Arkalochori Axe


The Arkalochori Axe is a 2nd millennium BC Minoan bronze votive double axe (labrys) excavated by Spyridon Marinatos in 1934 in the Arkalochori cave on Crete,[1] which is believed to have been used for religious rituals.[2] It is inscribed with fifteen symbols.

Arkalochori Axe - the central portion of the bronze labrys bears inscriptions

It has been suggested that these symbols might be Linear A, although some scholars disagree.[3]

The labrys and the Phaistos Disc are conserved in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. They share some symbols.


Of the fifteen signs, two appear to be unique. The following suggestions for comparison with Linear A and Phaistos Disc glyphs are attributed to Torsten Timm (2004).[4] Reading top to bottom, right to left, the symbols are:

Sign Comment Linear A Phaistos Disc
01   A 304   KA ??
02   AB28   I D39  
03   AB01   DA
04   D02  
06   AB05   TO ??
07   cf. 04 D02  
08   AB80   MA
09   AB04   TE ? D35  
10   cf. 04 D02  
11   AB31   SA ?? D19  
12   cf. 08 AB80   MA
13   AB06   NA ?? D23  
14   Root?
15   A338   ?

Note that reading top to bottom, right to left after turning the inscription counterclockwise gives a different sequence and numbering of the glyphs. The alternative sequence is suggested to be translatable as a text with a dedicatory offering to Tammuz.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Best, Jan G. P.; Woudhuizen, Fred (31 December 1989). Lost Languages from the Mediterranean. Brill. p. 97. ISBN 978-90-04-08934-1.
  2. ^ Whittaker, Helène (2005). "Social and Symbolic Aspects of Minoan writing". European Journal of Archaeology. 8 (2): 157–181. doi:10.1177/1461957105058207. S2CID 162881074.
  3. ^ Price, Glanville (2000). Encyclopedia of the languages of Europe. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 384. ISBN 978-0-631-22039-8.
  4. ^ Timm, Torsten (2004). "Der Diskos von Phaistos - Anmerkungen zur Deutung und Textstruktur". Indogermanische Forschungen (109): 204–231. doi:10.1515/16130405.204. S2CID 170325659. (PDF 0.5 Mb)
  5. ^ Revesz, Peter Z. "A translation of the Arkalochori Axe and the Malia Altar Stone". WSEAS Transactions on Information Science and Applications (Vol. 14, (2017)): 124–133.