Tuesday, July 13, 2010


JERUSALEM (AP) - Archaeologists say a newly discovered clay fragment from the 14th century B.C. is the oldest example of writing ever found in antiquity-rich Jerusalem. Dig director Eilat Mazar of Hebrew University says the fragment bears an ancient form of writing known as Akkadian wedge script. The 3,350-year-old clay fragment was uncovered during sifting of fill excavated from beneath a 10th century BC tower, dating from the period of King Solomon in an area near the southern wall of the Old City, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem said today in an emailed statement. Details of the find appear in the current Israel Exploration Journal. The find, believed to be part of a tablet from a royal archive, further testifies to the importance of Jerusalem as a major city in the Late Bronze Age, long before its conquest by King David, the statement said. The fragment, which is two centimetres (less than one inch) by 2.8 centimetres in size and one centimetre thick, contains cuneiform, or wedge-shaped, symbols in ancient Akkadian.

The fragment was likely part of a royal missive, according to Wayne Horowitz, a scholar of Assyriology at the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology. The fragment includes a partial text including the words “you,” “them,” and “later.” It predates the next-oldest example of writing found in Jerusalem by 600 years, and dates roughly four centuries before the Bible says King David ruled a Jewish kingdom from the city. Examination of the material of the fragment by Prof. Yuval Goren of Tel Aviv University, shows that it is from the soil of the Jerusalem area and not similar to materials from other areas, further testifying to the likelihood that it was part of a tablet from a royal archive in Jerusalem containing copies of tablets sent by the king of Jerusalem to Pharaoh Akhenaten in Egypt.

This tiny clay fragment dating from the 14th century BC contains the oldest written document found in this region. Researchers said that this new discovery provides solid evidence which confirms the importance of Jerusalem during the Late Bronze Age. This is further evidence that human history goes back many thousands of years prior to what science has thought.

As was announced on January 16, 2002 from New Delhi, Indian scientists have made an archaeological discovery that dates back to 7,500 BC. This suggests, as a top government official said, that the world’s oldest cities came up about 4,000 years earlier than is currently believed. The scientists found pieces of wood, remains of pots, fossil bones and what appeared like construction material just off the coast of Surat, Science and Technology Minister Murli Manohar Joshi told a news conference. ... Current belief is that the first cities appeared around 3,500 BC in the valley of Sumer, where Iraq now stands, a statement issued by the government said. “We can safely say from the antiquities and the acoustic images of the geometric structures that there was human activity in the region more than 9,500 years ago (7,500 BC),” said S.N. Rajguru, an independent archaeologist.

Dr Stephen Knapp (Śrīpad Nandanandana dasa) :
“Some of the Archeological Finds of 2002”

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