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Ancient Aramaic Inscription Uncovered in Turkey

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Turkey Aramaic IncantationCHICAGO, ILLINOIS—According to a Live Science report, a 2,800-year-old stone cosmetic container inscribed with an incantation written in Aramaic has been discovered in a small building at the site of Zincirli, which is located in southern Turkey. Madadh Richey and Dennis Pardee of the University of Chicago said the inscription, written by “Rahim son of Shadadan,” describes the capture of a creature called the “devourer,” who is said to be able to produce “fire.” The inscription also states that blood of the “devourer” can be used to treat someone suffering from that “fire.” Illustrations of a centipede, a scorpion, and a fish accompany the text, so the “fire” could refer to an insect’s sting. Richey added that the inscription is thought to be a century older than the building where it was found, suggesting it was preserved for its significance after the death of its original owner, according to the director of the excavation, Virginia Herrmann of the University of Tübingen. To read about a collection of clay seals discovered at the nearby site of Doliche, go to “Seals of Approval.”

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