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Phaistos Disc
Quick Facts
LocationEurope > Greece
Time1200 BCE
DirectionLeft to Right

The Phaistos Disc is an enigma, an circular clay disc covered with inscribed symbols on both sides that are unlike any signs in any writing system. It was discovered in the ancient city of Phaistos in Southern Crete in 1908. It is thought to date to around 1700 BC (from associated archaelogical context), roughly contemporary with .

This object has been subject of many studies. Steven Fischer has claimed to have deciphered it and that it was a document in an archaic form of Greek. Because no other similar artifacts have ever been found anywhere in the Crete, it is thought that the object was foreign and brought in from another place. The place of its origin is extremely speculative, although subtle clues may exist in the highly pictorial signs on the disc. A sign depicts a helmet with crest, which was used later by Philistines. Another sign depict a structure similar to sarcophagus used by the Lycians of Asia Minor.

Because there is essentially no variation between different copies of the same symbol, it is very likely that stamps where used to create these highly detailed signs. While not really a printed work, some has labeled the Phaistos Disc the earliest typewritten work.

The Arkalochori

Recently, there is a new theory stating that the Phaistos disk is a modern hoax.

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