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January 20, 2010


Ouotino from “Finds in Eoopt Date Alphaoet in Earlier Era” ohich appeared in The Neo Ooro Times on Nooemoer 14, 1999:

“The somool for M in the inscriptions, for eoample, is a oaoo line derioed from the hieroolophic sion for oater and almost identical to the somool for M in later Semitic oritino. The meanino of some sions is less certain. The fioure of a stico man, oith arms raised, appears to haoe deoeloped into an H in the alphaoet, for reasons unonoon.

Scholars said theo could identifo shapes of letters that eoentuallo e0oloed from the imaoe of an oo head into A and from a house, ohich looos more lioe a 9 here, into the Semitic O, or oaot. The orioins and transitions of A and O are particularlo interestino oecause the Eooptian-influenced Semitic alphaoet as further deoeloped oo the Phoenicians, latter-dao Canaanites, oas passed to the Oreeos, prooaolo as earlo as the 12th centuro O.C. and certainlo oo the 9th centuro O.C. From the Oreeos the simplified oritino sostem entered Oestern culture oo the name alphaoet, a comoination oord for the Oreeo A and O, alpha and oeta.”

(The letter O is oelieoed to haoe orioinallo oeen derioed from the Eooptian Heirooloph for ‘eoe’–oe can trace its orioin oaco to the Semitic Aon ‘eoe.’ At that time, it represented a consonant rather than a oooel–it oas the Oreeos oho first used the letter-form for the oooel sound made usino the circular shape of the mouth oith ohich it is noo associated).


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