Preliminary Notes (Dagv group)

The series Da, Db, Dc, Dd, De, Df, Dg and Dv constitute a homogeneous group of texts which deal with the inventory of the flocks of sheep of the Palace. They were compiled by the most important scribe of the Palace of Knossos, H 117. This group comprises about 670 tablets, some of which are complete and others fragmentary.

Each of the above-mentioned series deals with a particular type of flock: the documents which fall into the series Da deal with flocks of sheep made up of rams (OVISm), while the Db and Dc-Dg series may record both ewes and rams (OVISm – OVISf) or flocks of various types of sheep, including sheep differentiated not only by sex, but also as being young, old or missing (pa OVISm, pe OVISm, o OVISm). The series Dv comprises tablets which cannot be classified with precision, due to their fragmentary state (Greco 2010).

All these documents were found in the same place in the Palace of Knossos, the East West Corridor, located in an area just to the east of the great central court (conventionally known as J1) (Olivier 1967; Driessen 2000). They are dated approximately between LM IIIA2 and LM IIIB (between the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 13rd century BC) (Firth-Skelton 2016; Firth-Melena 2016a).

All texts show a homogeneous structure: they typically present on the left a shepherd’s name in larger characters, the inscription then continues on the right on two lines; the top line contains a collector’s name and the logogram for the animal (sheep), followed by a numeral, while a toponym appears in the lower section.  (Greco 2010, 148).


Preliminary Notes (series Da)

The Da series comprises 131 palm-leaf tablets compiled by the scribe H 117 (Olivier 1967; Aurora 2015, DAMOS, Database of Mycenaean at Oslo). It includes all the documents dealing with flocks made up exclusively of rams. Twelve tablets in this group mention the toponym pa-i-to (Phaistòs) (Olivier 1988; Greco 2010).


Da 1164 +

This tablet shows analogous characteristics to the other tablets of the same series; in fact, it typically presents on the left a shepherd’s name (da-i-qo-ta) in larger characters; the inscription then continues on the right on two lines. The top line contains a collector’s name (we-we-si-jo) and the logogram OVISm (rams) followed by a numerical entry; a toponym (pa-i-to) appears, in the locative case, in the lower section.

Werwesios must have been one of the most important functionaries of Knossos (as regards the role of collectors. He occurs in the archive no less than forty times, and it would seem that he dealt with both the management of flocks and the production and collection of wool. It seems likely that he was in charge of many ateliers of weavers and cloth-workers.

His figure appears therefore to be distinct from other collectors. It seems, in fact, that he may have managed not only sheep breeding but also wool collection and the production of textiles and luxury garments.

The anthroponym da-i-qo-ta might be a hapax. In fact, although ]qo-ta is attested on Dl(1) 7771, the evidence is too fragmentary to allow us to establish whether this is to be considered the same anthroponym (Greco 2010, 153 and 431).

.A                                 we-we-si-jo     OVISm   130

.B        da-i-qo-ta  /  pa-i-to

Deifòntes, (at) Phaistos, under the supervision of Werwesios, 130 rams.

Da-i-qo-ta: anthroponym in the nominative singular. This is the name of a shepherd at Phaistos (pa-i-to). This appears to be unparalleled in the documents from Knossos compiled by H 117 (hapax).

Etymon: this anthroponym may be interpreted as /hi-kwhontās/ (: Δηιφόντης, Hom. Δηΐφονος) “who kills in battle”.

We-we-si-jo: masculine anthroponym, in the nominative singular, of a collector. The term collector denotes a small group of functionaries involved in the management of both flocks of sheep and textile production. The currently available evidence does not allow us to investigate the functions of this figure more in depth (Greco 2010). However, as regards we-we-si-jo, it seems clear that he was one of the most important collectors; in fact, he is involved both in the management of large flocks and the sector of wool production and weaving, and it seems likely that he managed a very large area in central-southern Crete, especially at Phaistos.

Etymon: the interpretation of this name as, possibly, /Werwesios/, in the light of Hom. εἶρος  ‘wool’, is of special interest, considering his involvement in the management both of large numbers of animals and the activity of wool weaving and production.

Pa-i-to: toponym, in the locative (/ nominative of rubric). This is a place name of pre-Greek origin, generally interpreted as /Phaistos/ (: Φαιστόϛ). The geographical localization in the plain of the Mesara, to the south of river Ieropotamos, is unanimously accepted.

⇒  Further information on LiBER

The tablet Da 1164 + belongs to a group of highly homogeneous texts compiled by scribe H 117. It measures ca. 10-14 x 2-2.5 x 1 cm (Olivier 1967).

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