Le guerrier, le chat, l’aigle, le poisson et la colonne: la voie spiralée des signes Approche sémiologique, structurale et archéologique du disque de Phaistos
by Serge Collet. 90 pages; 15 tables, 1 colour illustration. French text with English Abstract and Foreword. 6 2017. Available both in printed and e-versions.
Printed ISBN 9781784916169. £14.00 (No VAT). Epublication ISBN 9781784916176. £10.00 (Exc. VAT)
The Phaistos Disc is one of the most studied documents of the Minoan civilization, enticing scholars and simple enthusiasts with the mysterious aura that envelops it and with its singularity among Minoan scriptures. It has entered the collective imagination, both at academic and popular levels. Representations of the Disc can be found abundantly in popular culture, from appearances in Mickey Mouse comics to a prop amidst the curios on the tables of a television magician.
It is this very overexposure that risks undermining the understanding of an object that is, first and foremost, an archaeological artefact found in a chronological and cultural context. Much has been said and much and has been written about the Disc. Collet brings a new approach. It’s not a deciphering but an interpretation, a depiction of the Minoan Weltanschauung through the symbols on the Disc and their connections with reality. This begins with the spiral-shaped construction of the inscription and its possible temporal allusions, and moves on to a structuralist view of use of the signs, and in which the repetitions take on almost ritual significance. Hence it is a pictorial interpretation rather than syllabic, whereby the pictograph is not intended as a rigid reproduction of logical discourse, but rather a path.
About the Author:
Serge Collet (1950-2016) was a French scientist who became known for his interdisciplinary research on early sea-dependent societies. His main study “Uomini e Pesce, La caccia al pesce spada tra Scilla e Cariddi” as well as his publications with SAGE Publications over the years, as well as his several contributions to international conferences (inter alia funded by the EU and FAO) gave substantial examples as to what contributions maritime ethnology and archaeology can make for the preservation of cultures and the seas over the millennia.