Archaeologists found a vessel in what is now Turkey, which dates from 850 BCE to 800 BCE and contains is the oldest Aramaic inscription ever found, setting forth a magical incantation.
Written by a man who practiced magic who is called "Rahim son of Shadadan," the incantation"describes the seizure of a threatening creature [called] the 'devourer,'" wrote Madadh Richey and Dennis Pardee in the abstract of a presentation they gave recently at the Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting. That event took place in Denver between Nov 17 and 21. The blood of the devourer was used to treat someone who appears to have been suffering from the "fire" of the devourer[.]
The structure in which it was found was at least a hundred years older than the inscription, indicating its importance to the people who lived there.
I pasted it to sci.lang, response from Linguist Peter T. Daniels:
If the guess "850-800 BCE" is correct, then this is not older than the Tell Fekheriyah inscription, dated 866 BCE by Assyrian synchronisms.
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