|Language||Manuscript on ostracon|
|Place/Date||Date between 1700BC till 1200BC
Place have been found in Erez Israel.
|Physical app.||50x35mm, letters are in black on terra-colored sherd. The letters are clear enough to be deciphered. Interesting piece.|
|Content||Ostraca were common writing materials in antiquity which were used mainly for writing receipts, temporary records, lists of names,etc., but some letters written on potsherds have also been found. Ostraca from the Middle Bronze Age II (c.1788-1550 BC) have been found in Erez Israel; the earliest one comes from the pile of debris left by Macalister after his excavations at Gezer. It appears to represent a traditional stage between the pro to-Sinaitic script and Hebrew-Phoenician alphabetic writing and has been deciphered as klb (“Caleb”).A later example of this transitional stage of writing appears on an ostracon from Tell el-Hesi discovered in the stratum attributed to the beginning of the late Bronze Age II (c.1400-1200BC) which Sayce proposed reading .Three inscribed potsherds from Lachish,probably dedicatory inscriptions, and one from Tell al-Ajjul, are dated to the 13th century BC. An ostracon found at Beth-Shemesh belongs to the transitional period between the Middle and Late BronzeAge but since it is written in ink,the potsherd and the inscription cannot be definitely dated to the same period. It seems to date to the beginning of the 12th century BC and apparently contains a list of names of workers,the number of their work days,and names of the employers. It is the first ostracon found in Erez Israel which contains numerals. The latest ostracon from Erez Israel was found at Tell ab-Sarim in the Beth-Shean Valley and probably dates to the beginning of the first century BC. These ostrich are most valuable for tracing the development of the alphabet.