3,500 YEAR AGO THE STARS SEEN BY KITANE, BULL JUMPER WERE DIFFERENT FROM TODAY

BullJumper_Cover_11

Keftiu Astronomy Research for the just-released Kitane, Bull Jumper: Courting and Catastrophe in the Bronze Age (https://amzn.to/2wuLMk8)

Over the course of a year, the nighttime stars appear to rotate around the earth. Different star configurations, called constellations, become associated with the seasons. For a contemporary example, the astrology signs of Cancer, Leo, and Virgo are the summer constellations.

An exception to this rule is the North Star, Polaris. In recent history, Polaris was fixed. It was believed to be always in the north.

Ancient civilization observed several cycles, from the daily cycle of the Sun to the monthly cycle of the Moon, and the annual cycle of the constellations. The objects that failed to follow these cycles were the planets (named for the Greek word wanderers).

In the last century, science has identified several longer cycles, now collectively called Milankovitch cycles. These cycles include orbital eccentricity, obliquity, and precession, with time periods of approximately 100,000 years, 41,000 years, and 25,771.5 years respectively.

For the purposes of formulating astrology for the Keftiu (3,500 years ago), the authors only considered precession.

The star directly above the rotational axis is the North Star. In the current era, we are fortunate that axis points to Polaris. However, this is not always true. In general, the axis points to empty space. There is no North Star.

Let’s just review the current situation. The North Star is located by finding the Big Dipper, aka Big Bear, aka Ursa Major. A couple of stars in this constellation point to Polaris. Polaris is a star at handle-end of the Little Dipper, aka Little Bear, aka Ursa Minor.

During the time of our story, there was no ideal North Star, like Polaris. However, the star closest to the north would have been the chosen North Star of the time.

For the purposes of the Keftiu, the authors renamed these two constellations with Keftiu-appropriate names: Big Double Axe and the Little Double Axe (Labrys). The North Star is on the handle end of the Little Double Axe and is called the Bull Star.

Keftiu sailors would have located the Big Double Axe and followed two stars to locate the Bull Star within the Little Double Axe. This is like the process used in the current era, except that different stars are employed, even though the polar constellations are the same.

The other effect of precession is the movement of the constellations with respect to the seasons. 3,500-years-ago represents a change of one zodiac sign. Thus, while Cancer, Leo, Virgo are summer constellations now, Leo, Virgo, and Libra would have been summer constellations in the past.

Of course, the Keftiu would have had their own names for the constellations. The authors renamed the constellations for the Keftiu as follows:

Spring: Spring Flowers, Initiates, Triton

Summer: Dolphin, Snake Goddess, Swallow

Autumn: Three Women, Octopus, Trading Ship

Winter: Bull Jumper, Papyrus, Bee

Double Axes with Bull Star

Advertisements

3,500 YEARS AGO THE ISLAND OF THERA WAS ALMOST DESTROYED BY A VOLCANO

THERA 2018 post proof

On an island in the Middle Sea, 3500 years ago, Kitane will inherit only if she marries soon. There are plenty of suitors, but Kitane can’t decide—there is something she must do first.

The God Potidas is angry. The ground rumbles and islanders flee from the threatening volcano at Thera. Will the Goddess Jasasara intervene and save Her people?

If Kit doesn’t succeed, she’ll lose everything. Can Kitane’s renowned bull jumping convince the Goddess to help? Will she choose the right suitor?

Your read all about Kitane’s adventure in the just-released Kitane, Bull Jumper: Courting and Catastrophe in the Bronze Age (https://amzn.to/2wuLMk8)

Here is a map of Thera prior to the explosion of Kaimeni Island. Present day Santorini is a shadow of Thera. The priestesses warned everyone to leave when the volcano spewed clouds of smoke and shook both Thera and Keftiu with earthquakes. Kitane’s aunt, cousin, and entire family came to live at Suramarti. That was just the beginnings of changes due to this powerful volcano.

BullJumper_Cover_11

3,500 YEARS AGO KITANE, BULL JUMPER WROTE IN LINEAR A – STILL NOT DECODED

BullJumper_Cover_11

Keftiu Language and Writing Research for the just-released Kitane, Bull Jumper: Courting and Catastrophe in the Bronze Age (https://amzn.to/2wuLMk8)

Historical fiction presents a mixture of opportunities and challenges. The more remote the setting, the more the authors must fill in blanks in the historical record. My co-author and I have chosen a bronze age setting, about 3,500 years ago. The bronze age is on the boundary between history and archeology. Artifacts, pottery, ruins, and middens tend to be more important and plentiful than written records during this time.

While many cultures had developed writing by the bronze age, few of these have been deciphered. One bronze age system has been famously deciphered: Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

Many systems are on the other side of the ledger, including:

  • Harappan: Indus Valley from 3500 to 1900 BCE.
  • Olmec: Middle America from 1250 to 400 BCE.
  • Ba and Shu: Southwestern China 5th and 4th century BCE.
  • Linear A: Crete from 2500 to 1450 BCE.

In general, scientists cannot decipher writing systems without a connection to a known language. With the dearth of written evidence, writers take advantage of whatever evidence is available. We set our novel on Minoan Crete during the time when Linear A was in use, thus the written history provided little information.

Fortunately, the Minoan civilization lasted from 2600 to 1400 BCE and left many artifacts, most notably the temple/palace at Knossos. During the time of our novel, an enormous volcanic eruption preserved the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri on Thera (much like Pompeii).

While we included much of the archeological research, we also wanted to credit their written record. While scholars have not deciphered the language of Linear A, they do understand the phonetics of the alphabet. We used this limited syllabary to name our characters with one notable exception.

We took inspiration for this story from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew where one sister is named Bianca. There is no B sound in the Linear A syllabary, but we compromised in favor of the bard. We chose Biaja for the sister’s name and used the Linear A “P” sound to spell it. Keftiu nameplates for Biaja, Kitane, and Jura employ Linear A, while the Hellene names for Tros and Paian use Linear B.

We resolved other vocabulary issues drawing on the written record of other cultures, both historical and current. The Minoans lived during a time where other people were writing history, notably the Myceneans (Greeks) to the north and Egyptians to the south. For example, we don’t know what the Minoans called themselves, so we used the names used by the Egyptians (Keftiu)—another word not available with the Linear A alphabet (no “F”). We took the same approach with place names which are only known by the Greek today, such as Phaistos.

In cases where we needed ancient vocabulary, we drew on known lexicons from the area, including Greek, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern languages.

We believe that this attention to details and careful decisions is much of the fun of reading and writing historical fiction. Linear A and Linear B are two similar bronze age writing systems. While archeologists have deciphered Linear B (proto-Greek), they have had no success with Linear A (Minoan). Famously, they have deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics with the help of the Rosetta Stone. This was an exceptional achievement.

The Phaistos Disc discovered in 1908 is the most famous example of Linear A.

We have used the conceit of an educated historian (Paian) who has knowledge of both Linear A and B, writing a “history” copied into both languages, which provides a “Rosetta Stone” for Dr. Martis to find 3500 years later.

The Phaistos Disc offered hope for the decoding of Linear A, but after over a century, it is still only a hope.

PhaistosDiskExactCopy-public domain

3,500 YEARS AGO THE MIDDLE SEA WAS THE HOME TO KITANE, BULL JUMPER

MIDDLE SEA 2018 post-proof (corrected)

On an island in the Middle Sea, 3500 years ago, Kitane will inherit only if she marries soon. There are plenty of suitors, but Kitane can’t decide—there is something she must do first.

The God Potidas is angry. The ground rumbles and islanders flee from the threatening volcano at Thera. Will the Goddess Jasasara intervene and save Her people?

If Kit doesn’t succeed, she’ll lose everything. Can Kitane’s renowned bull jumping convince the Goddess to help? Will she choose the right suitor?

Your read all about Kitane’s adventure in the just-released Kitane, Bull Jumper: Courting and Catastrophe in the Bronze Age (https://amzn.to/2wuLMk8)

Here is a map of the Middle Sea where Suramarti traders exchanged their finely decorated pottery with a variety of natural motifs. Marine images were particularly valuable. The also crafted fine jewelry. They traded with the primitive Hellene Territories for raw materials. The great island of Alashiya was a source of ore which they traded for cypress from the Hittite empire, resin from Arzawa, and gold, ebony, and ivory from the Pharaoh of Kmt. Kitane found the captain Tros to be attractive and exciting, even though her mother thought he was a pirate.

BullJumper_Cover_11

3,500 YEAR AGO SHAKESPEARE’S TAMING OF THE SHREW MIGHT HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT

BullJumper_Cover_11

Two Minoan daughters Kitane and Biaja, of the rich and powerful Suramarti family, were thinking of marriage. Plenty of suitors were interested, but beyond this, the story diverges from Shakespeare’s comedy. Most importantly, the Minoan island of Keftiu is a matriarchy. The Suramarti villa, workshops, farms, orchards, and their fleet of trading ships all pass down the maternal line to a selected daughter.

Two older sisters have already been disqualified. Kitane is next in line, but her mother has set a deadline of her seventeenth birthday. Kit has her own agenda leading to conflicts of choice, timing, and conditions. In addition, the gods contribute their influence through a volcano and earthquakes.

You can follow her adventure in the just-released Kitane, Bull Jumper: Courting and Catastrophe in the Bronze Age (https://amzn.to/2wuLMk8)

KITANE, BULL JUMPER: COURTING AND CATASTROPHE IN THE BRONZE AGE

BullJumper_Cover_11

2018 Keftiu map overview

On an island in the Middle Sea, 3500 years ago, Kitane will inherit only if she marries soon. There are plenty of suitors, but Kitane can’t decide—there is something she must do first.

The God Potidas is angry. The ground rumbles and islanders flee from the threatening volcano at Thera. Will the Goddess Jasasara intervene and save Her people?

If Kit doesn’t succeed, she’ll lose everything. Can Kitane’s renowned bull jumping convince the Goddess to help? Will she choose the right suitor?

You can read all about Kitane’s adventure in the just-released Kitane, Bull Jumper: Courting and Catastrophe in the Bronze Age (https://amzn.to/2wuLMk8)

Here is a map of Kitane’s world. It centers around the architectural masterpiece of Knossos with its 1,300 rooms and 24,000 square meters of space. A short distance north is the harbor of Amnisos where her family’s trading business has warehouses. Her family lives at the Suramarti villa a day’s journey west of Knossos. Another day farther is the sacred site of Mount Ida.

2018 Keftiu map inset

3,500 year ago the stars seen by Kitane, Bull Jumper were different from today

BullJumper_Front_Cover_11

Keftiu Astronomy Research for Kitane, Bull Jumper

Over the course of a year, the nighttime stars appear to rotate around the earth. Different star configurations, called constellations, become associated with the seasons. For a contemporary example, the astrology signs of Cancer, Leo, and Virgo are the summer constellations.

An exception to this rule is the North Star, Polaris. In recent history, Polaris was fixed. It was believed to be always in the north.

Ancient civilization observed several cycles, from the daily cycle of the Sun to the monthly cycle of the Moon, and the annual cycle of the constellations. The objects that failed to follow these cycles were the planets (named for the Greek word wanderers).

In the last century, science has identified several longer cycles, now collectively called Milankovitch cycles. These cycles include orbital eccentricity, obliquity, and precession, with time periods of approximately 100,000 years, 41,000 years, and 25,771.5 years respectively.

For the purposes of formulating astrology for the Keftiu (3,500 years ago), the authors only considered precession.

 

The star directly above the rotational axis is the North Star. In the current era, we are fortunate that axis points to Polaris. However, this is not always true. In general, the axis points to empty space. There is no North Star.

Let’s just review the current situation. The North Star is located by finding the Big Dipper, aka Big Bear, aka Ursa Major. A couple of stars in this constellation point to Polaris. Polaris is a star at handle-end of the Little Dipper, aka Little Bear, aka Ursa Minor.

During the time of our story, there was no ideal North Star, like Polaris. However, the star closest to the north would have been the chosen North Star of the time.

For the purposes of the Keftiu, the authors renamed these two constellations with Keftiu-appropriate names: Big Double Axe and the Little Double Axe (Labrys). The North Star is on the handle end of the Little Double Axe and is called the Bull Star.

Keftiu sailors would have located the Big Double Axe and followed two stars to locate the Bull Star within the Little Double Axe. This is like the process used in the current era, except that different stars are employed, even though the polar constellations are the same.

The other effect of precession is the movement of the constellations with respect to the seasons. 3,500-years-ago represents a change of one zodiac sign. Thus, while Cancer, Leo, Virgo are summer constellations now, Leo, Virgo, and Libra would have been summer constellations in the past.

Of course, the Keftiu would have had their own names for the constellations. The authors renamed the constellations for the Keftiu as follows:

Spring: Spring Flowers, Initiates, Triton

Summer: Dolphin, Snake Goddess, Swallow

Autumn: Three Women, Octopus, Trading Ship

Winter: Bull Jumper, Papyrus, Bee

3,500 years ago Kitane, Bull Jumper wrote in Linear A – still not decoded

BullJumper_Front_Cover_11

Keftiu Language and Writing Research for Kitane, Bull Jumper

Historical fiction presents a mixture of opportunities and challenges. The more remote the setting, the more the authors must fill in blanks in the historical record. My co-author and I have chosen a bronze age setting, about 3,500 years ago. The bronze age is on the boundary between history and archeology. Artifacts, pottery, ruins, and middens tend to be more important and plentiful than written records during this time.

While many cultures had developed writing by the bronze age, few of these have been deciphered. One bronze age system has been famously deciphered: Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

Many systems are on the other side of the ledger, including:

  • Harappan: Indus Valley from 3500 to 1900 BCE.
  • Olmec: Middle America from 1250 to 400 BCE.
  • Ba and Shu: Southwestern China 5th and 4th century BCE.
  • Linear A: Crete from 2500 to 1450 BCE.

In general, scientists cannot decipher writing systems without a connection to a known language. With the dearth of written evidence, writers take advantage of whatever evidence is available. We set our novel on Minoan Crete during the time when Linear A was in use, thus the written history provided little information.

Fortunately, the Minoan civilization lasted from 2600 to 1400 BCE and left many artifacts, most notably the temple/palace at Knossos. During the time of our novel, an enormous volcanic eruption preserved the Minoan settlement of Akrotiri on Thera (much like Pompeii).

While we included much of the archeological research, we also wanted to credit their written record. While scholars have not deciphered the language of Linear A, they do understand the phonetics of the alphabet. We used this limited syllabary to name our characters with one notable exception.

We took inspiration for this story from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew where one sister is named Bianca. There is no B sound in the Linear A syllabary, but we compromised in favor of the bard. We chose Biaja for the sister’s name and used the Linear A “P” sound to spell it. Keftiu nameplates for Biaja, Kitane, and Jura employ Linear A, while the Hellene names for Tros and Paian use Linear B.

We resolved other vocabulary issues drawing on the written record of other cultures, both historical and current. The Minoans lived during a time where other people were writing history, notably the Myceneans (Greeks) to the north and Egyptians to the south. For example, we don’t know what the Minoans called themselves, so we used the names used by the Egyptians (Keftiu)—another word not available with the Linear A alphabet (no “F”). We took the same approach with place names which are only known by the Greek today, such as Phaistos.

In cases where we needed ancient vocabulary, we drew on known lexicons from the area, including Greek, Egyptian, and Middle Eastern languages.

We believe that this attention to details and careful decisions is much of the fun of reading and writing historical fiction. Linear A and Linear B are two similar bronze age writing systems. While archeologists have deciphered Linear B (proto-Greek), they have had no success with Linear A (Minoan). Famously, they have deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphics with the help of the Rosetta Stone. This was an exceptional achievement.

The Phaistos Disc discovered in 1908 is the most famous example of Linear A.

We have used the conceit of an educated historian (Paian) who has knowledge of both Linear A and B, writing a “history” copied into both languages, which provides a “Rosetta Stone” for Dr. Martis to find 3500 years later.

3,500 years ago the island of Thera was almost destroyed by a volcano

THERA 2018 post proof

On an island in the Middle Sea, 3500 years ago, Kitane will inherit only if she marries soon. There are plenty of suitors, but Kitane can’t decide—there is something she must do first.

The God Potidas is angry. The ground rumbles and islanders flee from the threatening volcano at Thera. Will the Goddess Jasasara intervene and save Her people?

If Kit doesn’t succeed, she’ll lose everything. Can Kitane’s renowned bull jumping convince the Goddess to help? Will she choose the right suitor?

You can support Kitane by nominating her on Kindle Scout – no cost – no obligation. https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/19GV1GDONJK28 Her story will be available on Amazon in May 2018.

Here is a map of Thera prior to the explosion of Kaimeni Island. Present day Santorini is a shadow of Thera. The priestesses warned everyone to leave when the volcano spewed clouds of smoke and shook both Thera and Keftiu with earthquakes. Kitane’s aunt, cousin, and entire family came to live at Suramarti. That was just the beginnings of changes due to this powerful volcano.

BullJumper_Front_Cover_11

3,500 years ago the Middle Sea was the home to Kitane, Bull Jumper

MIDDLE SEA 2018 post-proof (corrected)

On an island in the Middle Sea, 3500 years ago, Kitane will inherit only if she marries soon. There are plenty of suitors, but Kitane can’t decide—there is something she must do first.

The God Potidas is angry. The ground rumbles and islanders flee from the threatening volcano at Thera. Will the Goddess Jasasara intervene and save Her people?

If Kit doesn’t succeed, she’ll lose everything. Can Kitane’s renowned bull jumping convince the Goddess to help? Will she choose the right suitor?

You can support Kitane by nominating her on Kindle Scout – no cost – no obligation. https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/19GV1GDONJK28 Her story will be available on Amazon in May 2018.

Here is a map of the Middle Sea where Suramarti traders exchanged their finely decorated pottery with a variety of natural motifs. Marine images were particularly valuable. The also crafted fine jewelry. They traded with the primitive Hellene Territories for raw materials. The great island of Alashiya was a source of ore which they traded for cypress from the Hittite empire, resin from Arzawa, and gold, ebony, and ivory from the Pharaoh of Kmt. Kitane found the captain Tros to be attractive and exciting, even though her mother thought he was a pirate.

BullJumper_Front_Cover_11

Flyers and Promotions