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 >>> (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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 discovered. 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. -- Ray ================================== http://www.carolandray.plus.com ================================== "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".