my notes

Information about the Efforts to Decipher

the PHAISTOS DISK

Picture of Disk

(1) In a recent book entitled "Ο Δισκος της Φαιστού Μιλάει Ελληνικά" (The Phaistos disk speaks Greek) Efi Poligiannaki claims to have solved the mystery of the disk and that the text is a prayer and the language is Greek. Her method is based on a combination of acronymic expanations and similarities between the disk symbols and the symbols from other linear scripts.

(2) The Massey twins request help from other linguists in order to help advance their research. Their research is based on similarities between the disk symbols and the symbols of Proto-Byblic script. They feel that it is possible that the disk contains a magical text possibly a curse. Still they think that it is more likely that the language of the disk is Indoeuropean. They have now announced that they have completed their efforts and published the results(6-2000).

(3) At Lexiline we can find another effort to decipher the disk by Andis Kaulins. The claim is that the language of the disk is Greek and that it contains the proof of a geometric theorem. The Phaistos Disk was deciphered by Andis Kaulins in 1980 and the decipherment published in that same year as The Phaistos Disc: Hieroglyphic Greek with Euclidean Dimensions - The "Lost Proof" of Parallel Lines" - available through the Harvard Library in the Harvard-subscribed monograph series "Origins: Studies in the History of Mankind and its Languages"

(4) We are also told that Dr. Steven Fischer has deciphered the Disk.
Dr. Fischer published his original findings in the book "Evidence of Hellenic Dialect in the Phaistos Disk", 1988. More recently he published the book Glyphbreaker that includes the story of the Phaistos Disk toogether with his newer efforts in deciphering Rongorongo. Dr. King claims that the language is closely related to Mycenean Greek and that the disk is a call to arms. A review of the book was published in New Scientist. Glyphbreaker can be ordered on line from amazon.com . The amazon.com pages include book reviews and extensive comments by other readers.

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Glyphbreaker

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Dr. Fischer's original book Evidence of Hellenic Dialect in the Phaistos Disk is now also available from Amazon.com

(5) A very interesting page that combines a lot of material about the disk. The authors seem to think that "The Phaistos Disk, along with other artifacts that are surfacing in recent years - are coming to light as means of triggering our awareness about the shift in consciousness - the spiral movement up the ladder of awareness - beyond 3D - and the speed of light - higher faster moving frequency of light - the change you feel in your soul at this time." and finally concluda that "In conclusion, the Phaistos Disk is another one of the 'Games of Thoth' created to bring awarenss about the nature of reality. To this day it still remains undeciphered."

(6) At the page of disk of the world we can read about star worship in the Mediterranean Bronze Age. The disk reveals beliefs and practices of the Ancient Cretans and Egyptians. These pages are very rich with material about Crete. In the words of the Author, Claire Grace Watson, B.A., M.S.T. "The disk is a Minoan wave spiral (left) on which is depicted the Aegean world of Minoan Crete, including a cave, a boat, a pyramid, a star, planets, a constellation, geometry, math, and everyday life in Crete that mirrors the stars above. We reveal them on the disk just as we revealed the kind grandmother, by connecting identical pictographs with lines. This is also how the constellations are revealed. We know they are only stars, but to the people of the Aegean world, the stars and planets were the eyes of the gods watching over them".

(8)- "La scrittura -- Disco di Festo"   (http://kidslink.bo.cnr.it/irrsaeer/calamo/festo1d.html),   in Italian, by the Focherini State Junior Middle School, Carpi, Italy. This is a site about the history of writing, made by 12-years-old schoolchildren. The part about the Phaistos disk is not very interesting: just one photo. However, the picture is interesting as it shows the disk mounted on its metal support, as it is actually displayed in the Heraklion Museum.

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The Sea Kings: The Prophecy

The Sea Kings: The Prophecy

Best Recent Novel about the Minoans

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(9) Philippe PLAGNOL supports the hypothesis that the symbols are ideograms and attempts to explain them. His site also includes important information about the finding of a disk fragment in Vladikavkaz, Ossetia that is in many ways similar to the phaistos Disk.

(11)- "Der Jahrtausend-Kalender der Minoer" ,   in German, by Bernd Schomburg. My German is quite poor, but I can understand that he interprets the disk as a "Minoan calendar": a very popular idea. I don't know if we can believe to this "decipher"; however the site is very rich, and graphically pleasant.

(12)- "Phoinic"   ,in English, by Nikos Stylos. Mr. Stylos claims to have translated both the Phaistos disk and the Magliana disk. He claims that the text was used for teaching reading and that the language is "arbanetic".

(13)- "Phaistos Disk"   ,   in English, by Craig Welch. The author of this page does not attempt a "translation" of the Phaistos disk. However, he shows some interesting observations about the frequency of some signs and the repetition of some sequences.

(14)- "Phaistos"   (http://www.deniart.com/phaistos.html)   in English, by Deniart Systems. This company sells a font with the signs of the Phaistos disk script! This could become a best-seller among amateurs...

(15)- Luis Godart,   "Il disco di Festo -- L'enigma di una scrittura",   Einaudi Editore, Italy. Louis Godart is a Belgian-Italian scholar teaching Minoan-Mycenean topics at the University of Naples. His books practically summarizes everything we currently know about the Phaistos disk. Even if you don't master Italian, the book contains interesting pictures and tables. I was told by Jose Nuno A. Canongia Lopes that the book is available in English also. Many thanks for this info. The English version is: Louis Godart, The Phaistos Disc, The Enigma of an Aegean Script, no place, Itanos (editor) 1995, translated by Alexandra Doumas. (I thank Sabine Ivanovas for this tittle). A french article by Professor Godart can be found in Archeologie Nouvelle.

(17) Dr. Howard Barraclough Fell had worked on the subject of the disk He published "Polynesian tablets and Protopolynesian. A newly deciphered European tongue of the Minoan subgroup. The Phaistos disk ca 1600 B.C. Museum of Comparative Zoology. Harvard University Cambridge Mass. Pp 200-217" and The Phaistos Disk ca 1600 BC ESOP 4 (1) No 79 p 1-79. This latest article toogether with comments by Dr. Norman Totten and Dr. Reul Lochlore is available on the internet.

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The King Must Die

The King Must Die

All Time Classic Novel about the Minoans

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(18) In the March 1998 issue of the magazine Δαυλός (Davlos) we can find an article by Mr. Basilios Katsiadramis entitled "Γυναίκες διάβαζαν τον Δίσκο της Φαιστού περιστρέφοντας τον με τα δύο χέρια" (The phaistos disk was read by women) The author claims that the size of the disk is appropritate for the size of the hand of female readers (priestesses?) (year 17 number 195 page 12105, March 1998). The davlos magazine has also included a series of articles by mr. Basilios Katsiadramis an engineer on the morphology of the disk and the geometry of the curved lines. (editions 211,212,213,222 from June, August, September 1999 and June 2000 respectively) In the last part of this series the author claims that the disk was constructed from two parts that were connected on the unwritten verso sides.

(19) A painting of the disk by Mr. Werner Horvath.

(21) Mr. Ole Hagen from Aalborg Denmark in a very interesting manuscript claims that the disk is some sort of calendar. His work has been published in ebook format by 1stBooks Library. As I see it he claims that the images describe ceremonies or duties that should be performed on the appropriate date. His manuscript is entitled 'Phaistos-skiven en strukturanalyse' . Another article from the same author on the November 7,98 issue of Anistoriton .

Available as paperback at amazon.com.

The Phaistos disc alias the Minoan calendar

(22) Sergei V. Rjabchikov claims to have succeded in decoding both Linear A and the Disk and that the language is slavonic. In another article he repeats he opinion that the text islanguage is slavonic. He also makes the observation that the Phaistos Disk signs are the decorative version of the Linear A script.

(23) Another discussion of the calendar hypothesis by Steve Whittet. Nice pictures with colors to indicate the calendar use here and there

(24) Hemsida contains a page about the Phaistos Disk.

(26) W. A. G. Westerlaken has created an interesting site . His views are presented in a book entitled "The Phaistos Disk Unravelled"

(27)- "Phaistos Disk -- Crete"   (http://www.nccn.net/~wwithin/phaistos.htm),   in English, by Well Within's Earth Mysteries & Sacred Site Tours. This is a travel agency that offers a "ticket to ride" for a "magical mystery tour" (they must be fans of the Beatles, eh?) that includes a visit to the Phaistos disk in the Herakleion Museum. The page contains one more nice picture of the disk on its metal support.

(28) Some of the signs on the disk are considered by some similar to cave engravings in North Africa.

(29) A recent book by Alan Butler entitled "A Bronze Age computer Disk" This book can be ordered on line from amazon.com .

A Bronze Age computer Disk

(30) The journal of Archeoastronomy (Vol II, number 3, Summer 1979) included a book review by D. H. Kelley for the book The Phaistos Disc by Leon Pomerance. Leon Pomerance: "The Phaistos Disk: An Interpretation of Astro- nomical Symbols", 1976, Paul Astroms forlag, Goteborg, 78 pages.

(31) A book reference for the book by Bowden, Edgar entitled Cybele the axe-goddess: Alliterative verse, linear B relationships and cult ritual of the phaistos disc. Amsterdam: J. C. Gieben, 1992. Pp. xviii, 286. We can find more about Mr. Bowden's views on his page . Mr. Bowden recognises alliterative verse metrices on the disk which describes an Anatolian cult of Cybele Axe Godess and Poseidon Hippios. Finally mr. Edgar Bowden has also completed a decipherment of the disk that can be read in his article "Ancient Greek alliterative verse-metrics on the Phaistos Disk: an Anatolian cult of Cybele Axe-Goddess and Poseidon Hippios" he claims that the text describes a religious culta and that the language is Greek.

(33) Mr. Massimo Imperiali has created a beautiful page about the disk and describes his ideas which are based on the frequency of the signs. He was very kind to post a link to this page.

(34) Kjell Aartun, has published the entire results of the analyis in "Die minoische Schrift : Sprache und Texte" Bd. 1: Der Diskos von Phaistos; Die beschriftete Bronzeaxt; Die Inschrift der Taragona-tafel Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz 1992 ISBN 3-447-03273-1

(35) Hedwig Roolvink claims that she has translated the contents of the disk and that it describes an expedition of mountain people seeking flat land in order to settle. She has also constructed a second site . Mr. Hedwig Roolvink describes the pictograms on the disk.

(37) There is also a page about the disk in Anciemt Scripts.

(38) Mr. Jean Faucounau has published a book entitled LE DECIFREMENT DU DISQUE DE PHAISTOS,PREUVES & CONSEQUENCES where he claims that the language is Greek and contains important historical information. More on his views that involve a proto ionian Greek language in the march 2000 issue of Anistoriton . This author has also published a second book in French, "Les Proto-Ioniens : Histoire d'un peuple oublie", in which he has developped the main pieces of evidence supporting his solution. Mr. faucounau's decipherment is considered definite although poorly recognised in the page of "fusion anomaly".

(41) Mr. Herman Wenzel has recently added his interpretation . From what I understand the disk is considered an astronomical calendar. This page is in German and I am indebted to Mr. Helmut Fiedler for bringing it to my attention.

(42) Mr. Adam Martin describes his views on the disk. I am grateful to Hartwin Hufnagel for pointing out this page. He claims that Mr. Martin's brochure (written in German), supports that the Phaistos disk is bilingual. Side A is an early Greek text for a funeral service meant to console a bereaved person. Side B is the Minoan version of the same text.

[43] Yet another attempt by Stanislaw Hansel who considers that the disk is probably written in a semetic language that he calls Keftian For this link I am indebted to Mr. Hedwig Roolvink.

[44] I received a very interesting contributuion from Mr. Yamashiro. His pages are very well constructed and have impressive content. I can understand some arguments about the roots of words and terminations but since the page is written in Japanese I can not understand it. I would be delighted if somebody could send me a translation

[45]I have come across a paper by REINIER J. van MEERTEN. This article is the fourth of a series about the Phaistos disk and its object is to to seek for equivalents for disc signs in the list of Linear B signs. This article has an impressive bibliography.

[46}I have come accross a discussion over the internet where it was stated that "The text on the Phaistos disk was cracked by Best & Woudhuizen by comparing the glyphs on the disk with Luwian hieroglyphics." The reference includes a copy of the introduction by Dr Jan Best to the book of Woudhuizen: "The Language of the Sea Peoples", Amsterdam 1992, (Publications of the Henry Frankfort Foundation Vol. XII)"

[47] Mr. Peter Aleff claims that the Phaistos Disk is not a text but the surface of a gameboard . His pages include a lot of material about other efforts to decipher the disk and are very interesting to read. His complete theory can be found in his e book that can be purchased on line.

[48] Mr. Clive Snowdon claims to have deciphered the largest part of the Disc text. His method involves a pictographic interpretation

[49}A Unicode-enabled font based on the ConScript encoding and a test page containing the entire Phaistos corpus can be found at http://www.evertype.com/standards/csur/phaistos-sample.html . The encoding is at http://www.evertype.com/standards/csur/phaistos.html.

{50] A complete decipherment of the disk is given by Ollivier M. Louise. His efforts are based on the values of linear B signs in combination with the Disk Signs. The text is assumed to be in Greek. The deciphered version describes a destruction of Thera. This page is in French.

[51] In a new bilingual (french/English) book Jean Louis Page describes the decipherement fo the Phaistos Disk toogether with Aztec and Maya disks and Egyptian frescos that reveal important messages from our past. The book is entitled “Atlantis' Messages de l’Atlantide". The author claims that "These archaeological enigmas that have been gazing at us for thousands of years, represent a precious legacy from the greatest civilizations of distant Antiquity. By meeting and joining they reveal the exact geographical location of Atlantis and the origins of the human race."

[52] Maria Garcia Esperon wrote a novel entitled "El Disco Del Tiempo" (The Disk of Time). The author describes her work as follows "I wrote a novel about the Disk of Phaistos, aimed to young readers, trying to bring the fascinating Minoan world into life through the research that 3 young people do about the disk. ... My novel is "El Disco del Tiempo", "The Disk of Time", and obtained a very important Spanish-Latinoamerican litterature award this 2004: The Premio Barco de Vapor, ediciones SM. .... Of course I am not deciphering the Disk :), but attracting young people in Latinoamerica to the research and enjoyment of the first Greek Culture" The author was kind enough to suggest that she used this web page for collecting more information. I am very grateful to her for this reason.

[53] A recent attempt to decipher the diskos has been made by Torsten Timm: His thesis: The diskos script is a beautified form of Linear-A. His version has also been published in a book (in German): Torsten Timm: Der Diskos von Phaistos – Fremdeinfluss oder kretischesErbe?, BoD, 2005. ISBN 3-8334-2451-6

[54]There is also (in German) a book by Dettmer Otto (about 10 years old): Das Ratsel des Diskos von Phaistos - Das schwerste Kreuzwortratsel der Welt. Hajo von Kracht has a (German language) book review of this book as well as Balistier's book on the Diskos on his Website ("Kleine Minoische Kreta-Bibliothek" (alas: all in German) I would like to thank Mr. Hajo von Kracht for this and the previous link.

[55] Arguments are presented by Jane Prendergast in support of a center-outwards direction of reading. Analysis of word length supports the presence of four separate messages on the disc. A Hittite origin for the disc is supported by (1) the similarity between the number of differing symbols on the disc and the number of syllables in Hittite and Luwian; (2) resemblances of the symbols themselves to Hittite hieroglyphs and artifacts and (3) correspondence of objects depicted by the symbols and themes from the History of Hatusili I. .

[56] An interesting contribution from Lithuania by Victor Pravilov . On November 19, 2006 Mr. Pravilov informed me that he had updated the page to include "proof that the disk is a form for manufacturing metal forms etc". This is included in the chapter: " Phaestos Disk " - "Posilka"!!!!!

[57] The world mysteries page has a very interesting collection of material about the Phaistow Disk.

[58] A 484 page book was written by Derk Ohlenroth: "Das Abaton des Lykaischen Zeus und der Hain der Elaia"3. I have not read it however I found the following information on the internet: According to an article in the German newsweekly "Der Spiegel", (January 6, 1997), Dr. Ohlenroth, a Professor of Middle High German, had assumed that the signs were ancient Greek writing. Once he had realized this, he figured out the meanings of the signs within two hours. According to his interpretation, the inscriptions are free verse in a "special dialect" of Greek, and they deal with two sanctuaries in mainland Greece. One side is an execration text that curses anyone who enters the cult area of Zeus. It also condemns the trespasser to lose his shadow. The other side is a magical invocation of the night goddess Elaia and contains exhortations which the author finds "poetically exciting".

[59] Adam Martin has published a book in German about the Phaistos Disk. Der Diskos von Phaistos Ein zweisprachiges Dokument geschrieben in einer fruhgriechischen Alphabetschrift Erhaltlich im: Ludwig Auer Verlag, 86609 Donauworth oder im Buchhandel ISBN 3-9807169-1-0

[60] This site by Prof. Rosario Vieni concentrates a lot of material on the calendar interpretation. It also has a lot of material on Crete and a picture of the Vladikavkaz disk. The site is in Italian. Additionally an adobe acrobat version of this work has been published by Antikitera.net. The same material was also published in French

[61] In this study written by Winfried Achterberg, Jan Best, Kees Enzler, Lia Rietveld, Fred Woudhuizen, all aspects of the famous Discus of Phaistos, running from its archaeological find-context to its proper place in Aegean history, receive an in-depth treatment. The authors, forming together the Alverna Research Group, believe that the script and language of the discus are basically related to Luwian Hieroglyphic of southern and western Anatolia. Working from this line of approach, they reach the conclusion that it contains a letter, transcribed in the local script of Phaistos, from Great King Tarkhundaradus of Arzawa in Anatolia to king Nestor of Pylos in Akhaia, who had conquered dependencies of the former in the island of Crete.

[62] The most impressive collection of material about the Disk of Phaistos. Includes references to the work of many authors and a letter by Professor Kouznetsov about the Vladokafkaz Disk.

[63] An article by Paul Faure in Notre Histoire who claims that the disk is a forgery.

[64] An important article by Brian E. Colless covers many aspects of the disk and discusses in particular the recent article by Jerome M. Eisenberg, The Phaistos Disk: A 100-Year-Old Hoax? Minerva 19, 4 (2008).

[65] Similarly Claire Watson on her website disk of the world disputes the claims that the disk is a hoax.

[66] Finally the article by Jerome M. Eisenberg, The Phaistos Disk: A 100-Year-Old Hoax? Minerva 19, 4 (2008) can be found in the magazine Minerva . The direct address for the the invitation to the international conference that should be held in London about the disk. This conference will be held between 31 October and 1 November 2008 at the Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly

I am indebted to Mr. Cimarosti for references 8 to 15 and 36 to 37.

Visit Marco Cimarosti at his home page

I am indebted to Nanny De Vries for link 61

I would like to thank John Younger for including a link to this site in Kapatija: Web Sites in Aegean Archeology

Some personal notes on the Phaistos disk problem.

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Dead and Inactive Links
(7) A nice picture of the disk can be found in this link. This link is unfortunately not available any more.

(10)- "Ariane II"   (http://www.arianeii.com/english/englhome.htm),   in English, by Ariane II. It's a nice site and they also talk briefly about the disk (and show a black-and-white picture of it).

(16) Interesting picture can be found here toogether with some references about efforts to interpret the disk. (http://www.interkriti.org/cultures/festos/phaist2.htm).

(20) An interesting article in French by Mr. Jacques Guy in Frogmag No 7.

(25) Glenn Johnson has written a book entitled Ancient Cretan Languages (The Phaistos Disk).The big surprise in this volume is that Johnson claims to have deduced the Southwestern Anatolian-Syrian origin of the disc, it's linguistic relationship with a complexly differentiated spectrum of Anatolian and Ancient Indo-Aryan variety, as well as its utility as a record of nobilities in that area which may most probably represent a funerary record of some sort. I am indebted to Dr. Chuck York of Ontario, Canada for information about this work which I have not read.

(32) Dr. M. Frenkel claims that the Disc is an astronomical calculator . His views werepresented at OXFORD VI AND SEAC 99 CONFERENCE (27-05-99).

(36) The efforts by L. Pomerance and Kenneth Franklin are described in an article by Rebel Planet magazine. They claimed that the disk was a calendar or an almanac.

(39) Mr. Edgar Bowden has completed a decipherment of the disk. In his article "Ancient Greek alliterative verse-metrics on the Phaistos Disk: an Anatolian cult of Cybele Axe-Goddess and Poseidon Hippios" he claims that the text describes a religious culta and that the language is Greek. A complete reference is Bowden (Edgar) : " Greek Alliterative Metrics and the Writing System of the Phaistos Disc ", Mankind Quarterly, 1993, 33, 3, spring, p. 321-358

(40) A quick introduction to the Phaistos disk toogether with a large number of relevant web links (including a link to this page thank you) was compiled by lipi @ stanfordalumni.org I feel this page makes very good reading and that it is well organized and extremely useful. I just could not figure outthe name of its author.

SPECIAL SECTION ON BOOKS THAT CONTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT THE PH.D.

The original intention for this page was to limit the contents to web links. However as time goes by visitors to this page kept volunteering book references and I felt obliged to add the references that were sent to me.

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I) Jan Best and Fred Woudhuizen Acient Scripts from Crete and Cyprus E.J.Brill 1988

II) Jan Best and Fred Woudhuizen Lost Languages from the Mediterranean E.J.Brill 1989

III) Fred Woudhuizen The Language of the Sea Peoples Najade Press 1992

IV)Louis Godart, The Phaistos Disc, The Enigma of an Aegean Script, no place, Itanos (editor) 1995, translated by Alexandra Doumas.

V) H APOKRYPTOGRAFNON TOY DISKOY THS PHAISTOY - GENESH by THEODOROS AXIOTI Ed. SMYRNIOTAKIS 496 pages 1986-87 ??

VI) IERES ELLINIKES GRAFES DISKOY PHAISTOY - KODIKAS APOKRYPTOGRAFISIS ZOIS by GERASIMOU KALOGERAKIS Ed. DION - Thassaloniki 1999 283 pages

VII) H KRITI ITAN I XAMENI ATLANTIDA by NIKOLAOY G. PANAGIOTAKIS Private Edition - Crete 1994 75 pages

VIII) Disc of Phaistos (several languages) by Victor J. Kean Ed. EFSTATHIADIS Group 1985 122 pages ISBN 960-226-101-3 (Dutch)

IX) Des Diskus Von Phaistos (German) part 1 + 2 by F.Will Private edition 36+64 pages limited

X) A story was written by Carmen Elena Martin "in spanish about how and why the disk was constructed and then some peoples that reencarnates in the present time make a recreation and explain what it means. The deciphering shows that that the time we are living in is a new spiritual time like the time it was made. This book was written in 1996 and later the author designed a game for develop intuition based on the spiral and named El Oraculo de Festos. Unfortunatelly I do not speak Spanish and thus do not have access to this work, but the author was kind enough to inform me.

XI) Ipsen Gunther: Der Diskus von Phaistos. Ein Versuch der Entzifferung. In: Indogermanische Forschungen. Bd. 37, Berlin/Leipzig 1929, S.1-41

XII) Rumpel Dieter: On the internal Structure of the Diskos of Phaistos text. Glottometrika 12 (= Quantitative Linguistics Vol. 45) 1990, S. 131-149

XIII) Rumpel Dieter: Some Quantitative Evaluations of the Disk of Phaistos Text. Journal of Quantitative Linguistics 1994, 1,156-167

XIV) Fernand Crombette (1880-1970) has worked for many years on issues relating to the ancient history of Crete. His book Clartes sur la Crete contains information on the Disk. His Decipherment uses Coptic as a basis. He reads the value of the signs as pictures in coptic and then reconstructs from those pictures a Coptic text (as in word puzzles - rebus). He believed that the story told by the Disk describes the adventures of Icaros. He also claims that the surface was used in a board game.

XV) Dr. Veysel Batmaz of Instanbul University has let me know of a recent book titled "The Language of Gods" by Nurihan Fattah, a Kazan University professor, who claims that the language on the Phaistos disk is Tatarish Turkish and telling about a fiesta of a Noble person.

If you know of other links about efforts to decipher the disk please let me know at svoronan@otenet.gr

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