nyarlathotep: (Default)
[personal profile] nyarlathotep

Item is a technical schematic written on parchment-like surface, measuring 85 × 120 cm. I say parchment-like because although it appears to look like parchment, it is damp-insensitive and completely waterproof, as well as being completely nigh-indestructible to water, fire and almost all the corrosives we tested.

The technical schematics seem to be for a tower, the design of which is very reminiscent of etchings and carvings I’ve seen of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. There’s even a bit of scrawled text on the side, with an arrow pointing to the tower, that makes light of this, and confirms that whatever the design is, it is based on the same Wonder of the World. The primary difference seems to be that instead of a square base, it is hexagonal.

In any case, the technical design seems to be of a clock-tower of some sort, except for the inclusion of lenses and what appears to be electrical and crystal resonators studded in the inside of the building. I’ll let the engineers ponder on this, but without an idea of what the basic principle behind the operation of this tower is, I’m afraid it’ll remain a mystery for quite a while.

What’s most interesting is of course the number of marginalia that peppers the document itself — by my estimation, approximately three dozen marginalia notes were written, in at least six languages, by at least seven hands:

  1. Arabic
  2. Persian
  3. A variant of Chinese (Traditional)
  4. Javanese (written in hanacaraka, although examples of it also appear in Jawi)
  5. Malay (in Jawi)
  6. An unknown dialect of what appears to be Kelantanese Malay with heavy Thai influence, written in a variant of Hangul (v. strange).

Apart from that, the only other notable matter seems to be a series of glyphs used by all the writers, which can be divided into two:

  1. A series of glyphs that seem to be anthropic and/or based on objects. Used the way we use emoticons.
  2. Another series of glyphs that are appended to the beginning of each marginalia, and used by the writers to identify themselves and others in the document.

The glyphs will be marked as « double angles » and will either be « emoticon descriptor » or « PERSON IDENTITY »

Here is a short summary of these marginalia; S&T can fill in the rest:

transcript text as follows )
jhameia: ME! (Default)
[personal profile] jhameia
Item is a scroll made of bamboo woven tightly together. When unrolled, what appears to be the blueprints for a bridge can be seen drawn in black ink. There are scribbles all along the sides, variously in Chinese, Jawi, and Siamese. 

Measurements: 
Length: 1m
Width: (unrolled): 3m
Diameter when rolled: 10cm

The bridge's architecture would be straightforward, except for the sides which are built somewhat like a fortress wall.There are arrow-slits all along the length of the bridge. According to the linguists, the various writings appear to be an argument on what the bridge should be made of, with recommendations of marble, granite, and wood being the popular choices. In a corner there is a note that whatever the final decision is, the designer of the bridge must cover it with gold leaf. 
nyarlathotep: (Default)
[personal profile] nyarlathotep

A single page of what appears to be old, but fairly high quality paper. Charred around the edges, as if from a fire. Catalogued with index number MDX-921-0001. Not our catalogue number; v. mysterious.

Transcript:

(in classic Malay, written in Jawi script. Words in CAPITAL LETTERS are underlined in original text):

Let Allah witness that The KINGDOM OF MELAKA grants permission to the Partnership known as LEDANG BOOK FOUNDRY to produce and distribute the following WORK (written as “karya” — کاريا):

The Book Of Mechanical Wonders, Second Volume.

Let it be known that this book is currently in it’s SIXTH PUBLICATION during the year 980 HIJRAH, with the previous publication dates are as follows:

961 H 963 H 971 H 975 H 979 H.

Let no other creature (makhluk — مخلوق), either in Heaven (Kayangan — کايڠن), Earth nor darkest Underworld, deprive the licensor of his livelihood via UNAUTHORIZED DUPLICATION and DISTRIBUTION, for not only is it a sin in Allah’s eyes, but also an affront to the sovereignty of the KINGDOM OF MELAKA.

DAULAT SULTAN AHMAD SHAH

Comments: …the hell’s 980 Hijrah again? I can’t find the damn calculator, and the ISP’s giving me grief and refusing to load Wolfram Alpha.

In any case, scan of document is pending, until we can get that cheap-ass scanner fixed again. Which probably won’t be any time this budget cycle.

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