The discovery could unveil surprising secrets about the mysterious ancient culture.
Researchers in Italy have made a fascinating discovery that could change our understanding of ancient culture and religion. According to a report from Business Standard, archaeologists have uncovered what they believe is an ancient sacred text written in the forgotten Etruscan language.
The scientists believe that the lengthy piece of text etched into a sandstone slab could reveal new insights about the foundations of some of the world’s oldest western traditions. The slab is thought to have been buried in the foundations of an ancient temple for more than 2,500 years.
According to archaeologist Gregory Warden, the co-director and lead investigator of the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project, “This is probably going to be a sacred text, and will be remarkable for telling us about the early belief system of a lost culture that is fundamental to western traditions.”
The slab weighs a whopping 500 pounds, and measured in at almost four feet. It contains up to 70 legible characters and punctuation marks, which could hold a wealth of information about a culture that has long since vanished from the Earth. The Etruscans were believed to have lived until sometime during the first millennium BC.
We don’t know much about Etruscan culture, but what we do know suggests that they were an extremely religious people, with magistrates exercising religious authority holding the highest status in the society. Warden believes that the slab was once displayed for public view as a symbol of religious authority.
“Long inscriptions are rare, especially one this long, so there will be new words that we have never seen before, since it is not a funerary text,” said Warden. The research team hopes that in addition to learning about the culture of ancient Etruscans, the slab will offer new insights into the machinations of the forgotten language.
A press release from Southern Methodist University describing the details of the study can be found here.