|The CRYPT Mag|
A sixth-century piece of slate inscribed in Latin could more closely link the legendary King Arthur to his reputed birthplace at Tintagel Castle.
Researchers said they had unearthed a stone bearing a 1,400-year-old inscription resembling the name Arthur at Tintagel, a windswept ruin that sits on a rocky outcrop in southwest England.
The chief archaeologist for English Heritage, a government-backed conservation agency that manages historic properties and advises on conservation policy, called the artifact ``a find of a lifetime.''
Although there is no evidence linking the stone directly with King Arthur, the slate is proof that the name Arthur existed during the era in which he reputedly lived.
``It proves for the first time that the name existed at that time and that the stone belonged to a person of status,'' he said, adding that the discovery will ``enhance the strong Arthur legend.''
The slate, which measures 8 by 14 inches, bears the inscription ``ARTOGNOV,'' which is Latin for the British name Arthnou.
The first connection between Arthur and Tintagel Castle was made by a Welsh author in the 12th century.
According to one story, Merlin the Magician disguised Arthur's father to allow him to enter Tintagel and seduce a duke's young wife, Arthur's mother. In another version, Arthur was found washed ashore by Merlin in a cave below the castle.Today, the Tintagel area embraces the legendary connection with King Arthur. A local guidebook notes: ``Fact hereabouts is tremendously hard to separate from fiction.''
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