Tag Archive: payment



Linear B tablet on olive trees and barley as debts to be paid to the gods:

Linear B tablet Knossos debts to the gods of olive oil and barley

This particular tablet serves as a minor variant on the others we have posted with reference to dedications of olive trees and barley to the gods. Twice over tt adds the notion of debts to be paid (to the gods). This emphasis is obviously of great importance to the fellow who must pay these debts to the gods, to the palace administration at Knossos (which benefits from said payment) and to the gods themselves (who do not, since no one can pay out debts to abstract beings).

The tablet adds an extra dimension to the vocabulary on Linear B tablets on olive oil and barley owed to the gods, which hopefully can be successfully cross-correlated with Minoan Linear A tablets possibly referencing the same procedure.


Linear B tablet Knossos KN 683 Sh 01 dealing with textiles and onyx:

KN 683 S h 01 textiles

Linear B tablet Knossos KN 683 Sh 01 deals primarily with textiles, but it covers a lot more ground than just that. The textiles mentioned are (a) wehano, a Linear B word for “a type of textile”, but since this word is archaic Mycenaean Greek, we do not know exactly what kind of textile it refers to. We do know that it is a kind of cloth, but that is as far as it goes. (b) The next type of cloth mentioned is mare (in Linear B = “wool”. Next comes the really surprising mention of onyx = onuke in Mycenaean Linear B! Female interior decorators are not only working on both types of cloth, but on the onyx too! Wow! The question is, what are they decorating that requires both two kinds of cloth (one wool) and onyx as well? That is a mystery to me. And they are using an awful lot of wool (9 rolls at 2 units of weight each, probably something along the line of kilograms), in other words something like 18 kilograms or so.  And it is hardly surprising that, with the use of 2 types of cloth and of onyx, this interior decorating, whatever it is, is going to be expensive to the potential buyer, which is why the ladies in question wish to make it perfectly clear that there is a question of debts to be paid. No payment, no decorations. Nada. Nothing surprising there. Ancient capitalism at its best.

I actually found this tablet not only quite a challenge, but a real beauty at that. There is a great deal more information to be found on it than on most Linear B tablets. That is what makes it so intriguing. 

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