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phaistosdisc1It’s not often that we at Accutranslate have to admit we can’t do something – but I think we can be forgiven for this one.

The Phaistos Disc is an inscrutable work of unknown origin, purpose, and meaning, written about 4,000 years ago. It was found in 1908 in the Minoan palace of Phaistos on the island of Crete by archaeologist Luigi Pernier. Phaistos was one of the most important centres of Minoan civilization, and the most wealthy and powerful city in southern Crete.

Most scholars agree that the disc dates to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age. But no one has really been able to translate the symbols which are on both sides of the disc. These were made by pressing seals of 45 unique symbols into a disc of soft clay The symbols are images, including a man walking, a tattooed head, a helmet, an arrow, manacles, cats, eagles, and more.

There have been at least 26 attempts at translation without success. Some have compared the signs with other writing systems. Others have tried to figure out the meaning based on what they look like. But no-one has succeeded – though there are plenty of theories.

Some interpretations include: an ancient prayer, a game board, an astronomical document, a document from Atlantis, an adventure story, a description of a mythical labyrinth, initiation rites for young women and a solar calendar. Which really tells you – no one has a clue.

If you want to have a go then you can see the real thing at the archaeological museum of Heraklion.

Fortunately, at Accutranslate we can work with most living languages and we offer a 24 hour turn around. Contact us now to see how we can help you.