In a century which has seen the cracking of Linear B, Ugaritic, and other orthographic systems, the Phaistos Disk has eluded decipherment. The disk is thought to date from around 1700 BC. It is a roundish disk of clay, with symbols stamped into it. The text consists of 61 words, 16 of which are accompanied by a mysterious "slash" mark.
There are 45 different symbols occurring 241 times. The symbols portray recognizable objects like human figures and body parts, animals, weapons, and plants. Since the text of the disk is so short, decipherment by the statistical cryptographic techniques employed by Michael Ventris in cracking Linear B are impossible.
Late last year, however, Dr. Keith A.J. Massey and his twin brother Rev. Kevin Massey-Gillespie discovered the secret they believe provides the key to cracking the Phaistos Disk.