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THE ISSUE OF DECIPHERING CARIAN

1. The Carian language is a pocket of residual obscurity in the ancient eastern Mediterranean
world. Most of what is known of Carian has been found either in Egypt, thanks to numerous
mercenaries who lived there circa the middle of the first millenium BCE, or in Greek texts.
Paradoxically, Caria itself has not revealed much about Carian and even less that can be easily
used to investigate or understand Carian. About 170 Carian inscriptions have been found in
Egypt and published, as noted in Adiego (2007:17), and more are known to exist but have not
been published yet.
On the whole, the assignment of these inscriptions to Carian relies mainly on two features:
(1) They are poorly understood and (2) They are written in a set of alphabets sharing a
number of graphic pecularities, not to say oddities. Lately, claims have been made about an
alleged “definitive decipherment” of Carian and about its potentially close affinities with the
Anatolian branch of the Indo-European languages. It will be shown that these claims are
erroneous. On the whole, Carian is rather hard to read even when one knows what to find, so
it is little wonder that this “language” has kept its secrets for so long.

2. In our opinion, a real decipherment passes several basic criteria with success: (1) It shows
how the graphic system works, (2) It provides glosses or translations of the inscriptions. It can
be further added that preferably: (3) The underlying language should be proved to be identical
or close to another known language, (4) The decipherment should help understand how the
graphic system evolves with the passage of time, from one stage to another, or from one
language to another. These criteria are met by other decipherments: Egyptian hieroglyphs are
a complex hyper-alphabetic system that was invented for and used for writing the different
linguistic synchronies that are ancestor to the Coptic dialects, Linear B is an approximative
syllabic system used to write an archaic dialect of Greek but quite obviously not designed to
write this dialect originally, etc. To put it simple and short, a decipherment is expected to
increase in considerable and exponential proportions the understanding of the language which
is supposed to be deciphered. And the reverse perspective is that a decipherment can hardly
succeed until the underlying language is not identified with some security and certainty.
As regards the decipherment of Carian that we propose, it will be shown that:

(1) Carian, or at least Carian as attested in many of the inscriptions assigned to Carian, is
not a separate “language” but a dialect of the Hurrian language. It is possible that more
than one language are currently lumped together as Carian. This can be elucidated only
after all the inscriptions are fully understood.
(2) The graphic system is a near strictly consonantal system, which only marginally writes
(long) vowels. The Carian alphabet is therefore close to the original Semitic prototype.
(3) Most of the phonetic values are those of the original Semitic prototype.

One hindrance in the understanding of Carian is that inscriptions were scribbled rather than
written and they are often somewhat damaged or partially erased. Another hindrance is that
we cannot fathom the potential distortions introduced by the compilers to the originals.

3.Adiego (2007:166-204), who claims to have deciphered Carian, divides the history of the
decipherment of Carian in three periods or approaches:

- the semi-syllabic approach, from 1887 to 1949,
- the Greeco-Phoenician alphabetic approach,
- the Egyptian approach, since 1972.

The first work on Carian is due to Archibald H. Sayce in 1887. It is quite amazing that this
work on Carian is the first one and at the same time it is not far from being the only one in
more than 130 years that contains relevant and correct information on Carian. Sayce made the
correct assumption that the Carian alphabet must share values with the Greek one. He also
made the exact observation that the letter <w>, which is in fact bêta, must be of genitival
character, a typical Hurrian feature (Cf. -wi). Adiego (2007:170) assesses Sayce's contribution
as follows: “the failure of his decipherment and the dilettantism of many of his proposals.”
This sounds awesome and undeservedly severe. The truth is that nearly everything that was
written in the 130 years after Sayce is close to useless and the only works with practical value
are the compilations of inscriptions.
After Sayce, the ominous Ferdinand Bork managed to spread his influence in one more
field with Carian studies, which lead to the semi-syllabic approach. The Carian alphabet was
supposedly a mixed system with alphabetic and syllabic signs. Bork succeeded in poisoning
the mind of Friedrich, who should nevertheless be remembered as a great scholar. Friedrich
tried to simplify and make sense out of Bork's draft. The comments of Adiego (2007:172)
about Bork's are worth reading and pondering: “His analyses are totally arbitrary. Similarly,
the meanings he attributes to the words are capricious.” or “Needless to say, all these
speculations, based on an invalid decipherment and a nonexistent linguistic family, have been
superseded.” Diakonov (1971:20) likewise states that Bork's grammatical analyzes are only
interesting for the historical study of science. It took decades until the 1950ies to get rid of
that semi-syllabic fancy invented by Bork.
In 1949, a very long inscription was found in Kaunos and with only fewer than 30 signs, it
showed that Carian was written in a strictly alphabetic system. In the following years, most of
the known inscriptions were collected and published, a necessary prerequisite for progress.
The next linguist who tried to decipher Carian was Shevoroshkin. He made it clear that Carian
was indeed alphabetically written but he made no significant advances in the understanding of
Carian in more than thirty years of investigation. Other unlucky contributors were O. Masson,
Y. Otpushchikov, P. Meriggi and R. Gusmani.
In 1972, K. Zauzich, an egyptologist, started to investigate bilingual texts in Carian and
Egyptian. This method opened the third period of decipherment and was further developed by
T. Kowalski in 1972 and then by J. Ray, D. Schürr and I. Adiego, ultimately leading to what
Adiego calls the “definitive decipherment” of Carian. Unfortunately for Adiego, this method
was not applied correctly. As will become rapidly clear, Adiego's approach must be discarded
nearly completely and a fourth period must be added corresponding to a real and definitive
decipherment of the language, which we propose to initiate in the following pages. In all
cases, Adiego's claim to have deciphered Carian was fairly strange as he was still about
completely unable to translate any single sentence or inscription written in Carian. Is it not
troublesome or intriguing that a so-called “decipherment” does not increase the understanding
of the language which is supposed to be deciphered? How comes that the deciphered “words”
cannot be compared and translated into the Anatolian languages if Carian is a close relative of
them or even one of them? In fact, Adiego's pseudo-decipherment is a blind and meaningless
transliteration of the Carian alphabet based on erroneous identifications of the letters. The
system of transcription used in Adiego (2007:21) is thoroughly inadequate. Only the first
letter <A> is correct. The rest is worthless. Masson (1978:10) was actually much closer to the
truth.

4. The principle of the ‘Egyptian method’ is to look for equivalents in the Carian inscriptions
of the Person names which are cited in the Egyptian counterparts of bilingual texts. In theory,
this method should lead to a secure identification of the phonetic values of Carian letters. A
simple example will show the wrong and the right way to apply the method. We will deal
with Memphis 7 in Adiego (2007:40):

O OO Od dd d| || || || |A AA AO OO O O OO Od dd dA AA A1 11 1A AA A Y YY YO OO O| || |A AA A
Memphis 7 (Cf. Masson-Yoyotte 1956)
This inscription is written from right to left on a funerary stela. Adiego reads the texts as
being <tamou tanaiś qarsio> and makes this comment: “The stela provides an Egyptian
inscription that also mentions the dead man T3j-ḥp-jm-w son of T3[...]. The correspondence to
the Carian text is evident: tamou, son of tanai.” No less than evident.
A first reaction is to doubt that tamou could be the same as Egyptian T3j-ḥp-jm-w: this
seems to stand for a reconstruction like *[ṯajḥpimu]. How comes the -p- has disappeared in
tamou? Our decipherment is <t_a_n_s_u t_a_n_a_γ_w ṭ_a_b_m_γ_w>. The name of the
deceased man is not the first word but the last. According to us, the inscription reads:
*[taˀanusau taˀaniˀaγiwa ṭabimuγiwa] ‘I did [the stela] for Ṭabimu, the Taˀaniˀaγi [Tanaite]’.
The inscription is probably complete as the last letter is <w(a)> the Dative case-marker. The
conclusion is that the Carian alphabet is a typically consonantic alphabet with a defective
writing of vowels. And another conclusion is that the Ray-Schürr-Adiego system cannot be
accepted but for the letter <A>. Although the Carian alphabet reveals some unexpected
values, it remains coherent with the original Phoenician and Greek values. Adiego (2007:194)
lists eight words found in bilinguals which are supposed to bolster his own approach. The
only correct one is the fragmentary equivalence of one syllable in the fourth one. All the rest
is quite incredibly wrong... Whatever the opinio communis may be and whatever Melchert or
Adiego (2007:4) may think, Carian is certainly not a member of the Anatolian branch of PIE.
Carian can be recognized as Hurrian, instantly: -usau ‘P1sg Past’, -wa ‘Dative’ and -γi
‘Ethnonymic formative’. There is no doubt that a correct decipherment makes it crystal clear
that Carian has considerable affinities with Hurrian. It can be noted that cuneiformic <š> in
Hurrian is rendered as /s/ in the Carian alphabet. This situation is the same as in Hittite.
It can be further noted that more than 10 inscriptions in Abydos contain the name of the
god Râ <A |> *[riˀa]
1
but this has remained completely unnoticed so far. For example:


Abydos 32 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 25)

This inscription, from right to left, contains two instances of the name of the god Râ
*[riˀa] on the first line. Adiego (2007:91) disregards the second word-separator in order to

1
Cf. Neb-Maât-Râ <ni-im-mu-ú-ri-a> Mitanni Letter.
read a “well-known Carian name”. But this cleanly separated word is clearly the God Râ
*[r(i)ˀa]. After all, it is little wonder that visitors or pilgrims in the temple of Abydos wrote
the name of the God Râ on the walls...

5. In the next section, we will deal with the inscriptions in Abydos. Readers interested to see
the original drawings and ornemental locations of the inscriptions are advised to read Adiego
(2007:17-165), who made a very heavy work of realistic compilation. We keep the principle
adopted by Adiego of taking the towns as criterion of classification. Our intention is not to
duplicate Adiego's (2007) book but to show how the real decipherment of Carian works. For
that matter, we have not tried to translate all inscriptions included in Adiego (2007), all the
less so as many inscriptions are not cited or represented in their original form but in the
erroneous transliteration of Adiego, of which only the reading of <A> can be kept.
On the whole, the alphabetic scripts in these Carian inscriptions are instable and several
different varieties of alphabet seem to be coexisting. The instability of the script and the
nature of the inscriptions, which are in fact graffiti, increase the difficulty of securely
deciphering most of them. It can nevertheless be noted that the contents of the graffiti is rather
repetitive and they appear to be different arrangements of the same words in many cases,
often dealing with gifts to the god Râ. Thanks to this feature, some words are frequent and
help to identify the values of letters in each inscription.
The direction of writing is from right to left unless indicated otherwise.
Some inscriptions seem to be written in “pure” Hurrian rather than Carian: especially
Abydos 7, 27, 29, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39. In this subset of inscriptions with “pure” Hurrian
features, letters A, Y and F are often used to mark vowel length and geminates are rather often
indicated, especially -nn-. The words are often separated by a vertical line. The letter *[n] <| || |¸ ¸ ¸ ¸
V VV V> sometimes has a particular shape. *[γ] is often written like a circle <O OO O> . The letters *[g]
<´ ´´ ´> and *[q] <- -- -> seem to be distinguished. Other inscriptions indicate vowel length: Abydos
8, 9, 10, 18, 19. They nevertheless are not clearly written in Hurrian. *[r] is written <¸ ¸¸ ¸> in
this latter set of inscriptions.
Several groups of inscriptions can be sorted out:

- F is *[w], *[n] is <1 11 1> in Abydos 2, 3, 13, 14, 15, 31.
- F is *[w], *[n] is <| || |> in Abydos 1, 11, 23, 25.
- inverted values: B is *[w] and F is *[b], *[n] is <1 11 1> in Abydos 4, 6.
- inverted values: B is *[w] and F is *[b], *[n] is <| || |> in Abydos 5, 12, 16, 17, 20, 21,
22, 24, 28, 30, 34.
- extremely strange script: Abydos 26.

The complexity and variety of the values and shapes of the letters is quite intriguing. If our
analysis is correct, there may be no fewer than five or six different variants. There is hardly
such a thing as a “standard” Carian alphabet in Abydos. The situation is much more complex
from this respect than what is found in the archaic Greek alphabets. This suggests several
acquisitions of the original Phoenician alphabet by Hurrian- and Carian-speaking people. It is
not possible to state how much is due to dialectal phonetic differences or to divergent
alphabetic conventions, not to mention the fact that the people, mainly mercenaries, who
wrote these inscriptions may have an imperfect command of writing. It can be noted that the
letter *k is not attested: *q <- -- -> is used. This suggests that Carian, and maybe Hurrian, had
uvular rather than velar stops. Carian also displays a contrast between three series d ~ t ~ ṭ ,
which cannot be documented or evidenced for Hurrian.

The Carian alphabet used in Abydos has the following letters and phonetic values:

Labial Dental Affricate Palatal Liquid Velar Glottal
Voiced /b/ O OO O O OO O /d/ V VV V A AA A /dz/ /ź/ ¬ ¬¬ ¬ /l/ / // / V VV V /g/ ¸ ¸¸ ¸ ´ ´´ ´
Voiceless /p/ ´ ´´ ´ /t/ / // / X XX X /ts/ ± ±± ± /ś/ 4 44 4 d dd d /q/ - -- - /ˀ/ A AA A
Glottalized /ṭ/ ³ ³³ ³ O OO O

/ˀu/ V VV V
Voiced /z/ 1 11 1 ¬ ¬¬ ¬

/r/ | || | | || | ¸ ¸¸ ¸ /γ/ d dd d O OO O
Voiceless /s/ ! !! ! ´ ´´ ´

/x/ 1 11 1 X XX X
Nasals /m/ M MM M /n/ | || | 1 11 1


Glides /w/ | || | /y/ | || | V VV V

Carian Alphabet(s) used in Abydos
represented in left-to-right direction of reading

6. The corpus of inscriptions of Abydos.

Abydos 1 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 1)

The letters are rather clear and well formed. It reads <m γ s γ w γ> *[miγasγiwiγi]. The
verbal root is mih-
2
‘to be standing in front of a god or lord’, and it displays a string of
Hurrian suffixes: -šh- ‘causative’, -wi- ‘Gen.’, -hi- ‘Adj.’. It probably means ‘Reserved to the
priest who introduces the faithful in front of the gods’. It can be noted that the letters /γ/ H and
/w/ B can hardly be distinguished in most of the inscriptions.


Abydos 2 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 2a)

The last two letters are fused. This inscription is easier to read when compared to Abydos
3. It reads <m an s j / q w awź a b w> *[mān
3
śuji
4
qiwiˀawźa
5
biwa] ‘Here is all we bring or
deposit for you’. The gifts are presumably for the god Râ. It can be noted that two letters look
more or less the same [ź] and [y]. The first <A> lengthens the vowel and does not contain /ˀ/.


Abydos 3 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 2b)

Two letters are half erased. A possible reading is <m g n [ś j] / ṭ w ˀaw s γ b> *[maganni
6

śuji
7
ṭiwuˀawas
8
γab
9
] ‘All the gifts and our things have been taken’. It can be noted that the

2
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Wegener (2007: 267).
3
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:167), Wegener (2007:265).
4
Cf. Laroche (1980:240), Wegener (2007:280).
5
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
6
Cf. Laroche (1980:164), Wegener (2007:265).
first and sixth letter look the same, that is to say like [γ] H, but none has this value, they stand
for [ṭ] θ and [γ] H.


Abydos 4 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 3a)

The inscription is written with inverted values of B/F. Adiego (2007:94) rejects it from his
collection. A possible reading is <ś l t n / u [?] l b / u γ j w> *[śiltina
10
ulbi
11
uγijiwu
12
] ‘He
enters with my other pig’, possibly another gift to the temple. There is no clear reason to
reject this inscription as being non Carian.


Abydos 5 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 3b)

The inscription is written with inverted values of B/F. The reading is rather clear <r ˀa n w /
j d ṭ / ˀa b ṭ / γ n ts (?)> *[riˀaniwi jidiṭa
13
ˀabiṭa
14
γintsa(w?)
15
] ‘(I ?) made myself poor for the
body and the face of the god Râ’.


Abydos 6 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 3c)

The inscription is written with inverted values of B/F. The reading is fairly clear <r an w j
d ṭ a b ṭ (?)> *[riˀaniwi jidiṭa
16
ˀabiṭa
17
(?)] ‘(?) for the body and the face of the god Râ’. It is
unclear whether there is any additional letter.


Abydos 7 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 4)

The inscription is written in a peculiar alphabet, which is closer to the standard Greek and
Phoenician alphabet than other inscriptions. Moreover the language seems much closer to
Hurrian than “standard” Carian is. It has the Erg. case marker -iz and the past ending -uša,
normally not present in Carian. It may read <ṭ r w b γ z / q w s n ś / m g nn / b w>
*[ṭurūbiγiz
18
qiwisinuśa
19
maganni
20
biwa] ‘The foreigner has deposited the gifts for you’. It
seems that the /w/ is used to lengthen the vowel. Cf. Abydos 27, 29.

7
Cf. Laroche (1980:240), Wegener (2007:280).
8
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:267), Wegener (2007:285).
9
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:89), Neu (1988:42), Wegener (2007:258).
10
Cf. Catsanicos (1996).
11
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:278).
12
Cf. Laroche (1980:279).
13
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:73), Wegener (2007:257).
14
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:34), Wegener (2007:248).
15
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Wegener (2007:260).
16
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:73), Wegener (2007:257).
17
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:34), Wegener (2007:248).
18
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:274), Wegener (2007:288).
19
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).


Abydos 8 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 5a)

The inscription may read <m z a r(?) / m a d s γ > *[muzāri(?)
21
mādisγi
22
] ‘Sublime is the
one who makes wise’. The letter A is used to express vocalic length.


Abydos 9 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 5a)


Abydos 10 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 5c)

These inscriptions are more or less the same as the previous one. The reading is <m z a r(?)
/ m a d s γ > *[muzāri(?)
23
mādisγi
24
] ‘Sublime is the one who makes wise’. The fourth letter
may be /w/ or /r/.


Abydos 11 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 6)

The inscription may read <m γ s q x(?) / ṭ l b n r b> *[miγawsa
25
q_x_(?)
26
ṭalib
27
niriw
28
]
‘We stand (giving ?) purified and good’. This inscription has nothing to do with person
names. Cf. Abydos 16, 19.


Abydos 12 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 7)

A rather desperate inscription. Maybe from left to right: <? w q w l ?> *[biwa qiwili
29
]
‘May it be given to you (?)’.


20
Cf. Laroche (1980:164), Wegener (2007:265).
21
Cf. Laroche (1980:173), Wegener (2007:267).
22
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:163), Wegener (2007:266).
23
Cf. Laroche (1980:173), Wegener (2007:267).
24
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:163), Wegener (2007:266).
25
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Wegener (2007: 267).
26
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
27
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Wegener (2007:282).
28
Cf. Laroche (1980:185), Wegener (2007:269).
29
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).

Abydos 13 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 8a)

The inscription may read <ˀu n b w ṭ t an q b s g > *[ˀuna
30
biwa ṭatāˀunna
31
qibasgi(ni?)
32
]
‘The offerer comes to you with love’. The article does not appear in this inscription but does
in the next.


Abydos 14 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 8b)

The inscription may read <ˀu n b w ṭ t an q w s g n ṭ> *[ˀuna
33
biwuṭa naxa
34
qiwasgini
35
ṭ-
(?)] ‘The offerer comes to you (and gives ?)’. Something seems to be missing after <ṭ>.


Abydos 15 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 9)

The inscription may read <ˀa l w ṭ t ? > *[ˀallawi
36
ṭat(?)
37
] ‘(for the ?) love of the lady’.
The last word may also be <ṭ x> ‘man’: ‘for the lady and for the man (?)’.


Abydos 16 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 10)

The inscription may read <m g nn q x(?) b w ṭ > *[maganni
38
q_x(?)
39
biwu(ṭa)] ‘The gifts
(?) for you’. The verb is unclear: Cf. Abydos 11, 19: *√q x.


Abydos 17 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 11)

The inscription may read <x m b w s x γ> *[xummi
40
biwa sixuγ
41
] ‘The altar has been
purified (?) for you’. Cf. šihali ‘pure’.



30
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:282), Neu (1988:45), Wegener (2007:289-290).
31
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:2485), Neu (1988:45), Wegener (2007:284).
32
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
33
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:282), Neu (1988:45), Wegener (2007:289-290).
34
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:175), Neu (1988:44), Wegener (2007:268).
35
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
36
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:42), Wegener (2007:246).
37
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:2485), Neu (1988:45), Wegener (2007:284).
38
Cf. Laroche (1980:164), Wegener (2007:265).
39
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
40
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:113).
41
Cf. Laroche (1980:221), Wegener (2007:276).

Abydos 18 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 12)

The inscription may read <m a n(?) ṭ x n(?) q b> *[mān
42
ṭaxi-ni(?)
43
qibu(b)
44
] ‘This the
man gave’. The next inscription confirms the reading <n>.


Abydos 19 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 13a)

The inscription may read <r j n w (s?) ṭ ṭ x n(?) q b> *[rijaniwi yidiṭa(?)
45
ṭaxi-ni(?)
46

gibu(b)
47
] ‘For the body of Râ the man gave’. It makes more sense to interpret <s> as <y d>.
Note that Râ is *[rija] not [riˀa] as in Abydos 5, 6. Adiego (2007:86-7) repeatedly reads the
name of Râ as being a Person name *tamosi, in his system.


Abydos 20 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 13b)

The inscription is unclear and may read <r j n w m n q x l b w> *[rijaniwa man
48
q_x_l
49

biwa (or ṭiwu ?)] ‘For Râ may this be given for you (?)’.


Abydos 21 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 14)

The inscription may read <t γ j n r r j n w j(?) d(?) ṭ (?)> *[taγija
50
niri
51
rijaniwi jidiḍa
52

ṭaźi(?)
53
] ‘beautiful (?) and good is the gift for the body of Râ’.


Abydos 22 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 15)

The first line of the inscription is in a desperate state. The second line may read <r j n w m
n q x l b w> *[rijaniwa man
54
q_x_l
55
biwa] ‘For Râ may this be given for you (?)’.

42
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:167), Wegener (2007:265).
43
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:251), Wegener (2007:282).
44
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
45
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:73), Wegener (2007:257).
46
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:251), Wegener (2007:282).
47
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
48
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:167), Wegener (2007:265).
49
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
50
Cf. Laroche (1980:249).
51
Cf. Laroche (1980:185), Wegener (2007:269).
52
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:73), Wegener (2007:257).
53
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:253), Wegener (2007:284).
54
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:167), Wegener (2007:265).


Abydos 23 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 16)

The inscription may read <? n/l x b d ˀa l i> *[man(?)
56
xibadi allai
57
] ‘Here is (?) Queen
Hebat’. This inscription is not considered a definitely Carian inscription although the letters
look Carian. The last letters may also be interpreted as <b d ˀa l i> *[abd-ˀali]. In that case, it
would be Semitic not Carian, but this does not seem probable.


Abydos 24 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 17)

The inscription may read <n γ ṭ w z> *[naγiṭawza
58
] ‘We will/want to sit’.


Abydos 25 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 18)

The inscription may read <(?) ˀa r a b ṭ > *[(?) ˀari
59
ˀabiṭa
60
] ‘(?) gives for the face (of
Râ)’. This is certainly not the Person name Arliš as suggested in Adiego (2007:89).


Abydos 26 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 19)

The alphabet is extremely peculiar. The inscription may read <r (?) n w ˀa b ṭ (?) d (?) q b r
ṭ w> *[ri(?)aniwi ˀawiṭa
61
yidiṭa
62
qibiri
63
ṭiwu
64
] ‘For the face and body of Râ they have
brought (these) things’.


Abydos 27 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 20)

The inscription may read <(?) m w s m g n ˀu (?) r > *[a(?)mmawsa
65
maganniˀušura
66
]
‘We have come (?) with presents’. This inscription may be written in Hurrian. Cf. Abydos 7,
29 for the same use of word separators and the peculiar <s> letter.

55
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
56
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:167), Wegener (2007:265).
57
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:42), Wegener (2007:246).
58
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:175), Neu (1988:44), Wegener (2007:268).
59
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:52), Neu (1988:41), Wegener (2007:248).
60
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:34), Wegener (2007:248).
61
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:34), Wegener (2007:248).
62
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:73), Wegener (2007:257).
63
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
64
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:267), Wegener (2007:285).
65
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1987:46-47), Wegener (2007:247).


Abydos 28 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 21)

The inscription may read from left to right <(?) r (?) w q n s j m> *[a(?)ri
67
biwa
qunsīmi
68
] ‘Given to you kneeling’. This inscription may be written in Hurrian. Cf. Abydos 7,
for the same use of word separators and the peculiar <s> letter. The direction of reading given
in Adiego (2007:90) or Friedrich (1932:94) is wrong in our opinion. The shape of <n> and
<y> indicates left to right writing. The shape of <r> is ambiguous as it can be written head-
first or head-behind.


Abydos 29 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 22)

A very difficult inscription. It may read from left to right <(?)(γ?) (?) : n b q r s : x r u s γ t /
t l (?)> *[paγiwu
69
nubi
70
-qurus
71
xurūsγi-ṭa
72
tal-(usaw?)
73
] ‘My head ten thousand times for
the hubrušhi (I have purified ?)’. This inscription is most certainly written in Hurrian. Cf.
Abydos 7, 27. The inscription seems to reflect an inversion between <ṭ> and <t>. Adiego
(2007:90) has cut off the second line for some unknown reason.


Abydos 30 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 23)

The inscription may read from left to right <t l x ṭ w (?) q n ts (?) > *[talix(?)
74
ṭiwu(?)
75

qunts(?)
76
] ‘The affair has been purified kneeling (?)’. Adiego (2007:94) holds this inscription
to be possibly Greek.


Abydos 31 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 24)

A difficult inscription with many gaps. It may read <(? ?) w (?) g n ṭ g > *[rijaniwa
maganni(?)
77
ṭagi(?)
78
] ‘For the god Râ a beautiful present (?)’.

66
Cf. Laroche (1980:164), Wegener (2007:265).
67
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:52), Neu (1988:41), Wegener (2007:248).
68
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:155), Neu (1988:43), Wegener (2007:264).
69
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:192), Wegener (2007:270).
70
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:187), Neu (1987:44), Wegener (2007:270).
71
Cf. Laroche (1987:156), Wegener (2007:264).
72
Cf. Laroche (1987:109).
73
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Wegener (2007:282).
74
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Wegener (2007:282).
75
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:267), Wegener (2007:285).
76
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:155), Neu (1988:43), Wegener (2007:264).
77
Cf. Laroche (1980:164), Wegener (2007:265).

Abydos 32 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 25)

A rather long and complex inscription with a peculiar alphabet. The inscription may read
<[1.] n γ (?) w a ś n s ˀa : r ˀa : (?) w (?) z : r ˀa : q p γ ṭ w [2.] (? ?) a d z γ a : n s γ s>
*[naγu(s?)wāś
79
(?) nisiˀa : riˀa : naγiwaz
80
(?) : riˀa : qipiγ
81
ṭiwu
82
/ (? ?) : nisiγ su(yi ?)] ‘We
have put his gain on the ground : (for) the god Râ : our gift : (for) the god Râ is given things :
(? ?) : all is (his) gain’. The form *[naγu(s?)wāś (?)] may be a metathesis of *[naγusawśa].
The second line may read <muzāri mādizγiˀa> ‘Sublime is the one who makes wise (?)’. Cf.
Abydos 8, 9, 10. The inscription contains twice the name of the god Râ *[riˀa], a feature that
has remained unnoticed. Adiego (2007:91) overruns the second word-separator in order to
read a “well-known Carian name” which actually starts with Râ *[r(i)ˀa].


Abydos 33 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 26a)

A short but uneasy inscription. It may read <t ˀa j ś> *[tiˀajaś
83
] ‘They are numerous (?)’.


Abydos 34 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 26b)

Another short but uneasy inscription. It may read <t ˀa (?) ṭ w> *[tiˀa(?)
84
ṭiwu
85
] ‘Things
(that is to say: gifts) are numerous (?)’.


Abydos 35 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 27)

An inscription with a peculiar alphabet. It may read <r ˀa w m g γ
86
: m (dz?) l γ> *[riˀawi
magiγ : mudziliγ
87
] ‘The desire (?) of the god Râ : may it or he/she be righteous (?)’.


Abydos 36 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 28)

78
Cf. Laroche (1980:249).
79
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:175), Neu (1988:44), Wegener (2007:268).
80
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:175), Neu (1988:44), Wegener (2007:268).
81
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
82
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:267), Wegener (2007:285).
83
Cf. Laroche (1980:260), Wegener (2007:285).
84
Cf. Laroche (1980:260), Wegener (2007:285).
85
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:267), Wegener (2007:285).
86
Cf. Laroche (1980:164).
87
Cf. Laroche (1980:173), Wegener (2007:267).

A difficult inscription. It may read <(?) d j n r b l p> *[tadaji
88
niribilip
89
] ‘[Done] well
with love (?)’. This inscription seems to be closer to Hurrian.


Abydos 37 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 29)

This inscription may read <(?) b w z : n γ t b ṭ l ś (?) s γ b> *[gibawza
90
(?) : naγutib
91

ṭaluś
92
siγib
93
] ‘We put [our gift], it was there, [then] taken away and entered [the temple]’.


Abydos 38 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 30)

This inscription may read <x(?) m t (?) j ź u z> *[xummi
94
tijuźauza(?)
95
] ‘We spoke in
front of the altar (?)’.


Abydos 39 (Murray 1904)

This inscription may read <(?) r d l l> *[kiri
96
dilla] ‘We are free’ or *[sari
97
dilla] ‘We
desire’.

7. Another interesting inscription to look at is the Kaunos bilingual. Of this document,
Melchert (2004:65) boldly asserts that:

The new Carian–Greek bilingual from Kaunos has shown conclusively the essential validity of
the Ray–Adiego–Schürr system, while also confirming the suspicion of local variation in the use
of the Carian alphabet.While some rarer signs remain to be elucidated, the question of the
Carian alphabet may be viewed as decided.

It will be shown below that this claim is absurd hogwash.

The new bilingual has not led to immediate equally dramatic progress in our grasp of the
language.


88
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:2485), Neu (1988:45), Wegener (2007:284).
89
Cf. Laroche (1980:185), Wegener (2007:269).
90
Cf. Laroche (1980:145), Wegener (2007:263).
91
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:175), Neu (1988:44), Wegener (2007:268).
92
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Wegener (2007:282).
93
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:223), Wegener (2007:276).
94
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:113).
95
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:267), Wegener (2007:285).
96
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Neu (1988:43), Wegener (2007:263).
97
Cf. Catsanicos (1996), Laroche (1980:215), Neu (1988:44), Wegener (2007:275).
“Decipherment” without any simultaneously improved understanding of the Carian
language is a conspicuous feature of the Ray–Adiego–Schürr-cum-Melchert system.

One reason for this is that the Greek text of the Kaunos Bilingual is a formulaic proxenia decree,
while the corresponding Carian is manifestly quite independent in its phrasing of what must be
essentially the same contents.

It will be shown below that the Carian text is very close in its contents to the Greek text.

The Kaunos Bilingual has provided welcome confirmation of the view that Carian is an Indo-
European Anatolian language, and indeed, of the western type of Luvian, Lycian, and Lydian.
However, one cannot speak of a complete decipherment until there are generally accepted
interpretations of a substantial body of texts – a stage not yet fully attained. This remark applies
even to the new bilingual, as one can easily confirm by reading the competing linguistic
analyses in Blümel, Frei, and Marek 1998. The following very sketchy description of the
language must therefore be taken as highly provisional!

To say the least.
So, what is the Kaunos Greek-Carian bilingual? What has been retrieved of the original
document is now three reassembled parts, which contain 26 lines of letters, the first 18 lines
are Carian and the last 7 are written in Greek. A number of inferences and descriptive remarks
can be made:

- According to the first lines of the Greek text, which seem to be missing no letters, the
Carian text misses about two letters at the end in the 13 first lines.
- The 18
th
line of the Carian text occupied only the left part of the line, which suggests that
the direction of writing was from left to right.
- What is left of the Carian text (18 lines) is much longer than what is left of the Greek part
(7 lines), so that it is unclear whether the Carian and Greek sections originally were a
strictly equivalent translation of one another.

The 5 first lines of Greek are rather well-preserved and we will compare them to the 6 first
lines of Carian. One recurrent question about so-called “bilinguals” is to determine whether
they are bilingual in the weak or the strong sense: Are they a coarse and remotely allusive
equivalent of one another or are they a close and nearly literal translation of one language into
the other? It will be shown below that the Kaunos bilingual most probably was a bilingual in
the strong sense, contrary to what Melchert (2004) believes: in fact, to judge from the first
lines of each language, the corresponding Carian is manifestly quite equivalent in its phrasing
of what must be essentially the same word-for-word contents in the Greek part. This is only
slightly obscured by the fact that the Greek Person names seem to be half-translated into
Carian, instead of being just rephonemicized in Carian.
According to Adiego (2007:154-156), the first lines of Carian are :

1. V VV V | || | ³ ³³ ³ ´ ´´ ´ ¦ V ¦ V ¦ V ¦ V ³ ³³ ³ O O O O | || | ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ 1 11 1 ³ ³³ ³ j jj j× × × × × × × ×] ]] ]
D U H = *diˀuγi ‘it is said [that]’
Translates KA 5.18 EDOΞE, the first word of the Greek text.
Q U N H Ś = *Qaˀunihi-ś ‘(by) the Kaunians’
NB: < ´ ´´ ´ ¦ V ¦ V ¦ V ¦ V > is better read < O OO O | || | 1 11 1>. Translates KA 5.18 KAVNOIS
M Z X = *muzu-xi = ‘[this] has been placed’
This refers to the bilingual itself.
Ṭ [x x] = (probably) *ṭu[rūbi] ‘foreign’
Translates KA 5.23 ΠΡOΞENOVΣ

2. ³ ³³ ³ 1 11 1 ³ ³³ ³ ! !! ! ´ ´´ ´ | || | V VV V A AA A A AA A 1 11 1 d dd d (:) (:) (:) (:) × × × × × × × ×
Ṭ X Ṭ = ṭaxi-ṭa ‘for the man’
Continued translation of KA 5.23 ΠΡOΞENOVΣ
S M - (R?) L = summi-(r?)ili ‘[and for the] hand-worker’
Translates KA 5.19-20 ∆HMIO / PΓOU
A T N H = Atenaγi-xx ‘Athenian(s)’
Translates KA 5.23 [A]ΘΗΝΑΙΟΝ

3. A AA A A AA A 1 11 1 A AA A | | | | ! !! ! d dd d V VV V A AA A A AA A ! !! ! × × × × × × × ×
T A N A W S = tānu-ˀawsa ‘we have done [this]’
Ṭ D T A S x x = ṭadarās-xx ‘for [our] friends’
Both words translate KA 5.24 [A]IEVEPΓETAΣ

4. O OO O | || | O OO O 1 11 1 O O O O ! !! ! 1 11 1 ! !! ! | || | A AA A | || | × × × × × × × ×
L U Ś K L S = Lūśi-kles
Translates KA 5.21 ΛVΣIKΛEOVΣ
A S U T W x x = Asū-t-w-xx (Hippo-sthenos)
Seems to translate KA 5.21 IΠΠOΣΘHNOVΣ
The Carian seems to be a derivative of (Hurrian) aššu ‘horse’.

5. A A A A 1 11 1 A AA A | || | ! !! ! ³ ³³ ³ V VV V | || | A AA A | || | A AA A ! !! ! × × × × × × × ×
N K L W S H = Nikolewas-iγi ‘Nikolewa-ian’
Adiego (2007:155) reads **Nikoklea, but this seems to exist neither in Greek nor Carian.
L U Ś K R S = Lūśi-kras-xx
Translates KA 5.22 ΛVΣIKPA-(T?)

6. O OO O | || | O OO O 1 11 1 O O O O ! !! ! 1 11 1 ! !! ! A AA A | || | 1 11 1 ³ ³³ ³ × × × × × × × ×
L U Ś K L W/S(?) A S = Lūśi-klewās
A T N H x x = Atenaγi-xx ‘Athenian’

The Carian first 6 lines translate as: “It is declared that by the Qaunians [this] has been
placed on behalf of the foreign man and the hand-worker, from Athens. We have done [this]
[for our] friends: Lūśi-kles Asū-t-w-xx(?), son of Nikolewa, and Lūśi-kras-xx(?) Lūśi-klewās,
son of Athena[io].”
A few letters do not seem to be distinguished as they should:
- A [a] (not **[n]) ~ 1 11 1 [n] (not **[a]) ~ 1 11 1 [k],
- A ~ A AA A [t] ~ | || | [t],
· ·· · A AA A [t] ~ A AA A or O OO O [l] ~ O OO O [ś]
For example, Athena-(γi) is written as < A AA A A AA A 1 11 1 d dd d > and < A AA A | || | 1 11 1 ³ ³³ ³ >.
The document makes a very clear distinction between the consonant [w] < E > and the long
vowel [ū] < | || |, | || | >. Short vowels are conspicuously not indicated, as in Abydos.

7. As a conclusion of this short sketch, we will reaffirm a few core inferences:

- The “definitive” Ray–Adiego–Schürr-cum-Melchert pseudo-“decipherment” is bogus.
- The Carian “language” is in fact a dialect of Hurrian.
- Carian is written in a set of near strictly consonantal alphabets, close to Semitic practices.

We are confident that future research on Carian can only bolster, support and reinforce
these conclusions.

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1972 Einige karische Inschriften aus Aegypten und Kleinasien und ihre Deutung
nach der Entzifferung der karische Schrift. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.

a typical Hurrian feature (Cf.Adiego (2007:166-204). Other unlucky contributors were O. After Sayce. Similarly. Ray. Kowalski in 1972 and then by J.” or “Needless to say. a necessary prerequisite for progress. Gusmani. this method was not applied correctly. must be of genitival character. a very long inscription was found in Kaunos and with only fewer than 30 signs. Sayce in 1887. most of the known inscriptions were collected and published.the semi-syllabic approach. it showed that Carian was written in a strictly alphabetic system. Friedrich tried to simplify and make sense out of Bork's draft. He made it clear that Carian was indeed alphabetically written but he made no significant advances in the understanding of Carian in more than thirty years of investigation. Sayce made the correct assumption that the Carian alphabet must share values with the Greek one. In all cases.” Diakonov (1971:20) likewise states that Bork's grammatical analyzes are only interesting for the historical study of science. The truth is that nearly everything that was written in the 130 years after Sayce is close to useless and the only works with practical value are the compilations of inscriptions. all these speculations. -wi). In 1972. It is quite amazing that this work on Carian is the first one and at the same time it is not far from being the only one in more than 130 years that contains relevant and correct information on Carian. which is in fact bêta.” This sounds awesome and undeservedly severe.the Greeco-Phoenician alphabetic approach. the meanings he attributes to the words are capricious. ultimately leading to what Adiego calls the “definitive decipherment” of Carian. In 1949. have been superseded. . which we propose to initiate in the following pages. Adiego's claim to have deciphered Carian was fairly strange as he was still about completely unable to translate any single sentence or inscription written in Carian. P. Bork succeeded in poisoning the mind of Friedrich. Otpushchikov. D. who claims to have deciphered Carian. Masson. Adiego's approach must be discarded nearly completely and a fourth period must be added corresponding to a real and definitive decipherment of the language. As will become rapidly clear.3. In the following years. Adiego (2007:170) assesses Sayce's contribution as follows: “the failure of his decipherment and the dilettantism of many of his proposals. K. Meriggi and R. Zauzich. Schürr and I.the Egyptian approach. The comments of Adiego (2007:172) about Bork's are worth reading and pondering: “His analyses are totally arbitrary. divides the history of the decipherment of Carian in three periods or approaches: . . who should nevertheless be remembered as a great scholar. based on an invalid decipherment and a nonexistent linguistic family. the ominous Ferdinand Bork managed to spread his influence in one more field with Carian studies. Y. Is it not troublesome or intriguing that a so-called “decipherment” does not increase the understanding of the language which is supposed to be deciphered? How comes that the deciphered “words” cannot be compared and translated into the Anatolian languages if Carian is a close relative of . since 1972. Adiego. from 1887 to 1949. The first work on Carian is due to Archibald H. It took decades until the 1950ies to get rid of that semi-syllabic fancy invented by Bork. The next linguist who tried to decipher Carian was Shevoroshkin. The Carian alphabet was supposedly a mixed system with alphabetic and syllabic signs. He also made the exact observation that the letter <w>. Unfortunately for Adiego. This method opened the third period of decipherment and was further developed by T. an egyptologist. started to investigate bilingual texts in Carian and Egyptian. which lead to the semi-syllabic approach.

Masson-Yoyotte 1956) This inscription is written from right to left on a funerary stela. It can be noted that cuneiformic <š> in Hurrian is rendered as /s/ in the Carian alphabet. the inscription reads: *[taˀanusau taˀaniˀaγiwa ṭabimuγiwa] ‘I did [the stela] for Ṭabimu. The conclusion is that the Carian alphabet is a typically consonantic alphabet with a defective writing of vowels. instantly: -usau ‘P1sg Past’. A simple example will show the wrong and the right way to apply the method.has disappeared in tamou? Our decipherment is <t_a_n_s_u t_a_n_a_γ_w ṭ_a_b_m_γ_w>. it remains coherent with the original Phoenician and Greek values. Adiego reads the texts as being <tamou tanaiś qarsio> and makes this comment: “The stela provides an Egyptian inscription that also mentions the dead man T3j-ḥp-jm-w son of T3[. The system of transcription used in Adiego (2007:21) is thoroughly inadequate. Neb-Maât-Râ <ni-im-mu-ú-ri-a> Mitanni Letter. Adiego (2007:91) disregards the second word-separator in order to 1 Cf. Whatever the opinio communis may be and whatever Melchert or Adiego (2007:4) may think.. The name of the deceased man is not the first word but the last. This situation is the same as in Hittite. We will deal with Memphis 7 in Adiego (2007:40): Memphis 7 (Cf. There is no doubt that a correct decipherment makes it crystal clear that Carian has considerable affinities with Hurrian. from right to left.” No less than evident. Carian can be recognized as Hurrian. And another conclusion is that the Ray-Schürr-Adiego system cannot be accepted but for the letter <A>. In theory. The principle of the ‘Egyptian method’ is to look for equivalents in the Carian inscriptions of the Person names which are cited in the Egyptian counterparts of bilingual texts. -wa ‘Dative’ and -γi ‘Ethnonymic formative’.. All the rest is quite incredibly wrong. Although the Carian alphabet reveals some unexpected values. The only correct one is the fragmentary equivalence of one syllable in the fourth one. The rest is worthless.. the Taˀaniˀaγi [Tanaite]’. son of tanai. . The inscription is probably complete as the last letter is <w(a)> the Dative case-marker. Masson (1978:10) was actually much closer to the truth. Adiego's pseudo-decipherment is a blind and meaningless transliteration of the Carian alphabet based on erroneous identifications of the letters. A first reaction is to doubt that tamou could be the same as Egyptian T3j-ḥp-jm-w: this seems to stand for a reconstruction like *[ṯajḥpimu]. The correspondence to the Carian text is evident: tamou. For example: Abydos 32 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 25) This inscription.. this method should lead to a secure identification of the phonetic values of Carian letters. Carian is certainly not a member of the Anatolian branch of PIE. It can be further noted that more than 10 inscriptions in Abydos contain the name of the god Râ < > *[riˀa]1 but this has remained completely unnoticed so far. contains two instances of the name of the god Râ *[riˀa] on the first line. 4. Only the first letter <A> is correct. Adiego (2007:194) lists eight words found in bilinguals which are supposed to bolster his own approach.them or even one of them? In fact. How comes the -p.]. According to us.

12.and Carian-speaking people. 38. we will deal with the inscriptions in Abydos. . . The direction of writing is from right to left unless indicated otherwise. Some inscriptions seem to be written in “pure” Hurrian rather than Carian: especially Abydos 7. If our analysis is correct. Y and F are often used to mark vowel length and geminates are rather often indicated. *[n] is < > in Abydos 5. which are in fact graffiti. The letters *[g] < > and *[q] < > seem to be distinguished. Carian also displays a contrast between three series d ~ t ~ ṭ . 24.read a “well-known Carian name”. 27. *[r] is written < > in this latter set of inscriptions. 16. *[γ] is often written like a circle < > . *[n] is < > in Abydos 2. 23. 19. the alphabetic scripts in these Carian inscriptions are instable and several different varieties of alphabet seem to be coexisting.F is *[w]. Thanks to this feature. often dealing with gifts to the god Râ. . 22. 11... who wrote these inscriptions may have an imperfect command of writing. 14. *[n] is < > in Abydos 1. we have not tried to translate all inscriptions included in Adiego (2007). 37. letters A. 20.inverted values: B is *[w] and F is *[b]. mainly mercenaries. 30. 6. had uvular rather than velar stops.inverted values: B is *[w] and F is *[b]. especially -nn-. not to mention the fact that the people. . It can nevertheless be noted that the contents of the graffiti is rather repetitive and they appear to be different arrangements of the same words in many cases. The instability of the script and the nature of the inscriptions. > sometimes has a particular shape. 15. After all. In the next section. 3. The letter *[n] < . 35. Readers interested to see the original drawings and ornemental locations of the inscriptions are advised to read Adiego (2007:17-165). For that matter. 25. 32. 31. Several groups of inscriptions can be sorted out: . 5. 33. This suggests that Carian.extremely strange script: Abydos 26. 29. The situation is much more complex from this respect than what is found in the archaic Greek alphabets. it is little wonder that visitors or pilgrims in the temple of Abydos wrote the name of the God Râ on the walls. There is hardly such a thing as a “standard” Carian alphabet in Abydos. 10. In this subset of inscriptions with “pure” Hurrian features. Other inscriptions indicate vowel length: Abydos 8. which cannot be documented or evidenced for Hurrian.F is *[w]. It can be noted that the letter *k is not attested: *q < > is used. 9. 34. of which only the reading of <A> can be kept. increase the difficulty of securely deciphering most of them. 17. 28. It is not possible to state how much is due to dialectal phonetic differences or to divergent alphabetic conventions. some words are frequent and help to identify the values of letters in each inscription. We keep the principle adopted by Adiego of taking the towns as criterion of classification. The complexity and variety of the values and shapes of the letters is quite intriguing. They nevertheless are not clearly written in Hurrian. But this cleanly separated word is clearly the God Râ *[r(i)ˀa]. 18. 13. *[n] is < > in Abydos 4. 21. . all the less so as many inscriptions are not cited or represented in their original form but in the erroneous transliteration of Adiego. who made a very heavy work of realistic compilation. and maybe Hurrian. 36. The words are often separated by a vertical line. This suggests several acquisitions of the original Phoenician alphabet by Hurrian. 39. there may be no fewer than five or six different variants. On the whole. Our intention is not to duplicate Adiego's (2007) book but to show how the real decipherment of Carian works.

Cf. Laroche (1980:145). Catsanicos (1996). The verbal root is mih-2 ‘to be standing in front of a god or lord’. Wegener (2007: 267).‘Gen. The gifts are presumably for the god Râ. The corpus of inscriptions of Abydos. It can be noted that the Cf. Catsanicos (1996). A possible reading is <m g n [ś j] / ṭ w ˀaw s γ b> *[maganni6 śuji7 ṭiwuˀawas8 γab9] ‘All the gifts and our things have been taken’. Abydos 3 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 2b) Two letters are half erased. 4 Cf. Laroche (1980:167). 6 Cf. It can be noted that two letters look more or less the same [ź] and [y]. This inscription is easier to read when compared to Abydos 3.The Carian alphabet used in Abydos has the following letters and phonetic values: Labial Voiced Voiceless Glottalized Voiced Voiceless Nasals Glides /m/ /w/ /b/ /p/ O Dental /d/ /t/ /ṭ/ /z/ H /s/ /n/ Affricate /dz/ /ts/ Palatal /ź/ /ś/ Liquid /l/ V Velar /g/ /q/ Glottal /ˀ/ /ˀu/ V /r/ /γ/ /x/ O /y/ Carian Alphabet(s) used in Abydos represented in left-to-right direction of reading 6. Wegener (2007:280).‘Adj. It can be noted that the letters /γ/ H and /w/ B can hardly be distinguished in most of the inscriptions.‘causative’. 2 3 . and it displays a string of Hurrian suffixes: -šh. Wegener (2007:265). Wegener (2007:265). It reads <m an s j / q w awź a b w> *[mān3 śuji4 qiwiˀawźa5 biwa] ‘Here is all we bring or deposit for you’. It reads <m γ s γ w γ> *[miγasγiwiγi]. -hi. It probably means ‘Reserved to the priest who introduces the faithful in front of the gods’.’. 5 Cf. The first <A> lengthens the vowel and does not contain /ˀ/. Abydos 2 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 2a) The last two letters are fused. Laroche (1980:164). Laroche (1980:240).’. Wegener (2007:263). Abydos 1 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 1) The letters are rather clear and well formed. -wi.

12 Cf. Moreover the language seems much closer to Hurrian than “standard” Carian is.first and sixth letter look the same. Wegener (2007:257). 15 Cf. Abydos 4 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 3a) The inscription is written with inverted values of B/F. Laroche (1980:267). Abydos 7 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 4) The inscription is written in a peculiar alphabet. they stand for [ṭ] θ and [γ] H. 7 8 Cf. Wegener (2007:263). Wegener (2007:260). Catsanicos (1996). . Adiego (2007:94) rejects it from his collection. Laroche (1980:34). Abydos 5 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 3b) The inscription is written with inverted values of B/F. Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:285). Laroche (1980:278). Wegener (2007:248). but none has this value. Abydos 6 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 3c) The inscription is written with inverted values of B/F. It is unclear whether there is any additional letter. 16 Cf. Laroche (1980:89). 9 Cf. Catsanicos (1996). which is closer to the standard Greek and Phoenician alphabet than other inscriptions. 14 Cf. The reading is rather clear <r ˀa n w / j d ṭ / ˀa b ṭ / γ n ts (?)> *[riˀaniwi jidiṭa13 ˀabiṭa14 γintsa(w?)15] ‘(I ?) made myself poor for the body and the face of the god Râ’. Cf. There is no clear reason to reject this inscription as being non Carian. 10 Cf. Laroche (1980:279). Catsanicos (1996). Cf. Abydos 27. possibly another gift to the temple. 11 Cf. Laroche (1980:274). Laroche (1980:73). It seems that the /w/ is used to lengthen the vowel. Wegener (2007:280). Catsanicos (1996). Laroche (1980:34). 13 Cf. 29. 18 Cf. Laroche (1980:145). Neu (1988:42). The reading is fairly clear <r an w j d ṭ a b ṭ (?)> *[riˀaniwi jidiṭa16 ˀabiṭa17 (?)] ‘(?) for the body and the face of the god Râ’. 17 Cf. Wegener (2007:258). that is to say like [γ] H. Catsanicos (1996). Laroche (1980:73). A possible reading is <ś l t n / u [?] l b / u γ j w> *[śiltina10 ulbi11 uγijiwu12] ‘He enters with my other pig’. Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:288). It may read <ṭ r w b γ z / q w s n ś / m g nn / b w> *[ṭurūbiγiz18 qiwisinuśa19 maganni20 biwa] ‘The foreigner has deposited the gifts for you’. Catsanicos (1996). Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:257). case marker -iz and the past ending -uša. Wegener (2007:248). Catsanicos (1996). normally not present in Carian. It has the Erg. 19 Cf. Laroche (1980:240).

Abydos 12 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 7) A rather desperate inscription. The reading is <m z a r(?) / m a d s γ > *[muzāri(?)23 mādisγi24] ‘Sublime is the one who makes wise’. 26 Cf. Maybe from left to right: <? w q w l ?> *[biwa qiwili29] ‘May it be given to you (?)’. 27 Cf. Wegener (2007:267). Laroche (1980:145). 24 Cf. Wegener (2007:266). Wegener (2007:263). Cf. This inscription has nothing to do with person names. 20 21 Cf. The letter A is used to express vocalic length. . 23 Cf. Wegener (2007:263). Catsanicos (1996). Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:269). 25 Cf. Wegener (2007:282). 19. The fourth letter may be /w/ or /r/. Abydos 11 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 6) The inscription may read <m γ s q x(?) / ṭ l b n r b> *[miγawsa25 q_x_(?)26 ṭalib27 niriw28] ‘We stand (giving ?) purified and good’. Laroche (1980:173). Laroche (1980:163). Wegener (2007: 267). Laroche (1980:173). Catsanicos (1996). Abydos 9 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 5a) Abydos 10 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 5c) These inscriptions are more or less the same as the previous one. Wegener (2007:266). Cf. Wegener (2007:267).Abydos 8 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 5a) The inscription may read <m z a r(?) / m a d s γ > *[muzāri(?)21 mādisγi22] ‘Sublime is the one who makes wise’. Laroche (1980:164). 22 Cf. 29 Cf. Abydos 16. Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:265). Laroche (1980:163). Laroche (1980:145). 28 Cf. Laroche (1980:185).

39 Cf. Laroche (1980:145). Wegener (2007:263). Wegener (2007:289-290). Wegener (2007:263). Laroche (1980:2485). Neu (1988:45). Abydos 15 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 9) The inscription may read <ˀa l w ṭ t ? > *[ˀallawi36 ṭat(?)37] ‘(for the ?) love of the lady’. Catsanicos (1996). Abydos 11. Neu (1988:45). Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:265). Neu (1988:45). Laroche (1980:42). Something seems to be missing after <ṭ>. The article does not appear in this inscription but does in the next. Abydos 14 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 8b) The inscription may read <ˀu n b w ṭ t an q w s g n ṭ> *[ˀuna33 biwuṭa naxa34 qiwasgini35 ṭ(?)] ‘The offerer comes to you (and gives ?)’. Wegener (2007:284). Laroche (1980:113). The last word may also be <ṭ x> ‘man’: ‘for the lady and for the man (?)’. Laroche (1980:221). Catsanicos (1996). 30 31 Cf. šihali ‘pure’. Wegener (2007:276). Laroche (1980:2485). Wegener (2007:263). Abydos 17 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 11) The inscription may read <x m b w s x γ> *[xummi40 biwa sixuγ41] ‘The altar has been purified (?) for you’. 33 Cf. Catsanicos (1996). Laroche (1980:164). Cf. Neu (1988:45). Wegener (2007:289-290). Cf. 34 Cf. Abydos 16 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 10) The inscription may read <m g nn q x(?) b w ṭ > *[maganni38 q_x(?)39 biwu(ṭa)] ‘The gifts (?) for you’.Abydos 13 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 8a) The inscription may read <ˀu n b w ṭ t an q b s g > *[ˀuna30 biwa ṭatāˀunna31 qibasgi(ni?)32] ‘The offerer comes to you with love’. 32 Cf. Laroche (1980:145). 19: *√q x. . Laroche (1980:145). Laroche (1980:282). Wegener (2007:268). Catsanicos (1996). Neu (1988:44). Catsanicos (1996). 40 Cf. 36 Cf. 41 Cf. 35 Cf. Laroche (1980:175). 37 Cf. Wegener (2007:246). Laroche (1980:282). 38 Cf. The verb is unclear: Cf. Wegener (2007:284). Catsanicos (1996).

48 Cf. 6. Catsanicos (1996). Laroche (1980:73). Catsanicos (1996). Laroche (1980:167). Laroche (1980:249). Catsanicos (1996). Laroche (1980:251).Abydos 18 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 12) The inscription may read <m a n(?) ṭ x n(?) q b> *[mān42 ṭaxi-ni(?)43 qibu(b)44] ‘This the man gave’. 49 Cf. The second line may read <r j n w m n q x l b w> *[rijaniwa man54 q_x_l55 biwa] ‘For Râ may this be given for you (?)’. Wegener (2007:257). 53 Cf. Wegener (2007:263). Abydos 21 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 14) The inscription may read <t γ j n r r j n w j(?) d(?) ṭ (?)> *[taγija50 niri51 rijaniwi jidiḍa52 ṭaźi(?)53] ‘beautiful (?) and good is the gift for the body of Râ’. Wegener (2007:282). Wegener (2007:263). Catsanicos (1996). 44 Cf. Wegener (2007:265). 47 Cf. It makes more sense to interpret <s> as <y d>. Wegener (2007:269). Laroche (1980:145). Laroche (1980:251). Wegener (2007:257). Wegener (2007:284). 54 Cf. 45 Cf. Catsanicos (1996). in his system. . Laroche (1980:145). Abydos 22 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 15) The first line of the inscription is in a desperate state. Wegener (2007:282). The next inscription confirms the reading <n>. Catsanicos (1996). 50 Cf. Laroche (1980:167). Laroche (1980:167). 52 Cf. Laroche (1980:185). Wegener (2007:265). Laroche (1980:253). Catsanicos (1996). Abydos 20 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 13b) The inscription is unclear and may read <r j n w m n q x l b w> *[rijaniwa man48 q_x_l49 biwa (or ṭiwu ?)] ‘For Râ may this be given for you (?)’. Wegener (2007:265). 42 43 Cf. 46 Cf. Laroche (1980:145). Note that Râ is *[rija] not [riˀa] as in Abydos 5. Laroche (1980:73). Adiego (2007:86-7) repeatedly reads the name of Râ as being a Person name *tamosi. Cf. 51 Cf. Catsanicos (1996). Abydos 19 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 13a) The inscription may read <r j n w (s?) ṭ ṭ x n(?) q b> *[rijaniwi yidiṭa(?)45 ṭaxi-ni(?)46 gibu(b)47] ‘For the body of Râ the man gave’. Wegener (2007:263).

. Wegener (2007:263). Wegener (2007:257). 62 Cf. Laroche (1980:175). Abydos 7. Abydos 26 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 19) The alphabet is extremely peculiar. 61 Cf. but this does not seem probable. 57 Cf. Laroche (1980:34). Abydos 24 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 17) The inscription may read <n γ ṭ w z> *[naγiṭawza58] ‘We will/want to sit’. This is certainly not the Person name Arliš as suggested in Adiego (2007:89). Wegener (2007:265). 29 for the same use of word separators and the peculiar <s> letter. Wegener (2007:246). In that case. Catsanicos (1996). 64 Cf. 63 Cf. 65 Cf. Wegener (2007:248). Laroche (1980:52). Wegener (2007:247).Abydos 23 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 16) The inscription may read <? n/l x b d ˀa l i> *[man(?)56 xibadi allai57] ‘Here is (?) Queen Hebat’. Wegener (2007:268). Catsanicos (1996). Cf. Laroche (1980:34). Catsanicos (1996). Laroche (1980:42). Laroche (1980:167). 58 Cf. Abydos 25 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 18) The inscription may read <(?) ˀa r a b ṭ > *[(?) ˀari59 ˀabiṭa60] ‘(?) gives for the face (of Râ)’. Catsanicos (1996). The inscription may read <r (?) n w ˀa b ṭ (?) d (?) q b r ṭ w> *[ri(?)aniwi ˀawiṭa61 yidiṭa62 qibiri63 ṭiwu64] ‘For the face and body of Râ they have brought (these) things’. Laroche (1987:46-47). Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:263). Neu (1988:44). Neu (1988:41). This inscription may be written in Hurrian. 60 Cf. Laroche (1980:145). Wegener (2007:248). it would be Semitic not Carian. Cf. This inscription is not considered a definitely Carian inscription although the letters look Carian. Laroche (1980:267). Laroche (1980:145). The last letters may also be interpreted as <b d ˀa l i> *[abd-ˀali]. Wegener (2007:248). Wegener (2007:285). Catsanicos (1996). 55 56 Cf. Catsanicos (1996). Catsanicos (1996). 59 Cf. Laroche (1980:73). Catsanicos (1996). Abydos 27 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 20) The inscription may read <(?) m w s m g n ˀu (?) r > *[a(?)mmawsa65 maganniˀušura66] ‘We have come (?) with presents’.

Abydos 7. Cf. 72 Cf. Wegener (2007:285). Laroche (1980:155). It may read <(? ?) w (?) g n ṭ g > *[rijaniwa maganni(?)77 ṭagi(?)78] ‘For the god Râ a beautiful present (?)’. Adiego (2007:90) has cut off the second line for some unknown reason. 68 Cf. Catsanicos (1996).Abydos 28 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 21) The inscription may read from left to right <(?) r (?) w q n s j m> *[a(?)ri67 biwa qunsīmi68] ‘Given to you kneeling’. 70 Cf. Abydos 7. Cf. Neu (1988:43). Wegener (2007:270). 27. Catsanicos (1996). It may read from left to right <(?)(γ?) (?) : n b q r s : x r u s γ t / t l (?)> *[paγiwu69 nubi70-qurus71 xurūsγi-ṭa72 tal-(usaw?)73] ‘My head ten thousand times for the hubrušhi (I have purified ?)’. Abydos 29 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 22) A very difficult inscription. The direction of reading given in Adiego (2007:90) or Friedrich (1932:94) is wrong in our opinion. Wegener (2007:248). Wegener (2007:265). Catsanicos (1996). 75 Cf. Laroche (1987:156). Laroche (1980:155). Wegener (2007:264). 71 Cf. Adiego (2007:94) holds this inscription to be possibly Greek. for the same use of word separators and the peculiar <s> letter. The shape of <n> and <y> indicates left to right writing. 73 Cf. 76 Cf. Wegener (2007:264). Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:265). Wegener (2007:282). 66 67 Cf. Laroche (1980:52). The inscription seems to reflect an inversion between <ṭ> and <t>. Laroche (1980:187). 74 Cf. Laroche (1987:109). Abydos 31 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 24) A difficult inscription with many gaps. Neu (1988:41). Laroche (1980:267). Neu (1987:44). Catsanicos (1996). Catsanicos (1996). Cf. Abydos 30 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 23) The inscription may read from left to right <t l x ṭ w (?) q n ts (?) > *[talix(?)74 ṭiwu(?)75 qunts(?)76] ‘The affair has been purified kneeling (?)’. This inscription may be written in Hurrian. Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:270). 77 Cf. Laroche (1980:164). This inscription is most certainly written in Hurrian. . Wegener (2007:264). Laroche (1980:192). 69 Cf. Laroche (1980:164). Neu (1988:43). The shape of <r> is ambiguous as it can be written headfirst or head-behind. Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:282).

9. The inscription contains twice the name of the god Râ *[riˀa]. The second line may read <muzāri mādizγiˀa> ‘Sublime is the one who makes wise (?)’. 85 Cf. Neu (1988:44). Laroche (1980:260). Laroche (1980:173). 84 Cf. It may read <t ˀa j ś> *[tiˀajaś83] ‘They are numerous (?)’. Laroche (1980:260). Abydos 34 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 26b) Another short but uneasy inscription. Wegener (2007:285). Wegener (2007:267). 81 Cf. . Abydos 33 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 26a) A short but uneasy inscription. It may read <r ˀa w m g γ86 : m (dz?) l γ> *[riˀawi magiγ : mudziliγ87] ‘The desire (?) of the god Râ : may it or he/she be righteous (?)’. Adiego (2007:91) overruns the second word-separator in order to read a “well-known Carian name” which actually starts with Râ *[r(i)ˀa]. Laroche (1980:175). 80 Cf. Wegener (2007:268). The inscription may read <[1. 86 Cf. The form *[naγu(s?)wāś (?)] may be a metathesis of *[naγusawśa]. Cf. Laroche (1980:267). Cf. Abydos 35 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 27) An inscription with a peculiar alphabet. Abydos 36 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 28) 78 79 Cf. 87 Cf. Catsanicos (1996). Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:285). Wegener (2007:263). Laroche (1980:145). 82 Cf. 83 Cf. Laroche (1980:267). a feature that has remained unnoticed. Neu (1988:44). Laroche (1980:249).] n γ (?) w a ś n s ˀa : r ˀa : (?) w (?) z : r ˀa : q p γ ṭ w [2.] (? ?) a d z γ a : n s γ s> *[naγu(s?)wāś79 (?) nisiˀa : riˀa : naγiwaz80 (?) : riˀa : qipiγ81 ṭiwu82 / (? ?) : nisiγ su(yi ?)] ‘We have put his gain on the ground : (for) the god Râ : our gift : (for) the god Râ is given things : (? ?) : all is (his) gain’. Wegener (2007:285).Abydos 32 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 25) A rather long and complex inscription with a peculiar alphabet. Wegener (2007:268). Laroche (1980:175). Catsanicos (1996). Abydos 8. Catsanicos (1996). It may read <t ˀa (?) ṭ w> *[tiˀa(?)84 ṭiwu85] ‘Things (that is to say: gifts) are numerous (?)’. Laroche (1980:164). Wegener (2007:285). 10.

Catsanicos (1996). [then] taken away and entered [the temple]’.While some rarer signs remain to be elucidated. 92 Cf. 97 Cf. This inscription seems to be closer to Hurrian. Catsanicos (1996). Laroche (1980:145). 96 Cf. Laroche (1980:223). It will be shown below that this claim is absurd hogwash. Laroche (1980:215). it was there. Cf. Laroche (1980:113). Wegener (2007:276). Abydos 37 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 29) This inscription may read <(?) b w z : n γ t b ṭ l ś (?) s γ b> *[gibawza90 (?) : naγutib91 ṭaluś92 siγib93] ‘We put [our gift]. the question of the Carian alphabet may be viewed as decided. Catsanicos (1996).A difficult inscription. 93 Cf. Laroche (1980:175). Abydos 39 (Murray 1904) This inscription may read <(?) r d l l> *[kiri96dilla] ‘We are free’ or *[sari97dilla] ‘We desire’. Laroche (1980:267). . Another interesting inscription to look at is the Kaunos bilingual. Wegener (2007:275). Wegener (2007:263). 95 Cf. Laroche (1980:185). Neu (1988:43). Laroche (1980:2485). Wegener (2007:263). 88 89 Cf. Melchert (2004:65) boldly asserts that: The new Carian–Greek bilingual from Kaunos has shown conclusively the essential validity of the Ray–Adiego–Schürr system. The new bilingual has not led to immediate equally dramatic progress in our grasp of the language. Wegener (2007:268). Abydos 38 (Friedrich 1932 Nr 30) This inscription may read <x(?) m t (?) j ź u z> *[xummi94 tijuźauza(?)95] ‘We spoke in front of the altar (?)’. It may read <(?) d j n r b l p> *[tadaji88 niribilip89] ‘[Done] well with love (?)’. Neu (1988:44). Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:285). 91 Cf. Neu (1988:45). while also confirming the suspicion of local variation in the use of the Carian alphabet. Catsanicos (1996). Neu (1988:44). Catsanicos (1996). 94 Cf. Wegener (2007:282). Catsanicos (1996). Wegener (2007:284). 7. 90 Cf. Wegener (2007:269). Of this document. Catsanicos (1996).

Translates KA 5. one cannot speak of a complete decipherment until there are generally accepted interpretations of a substantial body of texts – a stage not yet fully attained. This remark applies even to the new bilingual.The 18th line of the Carian text occupied only the left part of the line. The 5 first lines of Greek are rather well-preserved and we will compare them to the 6 first lines of Carian. and indeed. instead of being just rephonemicized in Carian.According to the first lines of the Greek text. A number of inferences and descriptive remarks can be made: . while the corresponding Carian is manifestly quite independent in its phrasing of what must be essentially the same contents. This is only slightly obscured by the fact that the Greek Person names seem to be half-translated into Carian. the Carian text misses about two letters at the end in the 13 first lines. Lycian. which seem to be missing no letters. . Frei. One recurrent question about so-called “bilinguals” is to determine whether they are bilingual in the weak or the strong sense: Are they a coarse and remotely allusive equivalent of one another or are they a close and nearly literal translation of one language into the other? It will be shown below that the Kaunos bilingual most probably was a bilingual in the strong sense. which contain 26 lines of letters. One reason for this is that the Greek text of the Kaunos Bilingual is a formulaic proxenia decree. x] I V O H [x x] D U H = *diˀuγi ‘it is said [that]’ Translates KA 5. and Marek 1998. So.What is left of the Carian text (18 lines) is much longer than what is left of the Greek part (7 lines). However. so that it is unclear whether the Carian and Greek sections originally were a strictly equivalent translation of one another. to judge from the first lines of each language. The Kaunos Bilingual has provided welcome confirmation of the view that Carian is an IndoEuropean Anatolian language. as one can easily confirm by reading the competing linguistic analyses in Blümel. the corresponding Carian is manifestly quite equivalent in its phrasing of what must be essentially the same word-for-word contents in the Greek part. contrary to what Melchert (2004) believes: in fact.18 EDOΞE. of the western type of Luvian. the first lines of Carian are : 1. The following very sketchy description of the language must therefore be taken as highly provisional! To say the least. According to Adiego (2007:154-156).18 KAVNOIS . Q U N H Ś = *Qaˀunihi-ś ‘(by) the Kaunians’ NB: < I V > is better read < O >. which suggests that the direction of writing was from left to right. . the first 18 lines are Carian and the last 7 are written in Greek. and Lydian. It will be shown below that the Carian text is very close in its contents to the Greek text.“Decipherment” without any simultaneously improved understanding of the Carian language is a conspicuous feature of the Ray–Adiego–Schürr-cum-Melchert system. the first word of the Greek text. what is the Kaunos Greek-Carian bilingual? What has been retrieved of the original document is now three reassembled parts.

as in Abydos. Short vowels are conspicuously not indicated. son of Nikolewa. from Athens.” A few letters do not seem to be distinguished as they should: .A [a] (not **[n]) ~ [n] (not **[a]) ~ [k]. L U Ś K R S = Lūśi-kras-xx Translates KA 5.19-20 ∆HMIO / PΓOU A T N H = Atenaγi-xx ‘Athenian(s)’ Translates KA 5.21 IΠΠOΣΘHNOVΣ The Carian seems to be a derivative of (Hurrian) aššu ‘horse’. and Lūśi-kras-xx(?) Lūśi-klewās. son of Athena[io].23 [A]ΘΗΝΑΙΟΝ x x E T A N A W S = tānu-ˀawsa ‘we have done [this]’ Ṭ D T A S x x = ṭadarās-xx ‘for [our] friends’ Both words translate KA 5. 6.21 ΛVΣIKΛEOVΣ A S U T W x x = Asū-t-w-xx (Hippo-sthenos) Seems to translate KA 5. .M Z X = *muzu-xi = ‘[this] has been placed’ This refers to the bilingual itself.22 ΛVΣIKPA-(T?) O P O O x x L U Ś K L W/S(?) A S = Lūśi-klewās A T N H x x = Atenaγi-xx ‘Athenian’ 3. We have done [this] [for our] friends: Lūśi-kles Asū-t-w-xx(?). Ṭ [x x] = (probably) *ṭu[rūbi] ‘foreign’ Translates KA 5. 5.23 ΠΡOΞENOVΣ S M . P >.23 ΠΡOΞENOVΣ 2. 4. Athena-(γi) is written as < > and < >. [t] ~ or O [l] ~ O [ś] For example.(R?) L = summi-(r?)ili ‘[and for the] hand-worker’ Translates KA 5. but this seems to exist neither in Greek nor Carian.A ~ [t] ~ [t]. V (?) x x Ṭ X Ṭ = ṭaxi-ṭa ‘for the man’ Continued translation of KA 5.24 [A]IEVEPΓETAΣ O P O O E x x L U Ś K L S = Lūśi-kles Translates KA 5. The Carian first 6 lines translate as: “It is declared that by the Qaunians [this] has been placed on behalf of the foreign man and the hand-worker. A E P x x N K L W S H = Nikolewas-iγi ‘Nikolewa-ian’ Adiego (2007:155) reads **Nikoklea. . The document makes a very clear distinction between the consonant [w] < E > and the long vowel [ū] < .

in: Jean-Marie Durand (ed. Ph. Altkleinasiatische Sprachen. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. pp. .). Paris: L’Harmattan. Amurru 1. Hans Die alphabetischen Keilschrifttexte von Ras Schamra. Spuler (ed. 31—53. References Adiego. 1—30. support and reinforce these conclusions. Gene 1997a “Hurrian”. 197—296. I. J. Friedrich. Igor M. 1961 Old Akkadian Writing and Grammar.7. Gragg. Meyers (ed. Altkleinasiatische. Bauer. Stefano 1992 Die mantischen Texte. Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations. München: R. 1969a “Churritisch”. Frederic William 1964 A Grammar of the Hurrian Language. As a conclusion of this short sketch. . Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.. Diakonoff.Carian is written in a set of near strictly consonantal alphabets. 7. Spuler (ed. in: Eric M. Catsanicos. Texte aus Boğazköy. Leiden: E. pp. 1971 Hurrisch und Urartäisch. New York. Abteilung. P. we will reaffirm a few core inferences: . Ignace J. and Sergej A. 2003 Histoire du Mitanni. Leiden: E. dissertation. collection Kubaba. 3:125—126.The “definitive” Ray–Adiego–Schürr-cum-Melchert pseudo-“decipherment” is bogus. de Martino. 2nd edition. Brandeis University.). Brill.). Johannes 1932 Kleinasiatische Sprachdenkmäler. close to Semitic practices. Roma: Bonsignori. Kitzinger. Frei. NY. Corpus der hurritischen Sprachdenkmäler. Berlin: Walter de 1936 Gruyter. J.D. 1996 “L’apport de la bilingue Ḫattuša à la lexicologie hourrite”. We are confident that future research on Carian can only bolster. Bush. in: B.). Jean. München: R. IL: The University of Chicago Press. Department of Mediterranean Studies. J. Marek 1997 “Die karisch-griechische Bilingue von Kaunos. Brill. and C. Gelb. and Oxford: Oxford University Press.The Carian “language” is in fact a dialect of Hurrian. Starostin 1986 Hurro-Urartian as an Eastern Caucasian Language. Chicago. Igor M.” in Kadmos 36:1–89. Diakonoff. Kitzinger. Leiden. 1969b “Urartäisch”. . in: B. London: Brill. pp. Freu. Ignacio-Javier 2007 The Carian Language.

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