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Keyword: epigraphyandlanguage

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  • New Indo-European Language Discovered

    06/21/2012 5:14:04 PM PDT · by Renfield · 18 replies
    Sci-News.com ^ | 6-19-2012 | John Shanks
    A linguistics researcher at the Macquarie University in Australia has discovered that the language, known as Burushaski, which is spoken by about 90,000 people who reside in a remote area of Pakistan, is Indo-European in origin. Prof Ilija Casule’s discovery, which has now been verified by a number of the world’s top linguists, has excited linguistics experts around the world. An entire issue of the eminent international linguistics journal the Journal of Indo-European Studies is devoted to a discussion of his findings later this month. More than fifty eminent linguists have tried over many years to determine the genetic relationship...
  • How geography shapes cultural diversity

    06/11/2012 5:43:13 PM PDT · by Theoria · 10 replies
    Nature ^ | 11 June 2012 | Zoë Corbyn
    Study offers evidence that long countries give better protection to languages than those that are wide. One reason that Eurasian civilizations dominated the globe is because they came from a continent that was broader in an east–west direction than north–south, claimed geographer Jared Diamond in his famous 1997 book Guns, Germs and Steel. Now, a modelling study has found evidence to support this 'continental axis theory'.Continents that span narrower bands of latitude have less variation in climate, which means a set of plants and animals that are adapted to more similar conditions. That is an advantage, says Diamond, because it means...
  • New discovery at early Islamic site in Jordan: Uncovered inscription reveals name of Umayyad prince

    06/07/2012 5:23:36 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    Art Daily ^ | Thursday, June 7, 2012 | Art, or someone who knows him
    The site is a small building dating to the Umayyad period and is known for its mural paintings. Gazelle and wild donkey hunts, dances, musicians, court scenes and allegories, and zodiac symbols are all painted on interior surfaces. The inscription, which previously could not be read due to accumulated dirt and previous unsuccessful cleaning attempts, is an invocation to Allah beginning with the formula "Allahumma aslih al-Walid ibn Yazîd" ("Oh God! Make al-Walîd ibn Yazîd virtuous"). This inscription was painted in white above a window in old Kufic alphabet without any diacritical dots. Sections of the three-line inscription are...
  • Indiana Jones meets the Da Vinci Code

    01/14/2008 12:56:52 PM PST · by rellimpank · 33 replies · 40+ views
    Asia times ^ | 14 jan 08 | Spengler
    By Spengler Islam watchers blogged all weekend about news that a secret archive of ancient Islamic texts had surfaced after 60 years of suppression. Andrew Higgins' Wall Street Journal report that the photographic record of Koranic manuscripts, supposedly destroyed during World War II but occulted by a scholar of alleged Nazi sympathies, reads like a conflation of the Da Vinci Code with Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail. The Da Vinci Code offered a silly fantasy in which Opus Dei, homicidal monks and twisted billionaires chased after proof that Christianity is a hoax. But the story of the photographic archive...
  • Coast-to-coast AM 01.18.08.(2am EST) Glenn Kimball will discuss history of the Koran

    01/19/2008 10:41:22 PM PST · by Perdogg · 9 replies · 212+ views
    C2C AM ^ | 01.19.08
    Glenn Kimball -Ancient Texts- kimballcollege.com Expert in ancient manuscripts, Glenn Kimball will discuss new information on the history and origins of the Koran and ancient libraries. http://www.nhne.org/news/NewsArticlesArchive/tabid/400/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/4160/Default.aspx
  • Archeologist Says New Finds Support Bible's Accuracy

    05/28/2012 11:45:52 AM PDT · by GiovannaNicoletta · 4 replies
    Israel Today Magazine ^ | May 15, 2012 | Ryan Jones
    A Hebrew University archeologist says finds at a new dig site near Jerusalem are backing up the biblical narrative of an Israelite kingdom centered on Jerusalem in 1000 BC, around the time of King David and his son, King Solomon. Professor Yosef Garfinkel has been digging at Khirbet Qeiyafa near the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh since 2007. Carbon dating of unearthed olive pits has put the period of activity at Khirbet Qeiyafa at 1020 BC - 980 BC, almost exactly the period of time the Bible says David and Solomon were active in the region. The dating, together with...
  • Babylonian Talmud Translated into Arabic

    05/28/2012 9:46:19 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies
    Bible History Daily (BAR website) ^ | Thursday, May 17, 2012 | Staff
    After a controversial six-year-long translation project, a Jordanian think tank based in Amman published an Arabic translation of the Babylonian Talmud. After gaining enthusiastic responses to the project from the Arab League, 96 scholars began work on the translation. The editors are happy with the project, stating that the lack of an Arabic Talmud "has always been an obstacle to understanding Judaism." Despite some polarized and politicized responses, most have adopted a positive impression of the massive scholarly work. Dr. Raquel Ukeles of the Israeli National Library states that the project stemmed from scientific curiosity, and the introduction discusses the...
  • More Observations on the Stone Dead Sea Scroll Text

    07/16/2008 1:19:17 AM PDT · by Oyarsa · 13 replies · 179+ views
    Bock's Blog ^ | 7/08/2008 | Darrell L. Bock
    More Observations on the Stone Dead Sea Scroll Text July 8, 2008 (from Taiwan) By bock - Posted on July 8th, 2008 am writing from Taiwan, but I am not immune to the news about the new Stone "Dead Sea Scroll". I have made available by link in the News We Are Watching window Time's latest article on this. Thanks to Craig Blomberg for noting where access to the text can be found. The BAR site also in the News We Are Watching window gives access to both English and to the Hebrew text. Now you do not have to...
  • Century-old Archaeological Find Could Prove Authenticity of Jesus’ Prophesy of the Resurrection

    03/22/2012 7:09:22 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 8 replies
    La Stampa-Vatican Insider ^ | 3/15/12 | Giacomo Galeazzi
    Gabriel’s Revelation tablet (on show in the “Verbum Domini” exhibition in the Vatican) has been said to be an important piece of evidence for the authenticity of Jesus’ prophesies on the resurrectionVatican Insider spoke to Biblicist and writer, Professor Simone Venturini on the subject. Professor Venturini works in the Vatican Secret Archives and teaches Biblical Science at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. He is also the author of a number of works, including Il libro di Gesu Segreto (The secret book of Jesus) published by Newton Compton. Professor, what is the Gabriel’s Revelation stela on show in the...
  • Dead Sea tablet 'casts doubt' on death and resurrection of Jesus

    07/09/2008 1:56:21 PM PDT · by americanophile · 71 replies · 258+ views
    The Times of London ^ | July 9, 2008 | Sheera Frenkel
    The death and resurrection of Christ has been called into question by a radical new interpretation of a tablet found on the eastern bank of the Dead Sea. The three-foot stone tablet appears to refer to a Messiah who rises from the grave three days after his death - even though it was written decades before the birth of Jesus. The ink is badly faded on much of the tablet, known as Gabriel’s Vision of Revelation, which was written rather than engraved in the 1st century BC. This has led some experts to claim that the inscription has been overinterpreted....
  • 'Silver Scrolls' Are Oldest OT Scripture, Archaeologist Says

    02/28/2004 12:26:57 PM PST · by blam · 80 replies · 1,346+ views
    BP News ^ | 2-27-2004 | Gary D Myers
    'Silver scrolls' are oldest O.T. scripture, archaeologist says Feb 27, 2004 By Gary D. Myers Significant scrollGabriel Barkay, in silhouette, shows a picture of how one of the silver scrolls looked shortly after it was removed from the tomb at Ketef Hinnom. Scholars determined that the scrolls were inscribed with the ‘priestly blessing’ found in Numbers 6:24-26. Photo by Gary D. Myers NEW ORLEANS (BP)--While excavating a burial tomb near Jerusalem in 1979, Gabriel Barkay uncovered the oldest known copy of Old Testament scripture. The priestly blessing, recorded in Numbers 6:24-26, was discovered on two small silver scrolls dated to...
  • What's the Oldest Hebrew Inscription?

    05/28/2012 9:24:09 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
    Biblical Archaeology Review ^ | May/Jun 2012 | Christopher A. Rollston
    Four contenders vie for the honor of the oldest Hebrew inscription. To decide we must determine (1) whether they are in Hebrew script and/or language and (2) when they date. Not easy! The first contender, the already famous Qeiyafa Ostracon, was discovered only in 2008 at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a site in the borderland of ancient Judah and Philistia.a The five-line ostracon (an ink inscription on a piece of broken pottery) is not well preserved and is subject to varying readings. As the Qeiyafa Ostracon is a recent find, so the Gezer Calendar is an old one. It was discovered exactly...
  • Earliest Evidence of Biblical Cult Discovered (From time of King David)

    05/11/2012 8:30:03 AM PDT · by C19fan · 9 replies
    LiveScience ^ | May 10, 2012 | Wynne Parry
    For the first time, archaeologists have uncovered shrines from the time of the early Biblical kings in the Holy Land, providing the earliest evidence of a cult, they say. Excavation within the remains of the roughly 3,000-year-old fortified city of Khirbet Qeiyafa, located about 19 miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Jerusalem, have revealed three large rooms used as shrines, along with artifacts, including tools, pottery and objects, such as alters associated with worship.
  • 3,000-year-old artifacts fuel Biblical archaeology debate

    05/08/2012 1:00:23 PM PDT · by Pharmboy · 37 replies
    The Times of Israel ^ | May 8, 2012 | MATTI FRIEDMAN
    New finds presented Tuesday from an intriguing site in the Judean Hills are part of a scholarly argument about the accuracy of the Bible The excavation at Hirbet Qeiyafa is currently one of the most important in the world of Biblical archaeology (Courtesy of Hebrew University of Jerusalem)Two rare 3,000-year-old models of ancient shrines were among artifacts presented by an Israeli archaeologist on Tuesday as finds he said offered new support for the historical veracity of the Bible. The archaeologist, Yosef Garfinkel of Hebrew University, is excavating a site known as Hirbet Qeiyafa, located in the Judean hills not far...
  • Archaeologists Return to 'King Solomon's Mines' of Biblical Edom

    05/31/2011 8:53:36 AM PDT · by Palter · 24 replies · 1+ views
    Popular Archaeology ^ | 31 May 2011 | Dan McLerran
    A team of archaeologists and others will return to a site southeast of the Dead Sea in late September, 2011 to continue investigations of what is now considered to be one of the largest copper mines of the ancient Middle East. Among other things, scientists hope to be able to identify the ethnicity or nationality of the people who actually controlled the mining and smelting operation during the 10th century B.C.E., the time period when, based on the Biblical accounts, scholars have traditionally dated the kingdom of Edom, as well as that of David and Solomon of ancient Israel. The...
  • Archaeologists: Israeli artifacts support Solomon’s Temple

    05/12/2012 10:53:21 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 5 replies
    Sun Herald ^ | 05/12/2012 | MICHELE CHABIN - Religion News Service
    JERUSALEM -- Archaeologists have unearthed a trove of artifacts dating back to the time of the biblical King David that they say closely correspond to the description of Solomon’s Temple found in the Book of Kings. Hebrew University archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel said the find “is extraordinary” first because it marks the first time that shrines from the time of the early Israelite kings were found. In addition, two small, well-preserved models discovered in the excavations closely resemble elements described in the Bible. The multiyear excavations took place at Khirbet Qeiyafa, a fortified city about 20 miles southwest of Jerusalem, adjacent...
  • Artifacts from King David's Time Confirm Bible

    05/11/2012 8:54:41 AM PDT · by robowombat · 27 replies
    CBN News ^ | Friday, May 11, 2012 | Julie Stahl
    Artifacts from King David's Time Confirm Bible By Julie Stahl CBN News Mideast Correspondent Friday, May 11, 2012 JERUSALEM, Israel -- Was the Bible's King David man or myth? That's the question Israeli archeologists are answering with new archeological finds. Their discoveries also shed light on how the first Jewish temple was built. Khirbet Qeiyafa is in the Elah Valley. Not far from here the Bible says David killed the giant, Goliath. "We don't know much about the history, the politics really and about urbanization in the time of David," archaeologist Prof. Yosef Garfinkel of the Institute of Archaeology at...
  • Archaeological Find Supports Biblical Portrait of the Davidic Kingdom

    04/23/2012 6:45:30 AM PDT · by NYer · 37 replies
    The Sacred Page ^ | April 20, 2012
    In 2008 I first ran a story about a major archaeological discovery at Khirbet Qeiyafa. The Israeli Antiquities Authority is releasing the preliminary report of the finds at Khirbet Qeiyafa. As I explained then, the findings are challenging skeptical scholars' claims. As I explained then, according to skeptical scholars the accounts of the kingdoms of David and Solomon are myths--essentially the Israelite equivalent of Arthurian legends of Camelot and the Roundtable. In short, in their view, it was simply fabricated. After Israel's Babylonian exile, the Jewish leaders invented these stories. The Israelites simply "idealized" their past; the Davidic traditions...
  • Are these ruins of biblical City of David?

    07/23/2011 7:21:31 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 28 replies
    CNN ^ | July 2011 | Matthew Chance
    Professor Israel Finkelstein, of Tel Aviv University, pointed out that the remains are not evidence of a powerful biblical state. He said: "We are not talking about some great empire ruled from a wonderful capital, the way we look at Assyria in the 9th century B.C., or even the northern Kingdom of Israel in the 9th century B.C. We are here in a formative phase of the rise of Judah." Finkelstein added: "Khirbet Qeiyafa does not make Judah a great empire with great armies." Garfinkel argued that even if it was not the great empire of the bible, its existence...
  • Top 8 of 2008: Archaeological Discoveries Related to the Bible

    01/01/2009 7:03:16 AM PST · by Mike Fieschko · 11 replies · 1,253+ views
    BiblePlaces.com blog ^ | Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | Todd Bolen
    2008 was a good year for archaeology.  You can read about the top ten archaeological discoveries in the world this year, but my goal here is simply to suggest what I perceive to be the most significant discoveries for understanding the Bible and its world.  Both the selection and the ranking is purely subjective; there were no polls, editorial committees, or coin tosses.  For another opinion, take a look at the list of Dr. Claude Mariottini.  1. Khirbet Qeiyafa (and inscription).  The new excavations of this fortified site in the Shephelah ranks as #1 for the following reasons: 1) The...
  • Rock discovery causes excitement

    02/03/2004 5:57:13 AM PST · by vannrox · 49 replies · 916+ views
    BBC ^ | Monday, 2 February, 2004, 12:01 GMT | Editorial Staff
    Rock discovery causes excitement The stone weighs 30 tonnes and is about 17 feet high An ancient rock covered in carved symbols has been discovered in a South American jungle by an archaeologist from Cornwall. Julien Chenoweth, from St Mawes, said a date test showed the carvings were as old as ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs. The rock was discovered by Mr Chenoweth after he led an expedition through the Darian area of the Panama jungle, with a party which also included medic Jo Lloyd-King, from Camborne. A previous archaeologist had been told about the sacred stone by a native Indian, but...
  • MIT: No easy answers in evolution of human language

    02/17/2008 7:01:56 AM PST · by decimon · 127 replies · 459+ views
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology ^ | David Chandler, MIT News Office
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The evolution of human speech was far more complex than is implied by some recent attempts to link it to a specific gene, says Robert Berwick, professor of computational linguistics at MIT. Berwick will describe his ideas about language in a session at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Sunday, Feb. 17. The session is called “Mind of a Toolmaker,” and explores the use of evolutionary research in understanding human abilities. Some researchers in recent years have speculated that mutations in a gene called Foxp2 might have played a fundamental...
  • Searching for the Welsh-Hindi link

    03/15/2005 2:58:17 AM PST · by CarrotAndStick · 47 replies · 1,350+ views
    BBC ^ | Monday, 14 March, 2005, 10:31 GMT | BBC
    A BBC journalist is urging helpful linguists to come forward to help solve a mystery - why the Hindi (India's official language, along with English) accent has so much in common with Welsh. Sonia Mathur, a native Hindi speaker, had her interest sparked when she moved from India to work for the BBC in Wales - and found that two accents from countries 5,000 miles apart seemed to have something in common. It has long been known that the two languages stem from Indo-European, the "mother of all languages" - but the peculiar similarities between the two accents when spoken...
  • Celtic Found to Have Ancient Roots

    07/01/2003 5:48:39 AM PDT · by Pharmboy · 188 replies · 3,558+ views
    NY Times ^ | July 1, 2003 | NICHOLAS WADE
    In November 1897, in a field near the village of Coligny in eastern France, a local inhabitant unearthed two strange objects. One was an imposing statue of Mars, the Roman god of war. The other was an ancient bronze tablet, 5 feet wide and 3.5 feet high. It bore numerals in Roman but the words were in Gaulish, the extinct version of Celtic spoken by the inhabitants of France before the Roman conquest in the first century B.C. The tablet, now known as the Coligny calendar, turned out to record the Celtic system of measuring time, as well as being...
  • In The Valleys Of Patagonia, The Talk Is Of An Astonishing Revival Of The Welsh Language

    04/18/2003 4:39:52 PM PDT · by blam · 54 replies · 579+ views
    Independent (UK) ^ | 4-19-2003 | Marcus Tanner
    In the valleys of Patagonia, the talk is of an astonishing revival of the Welsh language By Marcus Tanner in Gaiman 19 April 2003 In a red-brick farmhouse in the Patagonian village of Gaiman, Eluned Gonzalez is making jam, and masses of it. As her tiny home-help, a native woman with a long pigtail, sweeps the floor aimlessly, Eluned and her family prepare a multitude of jars that will store enough preserves for many winters. It is a quintessentially Welsh scene, and as the vats of fruit bubble, the conversation flows in Welsh, the language in which Eluned and her...
  • Yiddish for the Goyim

    04/19/2012 8:08:39 PM PDT · by nickcarraway · 10 replies
    New Voices ^ | April 18, 2012 | Rachel M. Cohen
    At Johns Hopkins, reviving a dying art In 1970, Cynthia Ozick published an essay suggesting that in light of the rapid decline of Yiddish among American Jewry, English could serve as the new language of the Jews: "a language for our need." Ozick has since retracted this opinion-and yet, the issues that drove to her raise the idea remain: What role, if any, does Yiddish still play for Jews in this country? If it can be maintained, in what form? Tamar Nachmany, a junior at Johns Hopkins University has a compelling new answer to these questions in the form of...
  • Scientists Find Runes on Ancient Comb

    04/16/2012 9:55:56 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 40 replies
    The Local: Germany's news in English ^ | Friday, April 13, 2012 | unattributed
    Archaeologists have found the oldest engravings of letters ever to be discovered in central Germany, officials from the area announced on Thursday. The ancient letters, called runes, were scratched onto a 12.5 centimetre-long comb by Germanic settlers in the second century, scientists working on the site in Saxony-Anhalt believe. The letters spell out "Kama", meaning comb, the president of the state Heritage and Archaeology Management Office, Sven Ostritz, said on Thursday. It is the oldest ever example of runic writing to be found in that part of the country, he added. Germanic languages used the runic alphabet to write before...
  • Unearthed cities in Southern Siberia could rewrite Aryan history

    10/04/2010 7:10:56 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 26 replies · 1+ views
    Sify News ^ | Sify News
    A new study has suggested that recently unearthed cities in Southern Siberia could rewrite Aryan history-as they are believed to be the original home of the Aryans. Twenty of the spiral-shaped settlements, believed to be the original home of the Aryan people, have been identified, and there are about 50 more suspected sites. They all lie buried in a region more than 640km long near Russia's border with Kazakhstan. The cities are apparently 3500-4000 years ago and are about the same size as several of the city-states of ancient Greece. If archaeologists confirm the cities as Aryan, they could be...
  • Mummy find in China desert stirs ethnic debate [Caucasian Features]

    03/16/2010 3:18:32 PM PDT · by James C. Bennett · 34 replies · 2,402+ views
    The Times of India ^ | 17 March 2010 | Nicholas Wade
    In the middle of a terrifying desert north of Tibet, Chinese archaeologists have excavated an extraordinary cemetery. Its inhabitants died almost 4,000 years ago, yet their bodies have been well preserved by the dry air. The cemetery lies in what is now China's northwest province of Xinjiang, yet the people have European features, with brown hair and long noses. Their remains, though lying in one of the world's largest deserts, are buried in upside-down boats. And where tombstones might stand, declaring pious hope for some god's mercy in the afterlife, their cemetery sports instead a vigorous forest of phallic symbols,...
  • Folk wanderings in "the Heartland"

    07/07/2009 7:51:36 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies · 698+ views
    Gene Expression ScienceBlog ^ | Tuesday, July 7, 2009 | Razib
    Herodotus tells us of the Scythians, who ravaged the Middle East and Europe. The Romans later defeated Sarmatians on the plains of Pannonia. Even further back in history we know of the Indo-Aryan Mittani in Syria, while there are hints of a relationship between nomadic societies on the steppe of Eurasia and later settled populations in Eastern Europe, Iran & India. Because of the lack of literacy in most of the world before 500 B.C. we must rely on archaeology to connect the vaguest of these dots... Standard physical anthropological methods did yield results which suggested that populations of European...
  • Mummies stir political row in China [Caucasian Mummies?]

    11/19/2008 2:13:56 PM PST · by MyTwoCopperCoins · 16 replies · 1,347+ views
    The Times of India ^ | 20 Nov 2008, 0001 hrs IST | The Times of India
    URUMQI (China): An exhibit in the museum in Urumqui gives the government's unambiguous take on the history of this border region: "Xinjiang has been an inalienable part of the territory of China," says one prominent sign. But walk upstairs and the ancient corpses on display seem to tell a different story. One called the Loulan Beauty lies on her back with her shoulder-length hair matted down her high cheekbones and long nose the most obvious signs that she is not what one thinks of as Chinese. The Loulan Beauty is one of more than 200 remarkably well-preserved mummies discovered in...
  • Fragments Of The Tocharian

    01/30/2008 8:39:28 AM PST · by blam · 14 replies · 354+ views
    Salon.com ^ | 1-30-2008
    Fragments of the Tocharian Between 1902 and 1914 the German Ethnological Institute sent repeated expeditions into the great Taklamakan desert of Central Asia, in search of ancient manuscripts that had survived destruction due to the arid climate of the Tarim Basin. One expedition brought back fragments of a manuscript written in a hitherto unknown language but employing a familiar North Indian script. Later dubbed Tocharian A, the language was deciphered by two linguists at Germany's Gottingen University, Emil Siel and Wilhem Siegling. The parchment turned out to be part of the Maitreyasamiti-Nataka, a Sanskrit Buddhist work in the Mahayana canon...
  • Tocharians

    07/26/2006 1:11:31 PM PDT · by blam · 130 replies · 9,945+ views
    Answers.com ^ | unknown
    Tocharians The Tocharians were the easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language in antiquity, inhabiting the Tarim basin in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern People's Republic of China. Their unique culture spanned from the 1st millennium BCE to the end of the 1st millennium CE. Their language is called Tocharian. Archaeology The Tarim mummies suggest that precursors of these easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language may have lived in the region of the Tarim Basin from around 1800 BCE until finally they were assimilated by Uyghur Turks in the 9th century CE. "Tocharian donors", possibly the "Knights with...
  • Cultural heritage: Takht Bhai offers a glimpse of life under Kanishka {Kushan Empire}

    04/02/2012 4:33:51 AM PDT · by Cronos · 5 replies
    The Tribune ^ | 10 Mar 2012 | Mahwish Qayyam
    A visit to Takht Bhai offers the chance to explore ruins dating back to the time of Kanishka, a Kushan emperor, famous for his military, political and spiritual feats.Buddhists offered prayers at the site and left statues to mark their gratitude once their wishes had been fulfilled, said Dr Shah Nazar Khan, from the Directorate of Archeology and Museums, K-P, while speaking to The Express Tribune. People visited the place in the final stages of life to meditate.Since the site is situated on top of a hill, it escaped the devastation wrought by successive invasions and is still well preserved,...
  • Secrets of old mask still hidden, duo say

    01/30/2004 6:44:11 AM PST · by vannrox · 7 replies · 338+ views
    Deseret Morning News ^ | Monday, January 26, 2004 | By Joe Bauman
    A mysterious ancient stone mask from Mexico has spoken but apparently only to say that its people's written language remains undeciphered. BYU's Stephen Houston holds a copy of ancient script from Mexico. He disagrees with claims that "Teo Mask" words have been deciphered.Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News A study by Brigham Young University archaeologist Stephen Houston and his colleague from Yale University, Michael D. Coe, say the mask disproves earlier claims that the language had been cracked. Their paper is to be published in "Mexicon," a journal about news and research from Mesoamerica. The title is "Has Isthmian Writing Been...
  • Madagascar Founded By Women[Indonesian]

    03/23/2012 7:46:23 PM PDT · by Theoria · 22 replies
    Discovery News ^ | 20 Mar 2012 | Jennifer Viegas
    Madagascar was first settled and founded by approximately 30 women, mostly of Indonesian descent, who may have sailed off course in a wayward vessel 1200 years ago. The discovery negates a prior theory that a large, planned settlement process took place on the island of Madagascar, located off the east coast of Africa. Traditionally it was thought to have been settled by Indonesian traders moving along the coasts of the Indian Ocean. Most native Madagascar people today, called Malagasy, can trace their ancestry back to the founding 30 mothers, according to an extensive new DNA study published in the latest...
  • The writing on the wall: Symbols from the Palaeolithic

    03/22/2012 5:23:51 AM PDT · by Renfield · 6 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | 3-12-2012
    In 2009, a ground-breaking study by Genevieve von Petzinger revealed that dots, lines and other geometric signs found in prehistoric European caves may be the precursor to an ancient system of written communication dating back nearly 30,000 years. Von Petzinger, with University of Victoria anthropology professor April Nowell, compiled the markings from 146 different sites in Ice Age France, making it possible to compare the signs on a larger scale than had ever previously been attempted. What made her research ‘new’ was that she was able to use a whole range of modern technology to compare inventories and digital images...
  • Remarkable Russian Petroglyphs

    03/22/2012 5:41:26 AM PDT · by Renfield · 32 replies
    Past Horizons ^ | 3-18-2012 | Hanne Jakobsen
    Artefacts are usually displayed in museums but sometimes there are some that just can’t be put on exhibition – as is the case with one that is hidden deep in the Russian forests. It was known that there were rock carvings on some islands in Lake Kanozero, and Jan Magne Gjerde, project manager at the Tromsø University Museum, went out there to document them as part of his doctoral work however, when he and his colleagues had completed their work, the number of known petroglyphs had risen from 200 to over 1,000. “I still get chills up my spine when...
  • Irish language gains popularity among US students

    03/17/2012 10:14:41 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 39 replies
    BBC News ^ | March 15, 2012 | unattributed
    St Patrick's Day has always been a time when Americans have acknowledged their Irish roots, whether real or desired, by celebrating Irish culture in a variety of ways. Some say there is no better window to understanding Irish culture than language. While the Irish language has struggled to survive alongside the more dominant English language, one man from Ireland is helping to lead a modest revival in the US. Through his efforts, a growing number of Irish Americans are forging stronger ties to their Hibernian ancestors. The BBC heard from Ronan Connolly who teaches Irish language classes at Catholic University...
  • Out of Africa? Data fail to support language origin in Africa

    02/20/2012 8:24:25 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 57 replies
    PhysOrg ^ | February 15, 2012 | Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen
    Last year, a report claiming to support the idea that the origin of language can be traced to West Africa appeared in Science. The article caused quite a stir. Now linguist Michael Cysouw from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich has challenged its conclusions, in a commentary just published in Science... Atkinson based his claim on a comparative analysis of the numbers of phonemes found in about 500 present-day languages. Phonemes are the most basic sound units -- consonants, vowels and tones -- that form the basis of semantic differentiation in all languages. The number of phonemes used in natural languages varies widely....
  • Rare Cuneiform Script Found on Island of Malta

    12/24/2011 9:27:13 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 46 replies
    Popular Archaeology ^ | Thursday, December 22, 2011 | Vol. 5 December 2011
    A small-sized find in an ancient megalithic temple stirs the imagination. Excavations among what many scholars consider to be the world's oldest monumental buildings on the island of Malta continue to unveil surprises and raise new questions about the significance of these megalithic structures and the people who built them. Not least is the latest find -- a small but rare, crescent-moon shaped agate stone featuring a 13th-century B.C.E. cuneiform inscription, the likes of which would normally be found much farther west in Mesopotamia. Led by palaeontology professor Alberto Cazzella of the University of Rome "La Sapienza", the archaeological team...
  • Bronze coins found in Somerset reveal Roman age of austerity

    12/16/2011 8:30:46 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    This Is Somerset ^ | Wednesday, December 7, 2011 | Western Daily Press
    Archaeologists are celebrating the donation of a hoard of Roman coins -- described as " a hugely significant find" -- to the new Museum of Somerset. The 2,118 bronze coins, found by archaeologists excavating a site at Maundown, near Wiveliscombe, before Wessex Water built a new water treatment plant, may be evidence of financial crisis in Romano-British Somerset. They were found in 2006 and have been donated to Somerset County Council by Wessex Water after a Treasure Inquest at Taunton last week heard that the British Museum disclaimed interest on behalf of the Crown. Stephen Minnitt, Head of Museums, said:...
  • Forgotten Treasure: Library Janitor Discovers Silver Coin Cache

    12/12/2011 8:13:56 PM PST · by decimon · 6 replies
    ABC News ^ | December 7, 2011
    A curious library caretaker in the Bavarian city of Passau has discovered a treasure trove of ancient silver coins and medals that went overlooked for more than two centuries. The surprise find is reportedly worth as much as six figures. Janitor Tanja Höls had often passed by an unassuming wooden box stowed away in an archive in Passau's historic state library, but it wasn't until about two weeks ago that curiosity got the best of her and she was decided take a look inside. What she found were dozens of coins, most of them made of silver. "I had no...
  • Darwin's Tongues: Languages, like genes, can tell evolutionary tales

    11/26/2011 5:48:41 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 8 replies
    Science News ^ | November 19th, 2011 | Bruce Bower
    Others suspect Atkinson's analytical approach could be fruitful if informed by more sophisticated assumptions about how languages change. "I think many linguists would praise Atkinson's contribution if it weren't for the fact that his conclusions are so outlandish and contrary to linguistic intuition," says linguist Michael Cysouw of Ludwig Maximilians University Munich in Germany. One problem lies in Atkinson's focus on frequencies of only one linguistic element, phonemes, to retrace language evolution. "That could be compared to tracking the history of vertebrates by counting the number of bones in their skeletons," Cysouw says. The database of phonemes consulted by Atkinson...
  • Computer scientist cracks mysterious 'Copiale Cipher'

    10/25/2011 6:44:24 AM PDT · by decimon · 27 replies
    Translation expert turning insights and computing power on other coded messagesThe manuscript seems straight out of fiction: a strange handwritten message in abstract symbols and Roman letters meticulously covering 105 yellowing pages, hidden in the depths of an academic archive. Now, more than three centuries after it was devised, the 75,000-character "Copiale Cipher" has finally been broken. The mysterious cryptogram, bound in gold and green brocade paper, reveals the rituals and political leanings of a 18th-century secret society in Germany. The rituals detailed in the document indicate the secret society had a fascination with eye surgery and ophthalmology, though it...
  • Manchu Language Dying Out

    10/15/2011 10:32:36 PM PDT · by Cronos · 26 replies
    mongolianhistory.blogspot.com ^ | 2007 | David Lague
    Meng Shujing with her grandson, Shi Junguang, and great-grandson, Shi Yaobin, in their hometown of Sanjiazi.China's Manchu speakers struggle to save language By David Lague Published: International Herald Tribune,March 13, 2007 SANJIAZI, China: Seated cross- legged in her farmhouse on the kang, a brick sleeping platform warmed by a fire below, Meng Shujing lifted her chin and sang a lullaby in Manchu, softly but clearly. After several verses, the 82-year-old widow stopped, her eyes shining. "Baby, please fall asleep quickly," she said, translating a few lines of the song into Chinese. "Once you fall asleep, Mama can go to work....
  • Invisible Scribes of Medieval Literature Revealed

    10/15/2011 9:05:37 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 23 replies · 1+ views
    Past Horizons ^ | Thursday, October 13, 2011 | unattributed
    Scholars led by Professor Linne Mooney in the Department of English and Related Literature and the Centre for Medieval Studies at the University of York, carried out research aimed at identifying the scribes who made the first copies of works by major authors of the 14th and early 15th centuries, including Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland. The project has launched a new freely-accessible website www.medievalscribes.com, created by the University of Sheffield's HRI, which illustrates each medieval or early modern manuscript of writings by five major Middle English authors: Chaucer, Langland, John Gower, John Trevisa and Thomas Hoccleve. Professor Mooney said:...
  • DNA Used In Attempt To Solve Christian Mystery

    07/21/2003 3:49:04 PM PDT · by blam · 7 replies · 207+ views
    The Guardian (UK) ^ | 7-21-2003 | Tim Radford
    DNA used in attempt to solve Christian mystery Tim Radford, science editor Monday July 21, 2003 The Guardian (UK) A full-page miniature in the Canterbury Gospels manuscript. Photograph: Corpus Christi Genetic fingerprinting might soon clear up an ancient Christian mystery - the origins of medieval parchments and even the Canterbury Gospels, thought to have arrived in Britain in 579AD. Cambridge scientists plan to study DNA in parchments prepared from animal skins to trace where they came from. With a £52,000 grant from the arts and humanities research board, Christopher Howe, a Cambridge biochemist, and Christopher de Hamel of Corpus Christi...
  • The Aramaic Language is Being Resurrected in Israel

    10/01/2011 3:31:36 PM PDT · by marshmallow · 30 replies
    Vatican Insider ^ | 9/24/11 | Marco Tosatti
    Two television channels have been involved in initiatives to bring to life, once again, the language that Jesus and his contemporaries spoke. Today, it is spoken by 400 thousand people throughout the worldTwo Israeli television channels are trying to see to it that Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus and his contemporaries in that region of the Roman Empire, will once again become a living language and not just be an almost extinct curiosity for scholars of Semitic languages to study. “Suroyo TV” and “Suryoyo TV” offer an endless supply of material for online discussion by fans so they can...
  • Stones Of Destiny Show Scotland's Ancient Faith

    02/09/2007 10:44:51 AM PST · by blam · 20 replies · 1,502+ views
    Scotsman ^ | 2-8-2007
    Stones of destiny show Scotland's ancient faith PETER YEOMANThe entrance to the revamped Whithorn Museum is eye-grabbing. Picture: Crown Copyright reproduced Courtesy of Historic Scotland MORE than 1,000 years ago three brief words were cut into the face of a beautiful carved cross. Standing at attention: Some of the standing stones on display at the Whithorn Museum. Picture: Crown Copyright reproduced Courtesy of Historic Scotland It is one of more than 60 early Christian grave markers and crosses, many decorated with elaborately carved patterns, that form the internationally important collection known as the Whithorn stones. For centuries the meaning of...