Earliest Form of Writing, a Secret Visual Code, May Have Been Found in Israel

The images in the 6,000-year-old copper hoard from Nahal Mishmar are a code used by Chalcolithic metal workers, one scholar claims. Many colleagues are skeptical

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A sceptre decorated with heads of horned animals from the Nahal Mishmar hoard, made over 6,000 years ago
Sceptre with horned animals made over 6,000 years ago: Was this a form of code?Credit: Photo (c) The Israel Museum, Jerusalem/ by David Harris
Ariel David
Ariel David
Ariel David
Ariel David

A cache of copper artifacts made some 6,300 years ago may contain a secret code used by ancient Levantine metal workers, which would make this one of the earliest forms of primitive writing in the world. That’s the new and controversial theory of an Israeli researcher who believes he has deciphered the meaning of the exquisite but as-yet-enigmatic artifacts that were uncovered decades ago in a remote desert cave in Israel.

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