Friday, March 16, 2007

Not just iron, but a cool European way to say it

Followup. Continuing on the subject of the sophistication of the Canaanites, Philistines, et al, Jennifer notes that they were also writing up a storm.

Archaeologists have now found that not only were Philistines cultured, they were also literate when they arrived, presumably from the region of the Aegean Sea, and settled the coast of ancient Palestine around 1200 B. C.

At the ruins of a Philistine seaport at Ashkelon in Israel, excavators examined 19 ceramic pieces and determined that their painted inscriptions represent a form of writing. Some of the pots and storage jars were inscribed elsewhere, probably in Cyprus and Crete, and taken to Ashkelon by early settlers. Of special importance, one of the jars was made from local clay, meaning Philistine scribes were presumably at work in their new home....

[T]he inscriptions “reveal, for the first time, convincing evidence that the early Philistines of Ashkelon were able to read and write in a non-Semitic language, as yet undeciphered.”

But while we talk about all the stuff that the Israelites took from Philistine culture, this little point is interesting.

After the 10th century, the Philistines borrowed their Israelite neighbors’ Old Hebrew script and alphabet then evolving from Phoenician writing.


Sphere: Related Content