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Hypotheses about the Phaistos Disc


The following picture emerged from the theoretical-type overview of the text analysis combined with an examination of the available Phaistos Disc literature:


1. The Phaistos Disc was described right-to-left, i.e. from outside in. Changes to individual characters resulting from the stamping of the next sign relate to this, amongst other points.
Clearly the reading direction matches the direction of writing. This assumption is supported by the direction the heads of the people and animals face and by the alignment of some signs.
2. Unlike the theory which has prevailed since Evans that Side A must be regarded as the front side of the Phaistos Disc, technological arguments favour Side B as the front. This arguments are based on considerations formulated by Messerschmidt in 1906 for the Babylon clay tablets.
3. The impression that both sides are stamped with different characters is gained from an initial brief examination of the Phaistos Disc. However, at the same time it provides the reason for attempting to look for common characteristics and differences on both sides of the Phaistos Disc. Despite the brevity of the available text appropriate analysis revealed a surprisingly large number of striking features in the structure of the sign groups. Altogether these features enable a three-part structure to be assumed. This observation is described as a indication that the sign groups might be units of meaning.
4. The conclusion that the Phaistos Disc was not written in a alphabetic script or a logographic script can be drawn from a comparison with known script systems. Instead numerous arguments point to a syllable or hieroglyphic script.
5. Comprehensive discussions were held about the theories regarding interpretation of the characters against the background of previous publications. The numerous references to Cretan culture of the Bronze Age which emerged made it seem likely that the Phaistos Disc was found on Crete and made there as well.
6. If the three-part structure of the sign groups identified during statistical analysis is compared with linear scripts, there are increasing indications that the language of the Phaistos Disc is near Linear A, as already assumed by Duhoux in 1983. Especially noticeable is the fact that the three characters D 18, D 23 and D 35 of the Phaistos Disc frequently occurring in the prior to last or last position resemble the likewise most frequent ending characters of Linear A.
7. The formal similarity of numerous Phaistos Disc characters with those of linear scripts, but also the parallels with the Axe of Arkalochori, substantiate the assumption that the Phaistos Disc script is a stamp script following Linear A.
8. The repetition of sign groups and the return of features in the group sequences make the structure of the Phaistos Disc text visible. The idea on which it is based dates back to an essay by Ipsen from 1929.
9. A sentence structure with three to five words each can be assumed for the whole text. The sentences formed from three words could be made up of subject, verb and object. The verb might correspond with the subject. The language of the Phaistos Disc would therefore either be of an agglutinate or inflection type: an isolated language should be ruled out.
10. A possible interpretation for the dash would be that it stands for a consonant which closes a syllable.
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