|Lost Language Unearthed in a Letter Found in Peru|
A letter discovered in northern Peru in 2008 showing a column of numbers written in Spanish and translated into a language that scholars say is now extinct, is seen in this undated photo released by archaeologists September 22, 2010. REUTERS.
By: Emily Schmall
LIMA (REUTERS).- Archaelogists say scrawl on the back of a letter recovered from a 17th century dig site reveals a previously unknown language spoken by indigenous peoples in northern Peru.
A team of international archaeologists found the letter under a pile of adobe bricks in a collapsed church complex near Trujillo, 347 miles north of Lima. The complex had been inhabited by Dominican friars for two centuries.
"Our investigations determined that this piece of paper records a number system in a language that has been lost for hundreds of years," Jeffrey Quilter, an archaeologist at Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, told Reuters.
A photograph of the letter recently released by archaeologists shows a column of numbers written in Spanish and translated into a language that scholars say is now extinct.
"We discovered a language no one has seen or heard since the 16th or 17th century," Quilter said, adding that the language appears to have been influenced by Quechua, an ancient tongue still spoken by millions of people across the Andes.
He said it could also be the written version of a language colonial-era Spaniards referred to in historical writings as pescadora, for the fishermen on Peru's northern coast who spoke it.
So far no record of the pescadora language has been found.
The letter, buried in the ruins of the Magdalena de Cao Viejo church at the El Brujo Archaeological Complex in northern Peru, was discovered in 2008.
But Quilter said archaeologists decided to keep their discovery secret until the research showing evidence of the lost language was published this month in the journal American Anthropologist.
"I think a lot of people don't realize how many languages were spoken in pre-contact times," Quilter said. "Linguistically, the relationship between the Spanish conquistadors and the indigenous was very complex."
(Reporting by Emily Schmall; Editing by Patricia Reaney)
September 23, 2010
Centre Pompidou Stages a Major Retrospective of the Work of Nouveaux Réaliste Arman
Jean Cocteau and Picasso Print and Ceramic Sales Make over £500,000 at Bonhams
Norton's Monet in Major Exhibition at the Grand Palais, Gauguin Goes to Tate
The Museo del Prado Identifies an Unknown Work by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
Phillips de Pury & Co. Announces Highlights from Contemporary Art Sale
Wallace Collection Presents French Drawings from Poussin to Seurat
Art Show by Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood Starts Up in Ohio
Sotheby's Presents Its Strongest Ever Sale of Modern and Contemporary Arab and Iranian Art
Under Unusual Arrangement, in Austria, Castles Aren't Just for Kings
Artist Dale Chihuly Stretches Boundaries of Glass Blowing
The Saratoga Automobile Museum Presents Thirteen Woodies
National Geographic Magazine to Start Publishing in Arabic
Attila Szücs: The Hidden and the Revered at Priska C. Juschka Fine Art
Exhibition of New Sculptures by Franz West at Gagosian in Rome
Old Master, Modern & Contemporary Prints Highlight Auction at Bonhams
The Pace Gallery Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary with Retrospective Shows
National Portrait Gallery Unveils a "Gothic" Portrait of Isabella Blow
Work by Gerhard Richter from the Weserburg Museum to Be Offered
Man Survives Passing Out with Head in Museum Noose
Frieze Magazine Announces Winner of 2010 Writer's Prize
Whitechapel Gallery Opens The London Art Book Fair 2010 Tomorrow
Bonhams to Sell Meissen Teapot Once Owned by Mother of George I for £200,000
Doris Lee Celebrates Life's Small Pleasures at D. Wigmore Fine Art
Prehispanic Roadway Explored by Archaeologists in Xochicalco
Stockholm Based Artist Cecilia Edefalk Exhibits at Gladstone Gallery
Sale of Exploration and Travel at Christie's Achieves $2,590,380
Amazing Horned Dinosaurs Unearthed on "Lost Continent"
New York's Frick Museum Director, Anne L. Poulet, to Retire Next Year
Major Guillermo Kuitca Retrospective Opens Sperone Westwater's New Building
An Exhibition of Works on Paper by 8 Contemporary Artists at Jill Newhouse
Ashmolean Receives 1 Million Visitors to the New Museum Since It Reopened
ArtsWave Launches, Building on Success of Fine Arts Fund
Detroit Institute of Arts Participates in High-Tech Treasure Hunting Game
Lost Language Unearthed in a Letter Found in Peru
Portland Museum of Art's $3 million Gift from Emily Eaton Moore is Allocated
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt
2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner
3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction
4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million
5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson
6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery
7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum
8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation
9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard
10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|