Mystery of 4,000-year-old ‘CD-ROM’ is solved

The cryptic symbol-covered disc is described as the ‘first CD-ROM’ - and archaeologists have battled to uncover its secrets ever since it was found in 1908.

Experts have finally decoded the mysterious disc

A mysterious symbol-covered disc which was found in Greek ruins in 1908 has finally revealed its secrets after archaeologists battled to decode it for more than a century.

The Phaistos Disc - described as the ‘first Minoan CD-ROM’ is covered in 241 images, thought to be fragments of 45 mysterious symbols.

The language used is unknown, and the technology behind the disc is equally mysterious.

The disc was created in 1,700 BC - using pre-printed symbols to press a mysterious message into clay.

The disc pre-dates the printing press by thousands of years, but uses a similar technology - which experts believe died out as it had been developed ‘at the wrong time’.

Dr Gareth Owens of the Technological Educational Institute of Crete believes that he has at least partially solved the riddle - one of the most common symbols means ‘Mother’.

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Other recurring symbols seem to say, ‘Great lady of importance,’ and ‘Pregnant mother’.

Owens and his team believe that the disc contains some form of spiral prayer printed into the clay - and claim to have translated 90% of the symbols after a six-year struggle.

Owens says, ‘The most stable word and value is 'mother,' and in particular the mother goddess of the Minoan era.’

Owens believes that one side of the disc is themed around pregnancy, and the other around birth.

His team continues their work.