Supersyllabograms for sheep husbandry at Knossos (K series supplemental): Click to ENLARGE

Sheep husbandry tablets Scripta Minoa K series supplemental
We see illustrated above 13 tablets in the K series (supplemental) from Scripta Minoa (Sir Arthur Evans), Cambridge University, 1952. The supersyllabograms on these tablets are 0 for onato = lease field, pa for Paito, i.e. Phaistos (?) and pe for periqoro = enclosure or sheep pen. Although the SSYL pa appears with high frequency on the Linear B tablets from Knossos dealing with sheep husbandry, its precise meaning remains unclear. I have been unable to find any word beginning with the syllabogram pa as first syllable in any lexicon of Mycenaean Greek which can possibly be a match for this supersyllabogram, except for the toponym, Paito = Phaistos. This would appear to be in violation of the meanings of supersyllabograms we should expect in any sector of the Minoan/Mycenaean economy regardless, since none of the SSYLs I have isolated, defined and categorized to date are place names, with the sole exception of pa, if indeed it represents Phaistos — and I have serious reservations about that. However, in spite of its high frequency on the Linear B tablets from Knossos, there is no other cogent decipherment at hand. So I am forced assume that the SSYL pa is the first syllable of the Mycenaean place name, Paito = Phaistos. Until and unless another more reliable decipherment for the SSYL pa for sheep husbandry in the agricultural sector of the Minoan/Mycenaean economy is forthcoming, this translation will have to do. I am obliged to base my conjecture for this decipherment on the plausible assumption that the scribes were in the habit of inventorying sheep, rams and ewes at Knossos, given that tens and tens of thousands of them are mentioned for that city alone, whereas the number of sheep raised in all other centres, including Phaistos, usually runs into the scores or hundreds at most, almost never into the thousands. So it would appear that the scribes took to mentioning Phaistos by name for sheep raising at that locale, whenever they felt this was appropriate. It makes sense, given that Phaistos was the next major locale for sheep raising after Knossos, as illustrated on this map: Click to ENLARGE

Minoan Mycenaean Crete Knossos Phaistos and other centres
This is all the more plausible as few other centres for sheep raising are mentioned with any frequency on the Linear B tablets from Knossos.