Ancient Indo-European language comes to light in Turkey

An excavation in Turkey has brought to light an unknown Indo-European language. The new language was discovered in north-central Turkey at Boğazköy-Hattusha. That site was the capital of the Hittite Empire, a great power in Western Asia inthe Late Bronze Age (1650 to 1200 BCE).

Excavations in Boğazköy-Hattusha over more than 100 years have so far found almost 30,000 clay tablets with cuneiform writing. These tablets provide rich information about the history, society, economy and religious traditions of the Hittites and their neighbours. Most of the tablets are written in Hittite, the oldest attested Indo-European language. Other tablets include passages in Luwian and Palaic (two other Anatolian Indo-European languages closely related to Hittite) and Hattic (a non-Indo-European language).

An excavation this year revealed a recitation in a previously unknown language. It lies on a clay tablet inside a surrounding ritual text written in Hittite. The Hittite ritual text says it is in the language of Kalašma. That area is on the north-western edge of the Hittite heartland, probably near present-day Bolu or Gerede.

Researchers have not yet deciphered the Kalasmaic text. A specialist in ancient Anatolian languages (Professor Elisabeth Rieken, Marburg University) reports that the language belongs to the family of Anatolian-Indo-European languages. It seems to share more features with Luwian than with Palaic.

I found this news thanks to Language Hat Kalasmaic, a New IE Language. : and Language Log » A new Indo-European language ( They both quoted a report at New Indo-European language discovered during excavation in Turkey (

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *