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Archaeologists discover continental Europe's earliest-known written record

A clay tablet discovered in southwestern Greece changes what is known about the origins of literacy in the western world, obviously a good thing, and, unfortunately, also about the origins of bureaucracy. Measuring 2 inches by 3 inches, the tablet fragment is the earliest known written record in Europe, dating back to between 1450 and 1350 B.C., 100-150 years before the tablets from the Petsas House at Mycenae.
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claytablet.jpg



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An archaeological team has dug up a pot shard with an inscription around its shoulder, at the San Ignacio archaeological site in Intramuros, Philippines, which shows an ancient form of writing.

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The Kosovo Association of Stone Art Research, KRARA, last weekend undertook an expedition in Kosovos central Drenica region, coming across a schematic model of an ancient script.
This is the second locality in Drenica with a big cultural interest for Kosovo. A while ago KRARA in collaboration with the Institute for the Conservation of Monuments, Regional Museum of Prishtina and the Cultural Ministry had registered and decoded the menhirs or monumental stones of Aqareva nearby.
Such writings are very important documents of a writing system completed and saved in one place, and most ancient found so far in Kosovo.

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The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has joined the State Official Languages Commission to say that early forms of Telugu language and its script indeed existed 2,400 years ago.
D. Jithendra Das, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI, Hyderabad Circle, cited three inscriptions discovered at Bhattiprolu in Guntur district that contained several Telugu roots or words, as indisputable evidence in support of the finding. All these inscriptions date back to 400 B.C.

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 During a road construction in Kharg Island of Bushehr Province, in the Persian Gulf, the workers have unearthed an Old-Persian inscription belonging to the Achaemenid dynastic era..
The accidental discovery was reported to the cultural authorities by a vigilant local and so the construction project was stopped and a team of experts were deployed to the island.
The inscription which is dated by the experts from ICHTTO to 400 BCE.

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Transcription:
 a ha .ha
sa a na . .a a s.na . ..
za ha ma i vazahamai   
ba ha na ma . bahanama
xa a x.
 
Translation:   
 The not irrigated land was (became) happy
 (with) my bringing out (water).
 Bahana   wells

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Jiroft Inscriptions
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A team of archaeologists led by Yusef Majidzadeh returned to Jiroft yesterday in order to renew digs of the 5000-year-old site in the hope of finding further artefacts bearing inscriptions.
The team was accompanied for this excavation season by several French and Italian archaeologists along with a number of Iranian students.
During the past five phases of excavation Majidzadehs previous team had discovered four brick inscriptions which they unearthed in one of the present-day villagers homes. Majidzadeh hopes to find another collection of brick inscriptions at the site.

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Archaeologists have discovered the world's most ancient inscription in the Iranian city of Jiroft, near the Halil Roud historical site.

"The inscription, discovered in a palace, was carved on a baked mud-brick whose lower left corner has only remained. The only ancient inscriptions known to experts before the Jiroft discovery were cuneiform and hieroglyph, the new-found inscription is formed by geometric shapes and no linguist around the world has been able to decipher it yet - Professor Yousof Majid-Zadeh, head of the Jiroft excavation team.

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Damaidi carvings
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Chinese archaeologists studying ancient rock carvings say they have evidence that modern Chinese script is thousands of years older than previously thought.
State media say researchers identified more than 2,000 pictorial symbols dating back 8,000 years, on cliff faces in the north-west of the country.
They say many of these symbols bear a strong resemblance to later forms of ancient Chinese characters.
Scholars had thought Chinese symbols came into use about 4,500 years ago.

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Oldest writing
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Neolithic graves in central China may hide the world's earliest writing, if the “signs” craved into 8,600-year-ld tortoise shells can be deciphered by academics.
The claim, made by a team of Chinese and American researchers in the March isue of Antiquity, a journal based at Cambridge University, Britain, has triggered heated debate among the world's archaeologists.

The debate centres on the origin of the writing.

The earliest writing on earth is commonly believed to have evolved in what is today's southern Iraq about 5,200 years ago. There, the settlers invented cuneiform, a way of arranging impressions stamped on clay by a wedge.
It is commonly recognised that writing didn't emerge in China until 2nd millennia BC, about 2,000 years after it appeared in Iraq.

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Ancient civilisations in Mexico developed a writing system as early as 2,000 years ago, new evidence suggests.

The discovery in the state of Veracruz of a block inscribed with symbolic shapes has astounded anthropologists.
Researchers tell Science magazine that they consider it to be the oldest example of writing in the New World.
The inscriptions are thought to have been made by the Olmecs, an ancient pre-Columbian people known for creating large statues of heads.
The finding suggests that New World people developed writing some 400 years before their contemporaries in the Western hemisphere.

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