An ancient 3,200 year old stone has finally been deciphered and seems to confirm that the ancient Bronze age civilizations were destroyed by marauding sea faring people. Scholars have long been puzzled by the seemingly sudden collapse of the Bronze age civilizations with many theories advanced, but the one with the most traction is that they were destroyed by attacks from the sea – only the identity of the attackers has been a mystery until now.

The stone, found in 1878, had the longest hieroglyphic inscription in the Luwian language. There are only a few scholars in the world who can understand Luwian. Upon discovery, the stone itself was used by local people as building material for a mosque but French archaeologist George Perrot was able to copy the inscription.

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That copy was found in the estate of English prehistorian James Mellaart who passed on in 2012. His son then gave it to Dr. Eberhard Zangger, a Swiss geo-archaeologist and the president of the Luwian Studies foundation.

The inscriptions on the stone reveal how a united fleet from the western Asia Minor, also known as Anatolia and Asian Turkey, raided coastal cities on the eastern Mediterranean while the Bronze age civilizations collapsed.  Kupanta-Kurunta, King of a state called Mira that existed in the late Bronze age, commissioned the inscriptions to mark the rise of the state and tell the story of the invasions.

3200-year-stoneDr. Zangger said that “Luwians from western Asia Minor contributed decisively to the so-called Sea Peoples’ invasions — and thus to the end of the Bronze Age in the eastern Mediterranean.”