This paper examines the allocations of cereals and wine to carpenters recorded on the Linear B tablets from Thebes. Firstly, the attestations of term te-ka-ta-si /tektasi/, dative plural from te-ko-to /tekton/ “carpenter”, are reviewed. Carpenters appear as recipients of HORD (barley or, more probably, wheat) on tablet Fq 247, and wine on tablets Gp 112, 114, 147 and 175. Two main reasons are presented why it is likely that they were carpenters employed in building rather than in ship construction: 1) the term seems to be attested also in two tablets from Pylos along with masons, 2) in Linear B we have another term for “ship builder”, na-u-do-mo. Secondly, I discuss the main reasons why it is likely that the supplies of HORD and wine recorded on such tablets from Thebes were provided during religious ceremonies. Thirdly, records of supplies of HORD and wine to carpenters are thoroughly analyzed with the aim of suggesting how many carpenters are recorded, how much each of them receives and what can be inferred about their social status. The number of carpenters is never specified, but, because in Fq 247 they receive 4 sub-measures Z of HORD, we can suggest that the carpenters were either two or four. If they were four, each of them would receive HORD Z 1, i.e. 0.4 l of barely/wheat. Such an amount of barley/wheat is likely equivalent to one meal on subsistence rations. Despite the incomplete documents and the great variability in the amount of wine distributed to each individual or group in the Gp series, it is possible to infer a hierarchy of recipients based on the frequency of attestation and the amount received. Moreover, such a great variability prevents the interpretation of these distributions of wine as standard, regular payments. Since carpenters occupy the fourth position in frequency and received good amounts of wine (with a maximum of VIN 4+ in Gp147.2), a luxury item, probably during religious ceremonies, we can conclude that they enjoyed a relatively high social position in Mycenaean society and/or that people who worked for the Palace and participated at the feasts were exceptionally skilled workers.

Allotments of HORD and VIN to Carpenters (te-ka-ta-si) at Thebes (TH Fq 247, Gp 112, 114, 147, 175)

Barbara Montecchi
2011

Abstract

This paper examines the allocations of cereals and wine to carpenters recorded on the Linear B tablets from Thebes. Firstly, the attestations of term te-ka-ta-si /tektasi/, dative plural from te-ko-to /tekton/ “carpenter”, are reviewed. Carpenters appear as recipients of HORD (barley or, more probably, wheat) on tablet Fq 247, and wine on tablets Gp 112, 114, 147 and 175. Two main reasons are presented why it is likely that they were carpenters employed in building rather than in ship construction: 1) the term seems to be attested also in two tablets from Pylos along with masons, 2) in Linear B we have another term for “ship builder”, na-u-do-mo. Secondly, I discuss the main reasons why it is likely that the supplies of HORD and wine recorded on such tablets from Thebes were provided during religious ceremonies. Thirdly, records of supplies of HORD and wine to carpenters are thoroughly analyzed with the aim of suggesting how many carpenters are recorded, how much each of them receives and what can be inferred about their social status. The number of carpenters is never specified, but, because in Fq 247 they receive 4 sub-measures Z of HORD, we can suggest that the carpenters were either two or four. If they were four, each of them would receive HORD Z 1, i.e. 0.4 l of barely/wheat. Such an amount of barley/wheat is likely equivalent to one meal on subsistence rations. Despite the incomplete documents and the great variability in the amount of wine distributed to each individual or group in the Gp series, it is possible to infer a hierarchy of recipients based on the frequency of attestation and the amount received. Moreover, such a great variability prevents the interpretation of these distributions of wine as standard, regular payments. Since carpenters occupy the fourth position in frequency and received good amounts of wine (with a maximum of VIN 4+ in Gp147.2), a luxury item, probably during religious ceremonies, we can conclude that they enjoyed a relatively high social position in Mycenaean society and/or that people who worked for the Palace and participated at the feasts were exceptionally skilled workers.
Barbara Montecchi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/696675
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