PU-RO, PA-KI-JA-NA/NE, and the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Pylos

Barbara Montecchi

The focus of this paper is the relationship between the two most important place names mentioned in the Linear B tablets from Pylos: pu-ro (alphabetical Greek Πύλος) and pa-ki-ja-na/-ne (possibly *Σφαγιᾶνα/ες). The first is identified as the seat of the Mycenaean Palace, whose remains lie on the hill of Epano Englianos, while the second is generally assumed to be an important cult centre close to the Palace, perhaps in the vicinity of Chora Volimidia. So far, however, the attempts made to identify pa-ki-ja-na/-ne on the ground have not provided any definitive result. This paper investigates the possibility of a sub-level territorial organisation and, as a consequence, that one of these two place names may be a form of district name, while the other may be the name of the main settlement within such a district. Following this scenario, the hypothesis will be discussed that the temple of Poseidon (po-si-da-i-jo), which is linked both to pu-ro and pa-ki-ja-ne, corresponded to the central Megaron of the Palace, the religious role of which is well known. Poseidon, indeed, seems to be the main god of this Mycenaean realm and religious offerings with a strong fiscal aspect were periodically delivered to him, but no proper sanctuary has been brought to light there.

Barbara Montecchi is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Classical Archaeology, Heidelberg University.
Full Bibliographic Reference

Montecchi B. 2016, PU-RO, PA-KI-JA-NA/NE, and the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Pylos, SMEA NS 2, 143-160

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Map

Messenia region
Messenia regionMain archaeological sites mentioned in the text
06-Maiocchi17-1-600