A 3,200-year-old stone slab with an inscription that tells of a Trojan prince and may refer to the mysterious Sea People has been deciphered, archaeologists announced today (Oct. 7).
The stone inscription, which was 95 feet (29 meters) long, describes the rise of a powerful kingdom called Mira, which launched a military campaign led by a prince named Muksus from Troy.
The inscription is written in an ancient language called Luwian that just a few scholars, no more than 20 by some estimates, can read today. Those scholars include Fred Woudhuizen, an independent scholar, who has now deciphered a copy of the inscription. [Cracking Codices: 10 of the Most Mysterious Ancient Manuscripts]
Woudhuizen and Eberhard Zangger, a geoarchaeologist who is president of the Luwian Studies foundation, will publish findings on the inscription in the December issue of the journal Proceedings of the Dutch Archaeological and Historical Society.
If the inscription is authentic, it shines light on a period when a confederation of people that modern-day scholars sometimes call the Sea People destroyed cities and civilizations across the Middle East, scholars say. The kingdom of Mira, which engaged in this military campaign, was apparently part of this Sea People confederation given their participation in the attacks.