The Disc of Phaestos

The Phaestos or Phaistos Disc is a very interesting and peculiar archaeological object discovered in Crete, Greece, and which dates from the Middle Minoan Bronze Age. To the date, this disc is still surrounded by mystery due to the fact that its complete meaning and purpose couldn’t be completely understood, although it has been analyzed and studies by scientists around the world.

The Disc of Phaestos was discovered in 1908 on the southern coast of Crete by an Italian archaeologist called Luigi Pernier. This disc was found in the Minoan Palace of Phaestos, in the basement of what is known as the building 101. Nowadays, visitors can observe and learn more about this discovery in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.

According to experts, the Disc of Phaestos was created between 1860 BC and 1620 BC, although other experts disagree with this affirmation and say it probably dates from around 1400 BC. Despite of this disagreement on its creation date, all experts agree on the fact that there never was other similar archaeological object discovered and that it is one of the most interesting objects found in Crete.

In 1992, a group of archaeologists discovered a very interesting object: a piece of what seemed to be a draft or a replica of the Phaestos Disc. This object was discovered in a basement which was built in the 19th century, and, after analyzing it, the experts realized it wasn’t an antique object and it was faked.

The Disc of Phaestos has 45 different unique signs, some of which can be easily understood and identified, and some others that, nowadays, are still not fully identified or could be read differently by diverse experts, and therefore the complete meaning of this object remains somehow surrounded by mystery. According to scientists and experts, the inscriptions in the Phaestos Disc were made with pre-created hieroglyphic seals. This hieroglyphic seals would be pressed into the still soft clay and following a spiral sequence that should be read clockwise. Once the hieroglyphic inscriptions were ready, the disc had to be baked and hardened at a very high temperature.