Sunday, March 13, 2016

Early Armenian inscription

ARMENIAN WATCH: Mosaic with Bible inscription found in Adana (
A 120-square-meter mosaic with a quotation from the Bible in Armenian has been recently found in Turkey's Adana province. It reads, ‘The wolf and the lamb will feed together, the lion will eat straw like the ox and dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on my holy mountain, says the Lord'

A new mosaic inscribed with quotes from the Bible has been discovered in the southern city of Adana during excavations jointly undertaken by the Culture and Tourism Ministry's Cultural Heritage Department and the Provincial Directorate of Museums. The 120-square-meter mosaic was found on private property located in the Karlık neighborhood of Adana's Sarıçam district. According to archaeologists, the Eastern Roman-era mosaic dates back to between the fifth and sixth centuries A.D.
The emphasis is in the original. The inscription is a paraphrase of Isaiah 11:6-9 and Genesis 3:14, going with the animal theme of the mosaic:
The mosaic features 16 different animal figures including a snake, lion, sheep, leopard, wolf, goat and bull. Wild and domestic animals are portrayed as sleeping and being fed together or eating each other's food.
This is a quite remarkable discovery, providing a biblical paraphrase written very shortly after the invention of the Armenian alphabet in the early fifth century (see here and here). Other past posts on the Armenian language are collected here and links, and also here and here. Cross-file under Epigraphy.