Photo: Knossos; illustration: The Story of Writing

The Linear A script is largely found on clay tablets, such as this document. Linear A may encode the same language as Cretan hieroglyphics, though we do not know for sure. In this tablet, read from left to right, it is possible to make out signs for numbers (a vertical stroke is “1, ” a dot is “10, ” a circle is “100” and a checkmark is “½”) and the sign for “wine” (first sign of the second line), because these are the same in the Linear B script, which has been deciphered. The tablet can thus be partially interpreted as an accounting tablet, though it cannot be deciphered, since scholars do not know the language of the script.