Solomon's Sky: The Tapestry of Heaven from the Phaistos Disk

© 2015 Peter Aleff


 Table of Contents  



Front cover

Front Matter :

Inside Title and Dedication
Copyright, ISBN, Library of Congress data

Table of Contents

Part 1: Scrolls 1 - 6: Its ancient Egyptian siblings Snake Game and Senet,

its direct descendant the still popular spiral Game of the Goose,

and the striking parallels of its "Philistine sun head" path of fields

with the much later life, death, and third-day resurrection of Jesus Christ.

(An earlier version of this now updated Part 1 was published in 2003 as an ebook under the title "The Tapestry of Heaven from the Phaistos Disk


Part 2: Scrolls 7 - 12: The astronomical and calendrical cycles on its path,
its role as a
sky chart and labyrinth mandala of heaven,
its similarities with the layout of King
Solomon’s Temple precinct,
and its
continued evolution into chess and beyond.

Scroll 1
Note to the Reader

Scroll 2

1. Description of the riddle

1.1. The find and its features

1.2. The Disk compared with writing tablets

1.3. Attempts to decipher the Disk as writing

Scroll 3

1.4. A new perspective on the Disk

2. The Disk and ancient gameboards

2.1. Stamped decorations on gameboards

2.2. Eight-leaved rosettes on gameboards

Scroll 4

2.2.1. The symbolic meanings of the eight-fold rosettes

2.2.2. Heavenly matches for the eight leaves

2.2.3. The rosette fields on the Disk

Scroll 6

2.3. Similarities with other gameboard tracks

2.3.1. Links between ancient Crete and India

2.3.2. Indian games on square boards

2.4. Shapes and sizes of gameboards

Scroll 7 

3. Heads on the Disk, bristled and bald

3.1. The sun-rayed head and Samson

3.1.1. Hair as life-force of sun-heads

Scroll 8

3.1.2. The Philistine connection with the Disk

Scroll 9

3.1.3. The Old Philistine "Fluted Crown"

3.2. Bald head as death of the rayed one

Scroll 10 

4. The game of Senet as key to the Disk

4.1. Ties between ancient Crete and Egypt

4.2. Sources about Senet

Scroll 11

4.3. Senet magic for enduring

Scroll 12

4.4. Gameboards as time-tracking tools

4.5. Senet's evolution into Backgammon

Scroll 13

4.6. Marks on the last five Senet squares

4.6.1. Gamepieces' journey through death

Scroll 14 

5. Parallels in Senet and Phaistos Disk

5.1. The direction of the path on the Disk

5.2. Meetings of sun and moon

5.2.1. The 25-year Egyptian cycle in Senet The Apis bull as fake pharaoh The renewal of the real pharaoh

Scroll 15

5.2.2. The 19-year "Metonic" cycle on the Disk Sun and moon on the bald head's cheek The two circles as time limit for the sun

Scroll 16

5.3. The "Command" for "Life" to go "Down"

5.4. Phaistos field of distress after death

Scroll 17

5.4.1. A sound and word from the "T-shirt" sign

5.4.2. Tartarus as "west-west"

5.4.3. The sun travels west in a boat

Scroll 18

5.4.4. Halls of gloom The shape of the maze after death

Scroll 19
The glimpse of hope

Scroll 20

5.5. Mid-life renewals in Senet and on the Disk
The Heb-Sed festival of pharaonic renewal

Scroll 21
Initiations in Crete

Scroll 22

6. Parallels with the Game of the Snake and Goose
The ancient spiral Snake Game
The functions of the Mehen snake Encircling magic

Scroll 23
Symbolism of spirals
The snake as linear and cyclical time

Scroll 24
Holy Geese in ancient Egypt The cosmic goose as creator and divine emblem
Goose and snake as earth god

Scroll 25
The goose as sky goddess
The goose allied with the snake
Geese as gifts to the gods
The bull heads buried with the goose heads

Scroll 26  
Goose heads in temple foundations  
Geese as substitute sacrifices  
Geese as sons
Ganders in India
Geese in ancient Crete

Scroll 27
Geese among the Philistines
Geese in Greece

The marks and fields along the Mehen track

Scroll 28
The modern spiral Goose Game
Continued links from Goose to Snake and time
The special fields in the Goose Game

Scroll 29
Matches of Goose fields on the Disk
The “death” field in 58
Rebirth at the end
The mid-life “well” of renewal in 31
The “prison” in 52

Scroll 30
The setbacks by twelve fields from the “mazes”

Scroll 31
The geese and “flock of geese” arrows

Scroll 32
The game and rhymes of Mother Goose

Scroll 33
The Goose’s travel through time
The sacred way to the Eleusinian Mysteries Sitting on the cover of a well
A bridge on day and field six

Scroll 34
Changes from Phaistos to Goose Different perceptions of death
The relocation of the afterworld maze
The relocation of some geese

Scroll 35
A guess about the journey of the Goose From Athens to Italy
The Goose Game as Calvary path

Scroll 36
A “Life of Christ” from 1600 before Christ
The “world circle” with the world ruler

Scroll 37
Teaching divine law at age twelve

Scroll 38
Initiation with dove at 31 Doves as symbol of the renewal goddess

Scroll 39
Doves sitting on double axes

Scroll 40
Twelve disciples and some of their deeds Judas fallen in Tartarus
The fisherman with sword and divine law

Scroll 41
Nineteen- year careers
Resurrection on the third day
The child from heaven Lily regeneration

Scroll 42
Return of the lily-soul from death

Scroll 43
The value of the record on the Phaistos Disk

Scroll 44
7.       The Flow of Time on the Gameboard Track
7.1.      The monthly race of the moon’s light side against its dark part
   7.1.1.    The “cat head” as the visible part of the moon
   7.1.2.    The “rounded shield” as the darkness on and around the moon 
   7.1.3.    A victory wreath for the winner in the race
   7.1.4.    The “bee keeper glove” for the celestial keeper of souls
   7.1.5.    Some other fields in the 30-day race
   7.1.6.    The markers between the monthly “seasons” of the moon
7.2.      The measurer of time and some cycles he shows with his stride
   7.2.1.     Five birthdays of gods and the beginning of time     Osiris     Horus     Seth     Isis     Nephthys
   7.2 2.     The thunder axe that broke frozen skies and freed life
   7.2.3.     A five-day coronation before the starts of sun and moon
    Constellation “houses” for zodiac signs
7.2.5.     An early model for the Goose Game's "Bridge at 6"
   7.2.6.     Weeks and months and other strider cycles

Scroll 45
8.       Lunar eclipses and standstill cycles on the Disk
8.1.    The 54-season Saros eclipse cycle to field 54
The shape of the Earth-shadow sign
   8.1.2.   The announcement in field 53 of the upcoming eclipse in 54

   8.1.3.   The solar eclipse in the Saros and 18 as number of darkness

8.2.    The 56-year cycle of lunar standstills

   8.2.1.   Moon standstills and "forward arrows" along the Disk path
   8.2.2.   The 19 + 19 + 18 = 56-year standstill cycle of the moon goddess

Scroll 46
9.     A  megalithic parallel to the Disk path
9.1. Reconstructing the original layout of the gameboard path

9.2  The Bronze Age stone structure of Rogem Hiri in the Golan Heights
9.3 The monument’s names, location, features, and dating 
9.4.  The "wild cat" connection of the "stone heap"
9.5.  Suggestions for Rogem Hiri’s purpose
   9.5.1 Astronomical alignments
9.6.  Comparing the double-folded Disk path with Rogem Hiri
9.7. Ariadne’s dancing floor as Phaistos floor labyrinth

Scroll 47
10.     The Phaistos path in square labyrinth form

10.1.   The celestial "north pole" on the labyrinth board
10.1.1   The northern constellations as signs from the Disk
    10.1.2   The slash modifier that lifts its signs into the sky

10.2.   The chess-knight’s path of “Falcon” and “Big Dipper”
10.2.1  The Big Dipper as abode of Seth in ancient Egypt
10.2.2   The movement of the celestial pole towards the “Falcon”
    10.2.3   The Big Dipper’s role in resurrection
    10.2.4   The “Falcon” in the northern sky and as Osiris/Horus

10.3.   The stippled triangle that completes the orbit
10.4.   Thoth the Measurer of Time and Judge of the Dead
10.5.   The “Hoofed Leg” with the celestial “Strider”
10.6.   The "Feather Soul" in orbit around the "pole"
10.7.   The ecliptic path on the labyrinth sky board

Scroll 48
    The Labyrinth sky chart and the Jerusalem Temple
11.1.   Examples of gameboard layouts in ancient temple and town plans
11.2.   The 8x8 Chessboard as India's cosmic grid and sacred layout mandala    
11.3    The 8x8 labyrinth-board and the layout of the Jerusalem Temple Mount
    11.3.1   Potential paths of transmission
    11.3.2   Locating the Temple on the Temple
    11.3.3.  The Temple within its Court
    11.3.4   Symbolic numbers for the outer wall and the grid inside it
    11.3.5   Parallels between the sky board and Temple Mount layouts
11.4    The "Prison Gate" as formal north entrance
11.5    Labyrinths as mythological prisons
11.6    King Solomon's ancient connections with labyrinths
11.7.   The Inner Sanctum as labyrinth with the ladder to heaven
11.8    Biblical Urim and Thummim divining tools
11.9    The curtain that hid the Holy of Holies in Herod's Temple

Scroll 49
   The evolution of the Labyrinth Game towards Chess
12.1  A proposed capsule history of board games
12.2  Linear paths for game pieces and people
12.3  Branchings of the initially linear paths
12.4  The Chess Knight’s move and early Chess
12.5  Planets on the Chess board

12.6  Chess as mirror of the world

Scroll 50: Appendix 1: A proposed re-creation of rules for the Labyrinth Game
Scroll 51: Appendix 2: A plug for the ancient game's update as the Quantum Game

Back pages :

  • Endnotes (These are in this online version on each of the web pages)

  • Alphabetical Index (Will be added to the paperback version)

  • About the author

A note to the reader and question about the frequent highlighting:


The patches of red throughout the text are not only traditional highlights for adding emphasis to certain words, but they are meant mostly as eye guides to make it easy to re-find your place in a block of words when your eyes go to the next line or otherwise change your viewing angle or even just blink. This picks up a tradition started by ancient Egyptian scribes who often wrote some words or passages in red ink to emphasize them and set them apart from the surrounding black text on their papyrus scrolls. Some people find this highlighting more helpful and viewer-friendly than uniformly gray paragraphs, particularly for scrolling on screens, but others might find the color changes distracting.


I re-introduce this ancient peppering of scrolls with highlights therefore as an experiment and would appreciate your feedback on whether you like this feature and feel it improves readability, or else find it useless or worse and would rather prefer plain black text without highlighting.

Please vote
at by answering the "highlighting" question at the top of that page. Thank you.


About spelling and fonts:

I used the “trema” or “Umlaut dots” as a lectional aid for adjacent vowels that are pronounced separately, as in coïncidence or Israël or Rephaïm or Saïs. I am following in that the practice at The New Yorker magazine which I prefer as helpful even though it may not be standard usage.


Although this e-book can be read in any font and font size that your e-reader supports, I designed its layout for 12-point Times New Roman for the text and Arial 10-point bold for some of the captions. To keep the captions with the images, the captions are part of the image and their font can therefore not reflow as the regular text does. Also, since most of the images are in landscape orientation, I suggest you orient your reading device that way, too.