Proto-Canaanite alphabet

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Proto-Canaanite is the name given to

(a) the Proto-Sinaitic script when found in Canaan.[1]
(b) the early Phoenician script before some cut-off date, typically 1050 BCE. The Phoenician, Hebrew, and other Canaanite dialects were largely indistinguishable before that time.[2]
(c) a hypothetical ancestor of the Phoenician script, with an undefined affinity to Proto-Sinaitic.[3]

In the case of (c), Proto-Canaanite is generally assumed to have been pictographic, but no such script is attested, and illustrations of it are modern inventions.[4]


  1. ^ Woodard, Roger (2008), The Ancient Languages of Syria-Palestine and Arabia .
  2. ^ Naveh, Joseph (1987), "Proto-Canaanite, Archaic Greek, and the Script of the Aramaic Text on the Tell Fakhariyah Statue", in Miller; et al., Ancient Israelite Religion .
  3. ^ Coulmas, Florian (1996). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-21481-X. 
  4. ^ Goldwasser, Orly (Mar–Apr 2010). "How the Alphabet Was Born from Hieroglyphs". Biblical Archaeology Review. 36 (2). 

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