The first alphabet created from Egyptian hieroglyphs in the Sinai area was picked up by Phoenician traders in the 11th century BC. They adopted the new system and altered it to suit their own needs and spread their standardised version across the Mediterranean.
This 2,700-year-old stone seal bears the name of King Sidqa from biblical Canaan. It is written from right to left in a local variety of Phoenician characters. It contains a letter based on an ox-head, which is more abstract than its earlier form and has turned on its side, with horns pointing to the right. It is a bit closer to what we now know as a capital “A”.
- Full title:
- Stamp-seal with inscription in Phoenician script
- 8th century BC, Palestine
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