Selected Articles

The Hand of Irulegi delivers more questions than answers on Basque origins

The 2021 discovery of the Hand of Irulegi 10 km from Pamplona has rekindled a debate on the origins of the Basque people and their language. A bronze artifact dating back 2,100 years that supposedly includes the first words ever to be written in Basque has thrown up questions such as whether or not the Basque culture derives from populations of the ancient Aquitaine – north of the Pyrenees, in modern-day France – or from those settled in what is now the Spanish region of Navarre.

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Aerial view of Mount Irulegi in Navarre.Transcription of the inscription on the Hand of Irulegi. The first word is sorioneku which can be translated as good fortune.