Previously unknown language discovered on ancient clay tablets

Published on May 14th, 2012 | by Admin


This is pretty cool: Archaeologists working in the ruins of a 2,800-year-old palace in the Middle East have uncovered clay tablets which hint at a previously unknown language.

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.

[Full story]

Story: David Keys, The Independent | Photo: The Independent

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One Response to Previously unknown language discovered on ancient clay tablets

  1. Benjamin Marcus Raucher says:

    I am sure there are thousands of languages lost to history.

    Benjamin Raucher

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