Re: The Phaistos Disc

From: John H. Jenkins (
Date: Wed Apr 05 2006 - 17:30:16 CST

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    On Apr 5, 2006, at 4:23 PM, Kenneth Whistler wrote:

    > The straightforward way to approach a Unicode encoding is to
    > encode the Phaistos 45 sign list *as* a sign list and be done
    > with it. 45 symbols, used in discourse about the decipherment
    > of this thingum from Crete. Add one more oblique stroke symbol
    > for the people that want to talk about that mark on the basic
    > 45 signs. The encodings of "punctuation" for a sign separator and
    > start of text are just bogus. Those are artifacts of unrolling
    > the delineation of text elements from the disc, and are no more
    > needed encoded as "Phaistos script" punctuation characters than we
    > needed characters to represent the lines that box out text on
    > cuneiform tablets.
    > So no script assignment.
    > No letters. No punctuation.
    > 45 + 1 signs. gc=So. PHAISTOS DISC SIGN YADDA YADDA
    > And you'd have an encoding that would sail through.

    I would be perfectly happy with this, BTW. IMHO the disk is unlikely
    to be deciphered and I doubt we'll ever see another example, so
    functionally the elements can be treated as symbols without full
    support for them as a developed writing system. If and when I'm
    proven wrong, we can revisit the issue.

    John H. Jenkins

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