[Russian, лана] In Russia, a unit of mass, about 34.12 grams.
In ancient Crete, before 1000 bce, a unit of wool weight, perhaps of about 3 kilograms, known from writing in the language Linear B. In scholarly texts today, it is designated LANA (always spelled in capital letters). In the Linear B inscriptions, its logogram looks like this 𐂝. It is the type of logogram which may be followed by numerals, and thus is a metrogram, that is, a symbol for a unit of weight or measure. In scholars' lists this is symbol *145; in the Unicode glyph encoding system, the glyph is hex 1009D.
The earliest scholarly literature calls this logogram WOOL. When, by international agreement, it was decided not to use English words as the names of logograms, the logogram was renamed LANA, from the Latin. “LANA” has nothing to do with the ancient pronunciation of the word; the word for which LANA is the symbol is unknown.
Four adult male sheep of the palace (castrated wethers) were expected to produce 1 LANA of wool per year between them.
We are fortunate in knowing to a reasonable degree of certainty what the absolute values of the symbols of weight used on Linear B records are likely to have been. For instance, the sign which is conventionally transcribed as LB probably represents a weight equivalent to approximately one kg.; and since 3 LB make up 1 WOOL unit, the 4 : 1 ratio of RAMS to WOOL on Dk texts can alternatively be expressed as 4 RAMS : 3 kg. (6.4 lb.) or as 1 RAM: 16 lb. It can hardly be coincidence, then, that in medieval England the amount of wool which a sheep was expected to produce varied between 1.5 and 2 lb., while at Alalakh, in the second millennium B.C., 308 sheep are recorded as having produced an average of just over 1.6 lb. of usable wool per head.
J. T. Killen.
The Wool Industry of Crete in the Lower Bronze Age.
Annual of the British School of Athens, vol. 59, pages 1-15. (1964)
K. M. Petruso.
Wool-Evaluation at Knossos and Nuzi.
Kadmos, vol 25, issue 1, pages 26-37 (January 1986).
doi: 10.1515/kadmos-1986-0104, March 2015
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