Music: A Forgotten Melody

She is not a musician. But no one has come closer to unearthing civilization's lost chord than Anne D. Kilmer, who is a professor of Assyriology at the University of California at Berkeley. After five years' study of clay tablets discovered in an excavation of the city of Ugarit (now Ras Shamra, Syria), which flourished more than 3,000 years ago, Kilmer deciphered the thin cuneiform script as the words and musical symbols of an ancient song. Older by 1,400 years than the 400 B.C. papyrus that contains music for Euripides' play Orestes, Kilmer's finding is the earliest specimen of notated music....

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