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.


KN Dv 9603

Dv 9603+ is one of the few texts written by H 117, whose place of discovery is unknown (together with KN Da 8201+, Dv 9568, Dv 9591 and Dv 9604+) (Greco 2010, 148).

The highly fragmentary tablet bears traces of the syllabic sequence ]ra-to[, compatible with the another incomplete lexeme ]ra-to-jo. It is the genitive of a collector’s name attested in KN Dd 1342 and related to the locality of Phaistos (pa-i-to). Other possible attestations of the anthroponym are: the cretula KN Wb(1) 5858, where only ]ṛạ-to[ is attested, although, even in this case, the reading ]ṛạ-to-j̣ọ[ (KT VI s.v.) cannot be ruled out; and KN V(4) 831.1 (]ra-ṭọ), a list of personnel. Unfortunately, neither document bears any evidence that the individual in question was indeed the collector recorded in the tablets of H 117.

It has been proposed to trace back]ra-to[to the anthroponym *Werato (gen. *Weratojo), indirectly attested in Linear B through the adjective we-ra-te-ja, used to describe two women, employed in the textile industry (KN Ap(1) 618. 2: we-ra-te-ja MUL 2 [). Although the term can be traced back to the name of an official, it is also plausible that they were registered by means of the adjective derived from the name of the collector in charge of supervising their work, we-ra-to in fact, according to a practice widely attested in Linear B (for example. ko-ma-we-te/ko-ma-we-te-ja, we-we-si-jo/we-we-si-je-ja etc.) (Landenius-Enegren 2008, 56; Rougemont 2009, 469-470).

The association of this collector with the locality of Phaistos, testified by KN Dd 1342, could also be validated by Dv 9603 itself. Indeed, line .B bears traces of a sign that can be traced back to the syllabogram AB 28 i (KT VI s.v.). Given that among the toponyms documented only in the lexeme pa-i-to such a syllabogram appears and that the position occupied by this sign on this tablet is compatible with that usually occupied by the toponym, it is plausible that the syllabogram i is what remains of the toponym pa-i-to (Greco 2010, 147). Therefore, it cannot be ruled out that KN Dv 9603+ also referred to the format found on most of the texts written by H 117, characterized by the name of the shepherd on the left, the name of the collector followed by the animals on the upper right and the toponym on the lower right, below the reference to the collector.

               sup. mut.

.A        ]-ra-to[

.B        ]vest.[

               inf. mut.

(We)rato, (in Phaistos?)*

]-ra-to[:This syllabic sequence can probably be traced back to ]ra-to-jo, an anthroponym in the genitive case attested in tablet KN Dd 1342 and referring to a collector active in the locality of Phaistos (pa-i-to). It cannot be ruled out that the full form of the name is *Werato (mic. *we-ra-to/*we-ra-to-jo), as the attestation of the adjective we-ra-te-ja in reference to some female workers in the textile industry would suggest (Landenius-Enegren 2008, 56; Rougemont 2009, 469-470). In fact, as is often the case in the Linear B documentation, it is possible that the name of this group of women derives directly from the collector in charge of supervising their work (Greco 2010, 147, 157). The hypothesis that we-ra-te-ja referred to the nature of the employment of these women workers should not be discarded either (DMic s.v.).

⇒ Further information on LiBER

Belonging to the homogeneous group of texts written by the scribe H 117, it is likely that KN Dv 9603+ also originally measured 10-14 x 2-2.5 x 1 cm (Olivier 1967).

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