Stone slabs engraved with a dead language and found in an ancient temple in Turkey continue to shed light on the eastern European “dark age” from 1200 to 900 BC, according to a new article in National Geographic.
The Biblical Old Testament, Greek Homeric epics, and texts from Ramses III describe the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age as a period of cultural collapse, famine and violence.
But the temple ruins suggest otherwise.
"We're beginning to find new archaeological evidence that there was a continuation of writing traditions, as well as cultural and political continuity from the Bronze Age into this Iron Age period," according to Timothy Harrison of the University of Toronto's Tayinat Archaeological Project . "We are filling in a cultural and a political history of this era."
Harrison and colleagues found the temple in 2008 at the Tell Ta'yinat site, an archaeological settlement on the Plain of Antioch in southeastern Turkey. It appears to have been built during the time of King Solomon, between the 10th and 9th centuries BC. It was likely destroyed with the rest of Tell Ta'yinat during the 8th century BC.
Click here for the National Geographic article.