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 9568

Unlike almost the rest of the Dagv group, KN Dv 9568 has not been found in the East West Corridor (J1), but unfortunately the find-spot is unknown (Greco 2010, 148).

Only the lower part is preserved, which could possibly belong to a ‘palm-leaf’ document, consistent with the rest of the D class.

On the recto, traces of a horizontal line that might be evidence of the dividing line are visible on the top, while at the bottom it is possible to read two syllabograms, pa and i. Although nothing else of the text is preserved, the association of the two syllabograms allows to assume that the sequence could have been completed with –to at the end, in order to have the toponym pa-i-to, as proposed by the editors of CoMIK (Greco 2010, 147).

Therefore, the fragment is important because it could represent further evidence for the toponym pa-i-to, Phaistos, within the Linear B corpus of Knossos.

               sup. mut.

.A        ]vac.[

.B        ] pa-ị[-to

] (at) Phaistòs [


pa-ị[-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.

The tablet KN Dv 9568 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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