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 rams and ewes (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 numerical entry, while a toponym appears in the lower section.  (Greco 2010, 148).


Preliminary Notes (series Db)

The documents of the series Db record both rams and ewes (these are represented by logograms OVISm and OVISf). Among the 92 documents in this series, compiled by scribe, H 117 (Olivier 1967; Aurora 2015, DAMOS, Datatabes of Mycenaean at Oslo), only five mention the toponym pa-i-to (Phaistos).


Dn 1344 +

Db 1344+ shows a common structure, as is the case for most documents in the Db-series: on the left it presents a shepherd’s name in larger characters ([•]-tu-to), while, on the right, a collector’s name in the genitive case (we-we-si-jo-jo), followed by logograms for sheep and the numerals (Greco 2010, 148).

Db 1344+ records a herd composed by rams and ewes managed by the shepherd [•]-tu-to, at Phaistos (pa-i-to), under the supervision of we-we-si-jo (Werwesios), one of the most important collectors of Knossos. The name we-we-si-jo occurs in the archive of Knossos no less than forty times. He dealt with both the management of flocks and the textile production. It seems likely that he oversaw many ateliers of weavers and cloth-workers. (as for the role of collectors, see the introduction to class D-).

While the collector’s name is well known, the shepherd’s name, [•]-tu-to, is not. Indeed, it is a hapax in Linear B (DMic s.v., Greco 2010, 151-153). The first syllabogram is not easily readable; at present, the most plausible hypothesis of integration is AB 37 ti (ṭị-tu-to) (DMic s.v., CoMIK s.v., KT VI).

.A                               we-we-si-jo-jo     OVISm   170     OVISf   30

.B        [•]-tu-to  , / pa-i-to[                                         ]      vac.

We-we-si-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 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 was 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 possible interpretation of this name as /Werwesios/, in the light of Hom. εἶρος ‘wool’, is very interesting, considering his involvement in the management both of large numbers of animals and the activity of wool weaving and production.

[•]-tu-to: masculine anthroponym, in the nominative case (/ nominative of rubric), prob. hapax. The anthroponym is not fully readable, however, following the autoptic investigation conducted on the document, it was assumed to read ṭị-]tu-to (DMic s.v., CoMIK s.v., KT VI).

Etymon: the term is incomplete: it has not yet been possible to reconstruct the etymon of this anthroponym.

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

The tablet Db 1433+ belongs to a group of homogeneous texts written by scribe H 117. It measures ca. 10-14 x 2-2.5 x 1 cm (Olivier 1967). Recent studies have confirmed that the dimensions of this text are 11.3 cm x 2.25 cm x 0.97 cm (the measurements were taken in June 2019 during the epigraphic mission at the Heraklion Archaeological Museum by the team of The pa-i-to Epigraphic Project).

Coming soon

Coming soon

Data License. The 2D+ and 3D-models of artifacts presented in the database of paitoproject are for scientific, non-profit use of scientists. All 2D+ and 3D-models are subject to copyright laws with all rights reserved.
Reproduction, publication or commercial use of these 2D+3D-datasets is strictly prohibited without prior written permission. For further information, contact: Prof Alessandro Greco