>Another Archaeological Fake


The Phaistos Disk

The picture above, known as the Phaistos Disk (or Phaistos Disc) is a clay disk that, according to some scholars, comes from the Minoan palace of Phaistos. The Phaistos Disk has been dated to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC). For years, archaeologists have debated the purpose and meaning of the Phaistos Disk.

According to an article published in Times Online, American scholars have declared that the Phaistos Disk is a hoax:

Some say that its 45 mysterious symbols are the words of a 4,000-year-old poem, or perhaps a sacred text. Others contest that they are a magical inscription, a piece of ancient music or the world’s oldest example of punctuation.

But now an American scholar believes that the markings on the Phaistos Disc, one of archaeology’s most famous unsolved mysteries, mean nothing at all — because the disc is a hoax.

The existence of archaeological fakes is a problem that the scholarly world must deal with from time to time. A thermoluminescence test, a way of dating clay objects, would solve the problem of authenticity. However, Greek authorities have refused to give permission to American scholars to examine the disk.

So, the mystery will continue.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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