RE: Phaistos in ConScript

From: Marco Cimarosti (
Date: Tue Jul 09 2002 - 05:42:38 EDT

Michael Everson wrote:
> You guys are not thinking things through.

Normally I don't. This is an exceptional case.

> Firstly the fact that the
> only document we have was made with stamps rather than drawn by hand
> means nothing.

It means nothing, nor the contrary of nothing. Perhaps the same script could
be handwritten, perhaps not. Perhaps it could be mirrored, perhaps not.
Perhaps it was from the Mediterranean, perhaps not.

The very first known instances of "pre-writing" in Iraq were impression of
three-dimension tokens on soft clay bulls: what if Phaistos is a late
example of that tradition? The cuneiform writing systems themselves are
based on *pressing* a wedge on clay: symbols were not really *traced*.

So, the possibility that this script could be drawn by hand cannot be
inferred. Nor excluded of course.

> You have to look at the structure of the script and think of
> legibility.
> [...]
> Now let us say I wish to represent this text LTR, as I do. Well if I
> reverse the presentation order without I get PLUMED-HEAD SHIELD CLUB
> PEDESTRIAN BOOMERANG -- but if I don't reverse the glyphs, than
> plumed-head is still facing to the right, as is the boomerang -- how
> am I to know that the directionality is LTR? [...]

If this Egyptian/Palestinian glyph mirroring convention was in existence,
what was the purpose of having a "PHAISTOS BEGINNING OF TEXT" ?

> That Godart did not make this correction in his book when he used LTR
> directionality was an error. I'm sticking by the decision I made when
> I made my fonts, because it is more likely to be right than not.

If it's faith, go with it: you don't need rational arguments.

> There aren't any other scripts in the area which change
> directionality without reversing the glyphs, and Phaistos certainly
> isn't Chinese.

But all other scripts in the Aegean area aren't known to change
directionality: Linear A, Linear B, Cypriot.

s/certainly/very probably:-)/

_ Marco

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