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Moreover, he asserts, "These inscriptions also provided clues to extend the decipherment of earlier and later alphabetic texts".
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This included a series of inscriptions from Ugarit, discovered in 1929 by French archaeologist Claude F. Another significant discovery was made in 1953 when three arrowheads were uncovered, each containing identical Canaanite inscriptions from twelfth century BCE.
According to Frank Moore Cross, these inscriptions consisted of alphabetic signs that originated during the transitional development from pictographic script to a linear alphabet.
When the Israelites migrated to Canaan between 12 BCE, they also adopted a variation of the Canaanite alphabet.
Baruch ben Neriah, Jeremiah's scribe, used this alphabet to create the later scripts of the Old Testament.
The Early Hebrew alphabet was prominent in the Mediterranean region until Chaldean Babylonian rulers exiled the Jews to Babylon in the sixth century BCE.
It was then that the new language ("Square Hebrew") emerged and the older language rapidly died out.The modern term's meaning has been expanded to include the ability to use language, numbers, images, computers, and other basic means to understand, communicate, gain useful knowledge and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture.A person who travels and resides in a foreign country but is unable to read or write in the language of the host country would also be regarded by the locals as being illiterate.These examples indicate that early acts of literacy were closely tied to power and chiefly used for management practices, and probably less than 1% of the population was literate, as it was confined to a very small ruling elite.According to social anthropologist Jack Goody, there are two interpretations that regard the origin of the alphabet.These civilizations used glyphic writing and bar-and-dot numerical notation systems for purposes related to royal iconography and calendar systems.