Newly-discovered inscription adds credence to Tintagel being home to King Arthur’s castle
VIDEO: Archaeologists investigate ruins of castle that may be the possible birthplace of legendary King Arthur.
The inscription, which combines Latin writing, Greek letters and Christian symbols, was found on a 2-foot stone at Tintagel Castle, on the coast of Cornwall. Experts believe that the strange mixture of text and symbols may indicate that someone was practicing writing a text.
Experts from the Cornwall Archaeological Unit (CAU), supported by English Heritage, which manages the site, made the discovery last summer.
The Latin inscription underlines the lingering influence of Roman culture in Britain long after the departure of the Roman troops and officials in the fourth and fifth centuries. “The survival of writing from this period is rare and this is a very important find, especially in terms of the continuity of a literate Christian tradition in post-Roman Cornwall,” explained Michelle Brown, a writing expert from the University of London, in a statement.
“The lettering style and language used, as well as Christian symbols exhibiting Mediterranean influence and contacts, all reveal precious clues to the culture of those who lived at Tintagel in the seventh century.”
Brown deciphered the inscription with textual expert Oliver Padel, an honorary research fellow in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge.
“[The text] suggests a high level of literacy and an awareness of contemporary writing styles associated with the early illuminated manuscripts of Britain and Ireland,” Brown added. The scribe, she believes, was likely practicing a series of words and phrases.
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