Languages can provide us with a great deal of knowledge about a society’s culture, way of life, evolution, and even their migration patterns. They have given us a profound insight into the minds of ancient people, and have enabled us to form the story of humanity’s distance past. However, some discoveries have given us just the exact opposite, and have presented us with the unnerving truth that our past might be shrouded in a mystery we might never solve.
10. North Picene
North Picene was a language spoken by the Picentes people living in northeastern Italy during the first millennium BC. The South Picene language has been well-studied, and scholars have identified it as being a distinct Italic language from the Oscan-Umbrian language family. This language differs greatly from South Picene, and linguists have been unable to accurately classify it.
The discovery of North Picene inscriptions were found on a stele near a small town in Italy called Novilara. The language was written in a type of script similar to the Etruscan alphabet, but retained several Greek letters for certain consonants. The grammatical features of the language has stumped scholars, and no collective conclusions can be made from their findings.