RE: Phaistos in ConScript

From: Timothy Partridge (
Date: Mon Jul 08 2002 - 15:28:42 EDT

Marco recently said:

> > >5. I find that mirroring the signs as you did in your font is an
> > >unhistorical. The whole corpus is right-to-left, and the
> > fact that the signs
> > >where impressed with types makes it impossible that the
> > signs could have
> > >been reversed. In academic books, it is common practice to
> > type the disc's
> > >text left-to-right, but the signs are not reversed.
> > [Michael]
> > I have followed Egyptological -- and ancient Egyptian -- practice
> > here. If the script is represented right-to-left the faces point to
> > the right so that you read into their faces. If the script direction
> > is reversed so that it is left-to-right, it is conventional -- among
> > Egyptologists and ancient Egyptians -- to reverse the signs as well.
> I see. But Hieroglyphs were handwritten, not "typed". Moreover, the
> mirroring of glyphs is actually attested for Egyptian.
> > Godart does not reverse the glyphs even though he reverses the
> > directionality, but I think it is *his* practice which is
> > ahistorical, and I think it makes the text harder to read. And I
> > suspect is has to do with the font technology he had in 1994 when he
> > wrote his book.
> It's seems that July 2002 is our disagreement month... I think that Godart
> was perfectly right avoiding assumptions that he could not support: there is
> no reason to think that the Phaistos "script" should work as Egyptian
> hieroglyphs work.

I would support you in this. Michael says that all the scripts in the region
go both ways, but we don't even know that the disk is from the region. (And the
headdresses apparently don't look local.) It might have come some way in trade.

I feel tempted to protest that the characters aren't in the right order, but
someone might take me up on that :-) I'm probably right though!

[The reason I haven't replied directly to Michael's message is that
something about his messages crashes my mail reader when I try it. Apologies
to everyone for accidently including a load of message headers last time I
tried a workaround.]


Tim Partridge. Any opinions expressed are mine only and not those of my employer

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