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.


Dq(3) 7852

The tablet is part of the set Dq(3) and it is tentatively attributed to the scribe H 217 (?) (Greco 2010, 491).

It seems possible to hypothesise that Dq(3) 7852 originally included the same formula – anthroponym + collector + toponym + sheep – as the other tablets of the same series Dq(3), although the anthroponym and the logogram for sheep are unfortunately missing on this fragmentary tablet.

The upper part of the tablet shows the name of a collector – wi-jo-qo-ta. The same name is recorded in Dq(3) 1026 + (which includes also the toponym su-ki-ri-ta), and in Ld(1) 598, a document dealing with textile production (Greco 2010, 493). Another possible mention of the collector wi-jo-qo-ta might be identified on Dq(3) 7137, thanks to the fragmentary word ]ta-o, which might be integrated as wi-jo-qo-]ta-o.

Although this is a very fragmentary tablet, the information which may be derived from the text suggests that it probably recorded sheep managed by the collector wi-jo-qo-ta, who worked in the area of Phaistos.

.a        ]   wi-jo-qo[-ta

.b        ]pa-i-to      [


.a (of) ] Wi-jo-qo-ta

.b      ] at Festòs       [


Wi-jo-qo[-ta: male anthroponym, nominative or genitive singular (wi-jo-qo-ta or wi-jo-qo-ta-o respectively).

It seems likely that this may be the same collector recorded also in Dq(3) 1026 +, related to the toponym su-ki-ri-ta, and also possibly in Dq(3) 7137, where he is associated with Phaistos. Moreover, Ld(1) 598 suggests that the collector wi-jo-qo-ta was involved in the manufacturing of textiles, especially of the kind of textile called po-ki-ro-nu-ka, i.e. “decorated with a colourful texture” (DMic s.v.). As a collector, wi-jo-qo-ta was involved in the entire textile production chain, from the management of the sheep flocks to the textile industry. This name might be interpreted as *Ἰοβότης or *Ἰοφόντης (DMic s.v.).

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.

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 about <12> x 2.3/2.4 x 1 cm – (Olivier 1967).

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