Saturday, December 13, 2014

Figure 65

Proto-Canaanite script, from the “Large Stone Structure”
Undecipherable ostracon in proto-Canaanite script, from the “Large Stone Structure” excavation, in Jerusalem, discovered in 2012. The writing dates to the time of King David.

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.

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