Oldest writing is a Roman legal document

The oldest piece of written text ever found in the Netherlands has turned out to be about a loan – possibly of cash – made by a slave called Carus, the Fries Museum said on Friday.

The text, written on a piece of wood, was found during excavations close to the town of Franeker in 1914 and was originally thought to be about a cow.
But now experts at Oxford University have dated the text to February 23, 29 AD and say it concerns a loan made by Carus to an unnamed third party and witnessed by a number of others, including a high-ranking Roman army officer.
The surviving tablet is thought to be one of three which were joined together with rope because the text starts mid-sentence, the museum says.
The wax layer which would have originally covered the wood has disappeared but the writer must have pressed so hard when writing that an impression has been left in the grain.
For a photo of the document, click here

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