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Hebrew Script

22 January 2010

Science Daily January 8th 2010 … a researcher has decyphered a Hebrew inscription on a pottery sherd from the Elah Valley and dating to the time of David and Solomon, the 10th century BC. This makes it possible that some Biblical scripture was written down during the united Monarchy period which is many years before conventional research allows. The writing, i) came from a provincial area of Judah and it could be that more advanced writing was taking place in Jerusalem, and ii) it suggests Judah was not necessarily a backward place in the 10th century, reasonable if the United Monarchy was real, and iii) some of the Bible could have been written down as early as the 10th century BC. However, in the context of a revision of history, and there are several schemes in print, this text is less significant. For example, recent research on early texts such as this one tend to place them somewhat later (see Bob Porter in his Recent Archaeology section in SIS publications). Likewise, the find has been dated via the Mazar chronology (and their favoured C14 laboratory) but in the Finkelstein revision (and his favoured C14 laboratory) this inscription would belong at least 50 years later – more in tune  with current epigraphic realignment. Secondly, revisions that bring the Late Bronze Age into the 10th century, or even later, indicate such scripts may have to be relocated in the 9th or 8th centuries BC. In addition, the LB Canaanite inhabitants of Syria-Palestine had the ability to write and record but used cuneiform rather than a script. In that respect the find changes little – unless you follow the Mazar chronology.

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