Preliminary Notes (Dq series)
The tablets belonging to the series Dq fall into four sub-groups which are usually called ‘sets’ – conventionally, these are known to include Dq(1), Dq(2), Dq(3) and Dq(4), and are generally attributed to scribes H 121, H 216, H 217 and H 106, respectively.
This series, thus attributed to four scribes, records flocks of sheep made up either of rams alone, or of rams and ewes, or rams and ewes including old sheep / deficits.
Sets Dq(2), Dq(1) and Dq(3) seem to be linked to the administrative work of scribe H 117. This important scribe is known to have compiled numerous documents (Da, Db, Dc, Dd, De, Df, Dg, Dh, Dk, Dm, Dn, Dp and Dv).
Set Dq(3), to which the subject of this article belongs, comprises eleven texts. Seven of these are attributed to scribe H 217, while four remain of uncertain attribution. The find-spot is unknown and it is difficult to date the tablet with confidence. However, a comparison with the other tablets of the same set suggests that it may be dated approximately to LM IIIA2 (towards the end of 14th cent. BC). This set appears to present analogous formulas to those used by scribe H 117: shepherd + toponym + (collector) + sheep.
This tablet belongs to set Dq(3) and is attributed to scribe H 217. Analogously to Dq(1) and Dq(2), this tablet seems to be related also to the activities in which the scribe H 117, who is known to have compiled numerous documents showing an analogous structure (Da, Db, Dc, Dd, De, Df, Dg, Dh, Dk, Dm, Dn, Dp and Dv), is involved.
The find-spot is unknown and it is difficult to date the tablet with confidence (see also other documents in the same set. However, a comparison with other tablets in the same set suggests that it may be dated approximately to LM IIIA2 (towards the end of 14th cent. BC).
The tablets in this set present similarities to those compiled by the scribe H 117: in particular, the tablet Dq(3) 7137 presents similarities to documents of the Da series. It seems likely that this tablet originally showed two lines, although it is now fragmentary. On the upper part only the last two syllabograms of a group of signs are preserved. These may be interpreted as what remains of an anthroponym, probably the name of a collector. Collectors are often recorded in the genitive, as probably in this case. On the lower part, the text presents the last syllabogram in all probability of a toponym, and a logogram, OVISm.
Since the text is extremely fragmentary, an interpretation can only be inferred on the basis of comparisons with documents belonging to the same series.
The initial anthroponym, of which only the last two syllabograms are preserved ]-ta-o, might be interpreted, and tentatively restored, in the light of recurring names such as a-na-qo-]ta-o, pe-ri-qo-]ta-o, ]ko-ta-o and wi-jo-qo-]ta-o (all of these are collectors’ names). The identification of the toponym is more difficult, as the final syllabogram ]–to, could be interpreted in the light of various place names attested in the archive of Knossos and related to sheep flocks. However, in this case the range of hypotheses might be limited to pa-i-to, ku-ta-to and da-* 22-to since only these place names showing a final -to occur in the Dq(3) series.
Considering also that collectors such as wi-jo-ko-ta and ]-ko-ta-o have to do only with Phaistos, it seems reasonable to suppose that ]-to might actually be restored as pa-i]-to (Phaistos).
Although the tablet is very fragmentary, its content may still be inferred thanks to comparisons with other texts which may lead us towards a reasonable conclusion.
In all probability, the text originally recorded the rams, and perhaps the relative wool, managed by a collector at Phaistos, whose identity cannot be established with certainty. Neither can we establish the quantity of rams originally recorded.
.a ]ta-o [
.b ]-to OVISm[
.a (of) ]-ta-o [
.b (At) Phaistos (?): rams …
]ta-o: end of an anthroponym in the genitive singular. Probably a collector’s name. It might be interpreted in the light of wi-jo-qo-]ta-o, a-no-qo-]ta-o, ]ko-ta-o or pe-ri-qo]-ta-o, four collectors attested in the archive of Knossos (DMic s.v.; Greco 2010, 492-494).
]-to: the last syllabogram of a toponym, probably in the locative case. The text is too fragmentary as to allow us to identify this place name with certainty. This syllabogram is in fact very common in final position and may be found in many toponyms (DMic s.v.). In this case, however, a range of tentative restorations might be limited to pa-i-to, ku-ta-to and da- *22-to, since these are the only toponyms ending in -to attested in this class of texts (Dq(3) series) (Greco 2010, 493).
This ‘palm-leaf’ tablet is very fragmentary. However, in the light of a comparison with documents compiled by H 217, it seems reasonable to suppose that it originally measured ca. <12> x 2.3/2.4 x 1 cm – (Olivier 1967).
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