The Phaistos Disk and Related Inscriptions
The best-known Minoan inscription is the Phaistos Disk. It is commonly accepted that this can be read spirally, i.e., from the rim inwards. 16 cm in diameter, the disk’s two sides bear a total of 242 signs which can be divided into 61 groups.
There are 45 different signs on the Disk, too many for them to constitute an alphabet and too few for them to constitute a truly ideographic script, as is the case with Chinese. This observation enables us to deduce that it is also a syllabic script, as are both Linear B and Linear A.
It goes without saying that that the language of the Disk is unknown, and thus the text remains beyond our reach. Nevertheless, this has not deterred many potential decipherers from offering their own interpretations. Indeed, more has been written about this Cretan inscription than about any other, but most work is the product of fantasy.