Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A Full Moon is Rising over Genealogy

A Full Moon is Rising over Genealogy

A new computer program can decipher the written language used in Biblical times! According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the program automatically translates written Ugaritic, a language which consists of dots and wedge-shaped stylus marks on clay tablets, a script which was last used ca 1200 B. C. in western Syria. The discovery was made by archaeologists excavating the port city of Ugarit in the late 1920s. Language specialists took two years or ore to decipher the script, a job which the software quickly accomplished. The new program compared symbol and word frequencies and patterns in Ugaritic with those of a known language, in this instance, the closely related Hebrew. Although Ugaritic is a simple writing system, the next step would be to help crack other ancient scripts. Hopefully, we will advance to deciphering modern writing, such as Latin and Colonial scripts found in old wills and documents. Cursive writing is an art being lost as this generation is not learning to read the beautiful cursive writing of colonial scripts. From a genealogists viewpoint, software which would quickly decipher, say, an old Will dated in the 1500s, would be quite useful! Source: Deciphering Colonial Wills and Documents on the Computer is Coming!  Names of Richland Co. SC Ancestors

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