Ancient language discovered on clay tablets found amid ruins of 2800 year old Middle Eastern palace – Archaeology – Science – The Independent

Evidence of the long-lost language – probably spoken by a hitherto unknown people from the Zagros Mountains of western Iran – was found by a Cambridge University archaeologist as he deciphered an ancient clay writing tablet unearthed by an international archaeological team excavating an Assyrian imperial governors’ palace in the ancient city of Tushan, south-east Turkey.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.

via Ancient language discovered on clay tablets found amid ruins of 2800 year old Middle Eastern palace – Archaeology – Science – The Independent.

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