I've been trying to understand the Phaistos disk and this is my current sticking point (there are many, but this is the one I'm trying most to get past).
The quality of the impressions in the clay is of remarkable quality and fidelity. The variation between different example of the same symbol leads me to conclude that the same stencil was not used for each impression of that symbol. I think that if the disc was created by hand pressing each symbol individually, repetition of the same stencil would have been the rule, which didn't happen.
This lead me to the idea that each side of the disk was a single giant composite stencil, which is pressed into the disc of clay doing the entire side at once, similar to woodblock printing. This would have made it one of the first printing technologies along with the cylinder seal, possibly even predating the seal. If true, that means that the Phaistos disk would have been mass manufactured for whatever reason for distribution across a wide area, just as the cylinder seals were.
Am I totally off base?
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