Preliminary Notes (series Dp)

The Dp series consists of 12 tablets (Aurora 2015, DAMOS, Database of Mycenaean at Oslo), most of them fragmentary, written by several scribes (H 117, H 118 and H 120) and found in different deposits (B4, I3, I6, K1, K3). Due to their fragmentary state and differences, it is difficult to identify common elements in these records. However, the texts have been collected in the same series because they seem to represent final reports of wool entries from different places on Crete. Indeed, they record amounts of sheep’s wool, indicated by the *106/OVIS ideogram. In this case, the sign does not record the animal as such, but the animal origin of the wool. Sometimes *106/OVIS specifies adult male sheep, other times female sheep, others type ne animals, namely young sheep. The *106/OVIS ideogram is followed by the one for wool (*145/LANA) and is preceded by an ethnic adjective or a collector’s name. Some tablets also mention the adjectives pe-ru-si-nwa (*περυσινϝά, previous year) or ne-wa (*νέϝα, new), suggesting that the documents would refer to different fiscal years (Greco 2010, 28).


Dp 1061

The tablet is assigned to scribe H 117 and has been found within an inconsistent group of tablets in the Area of Clay Signet Room (K1). This deposit is considered to be contemporary with the East-West Corridor (J1) (Firth 2001, 238-239, 264 and 269), as H 117 would show if he was actually the scribe of KN Dp 1061 because almost all tablets assigned to him were found in J1.

In addition to the find-spot, the tablet is different from the others written by H 117 because it does not record sheep, but 456 units of sheep’s wool, collected in pa-i-to (Phaistos).

An exegetical problem of this document is related to the indicated wool units. Indeed, considering that one unit of wool was supplied on average by four adult animals, the units of wool recorded in KN Dp 1061 would have been produced by 1824 animals. This number does not match any total amount of sheep associated with pa-i-to and recorded in the rest of the D-class because the number of male and female sheep not associated with collectors is 1509 (KN Dn 1094+), while the amount of sheep associated with collectors is at least 3000.

Otherwise, since the *106/OVIS ideogram is incomplete, it may be considered as representing *106/OVISf (CoMIK s.v.; KT VI s.v.). However, even if it had been wool from female sheep only, its quantity would not match that indicated in the text, since the total number of female sheep of Phaistos would not have produced more than 116 units of wool. This hypothesis can be confirmed by the fact that KN Dp 1061 was found isolated in the deposit, as already said (Driessen 1997, 127).

Last, a further possibility concerns the hypothesis that the record of KN Dp 1061 refers to animals managed by the collector we-we-si-jo. In fact, it seems that he alone had managed at least 1820 sheep, almost the same number obtainable from KN Dp 1061. However, there are no explicit references to we-we-si-jo in the tablet, therefore, it is not possible to prove the actual validity of this hypothesis (Greco 2010, 161-162).

]sa  /  pa-i-ti-ja     OVIS:x     LANA   456[

(So much) sheep’s wool from Phaistos 456 units [


]sa: probably to-]sa, indefinite adjective of quantity, feminine singular τόσα (τόσος, -α, -ον, “so much”), probably referring to the wool indicated by the ideogram *145/LANA.

pa-i-ti-ja: ethnic feminine adjective from the toponym pa-i-to, 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.

KN Dp 1061, like the rest of the texts written by H 117, measures about 10-14 x 2-2.5 x 1 cm (Olivier 1967).

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