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Awakenings Chapter 5: Focusings, Page 2

Simone set out a third wine glass. “I have open a bottle of the Slate Ridge Pinot Noir.  It was a silver medal winner at the state fair.”

Joe nodded his head yes as he set down the folder to open it.  “I have a lot more photographs that were sent to me”.  Looking at Simone and Rick in turn, he said, “You understand that I must keep this very confidential.”

Simone looked at Rick.  “I explained to Rick that this is very sensitive stuff.”

Rick nodded in assent. “I promise not to disclose this.  Besides my natural intellectual curiosity, my main purpose is to help your cousins figure out what they have. If you will let me take copies of the photographs back with me, I can be of the most help.”

Joe shook his head. “This is probably more sensitive than you realize.  I can let you take notes though.”

Rick, with mild disappointment showing on his face, picked up a pen and prepared to take notes.  Simone just glanced over to him saying, “Just like I said.”

Rick began sorting through the photographs.  Simone snagged the one that, the last time she had a chance to look at these, she had figured out that it was mirror writing.

Joe smiled. “I’ve started running anything with unrecognizable lettering through a mirror transformation in my photo editing software.  Here is that one corrected.” He pulled out another photograph.

Simone took the image.  “Of course, the neat Latin handwriting.  From what I can pick out, it does look like a recipe.  Oh look, this word ‘frendo’, means crush.  Here is the word ‘vindemia’, which means a kind of wine grape.  This looks like directions for preparing grapes to make wine!  Some of this is pretty weird though.

Rick interrupted. “This one is Mycenaean, written in the Linear B, no, Linear A type of script, which has never been deciphered! This is very curious, Mycenaean was a language of the Minoans, you know, Ancient Crete.   They only wrote on clay tablets, that we know of.  We think, at least from the Linear B writings, that it mostly was for tracking trade transactions.  This is at least several hundred years older, maybe thousands of years older than the first known Greek writings!”  Rick’s hands were shaking as he took a sip of wine.

Simone picked out another one of the pages. “Here is the one with the grape symbol containing the eye.” She opened a thick volume to a book-marked page.  “See, here is a similar symbol of a grape leaf surrounded by a circle of branches of some kind of fine leafed herb.  Wow, it even has the same Greek writing around the eye!”

Rick stood up to look over Simone’s shoulder. “The Greeks placed a large eye symbol on drinking vessels called kylikes to ward off evil.  It is thought that these vessels, from about the 6th century BC, were used to drink wine.  The eye prevented dangerous spirits from entering the mouth with the wine.” Rick grinned.  “They probably had some quality control issues with their wine.  Also, the Greeks painted eyes on the battering rams at the bow of their warships.”  Ed reached into his pocket and pulled out a dollar bill. “Here is the eye of providence which has origins to the eye of Ra from the ancient Egyptians.  There are a lot of possibilities about what the eye represents, but the eye with the grape leaf symbol may actually predate the classical Greeks.  Some think it comes from the cultures along the Adriatic Sea.  This symbol is often seen in association with Ancient Greek alchemy.” Rick was clearly very excited.

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