Skip to comments.A Is for Ancient, Describing an Alphabet Found Near Jerusalem
Posted on 11/08/2005 8:48:19 PM PST by saquin
In the 10th century B.C., in the hill country south of Jerusalem, a scribe carved his A B C's on a limestone boulder - actually, his aleph-beth-gimel's, for the string of letters appears to be an early rendering of the emergent Hebrew alphabet.
Archaeologists digging in July at the site, Tel Zayit, found the inscribed stone in the wall of an ancient building. After an analysis of the layers of ruins, the discoverers concluded that this was the earliest known specimen of the Hebrew alphabet and an important benchmark in the history of writing, they said this week.
If they are right, the stone bears the oldest reliably dated example of an abecedary - the letters of the alphabet written out in their traditional sequence. Several scholars who have examined the inscription tend to support that view.
Experts in ancient writing said the find showed that at this stage the Hebrew alphabet was still in transition from its Phoenician roots, but recognizably Hebrew. The Phoenicians lived on the coast north of Israel, in today's Lebanon, and are considered the originators of alphabetic writing, several centuries earlier.
The discovery of the stone will be reported in detail next week in Philadelphia, but was described in interviews with Ron E. Tappy, the archaeologist at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary who directed the dig.
"All successive alphabets in the ancient world, including the Greek one, derive from this ancestor at Tel Zayit," he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I thought ancient Hebrew had no vowels?
You will find a reference to the same alphabet, from 2 centuries earlier, here.
They didn't write the vowels but they did speak them. The vowels are so regular that you can insert the vowels into the correct places almost all of the time. There are a few exceptions.
I know; no gods, no graves, but at least it is one out of three!
It seems odd that a scribe would practice on limestone when there would be many pottery shards, etc., that are easier and cheaper than stone dressed for building.
In what language was the Pentateuch written?
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"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)
On this map from the link you provided, see Har Karkom.
http://www.harkarkom.com/ Very interesting site.
Beware of Geeks bearing Glyphs.
You'd be amazed what people have written on that have been documented all over the world. Just like today when people have too much time on their hands and happen to have a pen - doodle anyone?
Pentateuch - The books of Moses; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
The Pentateuch was written in Hebrew...traditionally by Moses but a lot of Biblical scholars believe they were actually written much later (the four-source theory, Yahwist, Elohist, Priestly, and Deuteroomist, all dating from after the time of King David). The word Pentateuch is Greek.
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