Nov 12, 2005

Oldest Hebrew Alphabet Discovered

Well there has been another interesting find. Perhaps the oldest hebrew alphabet has been discovered or so claims Ron Tappy, professor of Bible and archaeology at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. It was on the dig at Tel Zayit that a 10 Century BC stone was found inscribed with an abecedary (an ordered written alphabet).
Again time will tell on this one too. Some will say that it is an early form of Phoenician at least from what I can see from the photo it certainly looks similar to early Phoenician. But I'm no expert on these languages and you can't tell much from a photo. Again time will tell what debates will rage over this one as well.

Up to this point the oldest Hebrew abecedary was the Izbet Sartah sherd containing the longest proto-Canaanite inscription. There was also the Gezer calendar, 10th century B.C., a schoolchild’s exercise tablet discovered in 1908 by Irish archaeologist R. A. S. Macalister. Before the discovery of the Izbet Sartah sherd the Gezer calendar was considered the oldest Hebrew inscription. We just keep pushing them back.

I just happened to be working on my lectures for class on this topic when my friend Andrew sent me the link. Thanks for the info.

For more details check out his home town paper.

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