Credit: Image courtesy of University of Oxford
Researchers try to decipher proto-Elamite writing system...
ScienceDaily — New technology has allowed researchers to come closer than ever to cracking the world's oldest undeciphered writing system.
Researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Southampton have developed a Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) System for Ancient Documentary Artefacts (funded by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation) to capture images of some of the world's most important historical documents. Recently this system was used on objects held in the vaults of the Louvre Museum in Paris.
These images have now been made available online for free public access on the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative website.
Among the documents are manuscripts written in the so-called proto-Elamite writing system used in ancient Iran from 3,200 to 3,000 BC and which is the oldest undeciphered writing system currently known. By viewing extremely high quality images of these documents, and by sharing them with a community of scholars worldwide, the Oxford University team hope to crack the code once and for all.
Dr Jacob Dahl, a co-leader of the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative and a member of Oxford University's Faculty of Oriental Studies, said: 'I have spent the last ten years trying to decipher the proto-Elamite writing system and, with this new technology, I think we are finally on the point of making a breakthrough.