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 1352 +

KN Da 1352 suggests that a shepherd – whose name has not been preserved due to the fragmentary nature of the text (]ti-jo) – managed no less than of 200 rams at Phaistos (pa-i-to) under the supervision of u-ta-jo (Urtaios), one of the most important collectors of Knossos (Greco 2000; Greco 2010).

The form ]ti-jo occurs in the same position in the Dagv group on KN Db 5715 and KN Dv 5297, in relation with the place names da-*22-to and qa-mo respectively (Greco 2010, 154, 209). Unfortunately, the fragmentary nature of the text does not allow us to restore this anthroponym. The anthroponym u-ta-jo is widely attested in the series D. As indicated by the epigraphic evidence, this individual – together with we-we-si-jo – was certainly one of the “great” collectors of Knossos. He managed a large number of flocks, located practically in almost each of the kingdom’s provinces (Greco 2000, 4-7; Greco 2010, 60-61). Its name occurs 29 times in relation with localities belonging to the district of Phaistos (5 times at da-wo, 6 times at e-ko-so, 7 times at e-ra, 3 times at pa-i-to, 3 times at ku-ta-to and 5 times at da-*22-to) in the Dagv group, and is attested also in other localities of the kingdom of Knossos. These places appear to be situated  in other regions, although not far from Phaistos itself (in particular, the anthroponym appears: 4 times at qa-mo, qa-ra, su-ri-mo and ru-ki-to, 8 times at ra-ja, ra-su-to, ri-jo-no, tu-ni-ja and do-ti-ja and, finally, 3 times at *56-ko-we) (Del Freo 2016, 625-633).  It is generally believed that these toponyms were located in a large area covering most of the central-western part of Crete. It has therefore been suggested that this individual was probably operating regionally. (Bennet 1992; Greco 2000, 4, 7; Greco 2010, 61).

.A        ]                     ụ-ta-jo-jo  ,     OVISm   200[

.B        ]ti-jo  , / pa-i-to  ,         [

]tijo (?), (at) Phaistos, under the supervision of Urtaios, 200(+) rams.

 ]ti-jo: it is likely to be a masculine anthroponym in the nominative singular. This fragmentary form occurs also on two tablets, KN Db 5715 and KN Dv 5297, in relation with the place names da-*22-to and qa-mo (Greco 2010, 154, 209).

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.

U-ta-jo-jo: masculine anthroponym, in the genitive 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 function of this figure more in depth (but see introduction to class D- and Greco 2010). However, as regards u-ta-jo, it seems clear that he was one of the most important collectors, since he is involved in the management of many sheep flocks and it seems likely that he managed a large area covering most of the central-western part of Crete (Bennet 1992, 92; Greco 2010, 61).

⇒  Further information on LiBER

The tablet Da 1352 + 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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