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4000 Years Old Tablets Reveal Location of 11 Lost Cities

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A team of historians have managed to translate 4,000-year-old clay tablets made by Bronze Age merchants and found ancient business transactions, contracts and even marriage certificates, which reveal the location of long-lost cities, reported LADbible (US).

The tablets, which were inscribed with cuneiform script, one of the earliest writing systems, were found in the ancient city of Kanesh - situated in what's Turkey today, the Washington Post reports. They had been inscribed by merchants from the Middle Eastern kingdom of Assyria.

Gojko Barjamovic Harvard University's senior lecturer on Assyriology, alongside three economic experts found business transactions, shipment documents, accounts, seals, contracts and even marriage certificates. By looking closely at the details on the trade shipment documents, the team was able to find the location of previously lost cities.

The clay documents mention a number of ancient cities, some of which have been found and others which are still unknown.

The team translated 12,000 tablets and found details of 26 cities, of these 15 were previously known and 11 are still yet to be found. Sounds like a job for our man Indiana Jones, has anyone given him a ring yet?

Naturally, with the artefacts being so old exact coordinates aren't given, but experts reckon they've got enough to go on for a rough location.

The system the researchers have used to try and pin point the location, are based on something called the 'structural gravity model', which works because at the time the artefacts were made trade was mostly dictated by how close places were. So, cities which were close together tended to trade more often.

Armed with this knowledge, the researchers could come up with a system to work out distance based on how often cities traded with each other. How clever is that?

The researchers wrote: "For a majority of the lost cities, our quantitative estimates come remarkably close to the qualitative conjectures produced by historians, corroborating both such historical models and our purely quantitative method.

"Moreover, in some cases where historians disagree on the likely location of a lost city, our quantitative method supports the conjecture of some historians and rejects that of others."

Of course, the system will only be proven - or disproven - when the time comes to try and discover these lost cities.

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Tags: turkey, Assyria
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