Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


25 July 2011

I misteri del disco di Festo

Louis Godart Annuario della Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene LXXXVII (2009) [2010]: 191-207.


Since its discovery, the Phaistos Disc has been the object of thousands of attempts to decipher it, none of which is convincing. The author, having dealt for over 45 years with ancient Aegean scripts, has received over 300 proposals of interpretation of the text. Thus, we should ask the basic question: Is it possible to achieve a decipherment of the Phaistos Disc? In this particular case we must concede that we have no idea of the content of the text. The fact that there are no ideographic or numerical signs, the opposite of the case in the archival documents in Cretan hieroglyphic, in Linear A and B, could indicate only that we have a text of non-economic character. The signs on the Disc are entirely different from those used in the three Aegean scripts and in all the known scripts generally. Thus, there is no evidence available to us for correlating the script and the language of the Disc with a known and deciphered script. The Disc remains an isolated inscription. We add to this isolation the fact that the total of the 242 signs imprinted in the inscription is too small to permit the formulation of plausible hypothesis of decipherment, even more so when we known nothing about the content of the text.


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