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 8742

Only a small fragment of tablet KN Dv 8742 is preserved, which would have belonged to a ‘palm-leaf’ tablet.

Although the small fragment attests to only one syllabogram, to, however the document provides important information, which can be confirmed by comparing the text with other tablets of the Dv series.

For example, the dimension and the position of the syllabogram on the tablet let us hypothesize that the text should have been written in two lines. Indeed, to is placed on the lower part of the tablet, while traces on the upper part and to the right are identifiable as Linear B signs. The texts of the Dv series are characterized by a standard formula, organized in two lines.  The record starts with the shepherd’s name, written with larger syllabograms, followed by the toponym, the collector, and the number of sheep. Some tablets have the toponym on the upper part and the collector on the bottom, while others follow the opposite structure.

Since there is not a fixed format, the final –to in KN Dv 8742 might be an anthroponym as well as a toponym.

If it was the name of a collector, –to could either be reconstructed as the name ko-ma-we-to, a collector related to e-ko-so in some Dv tablets (Dv 1272+5411, Dv 7176+8236+8281, Dv 8562+8776), but also recorded in the Dk(1) set (Dk(1) 920+7294+7330, Dk(1) 931+7293, Dk(1) 1049), or se-wo-to (Da 1268), or the fragmentary name ]rato[jo (Dv 9603+9658 + fr).

If –to was a toponym, it could be one of the 8 Cretan places: 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. Since the document is very fragmentary, it is not possible to decide for any of these toponyms, but Phaistos (pa-i-to) certainly cannot be excluded.

.a          ]vest.[

.b        ]to   ,̣   [

-to: possibly a final syllabogram, which could be part of either an anthroponym or a toponym. If the latter, –to would represent one of the eight toponyms that end with –to in the texts of Dagv series: 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.

Etymon: pe-ri-qo-ta is likely a compound of περί-, from the Greek term *Περι-χwοίτας (*Περιφοίτας). However, from a phonetic point of view, *Περι-χwόντας (*Περιφόντας), *Περι-γwώτας (*Περιβώτας) and *Περι-κwόλτας (*Περιπόλτας) seem also suitable (DMic. s.v.).

Tablet KN Dv 8742 belongs to a homogeneous group of texts compiled by scribe H 117. It should have measured about 10-14 x 2-2.5 x 1 cm (Olivier 1967).

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