Solving the B’oïde enigma: kas´taum and baikar in two iberian inscriptions on a spindle whorl and on a small vase from Camps de l’Hospital (Vilademuls)

Joan Ferrer i Jané, Marina Sànchez Rodríguez

This paper analyses two unpublished Iberian inscriptions on a spindle whorl and a small vase from the site of Vilademuls. Among the different familiar lexical elements are two inscriptions, notably kas´taum and baikar. The first is established as a lexical element characteristic of spindle  whorls while the second is confirmed to be characteristic of small vessels as is the case at the nearby site of Sant Julià Ramis. These inscriptions are also interesting from the palaeographic point of view as they present an unusual letter labelled B’oïde due to its form that resembles the Latin B. This
sign, to date, is only clearly identified on an ostrakon of Pontós, a nearby site, in a line that now should be read turin and that can be linked to the first element of the anthroponym TVRINNVS. In this case, luck would have it that the problematical letter appears in three well known lexical elements: baikar on the small vase and egiar and the morph ar on the spindle whorl which allows to classify it as a variant of the letter r.

Keywords: Iberian inscription, Iberian language, Iberian script, spindle whorl.