Brent Davis on the language(s) of the “Phaistos Disc” and “Linear A”

Dr. Brent Davis (Melbourne) is a long time core-team member of the Safi project. In addition to his interest in the Philistines, Brent is one of the leading experts in the world on Bronze Age Aegean scripts and languages.

Among his various works, he has published a book on stone vessels with inscriptions in Linear A (see here, and previously noted here), has questioned whether Cypro-Minoan script was used in Iron Age Philistia (see here), and has several joint articles on Philistine writing and language (here and here).

Now, he has put out what I believe is a brilliant article in which, based on a close statistical analysis, shows that the while both the Phaistos Disc and Linear A are undeciphered writing systems, he can demonstrate that the both are, with a high degree of certainty, encode the same language!

The 2017 team at Tell es-Safi/Gath had an opportunity to hear about his research in a lecture he gave during the 2017 season. In addition, he presented this paper at the AIA annual meeting in San Diego earlier this month (January 2019), and also for PASP = Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory at the University of Texas at Austin (in mid-Jan. 2019), where it was received very favourably.

For us “Philistines,” such studies are of interest and importance, as they shed light on issues that may help us understand aspects of language, literacy and related topics in Iron Age Philistia.

The full title of the article is:

Davis, B. 2018. The Phaistos Disk: A New Way of Viewing the Language Behind the Script. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 37(4): 373–410.

Check it out! Way to go Brent!