10th BCE Hebrew Alphabet Found

A New York Times article A Is for Ancient, Describing an Alphabet Found Near Jerusalem reports:

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.

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.

4 thoughts on “10th BCE Hebrew Alphabet Found

  1. cool article. but why did jews get their alphabet from gentiles? i thought jews were supposed to be smarter than goyim, but it looks like gentiles were reading and writing while the jewish people were illiterate.

  2. To shalom
    this is from the article:
    A border town of such size and culture, Dr. Tappy said, suggested a centralized bureaucracy, political leadership and literacy levels that seemed to support the biblical image of the unified kingdom of David and Solomon in the 10th century B.C.
    Thefore, what the heck in that article makes you think Jewish people were illiterate?

  3. Hi Jonathan,
    It’s my understanding that the Jewish people were originally pastoral nomads without a written culture until rather late in the game as compared to the more settled Egyptians and Sumerians, for example.
    The ancient Jewish people borrowed their alphabet from the Caananites (as the article points out) and much of “their” mythology and literature from the Egyptians and the Sumerians via the Babylonians after the exile.
    Of course, if Abraham was actually a Chaldean from Ur, he presumably would have benefitted from Chaldean literacy in which case my point is incorrect. There is, however, no scientific evidence on the matter of Abraham, so that assertion remains in the realm of belief rather than science.
    If you have any additional information on the subject I would be very interested in it. Thanks.

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