The Festus Tablet, one of the great mysteries of archaeology that scientists have not been able to decipher

The Festus Tablet, one of the great mysteries of archaeology that scientists have not been able to decipher

At a time when everything seems to be within reach and few questions are left out of scientific discoveries and progress, Festo tablet It remains one of the great mysteries of humanity. Also known as the Rosetta Stone in Minoan culture, it resists exposure despite being exposed to the sun Experts attempt to uncover its meaning And purpose for decades.

It was July 15, 1908 when Italian archaeologist Luigi Bernier He stumbled upon this strange disc of baked clay while working on excavations at the Minoan palace at Phaistos, located in the south of the Greek island of Crete. Perfectly preserved, and certainly an unprecedented circumstance, it consists of 61 words consisting of 45 signs Different hieroglyphs are stamped on both sides (31 words on side A and 30 on side B).

There are many mysteries – and theories – surrounding this tiny object Its diameter is 16 cm and its thickness is 2 cm Which archaeologists cannot decipher. They do not even agree on the date of its creation. The first indications are that the Phaistos Disc dates from between 1850 and 1650 BC. Others point out that it is older and much older than the 14th century BC. To defend this hypothesis, scholars relied on the fact that at least 10 of the signs indicating its authorship are similar to those found in the typical linear writing of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete. If so, we'll talk about it The oldest surviving written language tablet, predating the famous Rosetta Stone of ancient Egypt by 1,300 years, written in hieroglyphics and with translations into ancient Greek and Demotic. But there are those who claim that it is a piece from the Copper and Bronze Age belonging to the Cycladic civilization, originating from the Cyclades Islands, in the Aegean Sea.

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Another curious thing about the Festo tablet that makes experts scratch their heads is the way the symbols that make it up were captured. Inscriptions FIt was made from printed stamps Prominently in soft clay and in a spiral sequence extending from the border to the center of the disc. Therefore it is The first printed document in history and an introduction to the various printing methods later developed in China (between 1041 and 1048) and Europe (1450). The last one is by the German Johannes Gutenberg. Once the recording was completed, the object in question was fired at a high temperature.

Another issue on which specialists do not agree is the method of reading the Festus tablet. Although there is widespread agreement that the inscriptions were made from the outside in, not everyone defends this Meaning of reading Be that specific. Not even that the direction is from left to right or even vice versa, starting from the right. Others talk about what to follow The direction indicated by the contours of the numbers Humans, not the direction of the vortex, the direction doesn't matter.

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Mystery or Forgery?: The great mystery surrounding the Phaistos Disk

The meaning of the story conveyed by the Festus tablet is unknown and there are also notable inconsistencies in this. According to 2018 analyzes by Gareth Owens of the Crete Technology Institute (TEI), in one sentence You can “read” “The Great Transcendent Lady” and in another “Pregnant Mother”.. Naturally, the linguists' discoveries came face to face with countless detractors and experts in the field. Perhaps the most extreme is the American historian and antiques dealer Jerome Eisenberg, who has always been He argued that the Festus tablet was a fake. Very successful, yes, but fraudulent, after all. According to his theory, it was Luigi Bernier himself who created the remains when he saw that he could not find anything referable during his excavations on the Greek island, where he supposedly found the questionable artifact.

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The only way the mystery object could be proven true, as Eisenberg advocated during his life, would be through… Subject to the thermal luminescence test. A test that the owners of the Heraklion Museum on the island of Crete, who are in charge of the Festus Tablet, refuse to perform. the reason? They confirm that it will not resist this scientific attack. And who knows, if the truth is even more painful…

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