Cryptological Escapades in Frisia

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Languages & Linguistics, Mystery

This week, a call went out from the pro­vin­cial lib­rary of Fryslân, Tresoar, announ­cing the start of a ‘cold case’ pro­gram. Selec­ted pieces from the archives are to be shared with the pub­lic, to see if they can shed more light on some unsolved mys­ter­ies. The first one is a manu­script from the 17th cen­tury, and it’s a corker! The manu­script is thought to be a let­ter, as it is only a single page and appears to be signed in some way, so I will refer to it as the Sminia Let­ter, for that’s the Frisian fam­ily out of whose archives the piece comes. The let­ter is writ­ten in a hitherto unknown script, and as such the lan­guage of the let­ter is unknown as well.