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November 11, 2005

Earliest alphabet discovered in Israel

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review...

An ancient stone found by a team led by a Pittsburgh professor contains the earliest alphabet ever discovered, but it may not be enough to settle a hot debate among biblical scholars.

Ron Tappy, a professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in Highland Park, announced Wednesday that an excavation that he led in Israel this summer unearthed a complete alphabet inscribed on a stone set inside a building.

The building, which dates to the 10th century B.C., is in an Israeli archeological site called Tel Zayit, about 35 miles southwest of Jerusalem. It would have been on the outskirts of ancient Judah.

For years, scholars have debated whether the kingdoms of David and Solomon, who the Bible says reigned about the 10th century B.C., were as advanced as the Bible describes them.

And some day archeologists will discover this story and how it was reported and debate about the intelligence of a society that thinks the lack of an alphabet would prove a lack of organization and capability. Cultures back then relied much, much more on memory than paper (or stone) and were far ahead of us on that aspect of learning.

So they've uncovered some crude Semitic writing. And it took only 10 more centuries before the American Liberal Press could produce even cruder anti-Semitic writings in their coverage of Israel's fight against Palestinian terrorism.

Posted by Danny Carlton at November 11, 2005 06:23 AM

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