2,500-year-old slate containing drawings of battle scenes and paleo-alphabet discovered in Spain

By Jurassic JennJun 17, 2024 13:37 PMScience
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2,500-year-old slate containing drawings of battle scenes and paleo-alphabet
2,500-year-old slate containing drawings of battle scenes and paleo-alphabet . Source: arkeonews.net

A remarkable archaeological find in southwestern Spain has revealed a slate tablet showcasing captivating drawings, including Tartessian battle scenes and an ancient alphabet. The discovery occurred during ongoing excavations at Casas del Turuñuelo, a historically significant Tartessian site. Regarded as an enigmatic civilization, the Tartessos people settled in the Iberian Peninsula during the eighth century B.C. and were well-known for their intricate writing system. However, their disappearance remains a mystery. This was reported by SSPDaily.

According to an interpretation of the findings, an alphabetical "sequence of 21 signs" in Paleo-Hispanic script was diligently carved along the perimeter of the slate. Unfortunately, a portion of the tablet is missing, leaving researchers to speculate about the absent letters. While it is estimated that at least six signs were lost due to the broken-off section, it is possible that the slate was symmetrical and could have featured up to 32 signs, occupying three out of the four sides. Pertinently, the missing part of the alphabet is of great significance as it is likely to carry distinct variations.

Measuring approximately 8 inches (20 centimeters) in length, the slate also displays skillfully engraved depictions of three warriors engaged in battle. Experts believe that these intricate sketches were part of an artistic exercise, allowing the creator to hone their skills before replicating similar motifs on precious materials such as gold, ivory, or wood.

Esther Rodríguez González, an archaeologist associated with the Institute of Archaeology of Mérida, who played a key role in leading the excavations, emphasized the breakthrough nature of this discovery. González remarked that this finding represents an extraordinary example in peninsular archaeology and pioneers understanding of the intricate artisanal processes employed in Tartessos. Additionally, it sheds light on aspects like attire, weaponry, and headgear worn by the individuals depicted in the engravings.

The significance of this 2,500-year-old slate tablet lies not only in its historical context but also in the valuable insights it provides into the ancient Tartessian civilization's culture and artistic practices. As ongoing research further unravels the mysteries surrounding Tartessos, such discoveries continue to deepen our understanding of this intriguing ancient society.

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