Minoan artifact could be ancient farmers’ almanac created by ancient astronomers
Ancient Astronomy –
Late one night around 1971, two men stood staring upward at a virtual representation of the star covered sky of ancient Crete. One was Leon Pomerance, an amateur astronomer with time and money on his hands. The other was Kenneth Franklin, an astronomer working at the American Museum’s Hayden Planetarium in New York City. On this night, Kenneth had programmed the planetarium to show the night sky above Crete as it was 4,000 years ago. Pomerance was astounded by what he saw because he recognized the sequence of constellations he saw above his head. He had seen this pattern of constellations on the ancient face of one of the most mysterious ancient artifacts ever found, the Phaistos Disk.
Phaistos Disk opens astronomers’ eyes
Found around 1908 by Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier, the Phaistos Disk was recovered from the ruins of the City of Phaistos, a center of the Minoan culture that thrived in Crete about 3000 to 1100 BC. A terra-cotta disk six inches in diameter and inscribed with 45 different symbols of animals, people, and designs that repeat in different variations along a spiral band that coils to an end in the disk’s center, the Phaistos Disk is an enigma of history.
Inscribed by ancient astronomers
Were the figures on the disk inscribed by ancient astronomers? The designs on the disk include dot clusters, a bird, a bear, a serpentine figure and even a human head, but they’re totally different than the known hieroglyphic systems of the Minoan culture Linear A and B. The figures inscribed on the Phaistos Disk also appear to have been pressed into the clay surface with small instruments, like a form of ancient movable type. Could they be representations of constellations in the night sky thousands of years ago?
For some experts and archeologists, the Phaistos Disk is purely a linguistic puzzle, but these scientists have yet to translate the symbols on the disk’s surface. Different linguists translate the symbols differently and some say the symbols will never be translated because linguists can’t determine enough of the vocabulary with the information they have to work with.
Leon Pomerance believed the symbols on the Phaistos Disk were graphic symbols, like the glyphs on road signs they stood for things, not sounds. After studying the disk for years he believed the symbols were inscribed by ancient astronomers who had spent decades recording the passage of celestial bodies across the night sky.
Deciding to test his theory, he asked for the help of Kenneth Franklin at the Hayden Planetarium. One night, beneath the virtual sky of Crete in 2,000 BC, he and Franklin watched as the planetarium computer set the ancient night sky of Crete in motion. They watched as the constellations swiftly went through their progression 4,000 years ago. First Serpens Cauda, the Serpent’s Tail, came into view in what would have been late November, followed by Aquila the Eagle, which seemed to fly toward the west. Next, the seven-star Pleiades appeared in April, just before the Sun. Pomerance recognized this pattern of symbols as the same pattern inscribed on the clay surface of the Phaistos Disk.
What do scientists think?
He concluded it was probably an ancient almanac used by prehistoric farmers to list previous planting and harvesting times. This interpretation has been met with both skepticism and approval by archeologists and other experts. Today, possibly one of the earliest human records of seasonal changes in the night sky waits in the Heraklion Museum on Crete for confirmation of his belief. One day, an archeologist could find an artifact dredged from the Aegean or discovered in ancient Minoan ruins confirming this idea.
Watch this YouTube video on the Phaistos Disk here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQwW2RvP948.
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