Scientists have deciphered another ancient script

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    Scientists have deciphered another ancient script

    According to experts, Elamite linear writing, a writing system used in modern Iran, can reveal the secrets of a little-known kingdom bordering the Sumerians.

    Thanks to a group of European scientists led by French archaeologist François Dessay, experts have finally managed to decipher one of the big mysteries: Elamite linear writing, a little-known writing system used in what is now Iran, writes Smithsonian Magazine.

    With this discovery, scientists can shed light on a little-known society that flourished between ancient Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley at the dawn of civilization and bordered on the Sumerians. inscriptions from a set of ancient silver vases.

    “This is one of the major archaeological discoveries of recent decades. It was based on the identification and phonetic reading of the names of kings,” said archaeologist Massimo Vidale from the University of Padua.

    < p>In 2015, Desse gained access to a private London collection of unusual silver vases known as “gunaghi vases” with many inscriptions in both cuneiform and Elamite Linear script. They were excavated in the 1920s and sold to Western traders, so their origin and authenticity have been questioned. However, as the metallurgical analysis of the vessels showed, these were ancient rather than modern forgeries.

    Scientists have deciphered another ancient script< /p>

    As to their whereabouts, Desset believes they were in a royal cemetery hundreds of kilometers southeast of Susa, dated to around 2000 BC. – precisely at the time when the Elamite linear script was used.

    According to the study, the silver vases represent the oldest and most complete examples of Elamite royal inscriptions in cuneiform. They belonged to different rulers from two dynasties.

    According to Desset, the comparison of the inscriptions on the vessels was very useful for deciphering the Elamite Linear script. Some names written in cuneiform could now be compared with characters in the Elamite Linear script, including the names of famous Elamite kings such as Shilhaha. By tracking the recurring characters, Desset was able to understand the meaning of the letter, which consisted of a set of geometric shapes. He also translated verbs such as “gave” and “did.” Upon further analysis, Desset and his team claimed they could read 72 characters.

    “While full decipherment is not yet possible, mainly due to the limited number of inscriptions, we are on the right track,” they concluded the authors of the study.

    The hard work of translating individual texts continues. Part of the problem is that the Elamite language, which has been spoken in the region for over 3,000 years, has no known relatives, making it difficult to determine what sounds the characters might represent.

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