Sunday, July 29, 2012

July Photo A Day Challenge - Day 29

The Topic of the Day


"A Favorite Country"

One of my favorite countries  is Greece. 

One of my favorite pieces of jewelry is from Greece.

It's a piece based on the Phaistos Disc.  The original Phaistos (also spelled Phaestos) Disc is on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion in Crete, Greece.

The Phaistos Disc is surrounded by mystery.

In art and architecture, a meander is a decorative border constructed from a continuous line, shaped into a repeated motif. Such a design is also called the Greek Fret or Greek Key design, although these are modern words. The name "meander" recalls the twisting and turning path of the Maeander River. Meanders were among the most important symbols in ancient Greece; they, perhaps, symbolized infinity and unity; many ancient Greek temples incorporated the sign of the meander. The actual Phaistos Disc (Greek Δίσκος της Φαιστού, also spelled Phaistos Disk, Phaestos Disc) is a disk of fired clay from the Minoan palace of Phaistos, possibly dating to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC). It was originally discovered by Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier, remarkably intact, on July 3, 1908 during his excavation of the first Minoan palace.

When discovered, the disc was found in the underground basement "temple depository" - known now as "room 8 in building 101" of a group of buildings to the northeast of the main palace. These basement cells, only accessible from above, were neatly covered with a layer of fine plaster, and amongst black earth and ashes, mixed with burnt bovine bones. This grouping of 4 rooms also served as a formal entry into the palace complex. Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier recovered this remarkably intact "dish", about 15 cm in diameter and uniformly slightly more than one centimeter in thickness, on July 3, 1908 during his excavation of the first Minoan palace.

The original disc is about 15 cm in diameter (slightly more than one centimeter in thickness) and covered on both sides with a spiral of stamped symbols. Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology. This unique object is now on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion in Crete, Greece.

There are 241 tokens on the disc, comprising 45 symbols (for example, "Man, Woman, Child, Bow, Arrow, Shield, Ship, Dove, etc.), mostly representing easily identifiable every-day things. In addition to these, there is a small diagonal line that occurs underneath the final sign in a group a total of 18 times. The disc shows traces of corrections made by the scribe in several places. Some scholars have pointed to similar resemblances with the Anatolian hieroglyphs, or with Egyptian hieroglyphs.


Anonymous said...

Excellent post! I too love anything Greek! Be sure to see comments on DL today on you and Harley! Thelma in Manhattan

Earl Staggs said...

Souvenirs from a special trip bring back great memories, don't they? The original disc is mine, by the way. I lost it there many, many, many years ago.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Thelma - you are the SWEETEST! Thank you, my friend. (blushing).

Harley would like an opportunity to meet and play with the Queen's corgis. If you can arrange it, we'd be most appreciative.


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Earl Darlin' - I'm going to call these people right away and ask that they return your disc! I'll let you know what they say. You and Carol and Don and I "may" need to go over there to retrieve it. sigh.


Patty said...

Nice -- enjoyed the history.

Peter Aleff said...

Since you said in your self-description that you love mysteries, I want to bring to your attention a detailed discussion of this "mystery" disk from Phaistos, beginning at I hope you enjoy it and would be thrilled to read your comments. Best wishes,
Peter Aleff