A mysterious stone engraved in a 1,600-year-old language discovered in a garden

A mysterious stone engraved in a 1,600-year-old language discovered in a garden
A mysterious stone engraved in a 1,600-year-old language discovered in a garden

Reading time: 2 minutes – Spotted on The Independent

A geography teacher from Coventry, in the West Midlands, England, made a surprising discovery in the courtyard of his house. While he was pruning part of his overgrown garden, an object caught his eye: a stone engraved with strange inscriptions.

The stone, made of sandstone, measures approximately 11cm in length and weighs nearly 139g. The famous inscriptions are carved into the three corners of the stone. Archaeologists have attempted to study this mysterious discovery, with varying degrees of success, reports The Independent. This stone would actually have “creates more questions than answers”explains one of the archaeologists.

Ancient Ogham language

Despite everything, scientists have unraveled some mysteries. We already know that the object is at least 1,600 years old. Better, the inscriptions that were engraved correspond to an Irish language dating from the 4th century AD: the ancient Ogham language.

​Ogham is the earliest form of Celtic writing. It is an ancient Irish alphabet made up of 20 characters composed solely of parallel lines in groups of 1 to 5. Writing on stones, at the time, was not very surprising. This was even the norm before the introduction of scraped calfskin, parchment and paper.

Another mystery remains: what was this Irish stone doing in the middle of England? An enigma, given that similar stones have only been found in Ireland or on the Welsh coast. The stone will now continue its life at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry.

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