Breakthrough in world's oldest undeciphered writing
This international research project is already casting light on a lost bronze age middle eastern society where enslaved workers lived on rations close to the starvation level.
"I think we are finally on the point of making a breakthrough," says Jacob Dahl, fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford and director of the Ancient World Research Cluster.
Dr Dahl's secret weapon is being able to see this writing more clearly than ever before.
In a room high up in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, above the Egyptian mummies and fragments of early civilisations, a big black dome is clicking away and flashing out light.
This device, part sci-fi, part-DIY, is providing the most detailed and high quality images ever taken of these elusive symbols cut into clay tablets. This is Indiana Jones with software.
It's being used to help decode a writing system called proto-Elamite, used between around 3200BC and 2900BC in a region now in the south west of modern Iran.
And the Oxford team think that they could be on the brink of understanding this last great remaining cache of undeciphered texts from the ancient world.
Dr Dahl remains passionate about what this work says about such societies, digging into the deepest roots of civilisation. This is about where so much begins. For instance, proto-Elamite was the first writing ever to use syllables.
If Macbeth talked about the "last syllable of recorded time", the proto-Elamites were there for the first.
And with sufficient support, Dr Dahl says that within two years this last great lost writing could be fully understood.
Sources and more information:
The world's oldest undeciphered writing is on the verge of what researchers are calling "a breakthrough," and they're looking to the public to help make it happen. The symbols you see up top are known as proto-Elamite script, a writing system that dates back five millennia to the Early Bronze age, in what is now southwestern Iran.
( via bbc.co.uk )
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Temps13 wrote October 23, 2012 11:22:37 PM CEST
We wont be told ruthfully what this says should it corroborate ancient aliens will we? seriously..i mean,come on..you gonna trust these fucks?