Early Hebrew Writing Found

Rich at God and Science, one of my favorite sites, has the following report that I didn't catch:

Introduction -- Skeptics often claim that Old Testament writers exaggerated or made up the existence of the Hebrew kingdoms described in the Old Testament books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Hebrew rulers David and Solomon, are said to be minor players in the region at best, or fictional characters at worst. However, new archeological finds are confirming at least some of the historical claims of the Old Testament. Now, physical evidence confirms that the Hebrews possessed their written language as early as the 10th century B.C.

New evidence -- Archeologists discovered an inscribed stone embedded into the wall of an extensive collection of buildings in Tel Zayit, about 35 miles southwest of Jerusalem. The 40-pound stone consisted of two lines of incised letters, representing the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Although not identical to modern Hebrew, the letters were recognizable as being an early form of the written Hebrew language. The site was given a preliminary date of the 10th century B.C. by examining associated pottery finds.

Conclusion -- The discovery of a 10th century B.C. Hebrew city at Tel Zayit, Israel confirms the existence of a Hebrew kingdom during the reigns of David and Solomon described in the Old Testament books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. The presence of an [sic] stone incised with letters from an early version of the Hebrew language makes it reasonable to speculate that the Hebrews were already recording their history in written records at that time.

The record of archaeological confirmations of aspects of the Biblical story is long -- so long, in fact, that I am amazed at the lack of appreciation archaeologists seem to have for the Biblical records when it describes events that occurred prior to about 600 BC. Ah well, given its track record, I suspect that it will only be a matter of time before things that archaeologists say didn't happen (like the destruction of the walls of Jericho by Joshua) will be confirmed as happening in much the same way as described in the Bible.


slaveofone said…
The Tel Zayit abecedary is rather old news... I haven't heard anything about it since it was discovered. I would've at least expected Biblical Archaeology Review to publish something on it with detailed photographs...
johnknoefler said…
can anyone point me to the photos of this stone ... hopefully with detailed graphic versions that I can copy. I am very interested in early Hebrew... johnknoefler@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance.

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