Re: The Phaistos Disc

From: Karl Pentzlin (
Date: Wed Apr 05 2006 - 00:56:40 CST

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    Am Dienstag, 4. April 2006 um 17:51 schrieb Michael Everson:

    ME> I wouldn't preallocate more space for the Phaistos Disc characters.
    ME> We may never ever find any more.

    But, if the Phaistos Disc symbol set is encoded, and a second disk
    is unearthed (within the next 3,500 years or even before the next UTC
    meeting) containing at least one symbol hitherto unknown,
    then there will raise a lot more discussion in the literature, needing
    of course an encoding of the new symbol(s). This may seem unlikely after
    digging 98 years in vain, but cannot be proven impossible.

    Thus, at the present time, either there is only explicitly the "Phaistos
    Disk of 1908 Symbol Set" encoded, or the symbol set cannot be considered
    stable (i.e. definitely complete, while the known symbols themselves
    of course are well defined and "stable").

    (This is no counterargument for encoding, anyway.)

    btw, I prefer the term "symbols" resp. "symbol set" to "characters"
    resp. "script", as thhe Phaistos Disc is not yet proven to show
    "characters" of a "script".
    (This again is no counterargument for encoding, as Unicode already
    contains a lot of symbols and symbol sets).
    Speaking of "symbols" makes the "undeciphered" argument irrelevant,
    as symbols stand for themselves.
    Personally, I see the reason for a encoding the Phaistos Disc symbol
    set like the reason for encoding Chess symbols (U+2654...U+265F)
    or Tai Xuan Jing symbols (U+1D300...U+1D35F): There is a well-defined
    symbol set which is needed by a wide user community in plain text.

    - Karl Pentzlin

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