Phaistos disc

inscribed tablet found in Crete with undeciphered spiral scriptures

The Phaistos disc is a bronze age artifact. The disc is about 15 centimetres (5.9 in) in diameter and is made of clay. It is covered with many symbols. It is from the civilization of Minoa on the Greek island of Crete, possibly from the 2nd millennium BC.

A side (original)
B side (original)
some details

The symbols cover both sides of the disc. They show everyday things. They were stamped onto the disc, pressed into the clay when it was still soft. They run in a spiral. This disc is the first known "printed" work in history; in the sense that there was a re-usable set of characters and drawings. It is the only artefact of its kind. Many questions have been asked about the disc, about its purpose, and if the signs shown actually represent writing.

In total, there are 242 tokens on the disc, taken from a set of 45 unique signs. There are arranged in 61 groups, separated by lines. Groups are between two and seven stamps long. Because the "text" is very short, and the disc is unique, it is likely that it will not be deciphered.[1]


  1. "An "actions report" of a manager of the ancient Phaistos commercial center". Archived from the original on 2014-01-15. Retrieved 2013-09-15.