Andreas Johansson wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 3:26 PM, R A Brown<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> [snip]
>> Andreas Johansson wrote:
>> [snip]
>>> The WP page on Cretan hieroglyphs
>>> ( asserts that one of
>>> the symbols (no. 21) recurs on "seal fragment HM 992". I'll insert a
>>> citation needed tag but do you know anything about this?
>> No, I don't. But if of 45 Phaistos symbols seems to be or is the same as
>> another symbol elsewhere, I'm afraid it proves nothing. The symbols were
>> presumably depictions of known objects of the time and it would not be at
>> surprising if similar shaped symbols occurred in other contexts.
> It doesn't prove anything, but it may suggest whether the time was
> closer to 1900 BC or 1900 AD. In particular, if the fragment's
> stratigraphy is known, and if its symbol is likewise impressed (the WP
> page - shock horror -  doesn't answer either question), it would
> confirm that the technique of impressing such symbols was known in
> Bronze Age Crete.

I've found some other references to seal fragment HM 992 - 
but they either say exactly what the Wikipedia sentence says 
(what a surprise - Who's copying whom?) or something 
similar. They all seem to be reproducing the same info and I 
cannot find its source. So I have no idea, nor at the moment 
am able to find out, when where or how the fragment was 

But AFAIK seals were carved in relief. Such a seal could, of 
course, have been used to create the impression on the 
Phaistos disk - but the chance occurrence of single 
similarity is far too weak evidence.

> Also, the particular symbol in question is one of the less
> transparently pictorial ones, perhaps suggesting it's based on an
> object unfamiliar to moderns. (The WP page on the disc - which does
> not mention the fragment - suggest it depicts a palace floor plan*,
> whereas whoever named the symbols apparently thought it looked like a
> futuristic comb.)

Yes, I believe its generally referred to a the "double comb" 
symbol. That, I've assumed (maybe naively), is just a 
convenient way of referring to the shape rather than a 
serious suggestion as to what it really does represent.

> My inner cynic, of course, expects that the fragment, if it even
> exists, is badly effaced and only really suggests kinship with the
> Phaistos disc glyph after a couple of beers and in a flattering light.

You could well be right - it would be very helpful to find 
more positive information about this fragment. But fragments 
do have this tendency to be damaged    ;)

> * While the Bronze Age Cretans obviously had palaces, do we know if
> they had floor plans? Even if one lives in a palace, one does not
> commonly see the place roofless and from a hawk's perspective, so a
> floor plan seems incongruously abstract among the animals, tools, etc

I agree 100%. To me the symbol doesn't even resemble a 
palace floor plan. Whether it might do so after a couple of 
beers and in flattering light, I don't know - but I suspect 
not even then.

"Ein Kopf, der auf seine eigene Kosten denkt,
wird immer Eingriffe in die Sprache thun."
[J.G. Hamann, 1760]
"A mind that thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language".