Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Oldest Song in the World Is A Sumerian Hymn Written 3,400 Years Ago

In the early 1950s, archaeologists unearthed several clay tablets from the Syrian city of ancient Ugarit that dated back to the 14th century B.C.E.

Prof. Anne Draffkorn Kilmer puzzled over the tablets for 15 years. They had markings called cuneiform signs in the hurrian language (with borrowed akkadian terms) that provided a form of musical notation. One of the texts formed a complete cult hymn and is the oldest preserved song with notation in the world. Finally in 1972, Kilmer, who is professor of Assyriology, University of California, and a curator at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley, developed an interpretation of the song based on her study of the notation.
More: Open Culture

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