18th century Burmese letter made of gold deciphered
Published on December 30th, 2010 | by Sevaan Franks3
The letter, which took three years to decipher, relates to an offer of trading cooperation between Burma (current day Myanmar) and England, the research team found.
‘As far as we know, the golden letter is a one-off,’ library chief Georg Ruppelt said.
The letter, engraved on a gold sheet measuring 55 by 12 centimetres and inlaid with 24 rubies, was intended to demonstrate King Alaungphaya’s respect for the English king – who promptly sent the document to the royal library in his home city of Hanover, in northern Germany.
Danish King Christian VII damaged the letter, contained in an elephant tusk, during a visit in 1768.
‘This made the document even harder to decipher,’ Ruppelt said.