Archaeologists have dug up a stone tablet which is thought to contain evidence of a mysterious God worshipped by an advanced ancient European civilisation.
The massive slab is 2,500 years old and was produced by the Etruscans, who lived in Italy before the Romans got their empire going.
Although researchers do not yet know how to read the language used to inscribe the stone, it is thought to contain details of the name of an Etruscan god.
“We know how Etruscan grammar works, what’s a verb, what’s an object, some of the words,” said Professor Gregory Warden, who led the dig and is principal investigator of the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project.
“We hope this will reveal the name of the god or goddess that is worshipped at this site.”
The Etruscan stele was embedded in the foundations of a monumental temple where it had been for more than 2,500 years
The three monotheistic religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam are obsessed with the idea that there is only one God.
But throughout history, the world has seen massive numbers of deities come and go, with different civilisations inventing their own divine beings to worship.
We know a lot about the Roman gods, which were essentially nicked from Greece and given new names.
But the Etruscan deities are a mystery, because this ancient Italian civilisation did not tend to write down details of its religious rites, preferring to depict the afterlife and other religious concerns in its visual art.
The stone tablet was found in the Mugello Valley, which is near Florence in the north of Italy.
It was stored inside a old temple and is likely to have been displayed as “an imposing and monumental symbol of authority”.
– Mirror Online