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Archaeology & History

Mysterious lost language discovered on 3,000-year-old tablets

By T.K. Randall
November 19, 2023 · Comment icon 0 comments

Lion gate of Hattusa.
The Lion Gate of Hattusa. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Carole Raddato
Archaeologists have found text written thousands of years ago that nobody has been able to translate.
It might sound like something out of an Indiana Jones movie, but this enigmatic ancient language, which was found among thousands of ancient clay tablets in Turkey, is very much the real deal.

Throughout history there have been countless languages from cultures all across the world and while scholars have been able to translate many of them, some continue to remain a complete mystery.

This particular cuneiform script was found among thousands of clay tablets from the time of the Hittite Empire around 3,000 years ago.
The text is preceded by the statement "from now on, read in the language of the country of Kalasma", which was a Bronze Age society that existed at the northwest edge of the Hittite Empire.

The lost language was part of a treasure trove of around 25,000 tablets found at the ruins of the Hittite capital of Hattusa in modern-day Turkey which archaeologists have been working to translate for several years.

Many of these contain religious and legal writings as well as records of royal treaties and political correspondences.

"The Hittites were uniquely interested in recording rituals in foreign languages," said Professor Daniel Schwemer of Julius-Maximilians-Universitat (JMU) Wurzburg in Germany.

Source: Science Alert | Comments (0)

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