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Linguists analyzing recently discovered artifact reveal a longer history of Basque language

Javier Velaza, one of the linguists analyzing the hand, speaks at a press conference in November 2022. The discovery of the oldest example of written basque in the world, found in the heart of basque country, upends experts' understanding of the language. (Courtesy of SC Aranzadi)
Javier Velaza, one of the linguists analyzing the hand, speaks at a press conference in November 2022. The discovery of the oldest example of written basque in the world, found in the heart of basque country, upends experts' understanding of the language. (Courtesy of SC Aranzadi)

Linguists have long thought that the Basque language, which derives from the mountainous region of northern Spain and southern France, was only some 500 years old. Now, the discovery of an ancient artifact reveals it could have existed a thousand years prior.

Julie Luchetta of the Boise State Public Radio reports.

The hand, called Mano de Irulego, was found in the summer of 2021 but the inscription on it was discovered months later when experts in Spain brought it in for analysis. (Courtesy of SC Aranzadi)

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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