Archeology X-Files

World’s Oldest Alphabet Identified As Hebrew – Ancient Puzzle

Archeological studies, researches and historical excavation continue to take place. There are witnessed figures, structures, artifacts, scriptures and writings during the excavations. Each of these, instigate to the culture, the lifestyle and living pattern of the people of that era.

Amidst the many numbers of studies which are continually being pursued, there is the one which is attracting many speculations and questions. In fact, it has become a center of controversy.

What is that controversy?

The study is associated with Egyptian sites. There are writings inscribed on the stone slabs. These indicate an early form of Hebrew. And if these are confirmed, it will also be indicative of the Biblical retreat.

The world’s oldest alphabet is that of the proper Semitic language. Since, 150 years attempts have been made to read and decode the language. Even, when many attempts have been unsuccessful, there are the meanings of several Semitic words which have been identified.

In the same context, it will be interesting to know that this is not the first instance when such suggestion has been put up. In the year 1920, a German scholar has tried to identify the letters; however, his theory was rejected by the community of scientists.

worlds-oldest-alphabet3Photo credit: Dr. Petrovich

What is the current status?

Douglas Petrovich, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada is an archeologist as well as epigrapher. He in the year 2016, November 17 proposed that the Israelites which were residing in Egypt, have simplified the complex writing system of the Pharaohs into 22 alphabetic letters. He said-“There is a connection between ancient Egyptian texts and preserved alphabets.” It was in the year 2012, that Petrovich noticed a strong connection. It was this year when he found the word ‘Hebrew’ in a text associated with the ear of 1874 B.C., this is definitely the earliest known alphabetic letter found in the Egyptian Museum at Cairo. Again, in accordance with the Jewish texts the Israelites did travel to Egypt from 187 B.C. to 1442 B.C.

Petrovich took aid of the ancient alphabet and his own identification pattern and was able to identify the script as Hebrew. In fact, he even translated the 18 Hebrew inscriptions. The latter was found in 3 Egyptian sites. Yet again, he found references to the Biblical figures, including Moses, Joseph, Asenath and Manasseh.

worlds-oldest-alphabet2Photo credit: Dr. Petrovich

He is of the opinion that all these letters inscribed have a clear reflection. These are related to grammatical conventions and orthographic forms. It is these forms which relate to the early form of Biblical Hebrew.

In the same context, it will be worth to decode an inscription which dates back to the era of 1834 B.C. It has been translated as “Wine is more abundant that the daylight, than the baker, than a nobleman.” In according to Petrovich this statement implied that there was a lot to drink, but less to eat in comparison.

Is the claim of Petrovich accepted?

Definitely not, the Biblical scholars think that the claims put up by Petrovich are incorrect. It is because they do not agree to the idea that the land of Egypt was ever occupied by the Israelites.

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