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Alphabet May Have Been Invented Almost 4,000 Years Ago by Canaanite Laborers - Inscriptions resembling Egyptian hieroglyphics left behind during a mining expedition by Canaanite miners 4,000 years ago may be the beginning of the alphabet
Alphabet May Have Been Invented Almost 4,000 Years Ago by Canaanite Laborers

 

NewswireToday - /newswire/ - Washington, DC, United States, 2010/03/03 - Inscriptions resembling Egyptian hieroglyphics left behind during a mining expedition by Canaanite miners 4,000 years ago may be the beginning of the alphabet.

   
 
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A startling new theory regarding the origins of the alphabet has emerged from research deep in the Egyptian desert. Hebrew University Egyptologist Orly Goldwasser has presented a new theory regarding one of the most significant inventions in human history in the current March/April issue of Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR).

Almost 4,000 years ago, laborers sent by the Egyptian Pharaoh toiled to extract highly prized turquoise from quarries in the Sinai desert at a site that is called Serabit el-Khadem today. During the course of these ancient mining expeditions, the laborers left behind numerous inscriptions that were not hieroglyphs but rather seemed to be crude imitations of the Egyptian’s written language.

Professor Goldwasser hypothesizes that many of these laborers were Canaanites, who drew upon the hieroglyphs that formed the pictorial language of their world in order to develop a proto-alphabet. She believes this was accomplished by assigning an acrophonic value to each pictograph of the Egyptian script, thus creating a script where each image represents a sound rather than a word. She further asserts that, due to this unique genesis of a written alphabet, our own modern, Western script contains the visual echoes of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

To read the full article, please visit bib-arch.org. The newest issue of the Biblical Archaeology Review is on sale now with even more interesting articles relating to biblical archaeology!

 
 
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Alphabet May Have Been Invented Almost 4,000 Years Ago by Canaanite Laborers

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