Early Semitic Scripts


This inscription, discovered by William Flinders Petrie in 1904, dated to about 1500 BCE, was found on rocks in Serabit El-Khadim in the Sinai Penninsula. The ancinet letter 'aleph' is clearly visible in the upper left corner of the image. Not as visible is the letter 'lamed' below the aleph, and the letter 'mem' to the right of the aleph, forming the word m'el meaning 'from God'. More.





This is another inscription from Serabit El-Khadim discovered by Petrie. A portion of the inscription reads MT LB'LT (mat l'ba'alt) meaning "death to/for Ba'alt" (The word Ba'alt is the feminine form of the word ba'al meaning 'lord/master'). More.





This is another inscription from Serabit El-Khadim discovered by Petrie. The letter at the top is 'aleph' and below that is the letter 'beyt' spelling the Semitic word 'av' meaning 'father.' More.





Another inscription from Serabit El-Khadim also discovered by Petrie. More.





This inscription was discovered in 1999 by John and Deborah Darnell in Egypt. This inscription is about 4,000 years old and is the oldest example discovered to date of the ancient Semitic script. While an accurate translation of the full inscription is not possible, a possible translation is "many rise and toil from the [unknown word/s] from the city." More.