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Archeologists Find An Entirely New Language Among The Ruins Of An Ancient Empire

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The archeological site at Turkey’s Boğazköy-Hattusha, the former capital of the Bronze Age Hittite empire, is a hotbed of ancient languages. This year, during excavations of the ruins, archeologists uncovered a new language written on a tablet detailing a foreign ritual. Although experts are not sure what the specific idiom says, they can confirm that the new language is a member of the Anatolian Indo-European language family. Although most of the tablets found in Hattusha are written in Hittite—the oldest attested Indo-European language (and the language tree through which English evolved)—many other languages of the region can be found among these cuneiform treasures, including Luwian, Palaic, and Hattic. However, this year’s excavations at the site revealed a surprising discovery—an entirely new language. “The Hittites were uniquely interested in recording rituals in foreign languages,” Daniel Schwemer, head of the Chair of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Germany, said in a press statement. And hidden in this particular ancient cultic text is a recitation written in an unfamiliar language. According to the archeologists, the Hittite text refers to an idiom from the language of the land of Kalašma…(READ MORE)

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