According to reports, the language of the first alphabet may have been Hebrew, based on the inscriptions of an ancient tablet believed to date back nearly 4,000 years.
While analyzing 16 Hebrew letters from Ancient Egyptian tablets, Dr. Douglas Petrovich –who spent the last four years piecing together the letters of the alphabet from several ancient Egyptian inscriptions— came to the conclusion that Hebrew may have been the world’s first alphabet, as Israelites in Egypt turned hieroglyphs into letters nearly 4,000 years ago.
During his investigation, Dr. Petrovich came across the names of three biblical figures – Asernath, Ahisamach, and Moses.
However, his new theory is somewhat controversial according to scholars who dispute the Israelites’ presence in Egypt. Others have also indicated that the biblical dates used are totally unreliable.
Scholars have known for years that the oldest alphabet on our planet was a Semitic language. However, which language exactly remained a mystery.
Now, Dr. Petrovich from the Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada believes he may have found the answer.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Dr. Petrovich said:
‘I have no doubt whatsoever that Hebrew is the world’s oldest alphabet’.
According to his theory, Israelites living in Egypt created the first alphabet from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs around 3,800 ago.
This time coincides –according to Dr. Petrovich— with the time the Old Testament describes Jews living in Egypt.
The groundbreaking theory started back in 2012 when Dr. Petrovich was analyzing a tablet called Sinai 115, from 1842 BC.
‘What drew me to Sinai 115 in the first place is that I followed an archaeological trail that led me to identify several specific biblical figures in the epigraphical record,’ said Dr. Petrovich to Daily Mail.
Dr. Petrovich firmly believes the word ‘Hebrews’ was written down on the ancient Tablet.
His translation was: ‘6 Levantines: Hebrews of Bethel, the beloved,’ which referred to Manasseh himself, his son, and four other Hebrews.
Furthermore, he discovered evidence on another inscription which dated back to 1834 BC:
‘Wine is more abundant than the daylight, than the baker, than a nobleman.’
According got Dr. Petrovich, this may suggest that drink was abundant but food was hard to obtain, indicating that the Israelites most likely moved to Egypt at a time of famine.
Dr. Petrovich said that evidence of the presence of Israelites in ancient Egypt had not been discovered before.
Dr. Petrovich indicates that the names of Biblical figures were written down, including Ahisamach, whose name was written on Sinai 375a and Moses, who was mentioned on Sinai 361.
However, Dr. Petrovich concluded that putting down a complete version of the alphabet was not easy by any means. Dr. Petrovich indicates since original Hebrew was ‘acrophonic’ and it leaves a lot of room for ambiguity in the translations.
Dr. Petrovich explained:
‘Let’s say, for the sake of example, that English has no written script,’ Dr. Petrovich explained.
‘And like the ancient Hebrews, you and I are going to invent it…and without vowels.So, we decide that the “boat” pictograph is going to give us the ‘b’ sound. Every time we want someone to read “b”, we draw a boat. We then decide that a “door” will give us the “d” sound, since “d” is what comes first in that word. When we draw a boat and a door side by side, our reader reads, “bed” or “bad”, or “bid”, or “bud”.’
Reference: The Daily Mail