Between Frustration and Progress: An Integrated Cypro-Minoan Signary and Its Paleographic Diversity

Martina Polig, Cassandra M. Donnelly

The hundred-year history of the contested Cypro-Minoan signary is reviewed, the popular subdivision of the Cypro-Minoan corpus into CM1, CM2, CM3 is reassessed with the conclusion that Cypro-Minoan should be considered a single script, and a new ‘integrated’ signary is presented. The proposed subscripts are shown to be neither internally consistent in their paleography nor do they have substantial subsets of unique signs. The integrated signary presented here is the first signary to record the full range of sign variants attested in Cypro-Minoan and it is the first signary built exclusively from reliable data recorded in a comprehensive digital sign database. The signary consists of 88 unique signs, comprising 278 sign variants, identified by sign shape. Sign shape was schematized and analyzed through computer-aided technologies, including 3D models of signs captured in submillimeter resolution. Unique signs and sign variants were distinguished through the identification of internally consistent patterns according to which sign variants were constructed across the entire corpus. The result is a transparent signary that can serve as a basis for analyzing new inscriptions and further refinements to the inventory of Cypro-Minoan signs.

Martina Polig is affiliated with Ghent University and the Cyprus Institute.

Cassandra M. Donnelly is a postdoctoral researcher for ComPAS Project at the University of Cyprus.

Full Bibliographic Reference

Polig M., Donnelly C.M., Between Frustration and Progress: An Integrated Cypro-Minoan Signary and Its Paleographic Diversity, SMEA NS 8, 2022, 41-62.

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Cypro-Minoan; paleography; Aegean scripts; 3D analysis; writing practices
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