A 3,500 year old inscription on pottery found in Israel offers “unprecedented insights” into the development of the first alphabets, a study published in the journal Antiquity this week.

The discovery in Tel Lachish, located in south-central Israel, is the oldest piece of writing ever found in Israel. Tel Lachish, which was once a Canaanite centre, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Israel.

Jerusalem Post reports that the artifact was discovered in 2018 during excavations conducted by the Austrian Archaeological Institute at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

“Our excavation started in 2017,” said Dr. Felix Höflmayer, lead author of the paper and co-director of the excavation at Tel Lachish. “We have been looking into obtaining a radiocarbon sequence for the transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age.”

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