• Translation of the Minoan Phaistos Disk in Alphabetic Akkadian

    Author(s):
    David Olmsted (see profile)
    Date:
    2020
    Group(s):
    Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean archaeology, Alphabetic Akkadian
    Subject(s):
    Aegean prehistoric archaeology, Akkadian
    Item Type:
    Online publication
    Tag(s):
    Crete, Minoan, phaistos, Text
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/psvz-r508
    Abstract:
    The Phaistos Disk is a hybrid phonic and alphabetic text written in the empire language of Akkadian dating to about 1800 BCE. It is a philosophical debate about the cause of a recent drought and it represents the first use of alphabetic letters. It has many letter sign similarities with the pure Alphabetic Akkadian texts found at Serabit el Khadim (1450-1250 BCE) and these similarities are what provided the extra knowledge needed for making the translation. Alphabetic letters are wildcard phonic signs meaning they are consonants with arbitrary following vowel sounds. As such they were a writing simplification scheme developed by traders, mercenaries and working priests. Akkadian provides the source words for the alphabetic letter names in both Greek and Semitic. The Phaistos Disk mentions magic, the gods Hu (sun form of Atu and the source of Greek Helios), Su (full moon), Yahu (Mesopotamian Ea and original form of Israelite Yahweh), the goddesses Ayu (sun “setter” and crescent moon, source of Greek Athena and Artemis, equivalent to Mesopotamian Ishtar and Inanna), and Utu (Minoan snake goddess). Finally, it mentions the divine birds which are the eagle-vultures and the Aku-owls (Athenian owls).
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    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-ShareAlike
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