Archaeologists dig up the origins of Basque

16th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 June 2006, BILBAO — Archaeologists have discovered inscriptions in the Basque language which could date from as early as the third century.

16 June 2006

BILBAO — Archaeologists have discovered  inscriptions in the Basque language which could date from as early as the third century.

Basque, or euskera to its speakers, is considered to be one of the oldest languages in Europe and scholars have long wondered whether it is derived from African, Caucasian or Etruscan tongues, or if it developed in isolation.

Until now, a text written by a monk in both Castillian Spanish and Basque had been the oldest written example of the language, dating from the year 1040.

The new inscriptions were found at a Roman site near the Basque town of Vitoria in northern Spain.

They included the names of colours, verbs and references to God, Christianity and the Holy Family etched into bricks, bones and pieces of glass.

Eliseo Gil, head of the excavation team, said the pieces would not be dated exactly until October or November.

But members of the Academy of the Basque Language, Euskaltzaindia, said the find was extraordinary

Among the words inscribed were the colours "urdin" (blue), "zuri" (white) and "gorri" (red), verbs "edan" (drink) "ian" (eat) and "lo" (sleep), the excavation team said.

Another piece read "Iesus, Ioshse ata ta Miriam ama" (Jesus, the father Joseph and the mother Mary) while another had the greeting "Geure ata zutan" (May the Father be with you).

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news
 

 

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