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Archive for April 2nd, 2011

I’ve heard people say from time to time that the Ancients back during the time of the Bible did not know how to read or write, that written language did not exists, or something similar to this statement.  It’s proof that what is popularly repeated is not necessarily enlightening or accurate.

Today’s headline in the Los Angeles Times caught my attention, as I’m always amazed at how writings in general are being dated earlier and earlier.  In fact, the title of the article itself is “Ancient Tablets bears writing, to scientists’ surprise”

While the new reported finding is specifically concerning the Ancient Greeks, it does add weight to substantiate that the Ancient Mediterranean World (in which Israel would have been a part of) was familiar with writing technique.

A short excerpt from the article:

Archaeologists have found a clay tablet bearing the earliest known writing in Europe, a 3,350-year-old specimen, which makes it at least 150 years older than other known tablets from the region.

Found in one of the palaces linked to Greece’s King Nestor of Trojan War fame, the tablet not only is older than expected, but also appears at a site, called Iklaina, where researchers did not expect to find writing, said its discoverer, Michael Cosmopoulos of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The tablet, fortuitously preserved when someone discarded it in a trash pit and burned it, was part of the state’s formal record-keeping process, and its discovery sheds light on early state formation, Cosmopoulos said.

Archaeologists “had grown more and more comfortable” with the idea that writing was limited to the major ruling centers of the time and was not to be found at secondary sites such as Iklaina, which was the equivalent of a district capital, said archaeologist Thomas Palaima of the University of Texas at Austin, who was not involved in the research.

“It was a great surprise and a welcome surprise” to find writing at a secondary center, he said.

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