The Phaistos Disc is one of the most renowned enigmas, an archaeological treasure housed in the Archaeological Museum of Crete, located in Heraklion.
This 16cm round clay disc was retrieved near Phaistos plalace, July 3, 1908 on a Friday evening, during an inspection on the excavation site by a workman ‘Zakarias Iliakis’ 1 . The excavator, the italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier2 was not present at that time.
On the disc are found 45 different signs and in the words of Dr Gareth Owens3 a British-Greek academic, Associate Professor of Hellenic Culture, who has dedicated 10 years of research to the disc:
[The signs on the disc are] too many for them to constitute an alphabet and too few for them to constitute a truly ideographic script, as is the case with Chinese. This observation enables us to deduce that it is also a syllabic script, as are both Linear B and Linear A.
In total there are 241 signs on the disc, which is unique as a ‘stamped inscription’. Its creation according to archaeological sources 4 dates back to approximately 17th century B.C.
The Disc of Phaistos represents the earliest form of printing. The clay was baked at high temperature after pressing what seem to be wood or ivory hieroglyphic seals into the soft clay.
What still puzzles the historians is why such a n inscription was used, since at that time the Linear A was used. The text on the disc of Phaistos appears to be one of a kind, and this is why it has been so difficult to be interpreted.
Over the last years there have been many attempts by scholars and researchers to decipher the disc with5 some of the most known are by Jean Faucounau in 1975, who considers the script to be an original invention of a Cycladic people, the Proto-Ionians. 6 However this solution was reviewed in a very skeptical and critical way.
Mrs Efi Polygiannakis as well as Dr Steven Fischer identify the text as a syllabic writing in the ancient Greek dialect, due to the fact that the disc was unearthed in an underground temple. This has persuaded many researchers that there is possibly a secret hymn hidden in the script.
Yesterday, Wednesday the 7th of February, the Linguist Dr Gareth Owens made a significant statement; that he has progressed to the reading of the disc in more than its 50%. 7
“We read the Phaistos Disk with the phonetic values of Linear B and with the help of comparative linguistics , i.e. by comparing Linear B with other related languages from the Indo- European family. Reading something, however, does not mean understanding it”, says Dr Owens to the AMNA
“The Phaistos Disk is written in Minoan script which records the Minoan language. It is the best example of ‘Cretan hieroglyphics’, always within quotation marks, because it is not the same writing system as ancient Egypt. The name is wrong. The Phaistos Disk is also a syllabic script as is the Minoan Linear A”.
At the same time, he points out that the phonetic syllables on the disc have been recorded on a sound track “because I want people to listen to them. Minoan is not a dead language. Knossos, Phaistos, Crete are Minoan words, like so many others still used today”, he says.
Dr Owens used to believe that the disc was referring to the pregnant mother; now he believes it speaks of the pregnant goddess.
In his speech, he has mentioned that they have managed to understand the potential meaning of more than the half words depicted on the disc.
He mentions that he first (a) side of the disc refers to the pregnant goddess who shines and the second (b) side has a sentence referring to the goddess who is setting.
He continues saying that 61 words at both sides and 18 rhymes resembling to a sonnet, of which 6 words mention the light and 6 words mention the setting of the light. Three of the words are mentioning the pregnant goddess and another 10 refer to the goddess using a variety of adjectives.
Some words and a whole sentence of Phaistos Disc have been unearthed in other Minoan inscriptions and in Arcalochori cave. This means that there is a rational context, as to the fact that the Phaistos Disc is a Minoan religious syllabic inscription and has to do with rituals and prayers.
“The Phaistos Disk is Minoan script in the form of a text, but it is also a work of art. That is its fascination. To me the Phaistos Disk is the bible of Minoan Crete”. said dr Owens.
The Phaistos Disc remains a fascinating mystery of ancient times and it still hides many secrets. It will be interesting to see what other academics have to say regarding Dr Owens interpretations.
Original article here
Sources and further reading
Sources – Professor of John G. Younger University of Kansas
Source – Tei of Crete – Daidalika by Gareth Owens
Source – The National Documentation Centre
Source : unmyst3.com via Hidden history by Brian Haughton & Wikipedia
source: Hidden History: Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge & Ancient Mysteries by Brian Haughton
Source – Wikipedia – Phaistos Disc claims of decipherment
source GR – cretalive.gr