Elah Fortress Ostracon

This ostracon, found at Khirbet Qeiyafa, may be the oldest Hebrew text ever found. The writing, on pottery using charcoal and animal fat for ink, is in so-called proto-Canaanite script and appears to be a letter or document in Hebrew.

The site of Khirbet Qeiyafa is one of the few excavated sites dating to the 10th century BCE. Because of the scarcity of archaeological evidence from this period, many scholars doubt the historical veracity of the biblical description of the great kingdom of David. The recent discoveries at Khirbet Qeiyafa open a window into the 10th century BCE, since they provide evidence of settlement during that period.

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