15:06 GMT +307 December 2019
Listen Live
    World's oldest crossword found in Turkey

    The Ancient Greeks Loved Puzzles, Too: World's Oldest Crossword Found in Turkey

    © Photo : AA/ Mahmut Serdar Alakuş
    Middle East
    Get short URL
    11510
    Subscribe

    An archaeologist has discovered curious inscriptions, in which various words are encrypted from left to right and top to bottom, during excavations in Izmir, Turkey.

    The world's oldest example of a crossword puzzle has been found at an archaeological site in Izmir, where the Ancient Greek city of Smyrna was once located. The inscriptions cover the walls of the basilica at the ruins of the central market square, which was the heart of the ancient city.

    • Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      © Photo : AA/ Mahmut Serdar Alakuş
    • Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      © Photo : AA/ Mahmut Serdar Alakuş
    • Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      © Photo : AA/ Mahmut Serdar Alakuş
    • Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      © Photo : AA/ Mahmut Serdar Alakuş
    • Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      © Photo : AA/ Mahmut Serdar Alakuş
    • Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)
      © Photo : AA/ Mahmut Serdar Alakuş
    1 / 6
    © Photo : AA/ Mahmut Serdar Alakuş
    Ancient inscriptions found at an archaeological site in Izmir (Smyrna)

    According to Professor of archeology Akın Ersoy, who leads the excavations, these inscriptions date back to about 2,500 — 2000 BC. The ancient puzzle aroused special interest among the scientists. According to the archaeologist, it looks like an acrostic, a poetry in which the first letter or syllable of each line spells out a word, message or the alphabet.

    "The words are arranged in five columns from top to bottom and from left to right. The central word "logos" is located in the third line both vertically and horizontally. There is a hypothesis, according to which the early Christians, who were persecuted in the region, used this word to transmit information to each other," Ersoy explained.

    The ruins of ancient Smyrna, which once was a major port and a busy commercial intersection, provided archaeologists with a vast variety of wall writings for studying. Besides the ancient crossword, the columns and walls of the buildings preserved love confessions, prayers to the gods of Olympus and numerous images of ships, animals and gladiators.

    "We found a very rich collection of wall inscriptions, consisting of more than 3,000 words in Greek, different letters and drawings," said Ersoy. "This is a collection comparable in size with the one discovered during the Pompeii excavations," the archaeologist stressed.

    He also added that the inscriptions will allow the researchers to get acquainted with the realities of the people's lives and realize what they were interested in.

    Related:

    Unique Opportunity to Walk Through House in Ancient Pompeii (VIDEO)
    Russian Archeologists Discover Ancient City’s Artifacts in Crimea
    Tags:
    archaeology, discovery, inscriptions, puzzle, Izmir, Turkey
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik