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Does the controversial 'Phaistos Disc' have a real message?

The Phaistos Disk is an archaeological find found in the homonymous city of Phaistos, on the island of Crete, under a wall of a Minoan palace. Although the archaeological community recognizes its authenticity, no researcher has yet managed to decipher the enigmatic code printed on it. Is it possible that the Phaistos Disk contains a message left by an unknown culture present on earth thousands of years ago?

The Phaistos Disk
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The Phaistos Disk

Why does the Phaistos Disk exist? Who created it and for what purpose? What kind of information is stored on the disk?

Until now, scientists have been unable to decipher the enigmatic symbols imprinted on the small disk discovered in 1908 in the Minoan palace of Phaistos, Crete.

Furthermore, there is no written record of the artifact. Its purpose and meaning, and even the original geographical location of the manufacture, still remain debated, making it one of the most perplexing enigmas of modern archaeology.

Although more than a century has passed since it was found, numerous attempts to decode the Phaistos Disc, a proto-syllabic hieroglyphic script, have not achieved convincing results. In any case, the signs on the disc have remained undeciphered, and reveal no formal resemblance to those of any other known writing.

Mysterious characters on the Phaistos Disk
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Mysterious characters on the Phaistos Disk

The diameter of the disc is 16 cm, with a thickness of approximately 16 mm. The enigmatic inscription consists of 241 symbols, 122 present on side A and 119 on side B, of which 45 are unique. They represent children, women, heads with feathered crowns, running men, birds, insects, tools and weapons. The inscriptions follow a spiral configuration.

The discovery was made by an Italian archaeologist, Luigi Pernier, who recovered the extraordinary artefact during the first excavation of the Minoan palace in Crete. The disc was found in the basement of room 8 in building 101 of a group of buildings northeast of the main building, along with a conventionally written clay tablet.

Having been found in a structure of the Minoan culture, the disk has been attributed to this sophisticated society that flourished between 2700 and 1450 BC. The city of Phaistos, in particular, was one of the most important centers of the Minoan civilization, and the richest and most powerful city in the southern part of Crete. Despite this, no other Minoan artifact has engravings similar to those on the disk. Some believe the record is much older.

Did this object belong to Minoans?

Why would the Minoans have used a rather primitive pictographic language instead of using the writing found on a clay tablet found near the disk? Was the disk created before the tablet? Could it be the legacy of an older civilization yet to be discovered that was familiar with writing?

Some scholars have hypothesized that the writing used on the Phaistos Disk is Ancient Greek very similar to Archaic Baltic. It would not be an alphabetic language, but a syllabic one where each symbol represents a syllable rather than a letter. It could even be a mixture of both, as in Egypt.

What is it exactly?

As with writing, disk usage is also a subject of speculation. It could be a religious object and its carvings could be a hymn or sacred song used during a ritual.

Others believe that it contains a fiction or adventure story, or that it is a board game or a geometric theorem. These are all valid hypotheses, but as there is not enough material available for a comparative analysis, the scientific community thinks that any further attempt at deciphering is doomed to failure. Indeed, any new decipherment without external confirmation is unlikely to be accepted as conclusive.

Nothing similar has been found in numerous archaeological excavations conducted on the island of Crete over the last 100 years. This is one of the factors that makes the Phaistos Disc decidedly enigmatic.

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