Previously unknown language discovered on ancient clay tablets
Published on May 14th, 2012 | by Admin1
The tablet revealed the names of 60 women – probably prisoners-of-war or victims of an Assyrian forced population transfer programme. But when the Cambridge archaeologist – Dr. John MacGinnis – began to examine the names in detail, he realized that 45 of them bore no resemblance to any of the thousands of ancient Middle Eastern names already known to scholars.
Because ancient Middle Eastern names are normally composites, made-up, in full or abbreviated form, of ordinary words in the relevant local lexicon, the unique nature of the tablet’s 45 mystery names is seen by scholars as evidence of a previously unknown language.
Story: David Keys, The Independent | Photo: The Independent