|Proto-Canaanite script, from the “Large Stone Structure”|
The discovery in 2012 of the earliest alphabetic text ever identified in Jerusalem also supports the administrative use of the structure. It was discovered on the broken shoulder of a pithos ceramic jar. The Proto-Canaanite script (11th–10th cent. BC, IA 2) is likely attributed to “a descendant of the pre-Israelite inhabitants of Jerusalem (a ‘Jebusite’?)” 1. Eilat Mazar, David Ben-Shlomo, and Shmuel Ahituv, “An Inscribed Pithos from the Ophel, Jerusalem,” Israel Exploration Journal 63, no. 1 (2013): 4 and indicates that the early inhabitants of Jerusalem could write. Unfortunately the letters m, q, p, h, n, possibly l, and n “do not yield any intelligible combination” [ibid.] of known words.