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Researchers Decipher a 4,000-Year-Old Love Letter

Ah, love and the heartbreak it brings. It's a tale as old as humanity itself, but when a long lost Babylonian love letter surfaced some 4,000 years later, a bookkeeper, a chemist, and a scholar formed an unlikely team to decipher the mystery:

On a tiny bit of clay a naive and baffled lover writes to his sweetheart: “To Bibea: May the gods for my sake preserve your health. Tell me how you are. I went to Babylon but I did not see you. I was greatly disappointed. Write me the reason for your leaving, and let me be cheered. For my sake keep well always. Gimil.”

But if Gimil’s love letter gives the impression of having been written today, many Babylonian commercial documents embody an anti-forgery technique which surpasses anything that modern civilization has ever been able to devise.

The article, written by R. DeWitt Miller for the September 1939 issue of Popular Science, is now available at Modern Mechanix: Link - via Popular Science


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