According to a news story, the history of the Basque language has been pushed back centuries:
Archaeologists have unearthed inscriptions in the Basque language that could date from as early as the third century, a find Basque linguists hailed as extraordinarily important…
Until now, a text written by a monk in both Castillian Spanish and Basque had been the oldest written example of the language, dating from the year 1040.
The new inscriptions were found at a Roman site near the Basque town of Vitoria in northern Spain, and included the names of colours, verbs and references to God, Christianity and the Holy Family etched into bricks, bones and pieces of glass.
The head of the excavation, Eliseo Gil, said the pieces would not be dated exactly until October or November, but members of the Academy of the Basque Language, Euskaltzaindia, said the find was extraordinary
Among the words inscribed were the colours “urdin” (blue), “zuri” (white) and “gorri” (red), verbs “edan” (drink) “ian” (eat) and “lo” (sleep), the excavation team said.
Another piece read “Iesus, Ioshse ata ta Miriam ama” (Jesus, the father Joseph and the mother Mary) while another had the greeting “Geure ata zutan” (May the Father be with you).
I’m afraid my first response is skepticism—Larry Trask instilled in me a deep suspicion of any and all claims pertaining to Basque—but if it’s true, it’s exciting. Anybody know more about it?
(Thanks for the link, Edward!)
Update. The texts are fake.