July 13th, 2010
06:03 AM ET

Researchers unearth oldest written document ever found in Jerusalem

Archeologists have discovered an ancient clay chip that bears the oldest text ever found in Jerusalem, Israeli researchers said Monday.

The tiny clay fragment, dating back some 3,400 years, is covered with cuneiform script.

The clay fragment was discovered during an excavation of a tower built around the period of King Solomon, near the southern wall of the Old City of Jerusalem, The Hebrew University announced in a press release.

The fragment was written by a highly skilled scribe that probably prepared tablets for the royal house of the time, said Wayne Horowitz, a scholar of Assyriology at  Hebrew University Institute of Archeology, who helped decipher the script.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Israel • Judaism • Middle East • Science • Uncategorized

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Bob

    I wonder what language this is. Is it an ancient form of Hebrew? Babylonian?

    October 20, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • d

      its sumerian duh!

      November 25, 2012 at 2:17 pm |

    I think it is worthless, unless we get to know what it says.

    October 19, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  3. Briana P.

    I think this is awesome its so cool we found this!!!!!!!

    October 10, 2010 at 9:44 am |
  4. ldpresso

    Translation: "This family walks into a theatrical agent's office - mom, dad, grandpa, grandma, Junior, Sis, and the dog... [indecipherable]..."

    July 13, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  5. Reality

    Let the record show that the Caananites were the first human species in the area taking over from the local Neaderthals. Should we clone some Neanderthals and give them back their land of milk and honey? Sounds only fair!!!

    July 13, 2010 at 11:01 am |
    • Ego

      Only if they can drop the price in our current markets on honey and milk.

      July 13, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  6. Ego

    So what does it say?

    July 13, 2010 at 9:51 am |
    • Luke

      Interestingly, the most common words on cuneiform tablets like this were bread and beer. Seriously. The earliest known writings were a means of keeping payment and taxation records for the Sumerians. People worked for food and beer and rations were mainly delivered in the form of beer and bread. One of the earliest known recipes every written down was for beer. Hops were not introduced for many years afterward, so this beer would taste odd to us, but still...come on...is there such a thing has bad beer? To me it's all differing degrees of goodness.

      July 13, 2010 at 10:02 am |
    • Ego

      I wouldn't know the varrying degrees of goodness regarding drink :S

      July 13, 2010 at 10:53 am |
    • Luke

      Ego – there's a really good book called The History of the World in Six Glasses that dedicates its entire first chapter to the history of beer in the Fertile Crescent. Very interesting topic. I love beer, for the record.

      July 13, 2010 at 11:05 am |
    • Ego

      My comment got dropped :(. I said I'm currently still reading a book on the Ancient Near East, so I'll have to put the Six Glasses on my waiting list. But I wonder how the conversation of wine to water would be altered by that read.

      July 13, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  7. gomezbaby


    July 13, 2010 at 9:49 am |
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