An ancient temple in Turkey has been found filled with various artifacts, including stone slabs engraved in Luwian, an extinct language. The site is casting new light on the “dark age” that was thought to have engulfed the region from 1200 to 900 B.C.
Written sources from the era—including the Old Testament of the Bible, Greek Homeric epics, and texts from Egyptian pharaoh Ramses III—record the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age as a turbulent period of cultural collapse, famine, and violence.
But the newfound temple suggests that may not have been the case, say archaeologists from the University of Toronto’s Tayinat Archaeological Project, led by Timothy Harrison.
“We’re beginning to find new archaeological evidence that there was a continuation of writing traditions, as well as cultural and political continuity from the Bronze Age into this Iron Age period,” Harrison said.