Tag Archives: language

Archaeologists find rare writing, and then it vanishes

RareInscription.jpg

Inscriptions on the walls of the ritual bath. (Shai Halevy, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority)

Archaeologists digging for ruins ahead of a new construction project in Jerusalem made an incredible discovery—that immediately began to vanish. During the last hours of a “salvage excavation” two months ago, the Israel Antiquities Authority stumbled upon a 2,000-year-old ritual bath when a stone suddenly disappeared into a black hole, reports Haaretz.

That hole turned out to be the remains of the bath, accessible by a stone staircase, which includes an anteroom with benches and a winepress. Carved into a natural stone cave, the bath itself wasn’t so unusual, but the graffiti that covered the plaster walls was.

Archaeologists were therefore horrified to find the Aramaic inscriptions and paintings in mud and soot, dating to the Second Temple era from 530BC to 70AD, per Discovery News, disappearing within hours of their discovery.

“The wall paintings are so sensitive that their exposure to the air causes damage to them,” the IAA says, per Ynetnews. Crews quickly removed and sealed the plaster so the graffiti, along with a few carvings, can be preserved.

Archaeologists say the Aramaic inscriptions are particularly special as few such writings have been found, though the script is hardly legible now. They guess at a few words, including what translates to “served” and the name “Cohen.” Still, the inscriptions back up the argument that Aramaic was commonly used at the time and perhaps even the language of Jesus.

The plaster also holds drawings of a boat, palm trees and other plants, and what might be a menorah—portrayals of which were then considered taboo. An IAA rep says graffiti in baths may have been “common, but not usually preserved.” (Another recent find: the remnants of a “treasured landmark” destroyed by the Nazis.)

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What if the world were 100 people??

What if the world were 100 people??

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May 22, 2012

If the World were 100 PEOPLE:

50 would be female 50 would be male

20 would be children There would be 80 adults, 14 of whom would be 65 and older

There would be: 61 Asians 12 Europeans 13 Africans 14 people from the Western Hemisphere

There would be: 31 Christians 21 Muslims 14 Hindus 6 Buddhists 12 people who practice other religions 16 people who would not be aligned with a religion.
17 would speak a Chinese dialect 8 would speak Hindustani 8 would speak English 7 would speak Spanish 4 would speak Arabic 4 would speak Russian 52 would speak other languages

82 would be able to read and write; 18 would not

1 would have a college education 1 would own a computer

75 people would have some supply of food and a place to shelter them from the wind and the rain, but 25 would not

1 would be dying of starvation 17 would be undernourished 15 would be overweight

83 would have access to safe drinking water 17 people would have no clean, safe water to drink

Source: 100 people

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