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Sacrificial feasting in the Linear B documents.


Linear B tablets and sealings from Thebes, Pylos, and Knossos monitor preparations for communal sacrifice and feasting held at palatial centers and in outlying districts. In this article I discuss the nature of the Linear B documents and focus on the fullest archaeological and textual evidence, which comes from Pylos. Translations of the key texts are presented in an appendix. Individuals and groups of varying status were involved in provisioning commensal ceremonies; prominent among the participants were regionally interlinked nobility, the wanaks ("king") and the lawagetas ("leader of the laos"). Commensal ceremonies helped establish a collective identity for inhabitants of palatial territories. Two land-related organizations, the da-mo (damos) and the worgioneion ka-ma, represented different social groups in such unifying ceremonies.


There have been great advances in the study of Linear B documents over the past 25 years. (1) We have a much fuller picture now of feasting rituals within Mycenaean palatial territories. Mycenological advances can be classified as follows: 1) the comparative study of sphragistics (inscribed and uninscribed sealings and their uses); (2) 2) better understanding of Mycenaean technical terminology; (3) and 3) detailed examination of relevant Linear B tablet series. (4) At the same time, Mycenologists have been aware of the need to interpret the inscribed evidence within the context of our increased understanding of palatial architecture and iconography, (5) archival record processing, (6) the material and artifactual record, (7) regional geography, (8) social power structures, (9) economy and resource management, (10) and anthropological and cross-cultural parallels. (11) As a result, we understand better than ever the significance of centrally organized commensal ceremonies for reinforcing Mycenaean social and political unity and stratification.

The importance of sacrificial feasting ritual in Late Mycenaean palatial society is clearly reflected in the care taken by individuals, whom we conventionally refer to as Mycenaean scribes, in overseeing the preparations for sacrifice and feasting activities. (12) The Linear B feasting data fall mainly into the following categories: first-stage recording of individual contributions of animals for eventual sacrifice and consumption at feasting ceremonies; targeted collection of foodstuffs from various components of the community who would then be symbolically unified and socially positioned by feasting; and inventorying of banqueting paraphernalia, furniture, and instruments of cult. (13)

My purpose here is to discuss the nature of the Linear B data for feasting from various Mycenaean palatial centers and to reconstruct the evidence from Pylos, the site best documented archaeologically and epigraphically. This will make clear how important such unifying ceremonies were and the extent to which they affected individuals and localities, at all levels of the sociopolitical hierarchy, throughout Mycenaean palatial territories.

The key primary texts of importance for discussing sacrificial ritual and feasting ceremony from Thebes, Pylos, and Knossos are presented in English translation in the appendix at the end of this article, many translated together for the first time. I translate here those tablets whose contents are vital for a clear understanding of the textual evidence for sacrificial feasting practices. The Pylos Ta tablets, whose many technicalities require major exegesis (see below), and, with one exception, the new tablets from Thebes are not included. (14) The new evidence from Thebes has been subject to very dubious interpretations in the editio princeps. Until we reach a clearer consensus on what these texts contain and what their purposes were, and even how many full texts there are, it would be a disservice to incorporate their minimal evidence into discussions of any aspect of Mycenaean culture. One new Thebes tablet, however, has clear and unequivocal relevance to feasting, and I translate and discuss it below. (15)


The keys to our current understanding of the textual data are the interpretation of an intentional collection of sealings from Thebes related to the contribution of single animals to a centralized communal sacrifice and feast; (16) the correct identification of the meaning of the term o-pa and related terminology for service obligation; (17) and the continuing refinement of the interpretation of the Ta series at Pylos, which deals with furniture, vessels, fire and cooking implements, and tools of sacrifice for a major feasting ceremony. (18) The Linear B tablet evidence is notoriously uneven in its representation of palatial interests from region to region. The sphere of ritual and ceremonial activity is no exception. We are dependent on the hazards of destruction and discovery. For any site, we have but a random selection of records from days, weeks, or months within an annual administrative cycle. (19) We therefore have only a partial view of what must have been fuller documentary oversight of the economic activities that were sufficiently complex and important to warrant inclusion in the internal mnemonic records written in Linear B. The records themselves were kept for subsequent reference by tablet-writers or other palatial officials. (20)

Gaps in our knowledge are glaring and can best be illustrated by examples where our ignorance is almost complete. One case will suffice. The Mycenaean texts provide better documentation for extra-urban sanctuaries and centers of ritual than we have been able to reconstruct from field survey or archaeological excavation. (21) A single tablet such as Pylos Tn 316, which records ceremonial "gift-giving" of sacred heirloom (22) ritual vessels by the palatial center at some time during a specific month of the sacred calendar, (23) specifies at least six well-defined areas where the divine presence of major (e.g., Potnia, Zeus, Hera) and minor (Posidaeia, Iphimedeia, Diwia) deities and even heroes or daimones (e.g., the "Thrice-Hero," the "House-Master") could be felt and worshipped. These areas include the general district pa-ki-ja-ne and five specific sanctuaries dedicated respectively to Poseidon (po-si-da-i-jo); the deity known as pe-re-*82 (pe-re-*82-jo); Iphimedeia (i-pe-me-de-ja-<jo>); the feminine counterpart of Zeus named Diwia (di-u-ja-jo); and Zeus (di-wi-jo). None of these sanctuaries has yet been located on the ground.

We only know about religious structures or institutions located within such sanctuaries from indirect references within a few tablets. Pylos tablet Jn 829, translated in the appendix below, (24) famously records prospective contributions of recycled "temple" bronze from the 16 principal districts of the two Pylian administrative provinces. (25) The term used here to describe the bronze is na-wi-jo, the adjectival form of the unattested noun *na-wo (literally "place of dwelling" = later Greek naos, canonically translated as "temple"). The term na-wi-jo is found nowhere else in the Linear B corpus, even though the contents of Jn 829 imply the ubiquity of such "temples" in all areas of a representative Mycenaean palatial territory. Tn 316 indicates that a single district could have many sanctuaries and undoubtedly "temples." Although the number of such structures must have far exceeded 16, none has been located within the physical geography of Messenia.

Similarly, four tablets of the Thebes Of series (Of 26, 31, 33, 36; not translated here) preserve references to two other structures or institutions within sanctuary areas. These are found in the lexical items wo-ko-de and do-de. The suffix -de is an allative, indicating motion toward the preceding noun forms, which are the ultimate physical destinations of the wool registered on these tablets. The terms *wo-ko and *do are connected respectively with later Greek oikos and domos, both words having in historical Greek the meaning of "house" or house structure. Since the noun form *do is related to the root *dem, which means roughly "to build in superimposed layers," (26) do-de must refer to a physical building.

The lesson here is that we should not be disconcerted by the seeming paucity of inscriptional data for commensal ceremonies or the asymmetry of textual evidence from region to region. Nor should we shy away from trying to put together an overall view of feasting practices by assembling data from many sites. This is a valid approach given the relative uniformity of administrative and organizational procedures textually attested in different Mycenaean palatial territories. (27) If we do so, however, we must keep in mind the hyperspecificity of the Linear B documents and constantly be aware that evidence from one territory at one administrative moment may not be fully transferable to another territory. We talk about aspects of general Mycenaean culture while always leaving open the strong likelihood that individual sites or regions had their own distinctive variations on the general theme. (28)


Commensal ceremonies are meant to unite communities and reinforce power hierarchies by a reciprocal process that combines both generous provisioning by figures close to the center of power or authority and participation in the activities of privileged groups by other individuals. Levels of participation mark status, but the fact of general collective participation symbolizes unity. Mycenaean textual evidence for unification and participation begins with the first-stage recording, mainly on sealings, (29) of the individual animals that will be sacrificed and consumed at communal banquets. The sealings tell us, through the minimal information inscribed on their three facets, about the persons, places, and terms involved in contributing single animals to communal feasts. (30) By understanding the mechanisms of provision, we understand better the significance of Mycenaean feasting ritual.

The sealings from Thebes provide our only unambiguous documentation in this regard. (31) A few sealings from other sites might be shown to have some connection to commensal ceremonies. (32) It is not certain, however, that the cloth designated by ideogram *146 on Knossos sealings (e.g., Wm 1714, 1816, 1817, 5860, 8490) and the single livestock registered with the word o-pa on Pylos sealings from the Northeast Workshop (e.g., Wr 1325, 1331) concern sacrificial banquets, as they clearly do on tablet Un 2 from Pylos and on the Wu sealings from Thebes. Thus, we must admit that our secure evidence for first-stage contributions comes from the unique collection of 56 inscribed sealings at Thebes. Forty-seven of these sealings refer by ideogram to the single animals with which the sealings were associated (a 48th animal seems to be partially preserved). (33)


We can understand how the Thebes Wu sealings relate to the whole process of ceremonial feasting by looking at parallels both from later Greek history and from other Mycenaean sites. The Thebes sealings were used to certify the contribution of single animals, and in a few cases related supplies such as fodder, which would eventually have been used for sacrifice and consumption. They are therefore preliminary to tablets such as Un 2 and Un 138 from Pylos, on which aggregate foodstuffs, including animals, are recorded. The most conspicuous parallel from the historical period is the annual (with a grand version every fourth year) Panathenaic festival in fifth-century Athens. The purpose of the Panathenaia, especially the quadrennial version, was to reinforce the unity of all members of the community of Athens, "male and female, young and old, rich and poor, citizen and metic alike." (34) By the second half of the fifth century b.c., the sacrifice of hundreds of oxen at the great altar of Athena on the Acropolis and the attendant feasting "came to be regarded as a symbol of the privileged status of the most powerful city in the Aegean world." (35)

The Panathenaia in Periclean Athens had the further purpose of reinforcing the paramountcy of Athens over the members of the Delian League by displaying Athenian power to official visitors from other poleis. It also served to reward, and thereby solidify the loyalty of, officials working for Athenian interests outside the territory of Attica. A scholium to Aristophanes declares: "At the Panathenaia, all Athenian colonies customarily sent a bull to be sacrificed." (36) At the same time, the Panathenaia symbolically unified and rewarded the members of the Athenian community, as did the frequent festivals of animal sacrifice and feasting that took place in every month of the Athenian sacred calendar. (37) Such regularly repeated rituals of communal sacrifice and feasting reminded late-fifth-century Athenian citizens of the benefits and rewards of their imperial power and what they might lose if they did not work hard and cooperatively to maintain their empire.

Given the prevalence of political discord and regional and social factionalism in Athens from the late-seventh-century Cylonian conspiracy through the political revolutions of the last decade of the fifth century, the need for such unifying ceremonies is easily explained. Zaidman and Schmitt Pantel write:
   Sacrifice was a powerful ritual moment, present in every festival of
   the Athenian calendar. The number of sacrificial victims, known to
   us through the accounts of the Treasurers of Athene, gives us a
   material measure of the importance of the post-sacrificial feasts
   .... The city bore the costs of these sacrifices, either directly
   or indirectly. ... A look down the Athenian monthly calendar shows
   that, with the apparent exception of Maimakterion, not a month
   passed without massive slaughtering of beasts. (38)

We should bear all this in mind as we try to make sense of the poorer Mycenaean evidence. Similar factors were at play as the elites who controlled the Mycenaean palatial centers tried to assert and maintain their authority over individuals and communities within their own regions and to impress elites in potential competitor regions with displays of wealth, power, munificence, and beneficence. Also, although we cannot precisely define for the Mycenaean period such important concepts as "citizenship" and "ethnicity," the Linear B texts amply attest the use of toponymic or ethnic adjectives to define individuals and groups (cf. mi-ra-ti-ja for women of Miletos or ko-ri-si-jo for the men of Korinth, a locality in Bronze Age Messenia). (39) Texts such as An 610 indicate that the palatial center at Pylos offered settlement on land to outsiders in exchange for service as "rowers." (40) Partaking in central commensal rituals would reinforce a group's sense of belonging to the community, no matter how the notion of "belonging" was defined. (41)


We can see within the Thebes sealings all the elements of standard organizational control that existed for festivals such as the Panathenaia and which lay behind both the aggregate or last-stage Linear B texts for feasting (e.g., Pylos tablets Un 2, 138, 718) and records of the centralized palatial mobilization of resources (e.g., Pylos tablet Jn 829). The Thebes sealings explicitly record 16 sheep (13 male, two female), (42) 14 goats (six male, seven female), 10 pigs (six male, two female), two specifically designated "fatted pigs," two cattle (one male, one female), and three indeterminate yearlings. (43) In addition, a single fragmentary animal ideogram seems to be represented, yielding a total of 48 animals.

This total compares well with the 53 animals recorded, along with other foodstuffs, on Pylos tablet Un 138. There is no reason to press the point by arguing (as have Piteros, Olivier, and Melena) (44) that ideogram *190, which elsewhere seems to refer to something like milk, suet, cheese, or beer, on the Thebes sealings designates an actual animal. This interpretation has been proposed only because five sealings refer to *190 alone and, if *190 were an animal, the numbers of animals on Pylos Un 138 and in the collected Thebes sealings would be equal. But there seems to be nothing ritually important about the number 53, and other feasting texts list other numbers of animals. (45)

We have, then, at least 48 sacrificial animals gathered. Twenty-three different seals were used to impress the 56 nodules from Thebes. (46) In terms of transactional procedures, (47) the number of seals indicates that 23 individuals or institutional entities were involved in making contributions to, or otherwise coordinating preparations for, the single central feasting ceremony with which the Thebes sealings were associated. (48)

In addition, the inscriptions on the three facets of the sealings give a total of eight personal names, each on a single sealing, with two exceptions (each occurring on two sealings). In two cases (both individuals with the ethnic names /Thebaios/ and /Sameus/), these names occur in the formula: pa-ro PERSONAL NAME (dative). This formula, if we extrapolate from Un 138 from Pylos, designates the person who has control over, and responsibility for, the assembled item(s) until the time when they would be transferred to the individuals who directly oversaw their ritual or ceremonial use.

We might imagine that the individuals in the pa-ro formula have some form of ritual status, if only for occasions such as the ones with which these documents are associated. When contributions are registered as coming from different components of the whole society, as on Pylos tablet Un 718 (Fig. 1), the individuals into whose charge everything (materials and animals) is given are collectively designated, e.g., *o-wi-de-ta (plural) = "sheep-flayers" (some kind of sacrificial agents). (49)


On Un 2, where the feasting accompanying the ritual initiation of the king, or wanaks, might be assumed to involve all segments of society, an individual with the title o-pi-te-<u->ke-e-u ("overseer of teukhea") is in charge. The title perhaps literally designates him as an official in charge of cooking/feasting paraphernalia. (50) On Un 138 and the Thebes sealings we are operating on the level of individual responsibility. The obligation placed on these individuals to contribute to a commensal sacrificial ceremony was in itself a mark of distinction. Further public honor undoubtedly was accorded to them afterward for successfully performing a conspicuous public obligation for the benefit of so many key figures within the overall community.

Other names on the sealing facets occur in either the nominative (the hypothesis advanced by Piteros, Olivier, and Melena) (51) or the genitive (clearly with qe-ri-jo-jo on Wu 58). The genitive would function syntactically as subjective genitive with the transactional term o-pa. It is possible, given the need for shorthand brevity on the sealing facets and the known independence of scribes in devising their own notational rules, that some of these presumed nominatives are datives, with the ellipsis of pa-ro as in Un 138.5. Alternatively, the nominatives might serve as rubrics and be a shorthand equivalent to the pa-ro + dative formula. If this is so, the individuals on the Thebes sealings may also perform the same function as pre-festival overseers of the delivered livestock and foodstuffs found in the pa-ro formula in the mixed-commodity Un tablets.

The best-attested example of such a person is found at Pylos, where an individual named du-ni-jo is active within the archives and holds, in one context, the potentially religious title of du-ma. (52) But he is not among the four individuals of high social status at Pylos known as "collectors" or the larger number of Pylian "collectors" legitimately identified now by using other criteria. (53) "Collectors" in Mycenaean palatial territories are "aristocratic" individuals who interact with the centers in a full range of economic matters. The same personal names of collectors are found at more than one palatial center, suggesting dynastic links or upper-class cohesion.

At Pylos, the main "collectors" are involved in livestock management. At Knossos, however, at least two collectors (ko-ma-we and a-pi-qo-ta) are clearly associated in the C(2) series with animals registered for sacrifice. In one case, C(2) 941 + 1016 + fr., the animals are explicitly designated as sa-pa-ke-te-ri-ja, (54) literally animals "for ritual slaughter" (from the historically productive root *sphag). (55) The same root seems to recur in the name of the site that is the best-attested religious area at Pylos: pa-ki-ja-ne = Sphagianes = "the place of animal slaughter." (56)

The eight named individuals in the closed collection of Thebes Wu sealings may also have a degree of status within the ceremonial/cultic sphere, and they may be of as high a social, political, or economic rank as the "collectors." It is unclear how they relate to the individuals or entities identified by the 23 different seal impressions. Neither group, seal-holders nor those with written personal names, can be identified with the "scribes," insofar as we can understand them from the limited number (10) of tentative palaeographical groupings identified within the sealing inscriptions. (57) From the sphragistic and epigraphical evidence for individuals on the Thebes sealings, however, we can conclude that established procedures were in place to obtain the necessary resources for a sacrificial/feasting event, that these procedures were carefully monitored, and that the fulfillment of obligations in this regard was scrupulously verified. This conclusion in itself argues for regularity in such ritual ceremony.

I have started with the individuals involved in making or overseeing the contributions of sacrificial animals because it is often forgotten that the very mention of an individual by personal name within Linear B palatial records is an indication of significant status. Any clear linkage to the power and prestige of the central palatial authority would have conferred distinction. Involvement in ritual donation for a communal ceremony was certainly a mark of considerable distinction.

Again we may compare the situation in historical Athens, where, among its regular liturgies, the state entrusted the liturgy of hestiasis, or "provisioning of a feast," to wealthy individuals in order to give them an arena into which to channel their competitive aggressions and through which to display their sense of public benefaction. In short, hestiasis and the ca. 97 liturgies of the regular Athenian calendar year were ways of diffusing eris ("strife or political contention") and rewarding good citizens with public honor. (58)

The regional "nobility" who accepted high-ranking but nonetheless subordinate status in the relatively late-forming Mycenaean palatial territories would also have had eristic energies that the central authorities would have wanted to convert into public-spirited projects, particularly feasts. (59) Such practices are attested in Homer where they are arguably a reminiscence of specific Mycenaean regional practice. (60) The "collectors" as a class even have interstate distinction, if we are to judge by their personal names occurring in connection with important economic activities at more than one palatial site (11 secure cases and 65 or 66 possible cases). (61)


The extent of the "community" involved in the feasting ceremony that lies behind the Thebes sealings is impressive. The three fairly certain toponyms, besides Thebes itself and /Haphaia/, which might be located in the environs of Thebes, (62) are Lamos (located around Mt. Helikon) and Karystos and Amarynthos (located in southern and western Euboia, respectively). These sites contribute to the central communal feast at Thebes. Yet in other textual contexts, at least Amarynthos is the destination of wool coming from the center and again with clear ritual associations. (63) This point raises questions about the role and participation of outlying villages and localities. For example, if a site such as Amarynthos contributes and receives ceremonial materials, to what extent do its citizens or elites share in the central ceremony?

Unfortunately, a definitive answer to such a question is currently beyond the limits of the Linear B data. We can note, however, that, in analogy with imperial Athens, sacrificial animals were transported over long distances. Animals were brought to Mycenaean Thebes across water and from distances well over 50 km away. These contributions imply that these locales bore some form of allegiance to the palatial center at Thebes, or at least acknowledged and respected its power and status.

Similarly, at Pylos, palatially organized communal sacrifice and feasting are monitored on tablets that specifically locate such ceremonies at the regional sites of ro-u-so (PY Un 47), pa-ki-ja-ne (PY Un 2), and sa-ra-pe-da (PY Un 718). (64) Animals for sacrifice and materials for subsequent banqueting are also registered on PY Cn 418, Un 6, Ua 17, and Ua 25, where they are listed in proportional quantities indicative of sacrifice and consumption. (65) At Knossos, livestock designated as "for slaughter" seem to be located at the site of u-ta-no (KN X 9191) and perhaps were destined for a site named a-ka-wi-ja (KN C(2) 914). (66) In his full analysis of archaeological "deadstock" from Mycenaean palatial centers and of livestock management texts from Knossos and Pylos, Paul Halstead estimates that 1,439 animals at Knossos and 782 at Pylos appear in texts relating to consumption. (67)


In addition to ideograms indicating personal names, place-names, and livestock, the Thebes sealings also have a few entries of what I have called "transactional" terminology. (68) The most significant Theban vocabulary for the purpose of understanding the organized activities leading to feasting ritual are the terms o-pa, a-ko-ra-jo (cf. a-ko-ra), a-pu-do-ke, qe-te-o (and its neuter plural form qe-te-[a.sub.2]), and po-ro-e-ko-to. These terms reflect some of the different mechanisms whereby the central authority mobilized resources for commensal ceremonies.

The term o-pa occurs on six Thebes sealings (Wu 46, Wu 56, Wu 58, Wu 64, Wu 76, Wu 88). Killen has demonstrated that, in the sphere of animal husbandry, o-pa refers to the "finishing" of the animals, that is, bringing them to the expected and satisfactory stage of readiness for their final use. (69) Such o-pa work can be performed on already-manufactured items in other areas of production, for example, chariot wheels. The hallmark of its use in any economic sphere is the customary designation of the individual who performed the o-pa, hence the genitive qe-ri-jo-jo noted above on Wu 58. Five of the six occurrences of o-pa on the Thebes sealings (Wu 46, Wu 56, Wu 58, Wu 76, Wu 88) follow this pattern and three or four of the five also designate that the animal is provided with 30 units of fodder (ideogram *171), (70) most likely for feeding the animal during the month prior to its eventual ritual slaughter. These five sealings form a coherent record group, since they contain related subject content and are all impressed with the same seal.

The only o-pa text that does not contain a personal name designation is Wu 64, which records a yearling WE(talon) and is impressed with a seal found only on this sealing. It is reasonable to hypothesize that the absence of the personal name on Wu 64 is related in some way to the singleton seal impression. Let us assume that the seal impressions on all six o-pa sealings-and perhaps on all others as well-somehow designate the individuals or entities that have provided or have taken responsibility for the living animal to which the sealing corresponds. In the case of Wu 64, there would be no ambiguity if the yearling was not, in the end, of proper quality, whether or not the seal-applier was dealing with another party to see to the animal's care. In the case of the remaining five sealings, however, the provider or responsible party (represented by the seal impression) was interacting with five different parties whose o-pa work still was in flux, or at risk, because of the time lag of up to 30 days between delivery of the animals and the final event for which the animals were being kept. Thus, he had to designate for those five animals the responsible parties in case a problem occurred or, if all went well, in order to be able to acknowledge service performed for him by five people. Even in the preparatory phase before the sacrifice, therefore, we can see a clear community of participation and a clearly designated hierarchy of responsibility.

The adjectival designation a-ko-ra-jo refers to animals that were part of a "collection," as specified by the action noun a-ko-ra (cf. later Greek agora), the term from which the individuals referred to above as "collectors" derive their name. A set of three Theban sealings (Wu 49, Wu 50, and Wu 63), all impressed by the same seal, are inscribed with the word qe-te-o and the action noun a-ko-ra. The term qe-te-o and related forms, as Hutton has convincingly demonstrated, (71) designate the animals here as "to be paid (as part of a religious obligation, penalty or fine)." The animals are also part of collector/collection activity. That these two words can coexist on the same sealing must mean that the activities inherent in the action noun a-ko-ra and the verbal adjective qe-te-o can be complementary. The collector, who in this case may be represented by the seal impression, has a herd or herds of livestock that can be described as resulting from "collecting" or as forming a "collection" (agora), but he also is responsible for "paying" three animals from his collection as a religious obligation. This is indicated on each of these three sealings by the additional term qe-te-o.

The three animals "paid as a religious obligation or penalty" are each a different species: sheep, goat, and pig. The same diversity of species is seen on PY Ua 17 and PY Un 2. Sheep, cattle, and pigs (the canonical suovetaurilia combination) occur on PY Ua 25 and Un 6, in both cases with other edible commodities. Of the new Thebes tablets, the proposed "religious" and "ritual" aspects of which must be strongly downplayed, (72) the single fragmentary text Uo 121, a brief and purely mnemonic text without any information except the ideographic entries, fits this pattern of sacrificial animals listed together with foodstuffs. (73)

The two animals that are designated adjectivally as a-ko-ra-jo ("associated with collections") are both fatted pigs (Wu 52, Wu 68). The remaining three sealings in this group of five made by the same seal (Wu 53, Wu 70, Wu 72) concern a male cow and two male sheep. The cow (Wu 53) is designated, if the reading is correct, as qe-te-o, and one of the two sealings with sheep (Wu 70) gives a personal name. Here again we might think of an ellipsis in the pa-ro formula. The individual named a-e-ri-qo would then somehow have control of the single sheep connected with this sealing. If the "collector" here is indicated at all, it would be by the seal that has impressed these sealings.


The Pylos texts, even those of the leaf-shaped Ua series, immediately take us to a much more advanced stage in the preparation for public sacrifice and feasting. The scale of the banqueting provisions is evident from the quantities of animals and foodstuffs listed on the texts. A text such as Un 6 may reflect, in its smaller quantities and in the specification of deities as recipients, more localized ritual ceremonies of sacrifice on a smaller scale (cf. Thebes Uo 121 in this regard). Un 6 lists the allocation of a cow, ewe, boar, and two sows in individual entries to Poseidon and twice to the female deity pe-re-*82. In addition, it contains a further entry area recording the kind of collective contribution we have seen on other provisioning texts: cloth, wool, oil, two bulls, two cows, and a missing number of sheep.

The repetition in the entries on lines .3 and .4 of Un 6 most likely indicates two separate "offerings" of this proportional group of sacrificial animals to the deity pe-re-*82, perhaps on different days or from different sources who were not germane to the record-keeping purposes of the document and are therefore not recorded in the written entries. The order of the entries on Un 6 (Poseidon followed by pe-re-*82) parallels the order of sanctuaries listed on the reverse side of Pylos Tn 316, where the sanctuary of pe-re-*82 immediately follows the entry section for the sanctuary of Poseidon. On this basis we may conjecture that the animals recorded on Un 6 are being donated to sanctuaries in the district of pa-ki-ja-ne, where many sacrifices and banquets would have regularly taken place on different occasions. Nonetheless, because the tablet comes from the central palatial archives and because this information is monitored on it, the ceremony does reflect the interests and involvement of the palatial authorities.

On tablet Un 2, a sacrificial and commensal ceremony within the religious territory of pa-ki-ja-ne is recorded as taking place on a ceremonial occasion when the wanaks is initiated. (74) On Pylos tablet Un 138 (whose numbers of animals, as we noted above, approximate the aggregate totals in the Thebes sealings), the scribe simply noted, most likely for himself or the official with whom he was working, (75) that the feasting provisions were connected with (or perhaps situated at) the site of Pylos. The quantities of provisions are listed as being under the control of two individuals: du-nijo, whom we have discussed above, and *me-za-wo. The first, du-ni-jo, is in charge of 53 heads of livestock, including three cattle, as well as large amounts of grain, olives (specifically designated as edible), and wine; *mezawo is responsible for a much smaller assemblage of nonanimal foodstuffs. The placement of the entry involving *me-za-wo at the bottom of the text and the nature of the provisions entrusted to this individual's oversight mirror the placement and nonanimal contributions of the social/land organization known as the worgioneion ka-ma on Un 718 (and Er 312). Both appear to be lower-order contributions.

Un 138 gives us a good impression of what a banquet for a thousand or more people would have been like. Such banquets did take place in the environs of the palatial center proper. (76) Still, it is possible-the parallelism of Un 2, Un 47, and Un 718 notwithstanding-that pu-ro, which is translated here as a locative "at Pylos," functions like PU-RO in Tn 316. It would then indicate the entity that has responsibility to make the "religious payment" designated by the neuter plural form qe-te-[a.sub.2]. In this case, the palatial center proper as an institution would be responsible. Pylos in this context would refer to the state in much the same way that hai Athenai in the historical period refers metonymically to the polis of which it was the center.


Pylos tablet Un 718 (Fig. 1) has been cited since Ventris and Chadwick's 1956 publication as reflecting important social divisions within the palatial territory of Pylos. (77) Because of the types and quantities of items associated with each contributor, the separate sections on the tablet give the impression of being hierarchically arranged. The generally accepted breakdown of the sociopolitical components in this text is: king (wanaks or the individual who is the wanaks, namely e-ke-[ra.sub.2]-wo), military leader (rawake-ta), general citizen population/landowners (da-mo or the officials who represent the da-mo, namely three te-re-ta), and a land-tillage or cultic group that allows for the incorporation of non-native residents of Messenia into the unified society (the worgioneion ka-ma). (78)

We should note, however, that Un 718 refers explicitly to ceremonial provisioning in honor of Poseidon in a district of Bronze Age Messenia known as sa-ra-pe-da, which is not one of the 16 canonical districts or regional centers of palatial Messenia. (79) The scribe (hand 24) of Un 718 and of two related and supporting land series documents (Er 312 and Er 880) was affected in his "dialect spelling" by his interaction with nonpalatial dialect-speakers. (80) One reasonable explanation for this linguistic phenomenon, given the subject matter with which the scribe works, is that the district of sa-ra-pe-da (where the feasting event recorded in Un 718 is to take place) is the domain in which this scribe specializes. Of his other texts, (81) Er 312 gives specific details about the relative extent of landholdings for the four contributors on Un 718 (with proportions roughly reflecting the proportions among contributions on Un 718 and with three telestai ["service men"] representing the damos). Er 880 informs us about the nature of the estate of the Mycenaean wanaks, whose name is now correctly understood as the outcome of the compound *Egkhes-lauon ("he who delights in the spear"). (82)

It may be, then, that the locale known as sa-ra-pe-da has very strong and special ties to the chief figure of power in the Mycenaean state, and that this scribe is a kind of "royal administrator." It is even possible that sa-ra-pe-da may be the place-name for the locality where the sanctuary of Poseidon listed in Tn 316 and implied in Un 6 is located. It would then be a sub-locale of the general district pa-ki-ja-ne, which is one of the canonical 16 major districts (cf. Pylos tablets Cn 608, Vn 19, and Vn 20).

Un 718 lists nine commodities: wheat, wine, cheese, honey, anointing oil, sheepskin, spelt, and two kinds of sacrificial animals: a single bull, donated significantly by the wanaks *Egkhes-lauon, and male sheep, donated by the ra-wa-ke-ta (the military leader) (83) and the da-mo (= damos). All four contributors will give some kind of grain item. All four also will give wine. With their contributions of wine, we can see clearly their status relative to one another, at least insofar as this particular feasting ceremony is concerned: *Egkhes-lauon, 86.4 liters; damos, 57.6 l; ra-wa-ke-ta, 19.2 l; worgioneion ka-ma, 9.6 l (i.e., a ratio of 9:6:2:1).

As tempting as it is to universalize the evidence of Un 718 with regard to the ranking of powerful figures and social groups in very late palatial Messenia, reasonable caution is in order. Tablet Un 718 is one prospective (notice that the verbal forms here are future) feasting event in a single locality connected with a single deity. The presumed wanaks is identified not by his title, but by his personal name, which may have significance in regard to the nature of his obligation here, the resources he will use to meet the obligation, and the terms according to which he and the other contributors participate in this feasting ritual. Moreover, the hypothesis that sa-ra-pe-da was located within the district of pa-ki-ja-ne and somehow contained the sanctuary of Poseidon mentioned on Tn 316 may not be correct. Accordingly, we have to reckon with the possibility that the particular banqueting ceremony on Un 718 has nothing to do with pa-ki-ja-ne, the main religious district in Messenian territory that is always closely associated with the palace at Pylos.

Thus, these four contributors, including the wanaks (identified by personal name), could simply be recorded as in the process of discharging a particular regionally based commensal ceremonial obligation, and the quantities of offerings may reflect conditions operating in that locality on this particular occasion. (84) Furthermore, the term damos has a very specific meaning within the Mycenaean texts. No one has improved on the superb nuancing of its meaning by Lejeune. (85) It makes specific reference to parceled and distributed land and then narrowly to a collective body of local representatives who handle communal land distribution and management. The term does not yet have the semantic value it acquires in certain contexts later in Attic Greek ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] = the citizen body as a whole). In Un 718 it may refer to whatever collective body oversaw land distribution in the area of sa-ra-pe-da.


The picture of public ceremonial practice that Un 718 presents, cautiously interpreted together with the palatial architecture and iconography, has been thoroughly analyzed in appropriate scholarly contexts elsewhere. (86) Even if Un 718 is locally focused, it would be disingenuous to imagine that its proportions do not give us a rough sense of the power hierarchy of the principal sociopolitical divisions of the region. It is this hierarchy that is reinforced in public commensal ceremonies. The iconographical program of the palatial center and its megaron complex, (87) its stores of banqueting and drinking paraphernalia, (88) and the open-air areas where large numbers of people could gather (e.g., court 63) (89) all argue that some major communal ceremonies of sacrifice and feasting took place in the immediate environs of the palatial center. Hagg summarizes: "processions, libations, and communal feasting are the elements indicated by the iconography and archaeological finds [of the central megaron complex of the Palace of Nestor]." (90)

Tablets of the Pylos Ta series are now thought to record the furniture and sacrificial and banqueting paraphernalia associated with such a ceremony. (91) A full discussion of the palaeographical, archival, text pragmatic, and linguistic details of each of the 13 individual texts is required to understand the full meaning of the set. Such a treatment, which is in progress, would require a separate small monograph and is beyond the scope and purpose of this article. Certain salient points, however, can be made here.

The Ta series was discovered in a single location within the central archives at Pylos. These tablets are clearly associated with Pylos Un 718, not certainly in terms of final file-grouping, but at least in terms of subject matter and internal record-keeping chronology. (92) The Ta tablets are among the last records to have been entered into the administrative processing stage within the central archives. The mutual isolation of Un 718 and the Ta tablets in grid 83 of room 7 within the Archives Complex is significant. They were separated from other inscribed tablets, in an area to the left upon entering room 7 from portico 1. (93) Their location suggests that the tablets had just arrived or at least been placed together in a special area for handy access to their information. The prospective nature of Un 718 also supports our conjecture that these texts are relevant to events in the last days of the Palace of Nestor.

In order to understand the administrative and archaeological significance of the Ta set, it is important to recall that, like all other Linear B tablets, they are economic accounting documents. The most important pieces of information entered in documents of account are the numbers. In over 50 years of Mycenological scholarship, only Gallavotti has attempted to work out the specific numbers of different kinds of objects in the entire set of tablets and to consider whether these numbers had any significance for our understanding of the purpose of the set and how the different numbers of items might relate one to the other. (94) Here we shall be especially concerned with thrones, sitting stools, and tables, since their relative numbers provide evidence for the number of individuals who would have been accorded privileged positions, in this case for seating and dining, at the commensal event with which the Ta series was associated. The identification and numbers of the implements used for sacrifice are probably also ceremonially significant.

The record-keeping assignments of the "scribe" (hand 2) of the Ta series are among the most important of the many that can be attributed to identifiable scribes at Pylos or elsewhere. (95) In addition to the Ta series, this individual was responsible for the principal surviving taxation records for the nine and seven provincial districts of the palatial territory controlled by Pylos (Ma series); a major set of bronze allotment records (Jn series); the record, discussed above, that deals with the recycling and transfer of bronze between the "religious" sphere and the "secular" sphere for the purpose of military weapon manufacture (Jn 829); and records of perfumed oil distributions (Fr series). (96)

The Ta tablets of hand 2 also pertain to the affairs of the most elevated level of the Mycenaean sociopolitical hierarchy. In the Ta set, he was "inventorying" about 60 objects in all: (97) 33 separate pieces of elaborate furniture, ca. 20 vases or receptacles (ewers, shallow pans, tripods, closed jars, and di-pa vases, all metallic versions and some clearly heirlooms: e.g., di-pa, pi-je-ra, qe-ra-na, qe-to, ti-ri-po), (98) two portable hearths with their accompanying fire-related utensils, two sacrificial knives (first correctly identified by Hiller in 1971), (99) two sacrificial stunning axes, (100) and two ceremonial bridles. (101)

Ta 711 is the header text for the series and it declares first the context for the recording of this inspection inventory: "Thus observed [pu.sub.2]-ke-qi-ri in inspection when the wanaks appointed au-ke-wa as da-mo-ko-ro." (102) Whether the inventoried items were used for a feasting ceremony on the occasion of this royal "appointment" or the temporal clause signals that the individual named au-ke-wa now assumes responsibility for the maintenance of these sacrificial and feasting items in his new position as da-mo-ko-ro is impossible for us to decide. Fortunately, it is not crucial for our understanding that the items entered in the Ta tablets make up a list of paraphernalia for a commensal ceremony. Given the presence of metal vessels that were heirlooms, their damage from use over time, and the ornate and costly embellishments and inlay on the items of furniture, we may posit that this set of equipment was repeatedly used on banqueting occasions. (103)


The inspector [pu.sub.2]-ke-qi-ri is among the expanded list of "international" collector names, a repertory of personal names of politically and economically elite individuals who are attested in documents from more than one Mycenaean palatial territory and hint at aristocratic or dynastic associations among elites in different regions. (104) The elevated economic interests of the collectors--a [pu.sub.2]-ke-qi-ri has a group of female cloth workers under his control at the site of Thebes (Of 27)--and the attested involvement of collectors in the provision of sacrificial animals at Knossos, perhaps implicit in the Thebes sealings, furnish a reasonable explanation for why [pu.sub.2]-ke-qi-ri would be in charge of inventorying this feasting equipment at Pylos. Imagine the resources and organization needed to acquire the precious materials and to mobilize specialized craftspeople to produce and maintain a single nine-footed table composed of stone with ebony support elements and ivory inlaid decorative elements (Ta 713.1) or a throne made primarily of rock crystal "inlaid" with blue-glass paste, emerald-color paste, and gold and having a back support "inlaid" with gold figures of men and date palm trees (Ta 714.1-.2). (105)

The wanaks and an official (the da-mo-ko-ro) connected with the interests of the damos organizations are also part of the motivation for compiling this inventory. The scribe begins the actual process of inventorying by listing qe-ra-na (ewers) that are designated as "pertaining to the wanasseus," i.e., the official who has to do with the affairs of the wanassa, or "queen." (106) The "collector" involved in this feasting occasion, [pu.sub.2]-ke-qi-ri, and his attendant scribe next turn their attentions to Cretan heirloom tripods. They are able to distinguish them by the style of the master tripodmakers (o-pi-ke-wi-ri-je-u and ai-ke-u or *34-ke-u) who originally manufactured them. This ability is yet another indication of the rank and cultural attainments of [pu.sub.2]-ke-qi-ri, as he operates on the palatial level of society connected with this luxurious paraphernalia. (107)


The megaron fresco program at Pylos shows paired figures seated at tables and engaged in ritual drinking (and perhaps feasting), (108) making it worthwhile to consider the Ta furniture assemblage in terms of elite seating and table arrangements for a related feasting ceremony. (109) It can be demonstrated that the Ta inventory itemizes 11 tables (to-pe-za), six thrones (tono), and 16 stools (ta-ra-nu-we), (110) all made of costly wood or stone and exquisitely constructed in combination with precious inlay materials and figural decorations. The numbers here may not be haphazard. There are 22 pieces of furniture for seating and 11 tables, (111) which would allow for the kind of pairing observed in the iconographical record (albeit on "campstools"). Three sets of matched throne and stool ensembles are identified (Ta 708.2-.3, Ta 707.1-.3). We move into the realm of pure speculation when we propose reasons behind these numbers, for example that the six thrones may reflect distinguished positions at the banquet for six authority figures as reflected in Un 718 and its related tablets: one throne for the wanaks, one for the ra-wa-ke-ta, three for the three telestai representing the da-mo, and one for a representative of the worgioneion ka-ma.

The paraphernalia itemized in the Ta set cover the needs of all stages of a commensal ceremony. As noted above, Ta 716 (Fig. 2) lists two ceremonial gold bridle rings and chains by which key animals would have been ritually led to the point of sacrifice, two stunning axes to be used in their slaughtering ritual, and two sharp sacrificial knives to slit the throats of the animals. (112) Equipment for preparing and maintaining the necessary fire is included. Portable hearths and tripods were used for the preparation of food; "burned-away legs" on one example indicate that it was used in cooking. (113) Containers for holding food provisions and for ceremonial and practical pouring appear, as do the luxurious thrones, stools, and tables at which the privileged participants would have been seated. Elite ceremonial items are emphasized, while more mundane items such as drinking cups are missing. We learn of these from texts such as Pylos Tn 316, the archaeological record of the Pylos pantries, and the gold and silver versions favored in elite burials. (114) The larger community of participants presumably used clay kylikes of the sort stored in the palatial pantries. (115)



The Mycenaean textual evidence takes us through the process of preparing for and conducting a commensal ceremony. Combining this evidence to form a general Mycenaean composite is, as mentioned at the outset, a reasonable procedure, given the uniformity of administrative and organizational practices and structures textually attested in different palatial territories. The Linear B tablets and sealings record the contribution of sacrificial animals and banqueting consumables, the paraphernalia and furniture that would be used at the banquet, and the implements of sacrifice. They specify the places sending animals destined for sacrifice and feasting. They tell us who was responsible for providing or overseeing materials, individually and collectively, and what elements of society would have been brought together, unified, and ranked according to status in sacrificial and banqueting ceremonies. They give us a picture of the geographical range involved in the provisioning and participating stages for such ceremonies and of where they took place in the territorial landscape. They hint at how such ceremonies fit in with activities at sanctuaries and cult locales in the formal religious sphere. They demonstrate the privileging of the elite class of individuals known as "collectors." In the Pylos Ta series, we see how one such collector saw to the interests of the wanaks, wanassa, and other important figures or segments of Pylian society. The tablets and sealings provide an economic subtext for all aspects of feasting ceremony. As is fitting for Linear B records, however, they leave us with more problems to explore.



The following conventions are used in presenting the translations of pertinent sealings and tablets from Thebes, Pylos, and Knossos:

[ = broken to right ] = broken to left ? = doubtful reading or interpretation (116)

Facets of sealings are indicated by small Greek letters. Ruled lines of tablets are indicated by Arabic numerals, and unruled lines by small Roman letters. Capital Roman letters indicate lines that are only partially demarcated by rule lines. Ideograms are indicated by small capital letters. The raised letters m, f, and x refer to an animal's gender (male, female, indeterminate, respectively). Liters are abbreviated as "1" only when space will not permit the word to be given in full.

Mycenaean words are given in their original form when the interpretation is in doubt; possibilities or the semantic category of the words are given in parentheses or footnotes, or they are discussed above in the text of this article. I use italics, even when they are not required by Mycenological editing conventions, to highlight elements of the translation that are of particular importance for discussion.

The term F-PIG refers to "fatted pig." I subscribe to the proposal of R. Palmer that the traditional identifications of the ideograms hordeum as "barley" and granum as "wheat" are probably to be reversed. (117) In the texts below I have made this change.


The first five o-pa sealings listed below all bear an impression from the same seal. The term o-pa means that the animals have been brought into a condition suitable for sacrifice. (118)
TH Wu 46   .[alpha]   [GOAT.sup.f]
           .[beta]    of Praus, o-pa work
           .[gamma]   cyperus-fodder 30

TH Wu 56   .[alpha]   [GOAT.sup.m]
           .[beta]1   Ophelestas
           .[beta]2   o-pa work
           .[gamma]   cyperus-fodder 30

TH Wu 58   .[alpha]   PIG
           .[beta]a   o-pa work
           .[beta]b   of Therios
           .[gamma]   (at) Amrynthos

Line .[beta]b was written (and thus read) before .[beta]a.
TH Wu 76   .[alpha]   [CATTLE.sup.f]
           .[beta]1   a-e-ri-qo (a personal name)
           .[beta]2   second line of facet left blank
           .[gamma]   o-pa work cyperus-fodder 30

TH Wu 88   .[alpha]   [GOAT.sup.x]
           .[beta]    Lamios, o-pa work
           .[gamma]   facet missing

The following related sealing bears an impression from a different seal:
TH Wu 64   .[alpha]   YEARLING
           .[beta]    o-pa work
           .[gamma]   line left blank

The following three sealings form a set, each bearing the impression of the same seal. They are the only sealings at Thebes with the terms a-ko-ra ("collection") and qe-te-o ("to be paid," most likely as a religious fine or exaction).
TH Wu 49   .[alpha]   [SHEEP.sup.m]
           .[beta]    qe-te-o
           .[gamma]   a-ko-ra

TH Wu 50   .[alpha]   [GOAT.sup.f]
           .[beta]    qe-te-o
           .[gamma]   a-ko-ra

TH Wu 63   .[alpha]   [PIG.sup.f]
           .[beta]    qe-te-o
           .[gamma]   a-ko-ra

The following sealings all bear the same seal impression. Two (Wu 52 and 68) also have the adjective a-ko-ra-jo ("pertaining to an a-ko-ra or collection") inscribed on them.
TH Wu 52   .[alpha]   F-PIG
           .[beta]    a-ko-ra-jo
           .[gamma]   line left blank

TH Wu 53   .[alpha]   [CATTLE.sup.m] (reading tentative)
           .[beta]    qe-te-o?
           .[gamma]   i-ri-ja

TH Wu 68   .[alpha]   F-PIG
           .[beta]    a-ko-ra-jo
           .[gamma]   line left blank

TH Wu 70   .[alpha]   [SHEEP.sup.m]
           .[beta]-[gamma] .1   a-e-ri-qo (a personal name)
                           .2   line left blank

TH Wu 72   .[alpha]   [SHEEP.sup.m]
           .[beta]    line left blank
           .[gamma]   line left blank

The following three sealings come from a group of seven sharing the same seal impression. These three are the only sealings from Thebes with the neuter plural form of the verbal adjective qe-te-o: qe-te-[a.sub.2]. They also are the only sealings with the alternative form of the place-name Thebes: te-qa-de = "to Thebes."

The term qe-te-[a.sub.2] is best explained as a neuter plural that was used because the scribe focused on the aggregate group of animals and did not differentiate this transactional term according to the gender of the individual animals connected with each sealing. The entry "to Thebes" suggests that the sealings were made and inscribed somewhere removed from the palatial center in anticipation of the delivery of the animals to the center.
TH Wu 51   .[alpha]   [PIG.sup.m]
           .[beta]    te-qa-de
           .[gamma]   qe-te-[a.sub.2]

TH Wu 65   .[alpha]   [PIG.sup.f]
           .[beta]    te-qa-de
           .[gamma]   qe-te-[a.sub.2]

TH Wu 96   .[alpha]   [PIG.sup.f]
           .[beta]    te-qa-de
           .[gamma]   qe-te-[a.sub.2]

Among these seven sealings is also the only sealing with the verbal transactional term a-pu-do-ke ("he has paid in"). The sealing is one of two in this set that refers to the inscrutable commodity *190.
TH Wu 89   .[alpha]   *190
           .[beta]    a-pu-do-ke
           .[gamma]   line left blank


The tablet presented here was found in a different archaeological context than the sealings.
TH Uo 121   .a   SHEEPSKIN 1   WINE 9.6 liters[
            .b   SHEEP 1       GOAT 1 *190[

PY Jn 829

  .1    thus will give the ko-re-te-re, and du-ma-te, (119)
  .2    and po-ro-ko-re-te-re, and key-bearers, and "fig-supervisors,"
        and "digging supervisors"
  .3    temple bronze as points for light javelins and spears
  .4    at pi-*82                 ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .5    at me-ta-pa               ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .6    at pe-to-no               ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .7    at pa-ki-ja-ne            ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .8    at a-[pu.sub.2]           ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .9    at a-ke-re-wa             ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .10   at ro-u-so                ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .11   at ka-ra-do-ro            ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .12   at ri-]jo                 ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .13   at ti-mi-to-a-ko          ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .14   at ra-]wa-ra-[ta.sub.2]   ko-re-te   BRONZE 2.75 kg
  .15   at sa-]ma-ra              ko-re-te   BRONZE 3.75 kg
  .16   at a-si-ja-ti-ja          ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .17   at e-ra-te-re-wa          ko-re-te   BRONZE 2 kg
  .18   at za-ma-e-wi-ja          ko-re-te   BRONZE 3.75? kg
  .19   at e-ro                   ko-re-te   BRONZE 3.75? kg

  .1    thus will give the ko-re-te-re, and du-ma-te, (119)
  .2    and po-ro-ko-re-te-re, and key-bearers, and "fig-supervisors,"
        and "digging supervisors"
  .3    temple bronze as points for light javelins and spears
  .4    at pi-*82                 po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .5    at me-ta-pa               po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .6    at pe-to-no               po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .7    at pa-ki-ja-ne            po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .8    at a-[pu.sub.2]           po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .9    at a-ke-re-wa             po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .10   at ro-u-so                po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .11   at ka-ra-do-ro            po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .12   at ri-]jo                 po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .13   at ti-mi-to-a-ko          po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .14   at ra-]wa-ra-[ta.sub.2]   po-ro-ko-re-te   BRONZE 0.75 kg
  .15   at sa-]ma-ra              po-ro-ko-re-te          0.75 kg
  .16   at a-si-ja-ti-ja          po-ro-ko-re-te          0.75 kg
  .17   at e-ra-te-re-wa          po-ro-ko-re-te          0.75 kg
  .18   at za-ma-e-wi-ja          po-ro-ko-re-te          0.75 kg
  .19   at e-ro                   po-ro-ko-re-te          0.75 kg

PY Tn 316


  .1    Within [the month of Plowistos? (or Phlowistos? or
        Prowistos) (120)
  .2         performs a holy ritual (121) at Sphagianes, and brings
             gifts and leads
  .3    PYLOS po-re-na to Potnia GOLD KYLIX 1 WOMAN 1
  .4    To Manassa     GOLD  BOWL 1  WOMAN 1
        to Posidaeia GOLD BOWL 1   WOMAN 1
  .5    to Thrice-Hero GOLD CHALICE 1     to House-Master GOLD KYLIX 1
  .6            narrow line left blank
  .7            line left blank
  .8            line left blank
  .9    PYLOS   line left blank
  .10           line left blank

Remaining portion of this side of tablet without rule lines


v.1    phr at the sanctuary of Poseidon and the town leads
v.2    and brings gifts and leads po-re-na
v.3a   PYLOS   a (122)
v.3    GOLD KYLIX 1   WOMAN 2   to Bowia (123) and X of Komawentei-
v.4    phr at the sanctuary of pe-re-*82 and at the sanctuary of
                Iphimedeia and at the sanctuary of Diwia
v.5    and brings gifts and leads po-re-na to pe-re-*82 GOLD BOWL 1
                WOMAN 1
v.6    PYLOS to Iphimedeia GOLD BOWL 1   to Diwia GOLD BOWL 1
                WOMAN 1
v.7    to Hermes Areias GOLD CHALICE 1   MAN 1
v.8    phr at the sanctuary of Zeus and brings gifts and leads po-re-na
v.9    to Zeus GOLD BOWL 1   MAN 1   to Hera GOLD BOWL 1   WOMAN 1
v.10   PYLOS to Drimios the son of Zeus GOLD BOWL 1
v.11                    line left blank
v.12                    narrow line left blank
v.13                    line left blank
v.14                    line left blank
v.15   PYLOS            line left blank
v.16                    line left blank

Remaining portion of this side of tablet without rule lines

PY Ua 17

.1 ]   163.2 liters        WINE 1,371.2 liters
.2 ]   7 [SHEEP.sup.f] 7   YE(ARLING) 17   [GOAT.sup.m]
       [PIG.sup.f] 20

Bottom edge: ]14   [
             ]30?[   ]67.2 liters?[   ]41.6 liters

PY Ua 25

.1   F-PIG 3   [CATTLE.sup.f] 2   [CATTLE.sup.m] 8
.2     [SHEEP.sup.m] 67

Reverse: WHEAT 2,864 liters

PY Un 2

.1   at Sphagianes at the initiation of the wanaks
.2   a-pi-e-ke, (124) the teukhea-overseer (125)
.3   WHEAT 1,574.4 liters   CYPERUS+PA 14.4 liters   owed 8 liters
.4   SPELT 115.21   OLIVES 307.21   *132 19.21   ME 9.61 (126)
.5   FIGS 96 liters   CATTLE 1   [SHEEP.sup.m]   [SHEEP.sup.f] 6
     [GOAT.sup.m] 2
.6   F-PIG 1?   [PIG.sup.f] 6   WINE 585.6 liters   CLOTH 2

PY Un 6


.0      fragmentary above
.1   to Posei[don]   [CATTLE.sp.f][ ] [SHEEP.sup.f][ ]   PIG-BOAR 1
     [PIG.sup.f] 2
.2      narrow line left blank
.3   to pe-re-*82   [CATTLE.sup.f] 1   [SHEEP.sup.f] 1   PIG-BOAR 1
     [PIG.sup.f] 2
.4   to pe-re-*82   [CATTLE.sup.f] 1   [SHEEP.sup.f] 1   PIG-BOAR 1
     [PIG.sup.f] 2
.5      narrow line left blank
.6   CLOTH 37   CLOTH ?+WE[ ]   WOOL 5
.7   ANOINTING OIL 12.8 liters[
.8   [CATTLE.sup.m] 2   [CATTLE.sup.f] 2   [SHEEP.sup.x]?[


Top portion unruled

v.1   ] priestess (dative?)   CLOTH+TE?[
v.2   ke]y-bearer (dative?)   CLOTH+TE [

PY Un 47

.1   At Lousos the territory of Lousos [
.2   FIGS 91.2 liters              i[
.3   CYPERUS+o 328 liters         WINE [
.4   WHEAT 3,952 liters     ka[(127)
.5   [SHEEP.sup.m] 13   [SHEEP.sup.f] 8   YEARLING[

PY Un 138

.1   at Pylos, qe-te-[a.sub.2], pa-ro, du-ni-jo
.2   WHEAT 1,776 liters   food OLIVES 420.8 liters
.3   WINE 374.4 liters   [SHEEP.sup.m] 15   YEARLING 8
        [SHEEP.sup.f] 1   [GOAT.sup.m] 13   PIG 12
.4   F-PIG 1   [CATTLE.sup.f] 1   [CATTLE.sup.m] 2
.5   me-za-wo-ni (128)   WHEAT 462.4 liters   fruit OLIVES 672 liters

PY Un 718 (Fig. 1)

.1    at sa-ra-pe-da donation(s) to Poseidon
.2    to the sheep-flayers a donation of such an amount *Egkbes-lauon
.3    will contribute BARLEY 384 liters   WINE 86.4 liters
      [CATTLE.sup.m] 1
.4    cheese CHEESE 10 units   sheepskin HIDE 1
.5    of honey 4.8 liters
.6       line left blank
.7    thus also the damos   BARLEY 192 liters   WINE 57.6 liters
.8    [SHEEP.sup.m] 2   CHEESE 5 units   anointing oil ANOINTING OIL
      3.21   HIDE 1
.9    and so much the lawagetas will contribute
.10   [SHEEP.sup.m] 2    flour   SPELT 57.6 liters
.11   WINE 19.2 liters thus also the worgioneion ka-ma
.12   BARLEY 57.6 liters   WINE 9.6 liters   CHEESE 5 units   honey[
.13                        [               ] of honey? 9.6 liters


KN C(2) 913

.1   pa-ro, e-te-wa-no (personal name), [a.sub.3] [GOAT.sup.m] 1 [
.2   pa-ro ko-ma-we-te (personal name) [GOAT.sup.m] 1 pa[

KN C(2) 941 + 1016 + fr.

.A                                [SHEEP.sup.m] 8[
.B   pa-ro / a-pi-qo-ta (personal name), for slaughter [SHEEP.sup.f]

(1.) I thank the Hesperia referees, and also James C. Wright, for their important critical suggestions and references. On recent advances in the study of Linear B, see Palaima 2003a.

(2.) Palaima 1987, 1996, 2000a; Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990; Killen 1992; Pini 1997.

(3.) Melena 1983; Killen 1999a; Palaima 2000c.

(4.) Killen 1994, 1998; Godart 1999; Palaima 2000b; Carter 2003.

(5.) McCallum 1987; Davis and Bennet 1999, pp. 107-118; Nikoloudis 2001.

(6.) Palaima 1995a, 2003b; Pluta 1996-1997.

(7.) Wright 1995a; Shelmerdine 1997; Sacconi 1999; Speciale 1999; Isaakidou et al. 2002.

(8.) Shelmerdine 1981; Sergent 1994; Bennet 1998b; Davis and Bennet 1999.

(9.) Rehak 1995; Palaima 1995b; Wright 1995b; Ruijgh 1999; Shelmerdine 1999a.

(10.) Killen 1985; Morris 1986; Olivier 1996-1997; Lupack 1999, 2002; Halstead 1999, 2002; Palaima 2001.

(11.) Killen 1994, pp. 70-73; 1999b.

(12.) Palaima 2003b, pp. 174-177, 188.

(13.) Other texts may also be related less explicitly to feasting. For example, Bendall (2002, p. 8) reasonably argues from the "general consistency of associations between Fr [oil] tablets and records relating to banquets and festivals" that at least some of the oil recorded as headed out from the palace stores at Pylos to targeted sanctuaries and deities would have been consumed in feasting rituals.

(14.) I take for granted that readers may look at the standard translations and interpretations of texts, including the Ta series, now 30 to 50 years old, found in Palmer 1963 and Ventris and Chadwick 1973. The meager textual evidence for the provisioning of banquets from the site of Mycenae, which may refer to "vegetarian feasting" of women as attested in the historical Thesmophoria (Detienne and Vernant 1989, pp. 190-191) and perhaps in Homer, is not germane to sacrificial feasting. It is also discussed thoroughly by Carlos Varias Garcia in a forthcoming paper, and is therefore omitted here.

(15.) See below, p. 240, tablet TH Uo 121. The interpretation of many other of the new Thebes texts as recording ritual offerings of grain and olives to the Earth Mother, Persephone, Zeus of the Fall Harvest, and theriomorphic deities is highly suspect on linguistic and exegetical grounds. See my full reviews (Palaima 2002a, 2003d).

(16.) Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990.

(17.) Killen 1999a.

(18.) Killen 1998; Speciale 1999; Sacconi 1999; Palaima 2000b; Carter 2003.

(19.) Bennet (2001, p. 30, fig. 1) provides a good diagram of Mycenaean cycles of administration.

(20.) Palaima 1995a, 2001.

(21.) Wright 1994; Hiller 1981.

(22.) On the probability that the gold kylikes and chalices on Tn 316 are heirlooms, see Vandenabeele and Olivier 1979, pp. 210-216; Palaima 1999, p. 440.

(23.) Sacconi 1987; Wright 1995a; Palaima 1999.

(24.) See also Palaima 2001, pp. 157-159.

(25.) Bennet 1998a, pp. 114-115 and fig. 59. For ways in which textual data and evidence about regional resources are used to locate such sites geographically, see the discussion of Leuktron in Bennet 2002.

(26.) Chantraine 1968-1980, vol. 1, pp. 261-262, s.v. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]

(27.) Shelmerdine (1999b) describes the elements of variation in administrative practice from site to site. None precludes the combination of data from different stages of record-keeping that we are using here in order to understand how commensal ceremonies were organized.

(28.) Cf. Dabney and Wright 1990.

(29.) Mycenaean sealings are generally of the type known as two-hole hanging nodules. For the form of nodule and its development from Minoan prototypes, see Hallager 1996, vol. 1, pp. 22-25. For the relation of these nodules to written palatial records and general economic procedures, see Palaima 1987, 2000a, 2000c.

(30.) Palaima 2000c, pp. 265-269; Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990, pp. 112-115, 147-161.

(31.) Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990, pp. 171-184.

(32.) Cf. the catalogue and analytical index in Palaima 1996, pp. 45-65.

(33.) Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990, p. 174.

(34.) Neils 1992, pp. 23-24. Simone (1996, p. 23) argues that the Panathenaia was "surely of Bronze Age origin."

(35.) Shapiro 1996, p. 216.

(36.) See Ar. Nub. 386 in Dubner [1877] 1969, p. 101; Rutherford 1896-1905, vol. 1, pp. 176-177; Koster 1960, p. 475.

(37.) Zaidman and Schmitt Pantel 1992, pp. 102-111. Neils (1992, p. 13) estimates that a third of the Athenian year was devoted to festivals involving communal sacrifices and feasting.

(38.) Zaidman and Schmitt Pantel 1992, p. 107.

(39.) Aura Jorro 1985, pp. 383, 453-454.

(40.) Ventris and Chadwick 1973, pp. 186-187, 431. The categories for such service are ki-ti-ta ("settlers"), me-ta-ki-ti-ta ("second-stage settlers"), and po-si-ke-te-re ("immigrants"). Cf. Aura Jorro 1985, pp. 367-368, 442-443; 1993, pp. 156-157.

(41.) Davis and Bennet (1999, p. 113) speak simply of the process of "becoming Mycenaean," while carefully outlining the complexity of belonging to the culture defined by the Mycenaean palatial system.

(42.) In some cases, the kind of animal on a sealing can be identified, but not the gender, resulting in the discrepancy between the total number of animals and the sum of male and female animals.

(43.) Perhaps pigs or cattle, since a goat and a ram are designated as yearlings in sealings Wu 74 and Wu 78 by a phonetic abbreviation, not the standalone phonetic ideogram WE = YE[ARLING]. Cf. PY Un 138, where the phonetic ideogram clearly refers to sheep.

(44.) Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990, pp. 163-166, 173.

(45.) This does not mean that numbers of animals or other paraphernalia in ritual contexts are unimportant. For example, the association in room 7 of the Archives Complex at Pylos of 20-22 miniature kylikes with burned cattle bones (implying as much as 2,000-2,200 kg of meat) is arguably related to the 22 thrones and stools that are inventoried along with other rich banqueting furniture, vessels, and sacrificial and cooking utensils; see Stocker and Davis, this volume. On the Ta series, see below.

(46.) Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990, pp. 107-112.

(47.) See Palaima 1987.

(48.) See Palaima 2000a for how sealings from all sites relate to texts in regard to the overall administrative outreach of the central palatial complexes into their territories. We should note again that our data here come from an administrative collection relating to a single event.

(49.) For o-wi-de-ta-i, see Aura Jorro 1993, p. 258.

(50.) Killen 1992, p. 376.

(51.) Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990, pp. 155-156.

(52.) Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990, p. 177, n. 321; Lindgren 1973, vol. 1, pp. 43-44; vol. 2, pp. 40-41; Aura Jorro 1985, pp. 195-196.

(53.) Bennet 1992, pp. 67-69; Olivier 2001.

(54.) Killen 1994, pp. 73-76.

(55.) Cf. Chantraine 1968-1980, vol. 4.1, p. 1073, s.v. sfazv.

(56.) Aura Jorro 1993, p. 73.

(57.) Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990, pp. 146, 170-171.

(58.) Zaidman and Schmitt Pantel 1992, p. 95.

(59.) See Bennet 1998a, pp. 125-127, on the "demotion" of sites, and effectively of their ruling figures, as the palatial site of Ano Englianos became preeminent; and Wright 1995b on the evolution of chiefs into kings.

(60.) Cook and Palaima 2001; cf. Killen 1994, p. 80, n. 52. See Sherratt, this volume.

(61.) Olivier 2001, pp. 155-157. As discussed below, Olivier's (2001, pp. 152-155) identification of [pu.sub.2]-ke-qi-ri in the Pylos Ta series with these high status "international collectors" is important for our understanding of the involvement of this class of individuals in ritual.

(62.) Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990, p. 153, n. 173.

(63.) Sergent 1994, p. 369. In the Thebes Of series (e.g., Of 25, Of 27) groups of women are identified collectively by adjectival forms of the names of "collectors."

(64.) See Bendall 2002, p. 9, for the possibility that other localities and sanctuaries might be added to this list.

(65.) Palaima 1989, pp. 103-110, 119-124; Killen 1994, pp. 79-81; Jameson 1988, pp. 94-100.

(66.) Killen 1994, pp. 75-78; Aura Jorro 1985, p. 35.

(67.) Halstead 2002, pp. 152-153, 158-159, 163-165.

(68.) Palaima 2000c.

(69.) Killen 1999a.

(70.) Piteros, Olivier, and Melena 1990, pp. 151-152. On Wu 46, Wu 56, and Wu 76, the entry for fodder is preserved. On Wu 88, the third facet has been destroyed and its restoration is conjectural.

(71.) Hutton 1990-1991.

(72.) Palaima 2002a, 2003d.

(73.) Aravantinos, Godart, and Sacconi 2001, pp. 40, 306.

(74.) For the timing of this ceremony and its ritual and "historical" implications, see Palaima 1995a, 1995b; for a recent careful review of evidence for the wanaks, see Ruijgh 1999. For a brief discussion and analysis of Un 2, see Melena 2001, pp. 71-72.

(75.) The status of scribes is a topic of much discussion in recent years, particularly whether they can be identified with official titles or individual agents mentioned in the Linear B texts. For the latest review of theories, see Palaima 2003b, pp. 174-177, 187-188.

(76.) Shelmerdine 1998, pp. 87-88. Cf. Davis and Bennet 1999; Halstead 2002, pp. 178-179; Isaakidou et al. 2002; Stocker and Davis, this volume.

(77.) Ventris and Chadwick 1956, pp. 280-284. For a clear and concise discussion of the social-hierarchical implications of Un 718 and related texts, see Carlier 1984, pp. 54-63. Caution is in order in dealing with the nuances of the term da-mo in particular. See below, n. 85, and related discussion.

(78.) For these categories of contributors, see Carlier 1984, pp. 54-63, esp. p. 54, n. 291, and p. 59; Nikoloudis 2004. Nikoloudis, in her ongoing dissertation work, is exploring how the ra-wa-ke-ta functions as the authority figure who integrates "outsiders" into the community. The worgioneion ka-ma seems to be an organization that "represents" such outsiders.

(79.) Aura Jorro (1993, pp. 282-283) lays out the different interpretations proposed for the several occurrences of the term sa-ra-pe-da.

(80.) Palaima 2002b.

(81.) Not translated here, but see Ventris and Chadwick 1973, pp. 264-269, 451-455.

(82.) Melena 2001, p. 73.

(83.) See Aura Jorro 1993, pp. 230-231. For other functions of the ra-wa-ke-ta, see Nikoloudis's work, above, n. 78.

(84.) As a parallel, the ceremony on Pylos tablet Tn 316 is focused on female deities, beginning with the Potnia. Thus, Zeus is relegated to the last entry section and Poseidon, the chief male deity in Bronze Age and Homeric Messenia, is not mentioned at all. Given its ritual specificity, Tn 316 does not reflect the general picture of divine worship in Mycenaean palatial Messenia.

(85.) Lejeune 1972, p. 146. It also is an administrative entity that can have a juridical personality. But it does not mean "people" or "village" as in historical Greek.

(86.) Palaima 1995a, 1995b. See in general McCallum 1987; Rehak 1995; and now Davis and Bennet 1999; Nikoloudis 2001, pp. 14-21.

(87.) McCallum 1987; Killen 1998; Palaima 1995b, 2000b; Shelmerdine 1999a, pp. 20-21; Speciale 1999.

(88.) The storage in the Palace of Nestor of ceramics such as kylikes for use in feasting rituals is conveniently summarized in Galaty 1999, pp. 50-51: 1,100 kylix fragments from halls 64 and 65, and 2,853 kylikes from room 19.

(89.) Davis and Bennet 1999, pp. 110-111.

(90.) Hagg 1996, p. 607.

(91.) Killen 1998; Palaima 2000b; see now Carter 2003 for a better comparative understanding of the exact nature of the inventorying process involved here. For the Ta series in general, see Ventris and Chadwick 1973, pp. 332-348, 497-502.

(92.) Palaima 1995a, 2003b; Pluta 1996-1997.

(93.) Palaima and Wright (1985) argued, based on the flow of traffic through the Palace of Nestor and the distribution of Linear B tablets, that there were full doors into both rooms 7 and 8 of the Archives in the final architectural phase of the palace. This hypothesis gains further support now that we know about the importance of feasting activities in court 63 as well as possibly outside in court 58. There would have been considerable traffic between these outer courts and room 7, and into room 8 from court 3, the pantries in rooms 9-10, and the megaron complex directly.

(94.) Gallavotti 1972; all of the other scholarly treatments of this series either leave particular tablets or lines out of discussion, do not consider the aggregate numbers, or do not attempt to reach reasoned solutions about the numbers in specific problematical entries. For example, Palmer (1957), in arguing that the Ta series is a "tomb inventory," omits all mention of tablet Ta 716 and deals only with the remaining 12 tablets.

(95.) Palaima 1988, pp. 66-68, 188-189.

(96.) Perfumed oil is distributed to major deities (ma-te-re te-i-ja ["divine mother"], te-o-i ["the gods"], po-ti-ni-ja ["Lady," twice], po-ti-ni-ja a-si-wi-ja ["Lady of Asia"], u-po-jo po-ti-ni-ja ["Lady of the sacrificial post," interpreting *u-po according to Sucharski and Witczak 1996, pp. 9-10]); to the main religious district of Bronze Age Messenia (pa-ki-ja-ni-jo-i, pa-ki-ja-na-de), and to the wanaks (king) of Pylos himself (wa-na-ka-te, three times).

(97.) The best illustrations of the ideographically represented items are found in Bennett and Olivier 1973, p. 230. See also Ventris 1955.

(98.) Cf. Vandenabeele and Olivier 1979, pp. 221-241; Palaima 2003c.

(99.) Hiller 1971, pp. 82-83, an identification ignored in the general and specialized literature, e.g., Vandenabeele and Olivier 1979, pp. 47-49.

(100.) Speciale 1999, pp. 294-296; Nikoloudis 2001, pp. 21, 31, fig. 6.

(101.) Del Freo (1990, p. 315) argues convincingly that the pa-sa-ro listed nonideographically on Ta 716 (see below, Fig. 2), along with the sacrificial knives and stunning axes, are "chains." We can refine this now with our better understanding of the feasting context of the Ta series. A gloss in Hesychius tells us that [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] is a "kind of bridle." This is a direct reference to the bridle bit that restrains an animal. Cf. Chantraine 1968-1980, vol. 4.2, p. 1285, s.v. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.].

The [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] in its normal use is the ring or chain that passes under the chin of an animal and helps to restrain it. The use of the word to mean "chain" generically is poetical. On Pylos Ta 716 we have a pair of gold-leaf-covered (i.e., ritual) bridle chains. These go together with the two heirloom Minoan stunning axes (wa-o) and the two sacrificial knives (qi-si-pe-e) to make up two sets of ritual slaughtering implements for the sacrifice of the animals.

(102.) Ventris and Chadwick 1973, pp. 335-336, 497.

(103.) Palaima 2003c. The collection of documents from the Pylos archives gives us a strong impression of selective and partial monitoring of different spheres of activity. Thus, in the series dealing with women and children and their rations, we find references to very few of the major districts where work of interest to the central palatial authorities must have been taking place. If we reason by analogy, we would conclude that "inventories" of paraphernalia for other ceremonies were not kept after they had served their ephemeral purposes.

(104.) Killen 1979, pp. 176-179; Olivier 2001, pp. 139-141, 151-152, 155.

(105.) The exact technical meaning of the term a-ja-me-no/-na, interpreted as "inlaid" because it clearly refers to a technique of using precious substances as decorative elements in furniture, has not been determined. The throne itself is described as we-a2-re-jo ("made of rock crystal"). Four other thrones are made from a variety of ebony.

(106.) Aura Jorro 1993, p. 403.

(107.) Palaima 2003c.

(108.) Wright 1995b. See also Wright, this volume, p. 163, fig. 13, and his cautions about representations of feasting in the Pylos frescoes.

(109.) We should stress again that the megaron proper was not the location of large-scale feasting of the kind implied by the Un tablets.

(110.) Vandenabeele and Olivier 1979, pp. 161-176; the ta-ra-nu-we (cf. later Greek thranos ["rower's bench"]) are particularly suitable for sitting on. The thrones and tables are not represented ideographically and therefore are unfortunately not treated in Vandenabeele and Olivier 1979.

(111.) See Isaakidou et al. 2002; and Stocker and Davis, this volume, for discussion of the roughly corresponding number of miniature ritual kylikes discovered together with the remains of burned cattle bones (see above, n. 45).

(112.) See above, nn. 99-101. Cf. Lesy 1987, pp. 126-130, for the use of such a ritual knife, called a halef, by Orthodox Jewish ritual slaughterers, or shochets.

(113.) These portable hearths, of course, would not have been used for the large-scale roasting of the sacrificial animals listed on the Un tablets.

(114.) Vandenabeele and Olivier 1979, pp. 207-216.

(115.) See above, n. 88.

(116.) Readings of single signs that are virtually certain based on textual parallelism have been restored.

(117.) Palmer 1992.

(118.) See n. 69 above, with related text.

(119.) The term du-ma-te ("masters") is the plural of du-ma, which is used as a title of du-ni-jo, who is found in the pa-ro formula on Un 138. The contrast here (Palaima 2001) seems to be between "secular" palatially appointed ko-re-te-re (singular ko-re-te) and po-ro-ko-re-te-re (singular po-ro-ko-re-te) and the officials who would interface with them in providing "temple" bronze, namely the du-ma-te, the "key-bearers" (known from other contexts to be religious officials), and agricultural officials related to the holdings of beneficial plots in sacred areas.

(120.) Given other occurrences of this word in the "recipient" slot of oil offering texts, it is most reasonable to interpret it as the name of a deity, linked alternatively with "sailing" or "flowering" or "knowing." See Aura Jorro 1993, pp. 150-151; Weilhartner 2002.

(121.) Hereafter abbreviated phr. The word thus translated may also simply refer to ritual "sending." For a full up-to-date interpretation and review of other scholarly theories on Tn 316, see Palaima 1999.

(122.) The single sign on line v.3a completes the spelling of the name of the divinity: "The Lady of the Tresses," a suitable name for a female deity in the sanctuary of Poseidon. Given the occurrence of a "collector" known as ko-ma-we, it is also possible that ko-ma-we-te-ja here designates a woman as "woman of ko-ma-we."

(123.) "The Cattle-ish Lady," also a suitable name for a female deity in the sanctuary of Poseidon.

(124.) The term a-pi-e-ke is a compound verb, the root of which means "send" or "dedicate" or "hold."

(125.) The term teukhea as an element of the compound either means "equipment" in the general sense of paraphernalia, or military equipment, i.e., "weapons," most likely the former. Killen (1992, p. 376) connects this title, and the word from which it is formed, with cooking vessels or dining service.

(126.) ME is measured in liquid measure and probably stands for me-ri, or "honey."

(127.) Perhaps a reference to ka-pa olives, i.e., olives that have just been harvested.

(128.) A personal name in the dative to be interpreted with an ellipsis of pa-ro.


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Thomas G. Palaima




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