Cergat con Earthmare: The Lost Book of Wars (English Edition)
From the Preface
In mid-October 1997, two clay tablets marked in wedge-shaped signs, were discovered inside a cave in the Accursed Mountains in Albania. The local shepherds who found them, took the artifacts to their pastor, an amateur linguist and folklore aficionado, who at first glance identified the cuneiform writing as Sumerian. He was shown the discovery site where he found several other fragments, prompting him to further continue the search. In the winter months from November 1997 to February 1998, four more tablets were put together out of thirty-seven fragments collected in the interior of the cave. Six fragments (frgs. 2, 5, 18, 13, 27, 9) did not match any of the partially restored tablets, suggesting that more pieces may lay hidden deeper into the cave. However, these were not discovered until the end of September 1998, when a landslide revealed a separate cave pocket enclosing a wooden ark, adding three more tablets to the collection.
Clearly, the artifacts did not belong to the local culture. Their scattered condition suggested that similar earlier landslides might have caused loose tree-roots and mud to close part of the cave off from its mouth. As the texts have only been partially translated, it is as yet unknown whether the last three pieces made up the full set of the original tablets. Most of what we know comes from the notes of the pastor, who for nearly ten years worked on deciphering a good part of the scripts from a language he initially believed to be closely related to the original Indo-European, but subsequently identified as the lost language of the Pelasgians. In a later note, he writes that this was a mixed language, reminiscent of Odysseus's description of Crete, where many barbarian tongues were spoken side by side and mingled with one another (Hom. Od. xix. 172-8). After decoding the cuneiform, he translated the texts into Albanian, trying to keep as close to the original as possible. What emerged was another version of Genesis, a creation full of strife the pastor called "the lost book of wars."
Dating back to c. 1400-1100 BC, the tablets are among the oldest apocrypha materials ever found. They are as well of particular interest not only for their content, but also for the unusual site of their discovery. Following recent archaeological finds revealing the Philistines to be only one of a conglomerate of tribes that fought against God's chosen people (see e.g. Bierling 2002), these ancient warriors have been conjectured to be the ones who brought the tablets from Israel.
Assuming that this might be what Israel called the Ark of the Covenant, lost to the Philistines in the wars described in 1 Samuel, the warriors who buried its contents in the Accursed Mountains may well be the ones referred to in the Bible as the giants, Goliath and company. These are the mythical giants north of Greece (ancient Gr. gegas), whose demonym still survives in the Gheg tribes of northern Albania.