Re: Phaistos disk
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Friday, July 19, 2002, 18:24|
On Friday, July 19, 2002, at 04:40 , Abrigon Gusiq wrote:
> Atleast the game board idea is alot better than the standard it seems in
> many athropology circles. Fat women, with large breast, must be
> fertility goddess.
Rest assured there are no fat women with large breasts on the Phaistos
> So yes, nice that there is other options for a disk in a circular
> fashion that is not religious artifact, but might be just a game board
> or ..
The two are not mutually exclusive. The game could have religious
such things are not unknown.
> What else? A pray wheel of some sort, possible but to conventional
> in thought. Seems to many anthro types, that ancient people were either
> deeply into religion or into sex/fertility..
Well, if you live in a world where lack of animals and/or failure in
starvation & possibly death, and where infant mortality is high and lack
children means that there'll be no one to look after you in old age
reach it), then fertility become _very_ important.
As for religion, it has much to do with human disposition to try and make
sense of the
universe we are born into and, if possible, to use it to our advantage or
at least fend
off the worst disasters. It is basically the same motivations IMO that
> Games, possible. What else?
> Sadly have nothing really new. Does the disk have a hole in the back or
> like means, so you could turn in on the hole (stick), and enscribe on
The is no hole in the disk, so you can't turn it on the stick. Indeed,
we simply do not
know which side of the disk is the front or the back. Both sides, as we
have said, had
characters stamped on the them more than 3 & half thousand years back.
The only things
that are inscribed are the spiral guide-lines between which the characters
and the lines which separate groups of characters. Those who believe the
are writing, assume these lines show word breaks.
> Early prayer wheel?
Depends what you mean by a prayer wheel. If you mean something with
writing on that
you can set spinning & let the wheel "pray", then I think not. That the
shape with spiral writing had religious significance, then this is a
> Or just lesson plan for an ancient long gone culture?
It seems a strange way to write a lesson plan. Also, why bother to bake &
glaze the thing?
Surely it'd make more sense just to let the clay harden at normal
temperature so that when
it was no longer needed it could be plunged in water and recycled. This
seems to have been
the normal practice. Practically all examples of Linear A & Linear B
writing on clay tablets
have survived because they got accidently baked when the palace, or part
of it, caught fire.
The vast majority of writings from the second millennium BC in Crete & the
Greek mainland is,
regrettably, lost for ever.
> The disk does challenge the normal way of writing things down in the
> same way we do in the modern era, in western idels of left to right, up
> to down.
I think not. No one AFAIK seriously doubts that the scribes at Phaistos
did not normally write
in vertical lines, either left-to-right, right-to-left or boustrophedon,as
nearly all ancient Minoan
& Mycenaean writing was.
As I pointed out in a reply to John Cowan, centuries later we have a clear
example of Etruscan
being written in a spiral on a disk found at Magliano in Italy. Most
scripts could be written this way.
One could easily take a lump of clay, shape it into a rough discus shape,
draw parallel spiral
guide lines from the outside to the center, and inscribe an English text
in, say, upper case letters,
putting a "vertical" line between words.
BTW I note you can order from amazon.com a book called "A Bronze Age
Computer Disk" by Alan Butler.
A computer disk? There's a thought :)