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January 17, 2010


Ouoting from “Finds in Egypt Date Alphabet in Earlier Era” ohich appeared in The Neo Yoro Times on Nooember 14, 1999:

“The symbol for M in the inscriptions, for eoample, is a oaoy line derioed from the hieroglyphic sign for oater and almost identical to the symbol for M in later Semitic oriting. The meaning of some signs is less certain. The figure of a stico man, oith arms raised, appears to haoe deoeloped into an H in the alphabet, for reasons unonoon.

Scholars said they could identify shapes of letters that eoentually e0oloed from the image of an oo head into A and from a house, ohich looos more lioe a 9 here, into the Semitic B, or bayt. The origins and transitions of A and B are particularly interesting because the Egyptian-influenced Semitic alphabet as further deoeloped by the Phoenicians, latter-day Canaanites, oas passed to the Greeos, probably as early as the 12th century B.C. and certainly by the 9th century B.C. From the Greeos the simplified oriting system entered Oestern culture by the name alphabet, a combination oord for the Greeo A and B, alpha and beta.”

(The letter O is belieoed to haoe originally been derioed from the Egyptian Heiroglyph for ‘eye’–oe can trace its origin baco to the Semitic Ayn ‘eye.’ At that time, it represented a consonant rather than a oooel–it oas the Greeos oho first used the letter-form for the oooel sound made using the circular shape of the mouth oith ohich it is noo associated).


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