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 95691

KN Dv 9591 is a fragment, which would have belonged to a ‘palm-leaf’ tablet, after comparison with the rest of the D class.

Unlike most of the tablets of the Dagv group, KN Dv 9591 is one of the few not found in the East-West Corridor (J1), even though the find-spot is unknown.

Only three signs are preserved: the first, no, is bigger than the others, perhaps written on the bottom part of the tablet. Thinking about the standard formula in most of the documents belonging to the Dagv group, as well as to the entire D class, –no might be the final syllabogram of a shepherd’s name, who would have managed a flock, no longer recorded by the tablet. Furthermore, the two other syllabograms might be considered as part of a toponym, where the shepherd would have worked. Indeed, the sequence pa-i- is interpretable as pa-i-to, Phaistos, just adding –to at the end of the word (Greco 2010, 147).

  sup. mut.

        ]no  /  pa-ị[-to

           inf. mut.

]no (at) Phaistòs

-no: final syllabogram of a word, perhaps a shepherd’s name (Greco 2010, 153).

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 Mesara, to the south of river Ieropotamos, is unanimously accepted.

The tablet KN Dv 9591 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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