Today’s tablet is PY Fn 7, joined from a set of previously unconnected fragments by Jose Melena (Minos 31, 1996-1997):
Fn 7 (Hand 3)
.1 ]2 OLIV T 2
.2 ] OLIV T 1
.3 to-]ko-do-mo HORD [ ]Z 3 VIR 20[
.4 pi-ri-e-te-re HORD Z 3 VIR 5
.5 pa-te-ko-to[ ]HORD[ ]V 2 [ ]
.7 qa-ra2-te , o[-pi-me-]ne[ ]OLIV 6
.8 pa-ka , o-pi-me-ne , [
.9 pa-te-ko-to , o-pi-me-ne [ ]HORD 1[
.10 pi-ri-e-te-si , o-pi-me-ne[ ]HORD 1 T 4[
.11 to-ko-do-mo , o-pi-me-ne[ ]HORD 7[ ]5
.1 ]2, OLIVES: 19.2 liters
.2 ] OLIVES: 9.6 liters
.3 wall-builder(s): BARLEY: 1.2 liters, MEN: 20
.4 sawyer(s): BARLEY: 1.2 liters, MEN: 5
.5 all-builder: BARLEY: 3.2 liters
.7 to Kwallans, monthly: [ ]OLIVES: 576 liters
.8 to pa-ka, monthly: [
.9 to the wall-builders, monthly: BARLEY: 96 liters
.10 to the sawyers, monthly: BARLEY 134.4+ liters
.11 to the all-builder: BARLEY: 720 liters
- We should probably imagine that line 1 recorded the daily allocation of olives (and probably barley) to the man named Kwallans (cf. Πάλλας), and line 2 the daily allocation of olives (and probably barley) to the man (or woman) named pa-ka (there are too many possibilities here, so I have left it transliterated). The math works out, since 19.2 * 30 = 576.
- We should probably imagine equal quantities of barley and olives being allocated to the two named individuals; that is common practice in such texts, and the 2 in the break in line 1 is consistent with that hypothesis.
- We then have listed the daily allocations to three professions and their number: 20 wall-builders, 5 sawyers (i.e., people who saw, from Greek πρίω), and a single all-builder. These are all listed in the dative singular or nominative plural (it’s impossible to tell which). to-ko-do-mo is a compound noun, /toikhodomos/ (cf. τοῖχος, δέμω), pi-ri-e-te-re (elsewhere spelled pi-ri-je-te-re) is in the nominative singular /pri(h)etēr/ (cf. πριστήρ, from πρίω), and pa-te-ko-to is /pantektōn/ (cf. πᾶν, τέκτων).
- After a blank line, the scribe has calculated the monthly allocation to each group, using the word o-pi-me-ne, /opimenei/ (cf. ἐπὶ μηνί).
- The tablet clearly deals with architectural laborers. I’ve suggested that we have five teams, each with a sawyer (carpenter) and four wall-builders (masons), all of which are supervised by the “all-builder,” who must be some kind of architect/foreman. The sawyers cut beams and other wooden elements, the wall-builders were masons who built the walls. Mike Nelson has shown how walls at the Palace of Nestor in LH IIIB were built: a mix of mortar was poured into a heavy timber framework.
- I’ve further argued that the named individuals, allocated large quantities of barley and olives, are responsible for providing what is obviously missing from these architectural teams: unskilled labor. Masons in Ottoman and early modern Greece typically employed local unskilled laborers and animals, who hauled and prepared materials, supervised by a skilled specialists, and I suggested that something similar is happening here. (You can download my article here: https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:15171)