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Re: Phaistos disk (was: boustrophedon)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 17, 2002, 18:19
On Tuesday, July 16, 2002, at 05:50 , Karapcik, Mike wrote:

> Millennia later, books are written trying to figure out the > product > of one person's half hour of boredom. > > From what I've read, the characters on the disk are all stamped > in, > not hand-written in.
Indeed they are.
> I think this is why I've always thought of someone > playing with the potter's stamps.
That theory would be fine if the disk had been written, as e.g. the Linear B finds were, on unbaked clayed that got baked (and thus preserved) accidentally in some fire. But the Phaistos disk was fired & glazed IIRC, which seems a bit over the top for someone just playing about.
> However, if I recall correctly, all the images are similar to the > hieroglyphs/pictures which Linear A & B characters are believed to be > derived from.
Linear A is assumed to have evolved from the more familiar Cretan 'pictographic' script found, e.g. in the Minoan period of the Place of Knossos. The problem that probably most of the ancient were on perishable materials and so little survives. That there are other examples of the Phaistos script is, I'm sure, due to chance. Indeed, had the disk not been discovered we would not even know the script existed. I have suggested elsewhere that in the early 'pictographic' stage each Palace center may have had its own version.
> Unfortunately, the writing does not directly correspond to > either script, or anything Greek-like.
Indeed, not. Ray.