Oldest Hebrew Script Found
AN ARCHAELOGIST in Israel claims that five lines of ancient Hebrew script may be the oldest ever found. The lines have been found on a shard of pottery by a teenager on a "dig" 20km southwest of Jerusalem
Five lines of ancient script on a shard of pottery could be the oldest example of Hebrew writing ever discovered, an archaeologist in Israel says.
The shard was found by a teenage volunteer during a dig about 20km (12 miles) south-west of Jerusalem.
Experts at Hebrew University said dating showed it was written 3,000 years ago - about 1,000 years earlier than the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Other scientists cautioned that further study was needed to understand it.
Preliminary investigations since the shard was found in July have deciphered some words, including judge, slave and king.
The characters are written in proto-Canaanite, a precursor of the Hebrew alphabet.
Lead archaeologist Yosef Garfinkel identified it as Hebrew because of a three-letter verb meaning "to do" which he said was only used in Hebrew.
"That leads us to believe that this is Hebrew, and that this is the oldest Hebrew inscription that has been found," he said.
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