The Language of Kalašma: A New Branch of Anatolian

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Image: Andreas Schachner / Deutsches Archäologisches Institut


Seminar on The Language of Kalašma: A New Branch of Anatolian

Speakers: Elisabeth Rieken (University of Marburg) and Ilya Yakubovich (University of Marburg)

Friday 2 February 2024, 5.00pm

Online and in person | Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building

Registration for in-person or online attendance, please contact Michele Bianconi (


The recent news regarding the discovery of a new Indo-European language is based on the finding of a cuneiform tablet at the Boğazköy-Hattusha archaeological site, the capital of the Hittites, during this summer's excavations by the team of the Istanbul Department of the German Archaeological Institute. The tablet contains an introduction stating that a ritual expert conjures in (the language of) Kalašma. In what follows, we encounter a text that is not yet fully comprehended, written in a language sharing obvious similarities with the other Anatolian languages known so far but also exhibiting isolated features. Prof. Rieken will present the complete text and offer some hypotheses concerning its lexical and grammatical interpretation, which resulted from a collaboration between Dr. Ilya Yakubovich and herself.



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Elisabeth Rieken studied Indo-European, Greek and Hittitology at the universities of Hamburg and Bochum. After completing her doctorate in 1996 at the  Ruhr-Universität Bochum, she held the position of research assistant at the Department of Comparative and Indo-European Linguistics at the Free University of Berlin, where she gained her Habiliation in 2001 and qualified to teach comparative and Indo-European linguistics. In the meantime, Elisabeth Rieken spent the academic year 1999/2000 at Cornell University (USA) and 2001-2002 at the University of London. She has been Professor of Historical Comparative Linguistics at the Philipps University of Marburg since 2002. Her research focuses on the philological, linguistic and language-historical development of Hittite and its smaller Anatolian sister languages.



For further information, please contact Michele Bianconi ( or Philomen Probert (

Ancient Anatolia Network