Middle Bronze Age Alphabets
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Middle Bronze Age Alphabets
Proto-Sinaitic script
Ba`alat.jpg
A specimen of Proto-Sinaitic script. The line running from the upper left to lower right may read mt l b?lt "... to the Lady"
Type
LanguagesNorthwest Semitic languages
Time period
c. 18th-15th century BC
Parent systems
Egyptian hieroglyphs
  • Proto-Sinaitic script
Child systems

Proto-Sinaitic (also referred to as Sinaitic, Proto-Canaanite when found in Canaan,[1] or Early Alphabetic)[2] is considered the earliest trace of alphabetic writing and the common ancestor of both the Ancient South Arabian script and the Phoenician alphabet,[3] which led to many modern alphabets including the Greek alphabet.[4] According to common theory, Canaanites who spoke a Semitic language (hypothetically reconstructed as Proto-Semitic)[5] repurposed Egyptian hieroglyphs to construct a different script.[6] The script is attested in a small corpus of inscriptions found at Serabit el-Khadim in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt dating to the Middle Bronze Age (2100-1500 BCE).[3]

Computational linguistics has been used to show potential degrees of similarity of symbols used in several scripts used in the Mediterranean basin and beyond, including Cretan (Minoan writing systems) scripts.[7] According to the method used, Phoenician, the Ancient Greek alphabet, and the South Arabic script were shown to be closely related, while the other scripts examined were more similar to the Cretan scripts. The proto-Sinaitic script was not examined, however.

The earliest proto-Sinaitic inscriptions are mostly dated to between the mid-19th (early date) and the mid-16th (late date) century BC.

The principal debate is between an early date, around 1850 BC, and a late date, around 1550 BC. The choice of one or the other date decides whether it is proto-Sinaitic or proto-Canaanite, and by extension locates the invention of the alphabet in Egypt or Canaan respectively.[8]

However the discovery of the Wadi el-Hol inscriptions near the Nile River shows that the script originated in Egypt. The evolution of proto-Sinaitic and the various proto-Canaanite scripts during the Bronze Age is based on rather scant epigraphic evidence; it is only with the Bronze Age collapse and the rise of new Semitic kingdoms in the Levant that proto-Canaanite is clearly attested (Byblos inscriptions 10th-8th century BC, Khirbet Qeiyafa inscription c. 10th century BC).[9][10][11][12]

The proto-Sinaitic inscriptions were discovered in the winter of 1904-1905 in Sinai by Hilda and Flinders Petrie. To this may be added a number of short proto-Canaanite inscriptions found in Canaan and dated to between the 17th and 15th centuries BC, and more recently, the discovery in 1999 of the Wadi el-Hol inscriptions, found in Middle Egypt by John and Deborah Darnell. The Wadi el-Hol inscriptions strongly suggest a date of development of proto-Sinaitic writing from the mid-19th to 18th centuries BC.[13][14]

Discovery

In the winter of 1905, Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie and his wife Hilda Petrie (née Urlin) were conducting a series of archaeological excavations in the Sinai Peninsula. During a dig at Serabit el-Khadim, an extremely lucrative turquoise mine used during between the Twelfth and Thirteenth Dynasty and again between the Eighteenth and mid-Twentieth Dynasty, Sir Petrie discovered a series of inscriptions at the site's massive invocative temple to Hathor, as well as some fragmentary inscriptions in the mines themselves. Petrie immediately recognized hieroglyphic characters in the inscriptions, but upon closer inspection realized the script was wholly alphabetic and not the combination of logograms and syllabics as Egyptian script proper. He thus assumed that the script showed a script that the turquoise miners had devised themselves, using linear signs that they had borrowed from hieroglyphics. He published his findings in London the following year.[15]

Ten years later, in 1916, Alan Gardiner, one of the premier Egyptologists of the early and mid-20th century, published his own interpretation of Petrie's findings, arguing that the glyphs appeared to be early versions of the signs used for later Semitic languages such as Phoenician, and was able to assign sound values and reconstructed names to some of the letters by assuming they represented what would later become the common Semitic abjad (one example provided being the character Proto-semiticB-01.svg, which Gardiner assigned the ?b? sound to, on the grounds that it derived from the Egyptian glyph for 'house' , and was very similar to the similarly-shaped Phoenician character, , which is called bet. The name bet itself was commonly thought to derive from the Semitic word for house, bayt, providing another layer of support to his thesis.) Using this hypothesis, Gardiner was able to affirm Petrie's hypothesis that the mystery inscriptions were of a religious nature, as his model allowed an often recurring word to be reconstructed as lb?lt, meaning "to Ba'alat" or more accurately, "to (the) Lady" - that is, the "lady" Hathor. Likewise, this allowed another recurring word m?hb?lt to be translated as "Beloved of (the) Lady", a reading which became very acceptable after the lemma was found carved underneath a hieroglyphic inscription which read "Beloved of Hathor, Lady of Turquoise".[16] Gardiner's hypothesis allowed researchers to connect the letters of the inscriptions to modern Semitic alphabets, and resulted in the inscriptions becoming much more readable, leading to his hypothesis' immediate acceptance.[]

Proto-Sinaitic inscriptions

Serabit inscriptions

The Sinai inscriptions are best known from carved graffiti and votive texts from a mountain in the Sinai called Serabit el-Khadim and its temple to the Egyptian goddess Hathor (?wt-?r). The mountain contained turquoise mines which were visited by repeated expeditions over 800 years. Many of the workers and officials were from the Nile Delta, and included large numbers of Canaanites (i.e. speakers of an early form of Northwest Semitic ancestral to the Canaanite languages of the Late Bronze Age) who had been allowed to settle the eastern Delta.[14]

Most of the forty or so inscriptions have been found among much more numerous hieratic and hieroglyphic inscriptions, scratched on rocks near and in the turquoise mines and along the roads leading to the temple.[17]

The date of the inscriptions is mostly placed in the 17th or 16th century BC.[18]

Four inscriptions have been found in the temple, on two small human statues and on either side of a small stone sphinx. They are crudely done, suggesting that the workers who made them were illiterate apart from this script.

In 1916, Alan Gardiner, using sound values derived from the alphabet hypothesis, translated a collection of signs as lb?lt (to the Lady)[19]

Khirbet Qeiyafa Ostracon (Iron Age I-II transition)[20]

Inscriptions in Canaan

Only a few inscriptions have been found in Canaan itself, dated to between the 17th and 15th centuries BC. Researchers also claim to have discovered Canaanite snake spells. The passages date from between 2400 to 3000 BC and appear to be written in proto-Sinaitic, a direct ancestor of Biblical Hebrew.[21] They are all very short, most consisting of only a couple of letters, and may have been written by Canaanite caravaners, soldiers from Egypt or early Israelites.[14] They sometimes go by the name "proto-Canaanite",[22] although the term "proto-Canaanite" is also applied to early Phoenician or Ancient Hebrew writings, respectively.[10][11]

Wadi el-Hol inscriptions

Traces of the 16 and 12 characters of the two Wadi el-Hol inscriptions. (Photos here and here)

The Wadi el-Hol inscriptions (Arabic: ? W?d? al-Hawl 'Ravine of Terror') were carved on the stone sides of an ancient high-desert military and trade road linking Thebes and Abydos, in the heart of literate Egypt. They have been dated to somewhere between 1900 and 1800 BC.[23] They are in a wadi in the Qena bend of the Nile, at approx. 25°57?N 32°25?E / 25.950°N 32.417°E / 25.950; 32.417, among dozens of hieratic and hieroglyphic inscriptions.[]

The inscriptions are graphically very similar to the Serabit inscriptions, but show a greater hieroglyphic influence, such as a glyph for a man that was apparently not read alphabetically:[14] The first of these (h1) is a figure of celebration [Gardiner A28], whereas the second (h2) is either that of a child [Gardiner A17] or of dancing [Gardiner A32]. If the latter, h1 and h2 may be graphic variants (such as two hieroglyphs both used to write the Canaanite word hillul "jubilation") rather than different consonants.

A28A17A32
Hieroglyphs representing, reading left to right, celebration, a child, and dancing. The first appears to be the prototype for h1, while the latter two have been suggested as the prototype for h2.[]

Some scholars (Darnell et al.) think that the rb at the beginning of Inscription 1 is likely rebbe (chief; cognate with rabbi); and that the ?l at the end of Inscription 2 is likely ?el "god". Brian Colless has published a translation of the text, in which some of the signs are treated as logograms (representing a whole word, not just a single consonant) or rebuses [Antiguo Oriente 8 (2010) 91] [V] "Excellent (r[]) banquet (m?t) of the celebration (h[illul]) of ?Anat (?nt). ?El (?l) will provide (yg?) [H] plenty (rb) of wine (wn) and victuals (mn) for the celebration (h[illul]). We will sacrifice (ng?) to her (h) an ox (?) and (p) a prime (r[]) fatling (mX)." This interpretation fits into the pattern in some of the surrounding Egyptian inscriptions, with celebrations for the goddess Hathor involving inebriation.[]

Proto-Canaanite

Synonym for Proto-Sinaitic

Proto-Canaanite, also referred to as Proto-Canaan, Old Canaanite, or Canaanite,[1] is the name given to the proto-Sinaitic script (c. 16th century BC), when found in Canaan.[24][25][26][21]

Synonym for Paleo-Phoenician or Paleo-Hebrew script

Proto-Canaanite is also used when referring to the ancestor of the Phoenician or Paleo-Hebrew script, respectively, before some cut-off date, typically 1050 BC, with an undefined affinity to proto-Sinaitic.[27]

While no extant inscription in the Phoenician alphabet is older than c. 1050 BC,[28] proto-Canaanite is used for the early alphabets as used during the 13th and 12th centuries BC in Phoenicia.[29] However, the Phoenician, Paleo-Hebrew, and other Canaanite dialects[dubious ] were largely indistinguishable before the 11th century BC.[12] A possible example of proto-Canaanite, the inscription on the Ophel pithos, was found in 2012 on a pottery storage jar during the excavations of the south wall of the Temple Mount by Israeli archaeologist Eilat Mazar in Jerusalem. Inscribed on the pot are some big letters about an inch high, of which only five are complete, and traces of perhaps three additional letters written in proto-Canaanite script.[25]

History

The letters of the earliest script used for Semitic languages have been shown to be derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs. In the 19th century, the theory of Egyptian origin competed alongside other theories that the Phoenician script developed from Akkadian cuneiform, Cretan hieroglyphs, the Cypriot syllabary, and Anatolian hieroglyphs.[30] Then the proto-Sinaitic inscriptions were studied by Alan Gardiner who identified the word b?lt "Lady" occurring several times in inscriptions, and also attempted to decipher other words. William Albright in the 1950s and 1960s published interpretations of proto-Sinaitic as the key to show the derivation of the Canaanite alphabet from hieratic,[6] leading to the commonly accepted belief that the language of the inscriptions was Semitic and that the script had a hieratic prototype.[]

The proto-Sinaitic inscriptions, along with the contemporary parallels found in Canaan and Wadi el-Hol, are thus hypothesized to show an intermediate step between Egyptian hieratic and the Phoenician alphabet.[]

According to the "alphabet theory", the early Semitic proto-alphabet reflected in the proto-Sinaitic inscriptions would have given rise to both the Ancient South Arabian script and the Proto-Canaanite alphabet by the time of the Late Bronze Age collapse (1200-1150 BCE).[29] Albright hypothesized that only the graphic form of the proto-Sinaitic characters derive from Egyptian hieroglyphs, because they were given the sound value of the first consonant of the Semitic translation of the hieroglyph (many hieroglyphs had already been used acrophonically in Egyptian.[need quotation to verify])

For example, the hieroglyph for pr "house" (a rectangle partially open along one side, "O1" in Gardiner's sign list) was adopted to write Semitic /b/, after the first consonant of baytu, the Semitic word for "house".[14][31] According to the alphabet hypothesis, the shapes of the letters would have evolved from proto-Sinaitic forms into Phoenician forms, but most of the names of the letters would have remained the same.[]

An alternative hypothesis was recently proposed by Brian Colless (2014), who believes that 18 of the 22 letters of the Phoenician alphabet have counterparts in the Byblos syllabary, and it seems that the proto-alphabet evolved as a simplification of the syllabary, moving from syllabic to consonantal writing, in the style of the Egyptian script (which did not normally indicate vowels); this goes against the Goldwasser hypothesis (2010) that the original alphabet was invented by miners in Sinai.[]

Synopsis

Below is a table synoptically showing selected Proto-Sinaitic signs and the proposed correspondences with Phoenician letters. Also shown are the sound values, names, and descendants of the Phoenician letters.[32] For the Ancient South Arabian script only the letters with Proto-Canaanite correspondences are shown.

Possible correspondences between Proto-Sinaitic, Ancient South Arabian and Phoenician letters. Also modern Hebrew, Arabic and Latin letters are shown.
Hieroglyph Proto-Sinaitic IPA value Reconstructed name Proto-Canaanite Ancient South Arabian Phoenician Archaic Greek Imperial Aramaic Hebrew Nabataean
(from Aramaic)
Arabic Other*
F1
Aleph /?/ ?alp "ox" Aleph ? ? Greek Alpha 03.svg Aleph.svg ? 01 aleph.svg ? ? ? A
O1
Bet /b/ bayt "house" Bet ? ? Greek Beta 16.svg Beth.svg ? 02 bet.svg ? ? ? B
T14
Gimel /g/ gaml "throwstick" Gimel ? ? Greek Gamma 03.svg Gimel.svg ? 03 gimel.svg ? ?C G
K1
K2
Dalet /d/ dag "fish" Dalet ? ? Greek Delta 04.svg Daleth.svg ? 04 dal.svg ? ? ? D
A28
Heh /h/ haw/hillul "praise" He ? ? Greek Epsilon archaic.svg He0.svg ? 05 ha.svg ? ? ? E
G43
Waw /w/ waw/uph "fowl" Waw ? ? Greek Upsilon normal.svg Greek Digamma normal.svg Waw.svg ? 06 waw.svg ? ? ? ? ? F U W V Y
N34
or
Z4
Zayin /z/ zayn/zayt "oxhide ingot"[33], "sword" Zayin ? ? Greek Zeta archaic.svg Zayin.svg ? 07 zayn.svg ? Z I Z ?
/ð/ ?iqq "manacle" ProtoZiqq.svg ?
O6
N24
V28
?et /?/ ?a?r "courtyard" Heth ? ? Greek Heta 08.svg Greek Eta archaic.svg Greek Eta 08.svg Greek Eta square-2-bars.svg Heth.svg 08 ha.svg ? ? H ?
V28
/x/ ?ayt "thread" Heth
F35
?et /t?/ ?ab "good" Teth ? ? Greek Theta archaic straight.svg Teth.svg 09 taa.svg ? Greek Theta 08.svg Greek Heta 08.svg ? ?
D36
Yad Yad /j/ yad "hand" Yodh ? ? Greek Iota normal.svg Yod.svg ? 10 yaa.svg ? ? ? I J
D46
Khof /k/ kap "palm" Kaph ? ? Greek Kappa normal.svg Greek Kappa 04.svg Kaph.svg ?, ? 11 kaf.svg ? ? ? K
U20
Lamed /l/ lamd "goad" Lamedh ? ? Greek Lambda 06.svg Greek Lambda Athenian.svg Greek Lambda normal.svg Greek Lambda Gamma-shaped.svg Greek Lambda 09.svg Lamed.svg ? 12 lam.svg ? ? ? L ?
N35
Mem /m/ maym "water" Mem ? ? Greek Mu 04.svg Greek Mu 08.svg Mem.svg ?, ? 13 meem.svg ? ? ? M
I10
Nun /n/ na?a? "snake" Nun ? ? Greek Nu 01.svg Nun.svg ?, ? 14 noon.svg ? ? ? N
R11
Samekh Samekh /s/ ?amk "peg" Samech ? ? Greek Xi archaic.svg Samekh.svg ? 15 sin.svg ? Greek Xi 05.svg ?
D4
Ayin /?/ ?ayn "eye" Ayin ? ? Greek Omicron 04.svg Ayin.svg ? 16 ein.svg ? ? ? O
V28
? Ghayn /?/ ?abi? "calyx" Ghayn ? ? ?
D21
Pe (Semitic letter) /p/ p?it "corner" Pe ? ? Greek Pi archaic.svg Pe0.svg ?, ? 17 fa.svg ? Greek Pi normal.svg ? P ?
M22
Tsade Tsade Tsade /s?/ ?aday "plant" Tsade ? ? Greek San 02.svg Sade 1.svg Sade 2.svg ?, ? 18 sad.svg ? Greek San straight.svg ? ? ? ?
O34
Qoph /k?/ or /q/ qoba "needle/nape/monkey" Qoph ? ? Greek Phi 03.svg Greek Phi normal.svg Qoph.svg ? 19 qaf.svg ? Greek Koppa strikethrough.svg Greek Koppa normal.svg ? Greek Phi 05.svg ? Q ?
D1
D19
Resh /r/ ra "head" Resh ? ? Greek Rho 03.svg Greek Rho 01.svg Greek Rho pointed.svg Greek Rho 06.svg Resh.svg ? 20 ra.svg ? Greek Rho 03.svg ? ? R
N6
Shin /?/ ?im? "sun" Shin ? ? Greek Sigma normal.svg Greek Sigma Z-shaped.svg Shin.svg 21 shin.svg ? ? ? S
M39
M40
M41
Shin /?/ ?adeh "field, land"
/?/ ?ann "bow" ProtoThann.svg ? Greek Tau 02.svg Taw.svg ? 22 ta.svg ? ? ? T
Z9
Tof /t/ t?w "mark" Taw ? ?

See also

References

  1. ^ a b Garfinkel, Yosef; Golub, Mitka R.; Misgav, Haggai; Ganor, Saar (May 2015). "The ?I?ba?al Inscription from Khirbet Qeiyafa". Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (373): 217-233. doi:10.5615/bullamerschoorie.373.0217. JSTOR 10.5615/bullamerschoorie.373.0217.
  2. ^ Rollston, C. (2020). The Emergence of Alphabetic Scripts. In R. Hasselbach-Andee (Ed.), A Companion to Ancient Near Eastern Languages (1st ed., pp. 65-81). Wiley. doi:10.1002/9781119193814.ch4
  3. ^ a b "Sinaitic inscriptions | ancient writing". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved .
  4. ^ The Development of the Greek Alphabet within the Chronology of the ANE (2009), Quote: "Naveh gives four major reasons why it is universally agreed that the Greek alphabet was developed from an early Phoenician alphabet.
    1. According to Herodutous "the Phoenicians who came with Cadmus... brought into Hellas the alphabet, which had hitherto been unknown, as I think, to the Greeks."
    2. The Greek Letters, alpha, beta, gimmel have no meaning in Greek but the meaning of most of their Semitic equivalents is known. For example, 'aleph' means 'ox', 'bet' means 'house' and 'gimmel' means 'throw stick'.
    3. Early Greek letters are very similar and sometimes identical to the West Semitic letters.
    4. The letter sequence between the Semitic and Greek alphabets is identical. (Naveh 1982)"
  5. ^ Kitchen, A.; Ehret, C.; Assefa, S.; Mulligan, C. J. (29 April 2009). "Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of Semitic languages identifies an Early Bronze Age origin of Semitic in the Near East". Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 276 (1668): 2703. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.0408. PMC 2839953. PMID 19403539.
  6. ^ a b William F. Albright, The Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions and their Decipherment (1966)
  7. ^ Revesz, P. (2016). Bioinformatics evolutionary tree algorithms reveal the history of the Cretan Script Family. International Journal of Applied Mathematics and Informatics, 10, 67-76.
  8. ^ Simons 2011:24
  9. ^ Coulmas (1989) p. 141.
  10. ^ a b "Earliest Known Hebrew Text in Proto-Canaanite Script Discovered in Area Where 'David Slew Goliath'". Science Daily. November 3, 2008.
  11. ^ a b "Most ancient Hebrew biblical inscription deciphered". University of Haifa. January 10, 2010. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved 2011.
  12. ^ a b Naveh, Joseph (1987), "Proto-Canaanite, Archaic Greek, and the Script of the Aramaic Text on the Tell Fakhariyah Statue", in Miller; et al. (eds.), Ancient Israelite Religion.
  13. ^ "Researchers also claim to have discovered Canaanite snake spells: "The passages date from between 2400 to 3000 BC and appear to be written in Proto-Canaanite, a direct ancestor of Biblical Hebrew." "The two latest discoveries, those found in the Wadi el-Hol, north of Luxor, in Egypt's western desert, can be dated with rather more certainty than the others and offer compelling evidence that the early date [1850 BC] is the more likely of the two (Simons 2011:24).[verify]
  14. ^ a b c d e Goldwasser, Orly (Mar-Apr 2010). "How the Alphabet Was Born from Hieroglyphs". Biblical Archaeology Review. Washington, DC: Biblical Archaeology Society. 36 (1). ISSN 0098-9444. Retrieved 2011.
  15. ^ W. M. Flinders Petrie; C. T. Currell (1906), Researches in Sinai
  16. ^ Gardiner, Alan H. "The Egyptian Origin of the Semitic Alphabet". The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, vol. 3, no. 1, 1916, pp. 1-16. JSTOR. Accessed 18 May 2020.
  17. ^ "The proto-Sinaitic corpus consists of approximately forty inscriptions and fragments, the vast majority of which were found at Serabit el-Khadim" (Simons 2011:16).
  18. ^ Goldwasser (2010): "The alphabet was invented in this way by Canaanites at Serabit in the Middle Bronze Age, in the middle of the 19th century B.C.E., probably during the reign of Amenemhet III of the XIIth Dynasty."
  19. ^ ba?lat (Lady) is a title of Hathor and the feminine of the title ba?al (Lord) given to Semitic deities.
  20. ^ Sass, B., Garfinkel, Y., Hasel, M. G., & Klingbeil, M. G. (2015). The Lachish Jar Sherd: An Early Alphabetic Inscription Discovered in 2014. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 374, 233-245. https://doi.org/10.5615/bullamerschoorie.374.0233
  21. ^ a b Milstein, Mati (5 February 2007). "Ancient Semitic Snake Spells Deciphered in Egyptian Pyramid". news.nationalgeographic.com. Retrieved 2017.
  22. ^ Roger D. Woodard, 2008, The Origins of the West Semitic Alphabet in Egyptian Scripts
  23. ^ "Discovery of Egyptian Inscriptions Indicates an Earlier Date for Origin of the Alphabet". archive.nytimes.com.
  24. ^ Woodard, Roger (2008), The Ancient Languages of Syria-Palestine and Arabia.
  25. ^ a b Ngo, Robin (5 May 2017). "Precursor to Paleo-Hebrew Script Discovered in Jerusalem". Bible History Daily. Biblical Archaeology Society.
  26. ^ Gideon Tsur on the Proto-Canaanite text discovered at Keifa (Hebrew)
  27. ^ Coulmas, Florian (1996). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-21481-X.
  28. ^ Hoffman, Joel M. (2004). In the beginning: a short history of the Hebrew language. New York, NY [u.a.]: New York Univ. Press. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-8147-3654-8. Retrieved 2017. By 1000 B.C.E., however, we see Phoenician writings [..]
  29. ^ a b John F. Healey, The Early Alphabet University of California Press, 1990, ISBN 978-0-520-07309-8, p. 18.
  30. ^ Joseph Naveh; Solomon Asher Birnbaum; David Diringer; Zvi Hermann Federbush; Jonathan Shunary; Jacob Maimon (2007), "ALPHABET, HEBREW", Encyclopaedia Judaica, 1 (2nd ed.), Gale, pp. 689-728, ISBN 978-0-02-865929-9
  31. ^ This is in marked contrast to the history of adoption of the Phoenician alphabet in the Iron Age (where lep gave rise to the Greek letter aleph, i.e. the Semitic term for "ox" was left untranslated and adopted as simply the name of the letter).
  32. ^ Based on Simons (2011),
    • Figure Two: "Representative selection of proto-Sinaitic characters with comparison to Egyptian hieroglyphs" (p. 38),
    • Figure Three: "Chart of all early proto-Canaanite letters with comparison to proto-Sinaitic signs" (p. 39),
    • Figure Four: "Representative selection of later proto-Canaanite letters with comparison to early proto-Canaanite and proto-Sinaitic signs" (p. 40).
    See also: Goldwasser (2010), following Albright (1966), "Schematic Table of Proto-Sinaitic Characters" (fig. 1). A comparison of glyphs from western ("Proto-Canaanite", Byblos) and southern scripts along with the reconstructed "Linear Ugaritic" (Lundin 1987) is found in Manfried Dietrich and Oswald Loretz, Die Keilalphabete: die phönizisch-kanaanäischen und altarabischen Alphabete in Ugarit, Ugarit-Verlag, 1988, p. 102, reprinted in Wilfred G. E. Watson, Nicolas Wyatt (eds.), Handbook of Ugaritic Studies (1999), p. 86.
  33. ^ Cross, F. M. (1980) Newly Found Inscriptions in Old Canaanite and Early Phoenician Scripts. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 238, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.2307/1356511

Further reading

  • Albright, Wm. F. (1966) The Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions and their Decipherment
  • I. Biggs, M. Dijkstra, Corpus of Proto-sinaitic Inscriptions, Alter Orient und Altes Testament, Neukirchener Verlag, 1990.
  • Butin, Romanus (1928). "The Serabit Inscriptions: II. The Decipherment and Significance of the Inscriptions". Harvard Theological Review. 21 (1): 9-67. doi:10.1017/s0017816000021167.
  • Butin, Romanus (1932). "The Protosinaitic Inscriptions". Harvard Theological Review. 25 (2): 130-203. doi:10.1017/s0017816000001231.
  • Colless, Brian E (1990). "The proto-alphabetic inscriptions of Sinai". Abr-Nahrain / Ancient Near Eastern Studies. 28: 1-52. doi:10.2143/anes.28.0.525711.
  • Colless, Brian E (1991). "The proto-alphabetic inscriptions of Canaan". Abr-Nahrain / Ancient Near Eastern Studies. 29: 18-66. doi:10.2143/anes.29.0.525718.
  • Colless, Brian E., "The Byblos Syllabary and the Proto-alphabet", Abr-Nahrain / Ancient Near Eastern Studies 30 (1992) 15-62.
  • Colless, Brian E (2010). "Proto-alphabetic Inscriptions from the Wadi Arabah". Antiguo Oriente. 8: 75-96.
  • Colless, Brian E., "The Origin of the Alphabet: An Examination of the Goldwasser Hypothesis", Antiguo Oriente 12 (2014) 71-104.
  • Stefan Jakob Wimmer / Samaher Wimmer-Dweikat: The Alphabet from Wadi el-Hôl - A First Try, in: Göttinger Miszellen. Beiträge zur ägyptologischen Diskussion, Heft 180, Göttingen 2001, p. 107-111
  • Darnell, J. C.; Dobbs-Allsopp, F. W.; et al. (2005). "Two Early Alphabetic Inscriptions from the Wadi el-Hol: New Evidence for the Origin of the Alphabet from the Western Desert of Egypt". Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research. 59: 63, 65, 67-71, 73-113, 115-124. JSTOR 3768583.
  • Hamilton, Gordon J, The origins of the West Semitic alphabet in Egyptian scripts (2006)
  • Fellman, Bruce (2000) "The Birthplace of the ABCs." Yale Alumni Magazine, December 2000.[1]
  • Sacks, David (2004). Letter Perfect: The Marvelous History of Our Alphabet from A to Z. Broadway Books. ISBN 0-7679-1173-3.
  • Goldwasser, Orly, How the Alphabet Was Born from Hieroglyphs Biblical Archaeology Review 36:02, Mar/Apr 2010.
  • Lake, K.; Blake, R. (1928). "The Serabit Inscriptions: I. The Rediscovery of the Inscriptions". Harvard Theological Review. 21 (1): 1-8. doi:10.1017/s0017816000021155.
  • Millard, A. R. (1986) "The Infancy of the Alphabet" World Archaeology. pp. 390-398.
  • Ray, John D. (1986) "The Emergence of Writing in Egypt" Early Writing Systems; 17/3 pp. 307-316.
  • B. Benjamin Sass (West Semitic Alphabets) - In 1988 a very important doctoral dissertation was completed at Tel Aviv University, *Benjamin Sass, The Genesis of the Alphabet and its Development in the Second Millennium BC, Ägypten und Altes Testament 13, Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1988.
  • Simons, F., "Proto-Sinaitic - Progenitor of the Alphabet" Rosetta 9 (2011), 16–40.

External links

Wadi el-Hol

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Middle_Bronze_Age_alphabets
 



 



 
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