Created in the 17th century B.C., the Disk of Phaistos was maked out of clay and its diameter is 15 cm. It is full of different symbols and no one knows what exactly it says, it is the one and only Disk of Phaistos!
On a sunny hot day of July in Heraklion of 1908 Luigi Pernier (1874 – 1937), archaeologist, having drilled in the basement rooms of the Minoan palace of Phaistos, finds intact a thin disk of baked clay, with a diameter of only 15 cm.
He takes the disk carefully in his arms, blows on it in order to leave the ashes that have fallen on it, and notices that on both sides there is a series of incomprehensible designs written in a snail-like shape, from the inside out. Or from the outside in? In any case, he realizes that the finding is important. And it was!
Luigi Pernier has just discovered the Disk of Phaistos, which sees the light of sun after approximately 3.700 years.
The most famous example of Minoan hieroglyphic writing is the only record of its kind.
It dates to the beginning of the neo-palace years and is kept intact.
Symbols have been imprinted on both sides in a row, following a spiral arrangement, starting from the periphery and ending in the center.
There are 45 symbols that are repeated and grouped to form words, which are separated by vertical engraved lines.
They were stamped when the clay was still fresh and for this reason, the disk is considered the oldest known sample of typography.
The Belgian Louis Godart archaeologist said:
“I got tired of answering the strange philologists who send me letters with supposed decryptions of the album.
The 241 symbols with the 45 different representations have nothing to do with Cretan hieroglyphics or with Linear A and B or with any alphabet. They are syllables of an unknown language. To decrypt the code, we must have at our disposal not 241, but a few thousand such symbols. “
The most recent theory is that of the linguist Dr. Gareth Owens, a specialist in Minoan writing, who has lived in Crete for over 30 years and works at the Technological Educational Institute of the island.
Only in February 2018 he announced in front of the public in fluent Greek that “after many years of research we find that the Disk of Phaistos consists of 61 words on both sides in 18 rhyming verses.
Six of them refer to the Light, six to the set of the Light, three words are dedicated to a pregnant deity and another ten are essentially various adjectives that characterize this deity who is sometimes called Pasiphae (the mother of Minos), sometimes Astarte -Opher (the deity of love of war, war, nature, and mountains of Middle Eastern origin, which the Cypriots later named Aphrodite).
The enigmatic inscribed Disc of Phaistos is kept to this day in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, a few kilometers away from the place where it was discovered.