Lost language unearthed in a letter


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LIMA (Reuters) – Archaeologists 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.

more Lost language unearthed in a letter - Yahoo! News


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That is so cool! I had to take Latin in high school for the courses I was going to take in college and I really enjoyed it. The only problem is it was not a "spoken" language and was considered a "dead" language. It is really interesting that they are now finding evidence of other languages that have been lost.


New Member
Lost languages

I find it really interesting that any language is truely lost. As the other post said latin is considered lost, well in a spoken since, yeah, but it is only the base component for most of the words we use today. *Note to my high school english teacher: See I did listen... a little. I would like to know which languages are in use today that will be extinct in a hundred years. I know that several of the Native Americans are beginning to require their youth to learn their native tongue so this does not happen.