It was found by archaeologists from the Austrian Academy of Sciences. It would be the oldest alphabet in history. It appeared in Tel Lachish (Israel) and dates from 1450 BC. The research was published this Thursday in the journal of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The results show that the alphabet was not introduced to the Levant by the conquering Egyptians. That was what was thought before.
The results of the Israeli excavation are published in Antiquity magazine. They claim that the Bronze Age alphabet was actually first developed in the Sinai Peninsula. It was around the 15th century BC. And finally spread around the 13th BC On the Levant.
This inscription is currently the oldest dated alphabetic inscription in the southern Levant. Hence, it can be considered a “missing link”.
The primitive alphabetic script in the southern Levant is a product of Levantine-Egyptian interaction. It happened in the middle of the second millennium BC
From there (the Sinai Peninsula) it began to spread across the Mediterranean. And there were the Greek and Latin alphabets. So far there has been no evidence of the appearance of the alphabet on Sinai or its arrival in the Levant. This is the first example to confirm its origin.
The Hyksos are a group from the Levant who lived until 1550 BC. BC North Egypt ruled. You may have helped carry the alphabet from Egypt to the Levant. They controlled areas in both the Levant and northern Egypt. Hieroglyphic symbols were used to symbolize the letters on this glass.
The first alphabets are similar to Egyptian hieroglyphics. The fragmentary nature of the shard makes it difficult to translate. The meaning of the inscription is unknown. But it has a dramatic impact on our understanding of the history of the alphabet, ”said the archaeologists. «Its very presence leads us to rethink paradigms. For example, the appearance and spread of the primitive alphabet in the Middle East. It was explained by the research’s lead author, Felix Höflmayer. He is an archaeologist at the Austrian Archaeological Institute.
The inscription was discovered by archaeologists in 2018. It was located near an old fortress in Tel Lachish. They also found remains of barley next to the fragment of glass that contained the inscription. Radiocarbon dates showed that barley was found around 1450 BC. Was cultivated.
However, this date can be controversial. “The data published so far make it possible. But by no means a certainty, ”said Benjamin Sass. He is Professor of Archeology at Tel Aviv University. The oldest alphabet in history brings us more questions to answer.