26 February, 14:36

Spanish archaeologists have examined a 2,000-year-old bronze hand found three years ago

Spanish archaeologists have examined a 2,000-year-old bronze hand found three years ago
Archaeological excavations in Spain in 2021 provided the world with a find that questioned many assumptions. And one of them is related to a rare ancient language. It is a 2,000-year-old bronze hand with a unique inscription.

The artifact was found at the archaeological site of Irulegi, located near the Aranguren Valley in northern Navarre, Spain. It was discovered during excavations carried out near the walls of the medieval castle - during the study of the ruins of a 2000-year-old settlement. The bronze slab, shaped like a hand and about 14.5 centimeters long, was found in the doorway of one of the ruined houses burned during the Sertorian Wars.
Laboratory analysis showed that 40 symbols of four lines each were engraved on the fingers of this bronze hand. This unique inscription turned out to be the oldest and longest known example of Vasconic, which is a graphic subsystem of the PaleoSpanish language. This is the first example of Vaskon epigraphy that was found.

Vasconic was spoken by the ancient Roman people who lived in the western Pyrenees, in the territory of modern Navarre, as well as La Rioja and Aragon. Previously, it was believed that this people was illiterate. However, recent research suggests that the ancient Vaskons were at least somewhat familiar with writing.
The text, which was found on the bronze hand, is interpreted as an apotropaic - a sign intended to predict fate. Researchers are inclined to believe that the inscription may be related to the modern Basque language.

This discovery opens up new opportunities for understanding the linguistic and cultural heritage of the world, and also confirms the importance of researching archaeological sites for the reconstruction of past eras.

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