Potentially revolutionary find in Basque Country

Third-century Roman Christian and shockingly early Basque inscriptions found.

Archaeologists in the site of Iruña-Veleia have discovered an epigraphic set “among the most important of the Roman world,” with a series of 270 inscriptions and drawings from the third century and a representation of a Calvary, “the most ancient known up to this moment.”

Furthermore, in the same site, 10 kilometres away from Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque inscriptions have been found, apparently dating back to the third century. This would bring the discovery of the first recorded documents written in Basque eight centuries backwards.

The dates are still unconfirmed at this point, but if the estimates hold, there are going to be some hyper linguists out there. Not to mention historians of early Christianity. And Roman Spain. And people who think this kind of stuff is just keen as hell.


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Comment by Jon Segurola
2006-06-09 19:42:36

Great Calvari´s picture at Emule, finding “veleia”

Comment by livius drusus
2006-06-09 20:57:48

Would you have a link to the picture, by any chance?

Comment by Jon Segurola
Comment by bittorio maortua
2006-06-10 03:51:08
Comment by livius drusus
2006-06-10 09:31:11

Marvelous picture. Thank you kindly for linking to it. Do you know what kind of rock the inscription is carved into? The red color is striking.

Where did you find the picture, may I ask?

Comment by bittorio maortua
2006-06-10 18:00:38

We’re talkin about a piece of 10 square cm. ceramic,(clay).

This is the place.

I got the pic. via local mail. I’m a basque jounalist nearly specialized in historic, cultural, archaeological heritage preservation projects. Best regards. (Thanks for your warm interest).

Comment by livius drusus
2006-06-10 22:09:12

Thank you very much for your informative comments. I’m delighted to have had an opportunity to see the calvary inscription.

Comment by Sock Puppet
2006-06-15 13:56:31

That certainly makes sense, that Basque should be even older than was previously hypothesized. Now if we could just figure out where the hell it comes from. It’s a fascinating puzzle — how did a language with zero Indo-European elements wind up in the region it did?

Comment by livius drusus
2006-06-15 14:07:43

I blame Atlantis.

Comment by fragment
2006-06-20 07:18:04

Very interesting. I was in Basque country just a few weeks ago, everything I read at the time said that both Roman and early Christian presences in the region had been fairly minimal – I guess maybe that’s not true after all.

Nice blog, livius, although IE has a bit of a problem with the layout. Firefox isn’t always an option in internet cafés, unfortunately! I’ve linked to here on my blog, and will be checking in to see if you turn up anything interesting in the vicinity of my travels.

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