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Re: [ANE-2] Visible Language

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  • Brian Colless
    ... Thanks for this important question, Peter. Naturally I have been pondering over it since my first publications on the subject in Abr- Nahrain in 1988 and
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 30, 2010
      On 30/09/2010, at 5:34 AM, Peter T. Daniels wrote:

      > Can Brian refute Sass's (1988) redating -- or, actually, going back
      > to the
      > original dating in the face of Albright's apparently arbnitrary
      > reassignment --
      > of the Serabit el-Khadem materials to the XII rather than the XVIII
      > Dynasty?
      > (Which makes the el-Hol material contemporary with, not centuries
      > older than,
      > the Serabit.)
      > (all but the directly relevant paragraphs omitted below)
      > --
      > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      > Jersey City
      Thanks for this important question, Peter. Naturally I have been
      pondering over it since my first publications on the subject in Abr-
      Nahrain in 1988 and 1990, and I am happy to try to put forward my case
      here, for the first time, and also give another lesson in reading the
      Sinai inscriptions.

      Note that Sass has now moved his date for the origin of the alphabet
      from the Middle Kingdom to the New Kingdom, specifically circa 1300
      BCE; he will not get away with it; what about the evidence from 16th C
      Gezer and Lachish (see again, below)?

      I suggest that the Wadi Megharah, which has one inscription (ShT
      MHB`LT "Pit beloved of Baalat") is 12thD (MBA, MK), and the Serabit
      inscriptions are from successive expeditions to the turquoise mines in
      the 18th D (LBA, NK). Apparently the Hyksos did not go there.

      Albright dated them as 1550-1450 (he followed Leibovitch in connecting
      the little sphinx with Hatshepsut). My new point is that the form of Q
      on the sphinx (-o< not -o-) in the sentence Dh NQY LB`L[T] ("This is
      my offering to Baalat") is not known till the 18thD. He did not notice
      the Q and its significance.

      Let me now show how and why the Albright school has failed to read the

      The Sinai stelas mention not only mining but also smithing: the term
      KBShN MSh (�melt-furnace�) occurs in Sinai inscriptions 361 (Mine N),
      380 (Mine G), 360 (Mine K), 350 (Mine L, which is joined to Mine M),
      351 (Mine L), 353 (Mine L). This seems to indicate successive

      The equipment for making and remaking the copper tools for the mining
      is mentioned as 'NT ('unutu, Akkadian, and Jewish Aramaic) in S349
      (Mine L). The apparatus for their work has been found at some of
      these sites.

      The 'NT Sh GN in S357 (Mine L) is "garden equipment" (or vessels),
      (1) ' B (skin bag, water bottle, containing water from Bir Nasb, named
      at the site as `(ayin) ' M, "Spring of the Mother (Goddess)"; and
      mentioned in this inscription, M `(ayin) ' M, "water of the spring of
      the Mother' ;
      (2) KD "jug", and a remnant of one was found by the Israeli expedition.

      The Canaanite smiths were there to do the work at the furnaces; in
      S352 (Mine L) they are called BN KR NSK N ("sons of the furnace,
      pourers of copper", with the snake as a rebus/rebogram (rather than a
      logogram) for NHhSh "copper"; it does not always have the feminine
      ending -t).

      The Albrightians (those who follow his table of signs, namely Cross,
      Sass, Hamilton) can not see all this because:
      (1) they take the D of KD as Sh (the only example in the whole
      corpus!!!); D is a door, here a tent-door;

      (2) they insist that the fish was D (dag), and not S; so NSK 'pour'
      becomes invisible in NSK N(HhSh) 'pourers' of copper' (in S352), and
      also in S357 (SK M L 'B, "Pour water from the bag");

      (3 )they have no idea that the the characters of the proto-alphabet
      could be used as logograms and rebograms, and they miss `(ayin)
      'spring', N (snake) as NHhSh 'copper', M as 'water', and LB(ayit) as
      'for the temple(S347a);

      (4) they confuse Ss (Sadey a tied bag) and Q, because they want to
      have RB NSsBN as "chief of the miners' (NQBN 'piercers'), and not
      'chief overseer', so they overlook ThLThT SsBTM 'three handfuls (375)
      {Th from thad, breast), SsRP 'crucible' (372), SsRHh 'excavation
      chamber', and they do not even notice the real Q (qaw, 'line', cord
      wound on stick, -o- and -o<) in QL` 'inscribe' (376), QNT
      'elegy' (363), and NQY 'my offering' on the sphinx;

      (5) they are convinced that the Sh-sign is a 'composite bow' (*thann),
      and read Th (so no kibshan 'furnace', no sha 'of'); the true Th
      (obviously from thad 'breast', and this becomes Shin/Sin in the
      Phoenician consonantary or abgad, for it has the position of Th,
      before T, not the position of Sh, between K and L) is found only in
      S375 in ThLTh 'three', an important word in Semitic decipherment, as
      in the cracking of the cuneiform consonantary on Ugarit tablets;
      As I said:
      The Wadi el-Hol inscription, on its vertical column, has two instances
      of Sh (from shimsh "sun"), a single uraeus serpent with the sun disc
      (cp hieroglyph N6), which is not known till the New Kingdom, as
      distinct from N6B with two serpents, used throughout MK and NK.

      Peter, the new Timna inscription, which you said looked very Egyptian,
      has the double-serpent for Sh, but another one from Timna has the
      single serpent; but they are probably both from the Ramesside period.

      My maligned system has been vindicated; Stefan Wimmer has accepted the
      sun-sign as Sh (from shimsh 'sun'), so the rest of the Albright scheme
      (as outlined above) should now crumble.

      SJ Wimmer, "A P-S inscription in Timna/Israel" (pdf)
      JournalofAncientEgyptianInterconnections | http://jaei.library.arizona.edu
      | Vol. 2:2, 2010| 1�12

      My response:
      "Timna inscriptions"

      Brian Colless, Massey University, NZ

      > ----- Original Message ----
      > > From: Brian Colless <briancolless@...>
      > > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > > Sent: Wed, September 29, 2010 8:12:21 AM
      > > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Visible Language
      > >
      > > We are told that the alphabet was invented in Sinai (What? not in
      > the
      > > Western Desert of Egypt?) and spread to Phoenicia (Invention and
      > > Development of the Alphabet, Joseph Lam, and he probaly had not seen
      > > Orly Goldwasser's musings along the same dubious lines). On the
      > > contrary: the proto-alphabet must have been invented in Syria-
      > > Palestine, in some city influenced by Egypt, and it spread from
      > there
      > > to Sinai and Egypt.
      > >
      > > Gezer, for example, has MBA2 - LBA1 evidence (16th century): M
      > and MM
      > > ("water") on jars, and a dozen other letters; KN B ("temple
      > stand",
      > > house-sign as logogram) on a shard from an MBA offering/incense
      > stand,
      > > from the Gezer high place.
      > >
      > > Lachish has a dagger (MBA2) inscribed SsR NS ("Foe flee") and six
      > more
      > > inscriptions. Nothing on papyrus, of course, but we can assume (with
      > > Anson Rainey contra Orly Goldwasser) that papyrus documents did
      > exist.
      > >
      > > The bilingual Sinai sphinx (with "beloved of Baalat" together with
      > > Egyptian "beloved of Hat-Hor"; who says the Canaanite workers in
      > Sinai
      > > did not understand Egyptian?!) belongs in the New Kingdom period
      > (Late
      > > Bronze Age, not MBA) since it has a form of Q (borrowed from
      > > hieroglyph V25 [ -o<] , a variant of V24 [-o-], cord wound on stick)
      > > which belongs to the 18th Dynasty period (1570 onwards, New
      > Kingdom),
      > > and its face is thought to represent Hatshepsut (15 C).

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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