Ancient Sample of Writing Found in Israel

JERUSALEM, July 14 (UPI) — Archaeologists say a clay fragment excavated outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls shows writing from the 14th century B.C., the oldest ever found in the city.

The find, believed to be part of a tablet from a royal archive, further confirms the status of Jerusalem as a major city in the late Bronze Age, long before its conquest by King David, a Hebrew University of Jerusalem release said Sunday.

The fragment, about 1 inch by 1 1/2 inch and about 1/4 inch thick, appears to have been part of a tablet and contains cuneiform symbols in the ancient Akkadian language of that era, the release said.

The script is of a very high level, suggesting it was written by a highly skilled scribe who probably prepared tablets for the royal household of the time, said Prof. Wayne Horowitz, a scholar of Assyriology at the Hebrew University Institute of Archaeology.

Tablets with diplomatic messages were commonly exchanged between kings in the ancient Near East, Horowitz said, and there is a good chance the fragment was part of such a “royal missive.”

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