Monthly Archives: October 2014

The all Important Phaistos Disc



The Phaistos disc was discovered in l908 by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier in the Minoan pre-formed hieroglyphic “seals” into a disc of soft clay, in a clockwise sequence spiraling towards the disc’s center.

The Phaistos disc captured the imagination of amateur and professional archaeologists, and many attempts have been made to decipher the code behind the disc’s signs. While it is not clear that it is a script, most attempted decipherments  assume that it is; most additionally assume a syllabary , others an alphabet or logography.

Attempts at decipherment  are generally thought to be unlikely to succeed unless more examples of the signs are discovered, as it is generally agreed that there is not enough context available for a meaningful analysis. However more news has come to light recently with regard to the decipherment of The Phaistos Disc.

The Phaistos Disc 2

Minolta DSC

Close-up section of the Phaistos Disc.


The deciphering of the Phaistos Disc has puzzled specialists for over a century, however new findings describe the disc as the ” first Minoan CD- ROM ”  featuring a prayer to a mother, says Gareth Owens, Erasmus coordinator  at the  Technological  Educational Institute, speaking at the TEI of Western Macedonia  on Monday, said the disc is dedicated to a “mother”

“The most stable word and value is ‘mother’, and in particular the mother goddess of the Minoan era, ” said Dr.Owens. He says there is one complex of signs found in three parts of one side of the disc spelling l -QE – KU – RJA, with l-QE meaning ‘”great lady of importance” while a key word appears to be AKKA or “pregnant mother”,  according to the researcher. One side is devoted to a pregnant woman and the other to a woman giving birth.

The Phaistos disc was discovered in the Minoan palace-site of Phaistos ,near Hagia Triada, on the south coast of Crete; specifically the disc was found in the basement of room 8 in building 101 of a group of buildings to the north east of the main palace. This grouping of four rooms also served as a formal entry into the palace complex. Italian archaeologist  Luigi Pernier recovered this remarkable intact ” dish,”  about 15 cm in diameter and uniformly slightly more than one centimeter in thickness, on July 3rd 1908 during his excavation of the first Minoan palace. It was found in the main cell of an underground ” temple depository”. These basement cells, only accessible from above, were neatly covered with a layer of fine plaster. There content was poor  in precious artifacts but rich in black earth and ashes, mixed with burnt bovine bones.

In the northern part of the main cell, in  the same black layer, a few inches south-east of the disc and about twenty inches above the floor, Linear A tablet PH-1 was also found. The site apparently collapsed  as a result of an earthquake, possibly linked with the explosive eruption of the Santorini volcano  that affected large parts of the Mediterranean region in mid second millennium BC.





Posted by on October 31, 2014 in Uncategorized



Sonnet, “Nathan Cirillo”, in Honour of Canada’s Fallen Son

A touching dedication to a brave man from Richard Vallance Janke

Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae

Sonnet, “Nathan Cirillo”, in Honour of Canada’s Fallen Son: Click to ENLARGEA Sonnet Nathan CirilloNathan Cirillo’s State Funeral was profoundly moving in every sense, above all emotionally & spiritually. Although (only) a Reservist Corporal in the Princess Highlanders of Hamilton, he was today, Oct. 28 2014, accorded a full regalia honourary military funeral, which has never been granted to anyone of such a low rank in the history of Canada or for that matter, in the entire world. This was surely because of the obscenity of the terrorist shooting him as he stood guard onthe right side of the National War Memorial in Ottawa, at 9:52 a.m. on Wednesday, October 22, 2014. Worse still, he slumped right on top of the Tomb of the UnknownSoldier, bleeding to death on it! He was a wonderful, loving father of his 5 year- old son, Marcus, and everyone who knew him personally, loved…

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Posted by on October 29, 2014 in Uncategorized


Evidence of The Past

Re-blogged from my Archaeology Archives.

Ritaroberts's Blog

The Town of Worcestershire in England is one of my favourite places, not only because of its history but because I spent many years working alongside archaeologists and specialists in their own field, such as those working on flint,old coins, bones, metalwork ,jewelry, fabrics,stone tools,pottery and many more items which are found on archaeological sites, helping us to reconstruct our past.

The history of Worcester goes back as far as Paleolithic times where 125,000 years ago hippo’s lions and elephants would have been a common site in the county. Early settlers used tools made of flint and other stone. Most of the Paleolithic tools from Worcestershire have been found in quarries along the terraces of the River Avon. These include handaxes and others made from flint and stone,the remains of animals and plants from the time have also been found.

The Mesolithic period (Middle Stone Age) people lived in a landscape of heavily…

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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Uncategorized


Show and Tell (Linear B ) by Rita Roberts


The Grand Palace of Mycenae in Crete was the Kingdom of Mythical Agamemnon, first sung by Homer in his epics and is one of the most important and richest Palatial centers of the late Bronze Age in Greece. Its name was given to one of the greatest civilizations of Greek pre-history.

Mycenae Grave Circle

One of the Grave circles discovered at Mycenae

Mycenae Lion Gate

The great Lion Gate to Mycenae

When this site was excavated many gold artifacts were found among them the gold cup with relief decoration depicting a scene with a bull.


Show and Tell Gold Cup.



Posted by on October 26, 2014 in Uncategorized


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Tuesday Tomb – Saqqara tomb of Maya and Meryt

Tuesday Tomb – Saqqara tomb of Maya and Meryt

A post for all my fellow bloggers interested in Egyptology, a subject I find fascinating myself.

The Egyptiana Emporium

The Saqqara tomb of the New Kingdom official Maya and his wife, Meryt (Source: The Saqqara tomb of the New Kingdom official Maya and his wife, Meryt (Source:

The Tuesday Tomb returns as a fortnightly feature with the tomb of Maya and Meryt. The Saqqara tomb was the first Egyptian tomb that I ever entered and it is one of my personal favourites.

IMG_0139.JPG The interior of the tomb (Source:

Maya was Overseer of the Treasury and Overseer of Works during the reign of Tutankhamun in the Eighteenth Dynasty. He is also known to have served under the General Horemheb when he became pharaoh. He died in Year 9 of Horemheb’s reign and his wife, Meryt, was already deceased by this time. They were buried together in a tomb close to that of Horemheb in Saqqara.

The tomb was partially excavated by the archaeologist Karl Richard Lepsius in 1843 but was eventually covered by sand and lost again. The tomb was re-discovered in 1986…

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Posted by on October 21, 2014 in Uncategorized


Generously retweet from fellow researchers and aficionados of ancient Greece and watch what happens!

This post from my teacher Richard Vallance includes my thanks also to my Twitter friends.

Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae

Generously retweet from fellow researchers and aficionados of ancient Greece and watch what happens! Click to ENLARGE:

retweetThanks to timely assistance from my colleague and fellow Linear B researcher, Rita Roberts in Herakleion, Crete, right next door to Knossos, who showed me how to insert photos, charts and translations of Linear B tablets, I was suddenly able to increase the number of photos etc. on my Twitter account:

RichardVallanceTwitterfrom only 13 to 115 illustrations in just 3 days! This finally gave me the confidence to start retweeting similar tweets from fellow researchers into ancient Greece, ancient Greek and the ancient world in general, and even to post those illustrations of mine which I was quite sure would appeal to each person I retweeted, as well as favoriting their tweets. The result has been nothing short of astonishing! Suddenly, the number of my followers jumped from 620 to 668 in…

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Posted by on October 19, 2014 in Uncategorized


Ceremonial Entrance to the Palace of Knossos, Late Minoan II (ca 1450 BCE) & Megaron of the Palace of Pylos (ca. 1300 BCE)

Minoan Linear A, Linear B, Knossos & Mycenae

A richly evocative painting of the Ceremonial Entrance to the Palace of Knossos, Late Minoan II (ca. 1450 BCE): Click to ENLARGE:

CeremonialEntrancePalaceofKnossosAnother lovely painting of the Megaron of the Mycenaean Palace of Pylos, ca. 1300-1200 BCE: Click to ENLARGE:

Megaron of the Palace of PylosRichard

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Posted by on October 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

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