Early Alphabet Spotted on Jar Fragment in Israel

Israel Jar Fragment

VIENNA, AUSTRIA—Live Science reports that an inscription on a jar fragment unearthed at the site of Tel Lachish in south-central Israel could offer a missing link between early examples of alphabetic writing from Egypt and later writing samples found in the Levant. The Egyptian alphabet dates to the 12th Dynasty, from about 1981 to 1802 B.C., while the previously known oldest alphabetic writing samples found in the Levant had been dated to around 1300 B.C. Felix Höflmayer of the Austrian Archaeological Institute and his colleagues said that the inscription, which was dated to 1450 B.C. through the radiocarbon dating of barley found next to it, employs hieroglyphic symbols for letters. This alphabet may have been brought to the region by the Hyksos, who ruled both in the Levant and northern Egypt, he surmised. Read the original scholarly article about this research in Antiquity. To read about a 3,500-year-old alphabet table found in Luxor, Egypt, go to “Artifact.”

Source: archaeology.org

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