The Disk of Phaistos


A view of Phaistos disk


The Phaistos disk was found in 1908 at the ruins of the earlier Minoan palace of Phaistos in Crete, Greece. The exact date of the disk is uncertain, but it probably dates from the MM IIB period (17th century B.C.). It was made of clay, its average diameter is 16 cm and it is 2.1 cm thick. Its mysterious inscription constitute 241 symbols, 122 on side A and 119 on side B, in spiral order. There appear 45 distinct symbols (with repetitions). The 45 different symbols were actually impressed on wet clay and then the disk was fire-hardened. The signs belong to an ideographic and probably syllabic script, which has not yet been deciphered despite the numerous attempts over the years, using the most diverse methods of study. Researchers have proposed widely diverse speculations about the purpose, the contents of its inscription and its creators.

This has made the Phaestos Disc a real challenge for archaeologists and this is the reason why this certain Disc has been chosen by the Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH) as its symbol, because it expresses exactly the same challenges that the scientists encounter every day during their research. And this is the essence of science.