Preservation Society5th Annual AAPS Conference on Ancient America, Marquette Michigan, Sept 24-27th, 2009
Conf. on Ancient Copper, July 10-12, 2009, Houghton
www.aaapf.orgPS- I'm very slow in answering email. I've had the address so long, and get so much junk mail, it overwhelms me and takes too much time, and I decide each day- "Shall I work at my paper doll business or deal with email?"...and my business usually wins out. If you need me to know something right away, please phone. THANKS!
Below are some responses. I enjoy everyone's contributions to these mass emails. It does bring up a need we have in common, that is a BLOG dedicated to ancient inscriptions, symbols, etc. I do not know of an existing such blog. Its a good idea. Any MES member or non-member takers? Let me know. The MES web page host – Midphase of Chicago does offer a blog with hosting our page - I'd have to check for certain.
A blog would answer Judy's below concerns too. Thanks Judy. I had thought of using bcc for routing, but wanted to allow an individual to correspond easily with individual circle members. A blog again would resolve that too. What to others think? I will go bcc if others want it too. And I will gladly drop this circling email monster I started in favor of other alternatives - like a blog. Please speak up!
Let me know. Jim Leslie
While writing the above, David Stewart responded to Judy with this:
Had Jim done that I could not have responded to you.
I like to distinguish what could happen from what actually does happen.
Jim's software could contain all sorts of nasties, but it does not.

Hi Jim,I see I just duplicated this news notice...and sent it off to many of the same people...but then not a lot of them too.I could see (aaaarrrggh!) all those names right out there in your open group will see by prev. email sent to you today an alternative way of sending group mailings to keep you and all your associates much safer internet-wise.Thanks for sharing,Love, JudyHere are some interesting findings:

Best Wishes,

More on the Ancient Writing

Assembled and distributed by Jim Leslie Mon, 2 Mar 2009 9:29 am
Dear Jim,
You don't have to blind copy me. I like knowing the names of others who have similar interests to mine.

Dear Jim, currently I cannot deal with this theme, becuse I would like to finish the Ph.-disk as soon as possible. (At the end of March we certainly move to Alsoörs for at least 2-3 weeks.)The trouble with such photos is that they are not sharp enough and does not reproduce the full picture, only part of it. May I suggest to teach the MES amateurs to produce sharp and full photos. Without these criteria the pictures are not readable. (Especially not readable if they had been produced by immigrants from SSEEP.MAGAR.I.HA, i.e. SSIB.EER.I.HA. Of course, I am joking!)

Best regards: Pal2nd March 2009.
[Resp from Jim Leslie - please forward your remarks concerning the quality of the photos to the Associated Press. We in MES do take better photos ! The link in the next response is better but still not clear enough - they don't want others getting ahead of them in translation! ]
Hi Everybody:

In this article on today's AOL, you can see some more details.
Click on the article's photo and an enlargement pops up.
Siebahn Gallagher
Assembled and distributed by Jim Leslie Sun, 1 Mar 2009 8:52 pm

Dr. R.M. de JongeWentholtweg
March 2, 2009
Dear Jim Leslie, I don’t have much time to spend on the petroglyphs from SW Iberia at the moment, but note that the Tartasus writing consists of two successive lines, each of 37 symbols, equal to the latitude of the site, and of the island of Sta Maria (East Azores) in the Atlantic Ocean, both at 37°N. So, the text partly deals with geography.
Reinoud de JongeThe Netherlands

From Genny:
Scripts to check on commonness of characters, if you have a complete font from the newspaper article, include:

1. Old Italic-abt 25 letters.
2. Etruscan-abt 24-6 letters..
3. Neo-Etruscan.same
4. Lepontic-slightly later alphabet.
5. Linear B- a considerably larger number of characters..
6. Also the "Old Dacian or "Gimbutasian" script, 36-7 characters, originally identified by Gimbutas, needs checking; only in her first version of her basic idea books, 3 later versions of these.
7. Linear A; for the "squiggles" characters.
8. Old Cypriot-37 letters..
9. Phystos disk syllabary's-60-70 charcters.. [Try Lycian also]
10. Old Cypriot -37 letters
Check "PROEL" and "Omniglot" on www for best fonts to printout.
lv. Genny

Re: The Associated Press: Experts trying to decipher ancient language

These are all very low resolution JPGs with bad lighting for reading the script.
But here are a couple of useful transcriptions.
From David Grant Stewart, Sr. Sun, 1 Mar 2009 1:48 pm

Re: The Associated Press: Experts trying to decipher ancient language

Does anyone have a better photo of this, or the capability to enhance or enlarge it?
From Jack Burgess Sun, 1 Mar 2009 1:24 pm

Re: The Associated Press: Experts trying to decipher ancient language

This appears to be a ca. 800 B.C. dialect of Etruscan.
The basic stock of characters (ca. 70%) match with what we know of 700 B.C. Etruscan.
There is a significant carryover (ca. 20%) of characters from Linear B as we know it.
The remaining few characters (ca. 10%) seem to be aftermarket simplifications of Linear B, a phenomenon of simplifying the parent script as we have seen in e.g. the Los Lunas stone with Paleohebrew.
In sum, it appears to be the writing of a people closely related to but half a millennium earlier than the Etruscans we know of south of Rome.
Some of the characters [two] are not syllables, but numbers, namely 10 and 50.
From David Grant Stewart, Sr. Sun, 1 Mar 2009 12:28 pm

The Associated Press: Experts trying to decipher ancient language

Southwest Script in Portugal
From Jim Leslie Sun, 1 Mar 2009 11:53 am