An ancient temple in Turkey has been found filled with broken metal, ivory carvings, and stone slabs engraved with a dead language.******
The find is casting new light on the "dark age" that was thought to have engulfed the region from 1200 to 900 B.C.
Written sources from the era-including the Old Testament of the Bible, Greek Homeric epics, and texts from Egyptian pharaoh Ramses III-record the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age as a turbulent period of cultural collapse, famine, and violence.
But the newfound temple suggests that may not have been the case, say archaeologists from the University of Toronto's Tayinat Archaeological Project, led by Timothy Harrison.
"We're beginning to find new archaeological evidence that there was a continuation of writing traditions, as well as cultural and political continuity from the Bronze Age into this Iron Age period," Harrison said.
"We are filling in a cultural and a political history of this era."
Researchers initially examined the remains of the temple's southern entrance, which includes a stone-paved courtyard, a wide staircase, and a doorway once supported by an ornately carved column.The article contains a photo of the remains of the temple discovered at Tell Tayinat
The team also found the smashed remains of massive stelae-commemorative stone slabs-carved with hieroglyphs in Luwian, an extinct language once spoken throughout what is now Turkey.
The temple's main room was long ago damaged by fire, but it was found littered with the remains of bronze and ivory wall or furniture fittings, along with gold and silver foil and the carved eye inlay from a human figurine.
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
Tags: Archaeology, Luwian, Tell Tayinat