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 1495 +

Da 1495 + is characterised by a common structure: on the left, larger in size, it shows a shepherd’s name (qo-te-ro), on the right the toponym (pa-i-to); the top line on the right records the rams managed by this shepherd on behalf of the palace. Unlike most of the texts of this group characterized by the presence of the toponym pa-i-to, Da 1495 + does not include the name of a collector in charge of supervising the shepherds (Greco 2010). This suggests that at the time when the tablet was compiled, the shepherd qo-te-ro, working at Phaistos (pa-i-to), was directly in charge of a flock of two hundred rams.

Qo-te-ro also recurs among the 67 names attested on the famous tablet As(2) 1516.8 (DMic s.v.) which was compiled by H 101 and found in room J2, also known as the Hall of Colonnades (Greco 2010, 154). This seems to record teams of workers linked with important members of the palatial administration (Driessen 1985, 192-193; Hooker 1988, 125).

.A                                                   OVISm   200

.B        qo-te-ro  /  pa-i-to

 Qo-te-ro (the shepherd) (at) Phaistos, 200 rams.

 Qo-te-ro: anthroponym, masculine, in the nominative singular; the name of a shepherd. This name is attested at Knossos on As(2) 1516.8 and recurs also in the archive of Pylos (DMic s.v.). Within Greek onomastics, various interpretations seem to be possible (perhaps built on πόθος /Κwhotheros/ (?) but see more tentative interpretations in DMic s.v. qo-te-ro).

Pa-i-to: toponym, in the locative (/ nominative of rubric). This is a place name, 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

Da 1495 + belongs to a group of 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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