10 Undeciphered Codes and Texts

10. The Codex Seraphinianus


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The Codex Seraphinianus is a book written and illustrated by the Italian artist, architect and industrial designer Luigi Serafini during thirty months, from 1976 to 1978. The book is roughly 360 pages extended (based on edition), and appears to be a visual encyclopedia of an unknown world, written in 1 of its languages, a thus-far undeciphered alphabetic writing. The illustrations are often surreal parodies of items in our world: bleeding fruit a plant that grows into roughly the shape of a chair and is subsequently produced into one a lovemaking couple that metamorphoses into an alligator and so forth. Other individuals depict odd, apparently senseless machines, often with a delicate look, kept together by tiny filaments. There are also illustrations readily recognizable, as maps or human faces. On the other hand, especially in the “physics” chapter, several images look practically totally abstract. Virtually all figures are brightly coloured and wealthy in detail. The whole Codex is composed in a bizarre alphabet that has nonetheless yet to be translated even after intense study by linguists. Given that the text itself is unreadable, the Codex has turn out to be most famous for Serafini’s artwork, which ranges from the surreal and beautiful to the downright disturbing.

9. Indus Script

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The term Indus script (also Harappan script) refers to short strings of symbols connected with the Indus Valley Civilization, in use during the Mature Harappan period, among the 26th and 20th centuries BC. In spite of several attempts at decipherments and claims, it is as however undeciphered. The underlying language has not been able to be identified, mainly due to the lack of a bilingual inscription. More than the years, quite a few decipherments have been proposed, but none has been accepted by the scientific community at significant. The topic is common among amateur researchers, and there have been various (mutually exclusive) decipherment claims. None of these suggestions has located academic recognition.

8. Dispilio Tablet

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The Dispilio Tablet (also identified as the Dispilio Scripture or the Dispilio Disk) is a wooden tablet bearing inscribed markings (charagmata), unearthed throughout George Hourmouziadis’s excavations of Dispilio in Greece and carbon 14-dated to about 7300 BP (5260 BC). It was found in 1993 in a Neolithic lakeshore settlement that occupied an artificial island near the modern village of Dispilio on Lake Kastoria in Kastoria Prefecture, Greece. The web site seems to have been occupied more than a lengthy period, from the final stages of the Middle Neolithic (5600-5000 BC) to the Final Neolithic (3000 BC). A quantity of products were found, like ceramics, wooden structural components, seeds, bones, figurines, individual ornaments, flutes (1 of them dating back to the 6th millennium BCE, the oldest ever identified in Europe) and what seems to be the most significant finding, the inscribed Dispilio Tablet which could not be deciphered by symbologists till date.

7. Vinča Script


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In 1875, archaeological excavations led by the Hungarian archeologist Zsófia Torma at Tordos, Hungary (today Turdaş, Romania) unearthed a cache of objects inscribed with previously unknown symbols. In 1908, a comparable cache was discovered during excavations performed by Miloje Vasic  in Vinča, a suburb of Belgrade (Serbia). Later, more such fragments had been discovered in Banjica, one more component of Belgrade. Because, over a single hundred and fifty Vinča websites have been identified in Serbia alone, but many, like Vinča itself, have not been completely excavated. Therefore, the culture of the complete region is referred to as the Vinča culture, and the script is frequently known as the Vinča-Tordos script. The nature and objective of the symbols is a mystery. It is dubious that they constitute a writing system. If they do, it is not known regardless of whether they represent an alphabet, syllabary, ideograms or some other type of writing. Despite the fact that attempts have been made to decipher the symbols, there is no usually accepted translation or agreement as to what they imply. At initial it was thought that the symbols were just utilised as house marks, with no a lot more which means than “this belongs to X” a prominent holder of this view is archaeologist Peter Biehl. This theory is now mostly abandoned, as same symbols have been repeatedly discovered on the whole territory of Vinča culture, on locations hundreds of kilometers and years away from every single other. The prevailing theory is that the symbols were utilized for religious purposes in a conventional agricultural society. If so, the fact that the exact same symbols had been utilised for centuries with tiny modify suggests that the ritual meaning and culture represented by the symbols likewise remained constant for a quite long time, with no require for additional development. The use of the symbols seems to have been abandoned (along with the objects on which they seem) at the start off of the Bronze Age, suggesting that the new technologies brought with it significant changes in social organization and beliefs.

6. Singapore Stone

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The Singapore Stone is a fragment of a significant sandstone slab which originally stood at the mouth of the Singapore River. The slab, which is believed to date back to at least the 13th century and possibly as early as the 10th or 11th century, bore an undeciphered inscription. Recent theories recommend that the inscription is either in Old Javanese or Sanskrit. It is likely that the individual who commissioned the inscription was Sumatran. The slab was blown up in 1843 to clear and widen the passageway at the river mouth to make space for a fort and the quarters of its commander. The slab might be linked to the legendary story of the 14th-century strongman Badang, who is stated to have thrown a massive stone to the mouth of the Singapore River. On Badang’s death, the Rajah sent two stone pillars to be raised over his grave “at the point of the straits of Singhapura”. The Stone, now displayed at the National Museum of Singapore, was designated by the museum as 1 of 11 “national treasures” in January 2006, and by the National Heritage Board as 1 of the leading 12 artifacts held in the collections of its museums.

five. Voynich Manuscript

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The Voynich manuscript is a handwritten book thought to have been written in the early 15th century and comprising about 240 vellum pages, most with illustrations. Despite the fact that several attainable authors have been proposed, the author, script, and language remain unknown. It has been described as “the world’s most mysterious manuscript”. Typically presumed to be some type of ciphertext, the Voynich manuscript has been studied by a lot of skilled and amateur cryptographers, like American and British codebreakers from each World War I and Globe War II. Yet it has defied all decipherment attempts, becoming a historical cryptology trigger célèbre. The mystery surrounding it has excited the common imagination, creating the manuscript a subject of each fanciful theories and novels. In 2009, University of Arizona researchers performed C14 dating on the manuscript’s vellum, which they assert (with 95% self-confidence) was created between 1404 and 1438. In addition, the McCrone Study Institute in Chicago discovered that considerably of the ink was added not extended afterwards, confirming that the manuscript is an authentic medieval document.

4. Byblos Syllabary

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The Byblos syllabary, also recognized as the Pseudo-hieroglyphic script, Proto-Byblian, Proto-Byblic, or Byblic, is officially an undeciphered writing program, identified from ten inscriptions found in Byblos. The inscriptions are engraved on bronze plates and spatulas, and carved in stone. They were excavated by Maurice Dunand, from 1928 to 1932, and published in 1945 in his monograph Byblia Grammata. The inscriptions are conventionally dated to the second millennium BC, probably among the 18th and 15th centuries BC.

3. Beale Ciphers

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The Beale ciphers are a set of three ciphertexts, one of which allegedly states the place of a buried treasure of gold, silver and jewels estimated to be worth over USD$ 65 million as of 2010. The other two ciphertexts allegedly describe the content of the treasure, and list the names of the treasure’s owners’ subsequent of kin, respectively. The story of the three ciphertexts originates from an 1885 pamphlet detailing treasure getting buried by a man named Thomas Jefferson Beale in a secret place in Bedford County, Virginia, in 1820. Beale entrusted the box containing the encrypted messages with a nearby innkeeper named Robert Morriss and then disappeared, never ever to be noticed again. The innkeeper gave the 3 encrypted ciphertexts to a friend prior to he died. The friend then spent the next twenty years of his life attempting to decode the messages, and was capable to solve only a single of them which gave details of the treasure buried and the general location of the treasure. He published all 3 ciphertexts in a pamphlet, although most of the originals had been destroyed in a warehouse fire. Because the publication of the pamphlet, a quantity of attempts have been produced to decode the two remaining ciphertexts and to find the treasure, but all have resulted in failure.

two.Khitan Scripts

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The Khitan scripts had been the writing systems for the now-extinct Khitan language, employed in the 10th-12th century by the Khitan individuals. who had created the Liao Empire in north-eastern China. There had been two scripts, identified as the big script and the tiny script. These were functionally independent and seem to have been utilized simultaneously. The Khitan scripts continued to be in use to some extent by the Jurchens for several decades after the fall of the Liao Dynasty, till the Jurchens totally switched to a script of their personal. Examples of the scripts appeared most frequently on epitaphs and monuments, though other fragments sometimes surface. Many scholars identify that the Khitan scripts have not been completely deciphered, and that much more research and discoveries would be essential for a proficient understanding of them. Our information of the Khitan language, which was written by the Khitan script, is fairly restricted as well. Though there are numerous clues to its origins, which may well point in various directions.

1. Cascajal Block

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The Cascajal Block is a writing tablet-sized serpentinite slab which has been dated to the early very first millennium BCE incised with hitherto unknown characters that could represent the earliest writing method in the New Globe. Archaeologist Stephen D. Houston of Brown University mentioned that this discovery assists to “link the Olmec civilization to literacy, document an unsuspected writing technique, and reveal a new complexity to [the Olmec] civilization.” The block holds a total of 62 glyphs, some of which resemble plants such as corn and ananas, or animals such as insects and fish. A lot of of the symbols are much more abstract boxes or blobs. The symbols on the Cascajal block are unlike these of any other writing program in Mesoamerica, such as in Mayan languages or Isthmian, one more extinct Mesoamerican script. The Cascajal block is also uncommon simply because the symbols apparently run in horizontal rows and “there is no strong evidence of all round organization. The sequences seem to be conceived as independent units of info”. All other identified Mesoamerican scripts usually use vertical rows.

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