The Phaistos Disc, the most famous Minoan clay disc in Linear B script from the Bronze Age, dating back 500 years before the Trojan War in the 17th century BC, is a hymn to the pregnant deity and goddess Aphaia. This was revealed by researcher and linguist Gareth Owens at the event “the Voice of Phaistos Disc” at the National Research Foundation. The mystery of the Phaisos Disc has been solved at 99 percent, the researcher who had devoted his life to decipher the disc said.
“I think the disc speaks of the pregnant deity on the first side.” Owens said in perfect Greek adding that the new element he added to the interpretation of the disc was a sentence on the back side.
“There is a sentence referring to this deity, which is known from the Minoan Crete where Aphaia is identical with Diktyna, the deity for childbirth. Deity Aphaia is also related to the light. But it could also be Astarte or Aphrodite. I believe Aphaia as the deity of childbirth on the second side of the disc is also related with the pregnant deity referred to first side of the disc.”
- Aphaea was a Greek goddess who was worshipped almost exclusively at a single sanctuary on the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf. She originated as early as the 14th century BCE as a local deity associated with fertility and the agricultural cycle. Under Athenian hegemony, however, she came to be identified with the goddesses Athena and Artemis
Explaining the method used to decipher the Phaistos Disc, Owens said “We read the Phaistos Disc with the vocal values of Linear B and with the help of comparative linguistics, that is, comparing with other native languages from the Indo-European language family.”
He also stated that “some words and a whole sentence on the Phaistos Disc were also found in other Minoan religious syllable inscriptions, in the cave of Arkalohori and Mount Giouchta next to Archanes and Knossos, and these religious inscriptions were also found in vows, therefore Minoan words on the Minoan vows are also related to religion and health. “
The Phaistos Disc disk of fired clay was discovered in the Minoan palace of Phaistos on the island of Crete in 1908 by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier. The disk is about 15 cm (5.9 in) in diameter and covered on both sides with a spiral of stamped symbols. It features 241 tokens, comprising 45 distinct signs, which were apparently made by pressing hieroglyphic “seals” into a disc of soft clay, in a clockwise sequence spiraling toward the center of the disk. Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology.
In conclusion, Gareth Owens summed up the results of his research efforts to interpret and understand Disco now.
“Of the total of 61 words we can offer an idea of what more than half the words mean. So it is 61 words on the two sides and 18 lyrics like a sonnet with rhyme. Six words speak of the light and six words for the st of the light. Three words speak of the pregnant deity and another 10 about the deity with various adjectives.”
Addressing the audience, Owens concluded “With your help I would like one day in the future to translate these verses for the deity of love, to know more about her.”
It is commonly accepted that the disc can be read spirally, i.e., from the rim inwards. 16 cm in diameter, the disk’s two sides bear a total of 242 signs which can be divided into 61 groups.
There are 45 different signs on the Disk, too many for them to constitute an alphabet and too few for them to constitute a truly ideographic script, as is the case with Chinese. This observation enables us to deduce that it is also a syllabic script, as are both Linear B and Linear A.
This unique object is now on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion.