Several years in the making, the Massey Twins present an article
which details the complete story of this exciting decipherment
Click here to download the article "The Phaistos Disk Cracked?"
Click here to view a complete graphic of the Phaistos Disk
The Phaistos Disk, displayed above, was discovered in Crete on
July 3rd, 1908. While the 20th Century saw the cracking of Linear
B, Ugaritic, and other orthographic systems, the Phaistos Disk
eluded decipherment. Perhaps it will deciphered in the 21st
The disk is thought to date from around 1700 BC. It is a roundish
disk of clay, with symbols stamped into it. The text consists of 61
words, 16 of which are accompanied by a mysterious "slash" mark.
There are 45 different symbols occurring 241 times.
The symbols portray recognizable objects like human figures and
body parts, animals, weapons, and plants.
Since the text of the disk is so short, decipherment by the
statistical cryptographic techniques employed by Michael Ventris
in cracking Linear B are impossible. In 1998, however, Dr. Keith
Massey and his twin brother Rev. Kevin Massey discovered the
secret they believe provides the key to cracking the Phaistos Disk.
Their work continued until now in perfecting their theory.
Another ancient writing system provides the key to reading the
Phaistos Disk. At Byblos in modern day Lebanon, an advanced
culture flourished for centuries. There are many signs of contact
between Ancient Crete and Byblos, including signs of orthographic
borrowing as pointed out by Victor Kenna in "The Stamp Seal,
Byblos 6593" Kadmos 9 (1970) pp 93-96.
Further, examples of the yet undeciphered Linear A script have
recently been found in Turkey, providing evidence of orthographic
relationships between Crete and Asia Minor. The Proto-Byblic
script was used in the early part of the 2nd millenium BC, a time
contemporary with the supposed date of the Phaistos Disk. The
underlying language of the Proto-Byblic script was Semitic. It is a
linear script which displays many identifiable objects, like
weapons, human figures, and body parts.
The Proto-Byblic script, catalogued by Maurice Dunand in the
1940's bears striking resemblance to the symbols of the Phaistos
Disk. The similarity of one Proto-Byblic character to a Phaistos
symbol was noted by Dunand in his book Byblia Grammata,
Beyrouth, 1945 on p 90, "Il est presque identique a celui du disque
de Phaestos qu-Evans avait identifie avec une colombe."
[ It is almost identical to something from the disk of Phaistos
which (Sir Arthur) Evans has identified with a dove.]
Dunand did not pursue his observation of the similarities, yet it is
this Proto-Byblic script which is demonstrated by the Massey twins
as being a closely related orthographic system to the Phaistos Disk.
Eduard Dhorme, one of the decipherers of Hittite, published the
first consonantal values for the Proto-Byblic script in SYRIA XXV
1946 in an article, "Dechiffrement des Inscriptions
Pseudo-Hieroglyphicques de Byblos."
A comparison of these values with the symbols of the Phaistos Disk
yielded consonantal assignments for a surprising amount of the
writing on the disk. It should be noted here that all previous
attempts to decipher the Phaistos Disk have been subjective
attempts, assigning phonetic values to the characters with no true
objective criteria. This is therefore the first effort at cracking the
disk by OBJECTIVE determinations.
When these consonantal values are examined, elements of an
Hellenic language emerge in the text of the disk. Scholars had
never known what the significence of a mysterious "slash" on 16 of
the words of the Phaistos Disk.
We observed, based on our values, that each of these 16 words are
numerals counting commodities on the disk, similar to the
majority of Linear B texts.