It’s either an intricate forgery or the archaeological find of the decade. A team of scholars of the ancient Luwian language has deciphered a 29-meter-long hieroglyphic inscription from the Late Bronze Age more than 3,000 years ago, which is the only contemporary account of the fall of the Hittite Empire and the rapacious conquering of the biblical “Sea Peoples” as far south as Ashkelon. And the back story of what may prove to be a missing link in the understanding of Levantine civilization is equally interesting.

Only in June of this year, Swiss geoarchaeologist Dr. Eberhard Zangger, president of the Luwian Studies foundation, was made aware of a 15-centimeter stack of documents — illustrations and translation notes — about the limestone frieze which was originally found in 1878 in the village of Beyköy, approximately 34 kilometers north of Afyonkarahisar in modern Turkey. The longest known hieroglyphic inscription from the Bronze Age has disappeared, however, and is said to be under lock and key in a Turkish national collection at an undisclosed location. READ MORE