‘Stones that Speak’
28 April, 2011

Robert D. Morritt epigraphs his opus with Percy Shelley’s inquisitive observation: “We are all Greeks. Our laws, our religion, our arts, have their root in Greece.”

‘Stones that Speak’ is a recent addition to the world book market which is one of those that make a historical tour of language and cultural influences. It is a real treat for a reader with a specific interest in the world’s Hellenistic heritage. Exclaims Morritt in his introduction – ‘What would that piece
of clay say if it could speak!’ According to the author, archeological excavations, archaic languages and Myths are explored, together with what appear to be archaic Cretan relations as far away as the Black Sea region.
Our special interest goes to the enigma of the Phaistos Disc which is revisited in Moritt’s outstanding edition in the light of new findings. And one of those new findings belongs to Dr. Gia Kvashilava – the Georgian scientist, PHD and an elected academician, living in Tbilisi, republic of Georgia. He is a graduate of a special school of physics and Mathematics and the Tbilisi State University. Kvashilava has worked nearly 28 years on deciphering the world’s first printed document the Phaistos Disc found on the Crete. His efforts in deciphering Linear and Cretan hieroglyphic scripts are widely presented in Robert Morritt’s book ‘Stones that Speak’. The author underlines that Gia Kvashilava has deciphered the Phaistos Disc into Colchian (Proto-Kartvelian language). The text is proved to be a hymn and prayer to Anatolian Mother Goddess Nenana and is printed in the Colchian Goldscript. He presented his paper to the International Conference in London, England November 1st of 2008 on the occasion of then 100th anniversary of the discovery of the Phaistos Disc. That was the first time this work had appeared in book form other than briefly cited in magazines in Georgia and in Minerva magazine.
History of the Phaistos Disc is very well known to the civilized world. It is mentioned in almost every functioning encyclopedia.  Phaistos Disc was discovered on the 3rd July of 1908 by Italian archeologist Luigi Pernier on the island of Crete, in Phaistos near Hagia Triada on the south coast of Crete. It was found in building 101 of the Minoan Palace-site of Phaistos in the main cell of an underground ‘temple depository’. The basement cells were only accessible from above and were covered with a layer of fine plaster found in a rich deposit of black earth and ashes mixed with rich black earth and bovine bones. It appeared that the site collapsed as a result of an earthquake which occurred in 1628 during the Santorino volcano explosion. Luigi Pernier reported that the disc was located in a Middle Minoan undisturbed context. The disc is a clay plate of 6 inches (approximately 16 cm) in diameter, and weighs 380 grams. On both sides of the disc, on yet wet clay, 63 composite words are printed in the form of a spiral with 244 golden matrixes of pictorial signs. There are only 48 pictorial signs that are often imprinted in different angle. The disc is kept in the archeological museum of Heraklion, the main port of Crete, Greece.
Dr. Kvashilava’s long time research and study of Kartvelian/Georgian languages enabled him to draw conclusions that the origin of the Phaistos disc is Kartvelian Georgian known as Colchian, from which the present Georgian ‘Mingrelian-Laz’ language is derived. 
Gia Kvashilava’s paper presents the information on deciphering by the author of the complete text of the four-thousand year old first imprinted religious-literary document – the Phaistos Disc. The document is already widely known in the world which says that the text of the Disc is written in the ancient Colchian, in its Cretan dialect, and the Disc is the oldest European religious and literary document, a verse of hymn.
The Georgian scientist’s biography, his portrait and the description of his now well-known paper are presented in Robert D. Morritt’s book (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, copyright 2010) ‘Stones that Speak (pages 227 -231).
The author also presents widely the history of the Colchis (the Classical Age), saying that Colchis in ancient times was situated in the present day Georgian provinces of Mingrelia, Imereti, Guria, Racha and Apkhazeti (Abkhazia).
The country of Colchis has always been identified with Georgia by the world scholars of antiquity – and it is what today is known as Georgia to the entire world. 


Other Stories
Zurab Tsereteli exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London
The artworks of the Georgian painter Zurab Tsereteli will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London between the 23rd of January and the 17th of February.
Jvari Monastery reopened
Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta has been reopened.
Jvari Monastery closed for tourists
Jvari Monastery is temporarily closed for tourists.
Anita Rachvelishvili recognized as the best Verdi mezzo-soprano by Riccardo Muti
The New York Times has recently published an article about Georgian opera singer Anita Rachvelishvili.
Georgia to be a guest of honor in Paris in 2021
According to the director of the National Book center in Georgia Dea Metreveli, Georgia was offered to be a guest of honor at the annual book event in Paris in 2021.
Unknown painting of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani uncovered in Georgia
Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani is among the most famous Georgian public figures.
Georgian opera singer Anita Rachvelishvili crowned as best classical music artist by the New York Times
In its end-of-year review about the best classical music of 2018, the newspaper frenetically celebrates Anita Rachvelishvili from Tbilisi.
Niko Pirosmani’s Georgian woman with Lechaki sold for 2 230 000 GBP
Niko pirosmani’s painting Georgian woman with Lechaki was sold at Sotheby’s for 2 230 000 GBP.
Nikortsminda Cathedral renovation works to finish successfully
Nikortsminda Cathedral is a Georgian Orthodox Church, located in Nikortsminda, Racha region of Georgia.
Georgian film “8 Minutes” wins 10 nominations on FICOCC
Georgian film “8 Minutes” became the winner for the 10 nominations on the Five Continents International Film Festival.
Ajika granted the status of an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia
The traditional Megrelian and Abkhazian technology of Ajika, Georgian spicy sauce was inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia list.
Mountains, cheese and the colors of the national flag – these are the most obvious things that the two small countries share. But there is more to it.
Claudio Margottini about Vardzia
Vardzia is a cave monastery in Samtskhe-Javakheti. Queen Tamar ordered the construction of Vardzia in the twelfth century.
International Model United Nations to be held in Tbilisi
For the first time In Georgia, International Model United Nations, organized by Kant’s Academy, will be held in Tbilisi.
Charity project COATS to help 369 vulnerable children
The 9th Community Outreach Project COATS 2018 will be hosted by Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel on Sunday, November 18th, 2018
“We try to make Georgia and its culture better known to the Swiss people”
The Swiss based society “Friends of Georgia” celebrates this year its 30 anniversary.
London hosted Qvevri Wine Festival
London hosted Qvevri Wine Festival on the 8th of November.
Shota Rustaveli among the world's top 30 writers
Shota Rustaveli is among the top 30 writers on www.ranker.com
Rituals related to wine-making in old Georgia
In old times, wine cellars used to be considered as a sacred place where certain rituals took place.
Niko Pirosmani paintings in Vienna, in the Albertina Museum
The Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria has organized a solo exhibition of the works of Niko Pirosmani.
The Fourth Official Ceremony of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards
On December 17, 2018 Rustaveli Theatre will host the most remarkable event of the Tourism and Hospitality industry of Georgia
Mtatsminda Panthenon – a necropolis of great Georgians
Mtatsminda Pantheon is a necropolis in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The portrait of the Georgian King Teimuraz II returns to Homeland
The portrait of the King Teimuraz II belongs to the collection of Bagrationi Dynasty
Georgian song Suliko performed at the Frankfurt Buchmesse 2018
Georgia was granted an incredible title this year.
GEL Exchange Rate