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Audio recordings of ancient Babylonian poems

I thought this was particularly cool. Researchers at Cambridge University have unlocked the key to pronouncing ancient Babylonian and have recorded readings of poems that haven’t been heard in 2,000 years. To listen to the recordings, click here.

Researchers studied letter combinations and spelling patterns as well as transcriptions into other ‘known’ languages to unlock the key to the language.

Dr Worthington said: ‘Whenever I tell people what I do, the first question they ask is what did Babylonian sound like, and how do you know? It’s essentially detective work.

‘We will never know for sure that a Babylonian would have approved of our attempts at pronunciation, but by looking at the original sources closely, we can make a pretty good guess.

‘In the end I decided that the best thing to do would be to create a resource where people can listen to it for themselves.

‘I also wanted to dispel some long-standing myths. Many people think that the further you go back in history, the less you know about it.

‘In fact, we have masses of information about the Babylonians.’ Dr Worthington has released 30 recordings including excerpts from some of the earliest works of literature known to man.

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