‘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. 

 

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