In Greek tradition, they were a “sea people” who entered the Peloponnesus and the islands of the Eastern Mediterranean about four thousand years ago. They were the forefathers of the Achaean or Bronze Age inhabitants of Greece, named after their leader, Pelasgus, remembered as the First Man.
Notable mariners, the Pelasgians came from the Far West, where they conquered Western and Northern Europe, just as Plato’s Atlanteans were said to have done, previous to their arrival in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The pre-Greek Linear A written language of ancient Crete and the enigmatic Phaistos Disk are both attributed to the Pelasgians. According to the first-century B.C. Greek geographer Diodorus Siculus, writing was introduced by the Pelasgians, and the mathematical genius Pythagoras was supposed to have been directly descended from them.
The Phaistos Disc is made of fired clay from the Minoan palace of Phaistos on the Greek island of Crete, possibly dating to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC). It is about 15 cm (5.9 in) in diameter 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.
The disc was discovered in 1908, by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier, and features 241 tokens, comprising 45 unique signs, which were apparently made by pressing pre-formed hieroglyphic “seals” into a disc of soft clay, in a clockwise sequence spiraling towards the disc’s center.
The Phaistos Disc captured the imagination of amateur and professional archeologists, many attempts have been made to decipher the code behind the disc’s signs. While it is not clear if it is a script, most attempted decipherments assume that it is; most also assume it’s a syllabary, while still others believe it could be an alphabet or logography. Attempts at decipherment are generally thought to be unlikely to succeed unless more examples of the signs are found, and more context becomes available for further meaningful analysis.
Although the Phaistos Disc is generally accepted as authentic by archaeologists, a few scholars have forwarded the opinion that the disc is a forgery or a hoax. The assumption of authenticity is based on the excavation records of Luigi Pernier and is supported by a later discovery of the Arkalochori Axe with similar but not identical glyphs.
Via in part: OldMapsExpeditionsAndExplorations