Message decoded: 3,000-year-old text sheds light on biblical history

A few characters on the side of a 3,000-year-old earthenware jug dating back  to the time of King David have stumped archaeologists until now — and a fresh  translation may have profound ramifications for our understanding of the  Bible.

Experts had suspected the fragmentary inscription was written in the language  of the Canaanites, a biblical people who lived in the present-day Israel. Not  so, says one expert who claims to have cracked the code: The mysterious language  is actually the oldest form of written Hebrew, placing the ancient Israelites in  Jerusalem earlier than previously believed.

“Hebrew speakers were controlling Jerusalem in the 10th century, which  biblical chronology points to as the time of David and Solomon,” ancient Near  Eastern history and biblical studies expert Douglas Petrovich told

“Whoever they were, they were writing in Hebrew like they owned the place,”  he said.

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