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Scientists post readings of ancient Babylonian poems online .

 
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09/30/2010 09:11 AM
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Scientists post readings of ancient Babylonian poems online .
The ancient language of Babylonian can be heard for the first time in almost 2,000 years after Cambridge University scholars posted readings and poems online.

Babylonian, one of the chief languages of Ancient Mesopotamia, dates back as far as the second millennium BC but died out around 2,000 years ago.

However, Cambridge historians have resurrected the ancient tongue by discovering how the language was pronounced and spoken.

Researchers have now recorded readings of ancient tablets, poems and laws, and posted them online.

The project is the brainchild of Dr Martin Worthington, of the University of Cambridge, who described uncovering the pronunciation as 'detective work'.

These tablets have not been read aloud for over 2,000 years and working out how Babylonian was pronounced required detailed forensic investigation.

Researchers studied letter combinations and spelling patterns as well as transcriptions into other 'known' languages to unlock the key to the language.

Dr Worthington said: 'Whenever I tell people what I do, the first question they ask is what did Babylonian sound like, and how do you know? It's essentially detective work.

'We will never know for sure that a Babylonian would have approved of our attempts at pronunciation, but by looking at the original sources closely, we can make a pretty good guess.

'In the end I decided that the best thing to do would be to create a resource where people can listen to it for themselves.


Read more: [link to www.dailymail.co.uk]

The collection of Babylonian readings is available to listen to for free at:

The collection of Babylonian readings is available to listen to for free at:

The collection of Babylonian readings is available to listen to for free at:

Collection of Babylonian readings is available here :

[link to people.pwf.cam.ac.uk]
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