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 Dv)

The Dv series comprises 280 palm-leaf tablets compiled by the scribe H 117 and deals with the inventory of the flocks of sheep of the Palace. However, it has been impossible to determine in detail the characteristics of the flocks recorded, due to the fragmentary state of the documents included in this class (Olivier 1967; Aurora 2015, DAMOSDatabase of Mycenaean at Oslo); only eight documents in this series mention the toponym pa-i-to (Phaistos) (Greco 2010, 148). In fact, the fragmentary nature of these texts allows us to formulate hypotheses concerning only the number or sex of the sheep recorded.


Dv 8413+

Unlike most of the documents of the Dagv group, KN Dv 8413+ was not found in the East West Corridor (J1), and the exact find-spot is not known.

Only a small fragment is preserved from the complete tablet, so it is possible to understand little about the original meaning of the text: nothing more than a part of the syllabogram AB 05 to and the “buttonhole” of the logogram *106 OVIS. The absence of the logogram’s bottom does not allow the sex of registered sheep to be understood, so they are conventionally noted with the wording OVISx (KT VI s.v.).

Despite the fragmentary nature of the text, however, the few signs preserved have made it possible to identify its scribal hand, H 117. This evidence, in addition to the attestation of the syllabogram to and the mention of sheep, would also lead to the conclusion that KN Dv 8413 + belongs to the group of documents written by H 117 and dealing with animal husbandry. All of them are palm-leaf shaped tablets with a regular format. Thus, it is highly plausible that the sign ]to preserved in the fracture constitutes the end of the locality related to the flocks (Greco 2010, 105-106).

As far as the identification of the toponym is concerned, at least eight localities with a to-ending are mentioned in the documents from Knossos: da-*22-to, ku-ta-to, pa-i-to, qa-na-no-to, ra-su-to, ra-to, ru-ki-to and ti-ri-to. However, by cross-referencing the data with the documents in the Dn series, the final count of all the flocks recorded by H 117, ordered by toponym but without the mention of the collector, it is perhaps possible to exclude some of them. Indeed, the group of documents pertaining to the toponyms ti-ri-to and da-*22-to without the mention of the collector can be said to be essentially complete (Greco 2010, 105-106 and 212), so that the possibility of KN Dv 8413 + referring to either locality can be plausibly excluded. On the other hand, the groups of documents characterised by the presence of the toponyms ku-ta-to, pa-i-to and ru-ki-to are missing some texts, so they could be compatible with the fragment KN Dv 8413 +. So, considering that KN Dn 1094 + reports a total of 1509 animals without a collector in Phaistos (pa-i-to) and that the number of animals recorded in the surviving tablets mentioning the name pa-i-to is less than 409, as Greco points out, ‘…it is not difficult to think that about three or four tablets of this series are missing, which, perhaps, can be found among the fragmentary ones ending in ]to…’ (Greco 2010, 160-161), such as KN Da 5251, Db 7172+, De 1585, Dv 5322+, Dv 9626, and Dv 8413+.

Similarly, however, since in the case of the localities of ra-to and ra-su-to no totalling documents of KN Dn 1094 type have been found and it is therefore not possible to know whether these groups of documents are complete or not, it cannot be completely excluded that the remains of the toponym in KN Dv 8413+ are to be completed with the name of one of these two localities.

The fragment, therefore, although very small in size and apparently poor in information, could be relevant insofar as it could constitute a further attestation of Phaistos (pa-i-to) in the corpus of Linear B documents from Knossos.

]to   OVISx[

to: the final syllabogram of a lexeme possibly related to a toponym, perhaps one of the eight place names noted on the tablets conventionally ascribed to the Dagv group: ku-ta-to, da-*22-to, ra-su-to, ra-to, ti-ri-to, ru-ki-to, qa-na-no-to and pa-i-to (Greco 2010, 105-106).

Since it belongs to the homogeneous group of texts written by the scribe H 117, it is likely that KN Dv 8413+ also originally measured about 10-14 x 2-2.5 x 1 cm (Olivier 1967).

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