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Wadi el-Hôl Inscription 2 and The Early Semitic Alphabetic Graph *ǵ, *ǵull-, “yoke”

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In the second of two early alphabetic inscriptions from the Wadi el-Hôl in Egypt, an unidentified graph appears twice. I hypothesize that the acrophone for the graph is the double ox-yoke with neck thongs on each end, which was called a *ǵullu, “yoke” in Proto-Northwest Semitic. According to this hypothesis, *ǵullu is the acrophone for the Proto-Semitic phoneme */ǵ/. On this basis, I offer a tentative decipherment of the inscription.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-06-01

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  • Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel is a new, peer-reviewed, quarterly journal focusing primarily on the biblical texts in their ancient historical contexts, but also on the history of Israel in its own right. Each issue has a topical focus. The primary language is English, but articles may also be published in German and French. A specific goal of the new journal is to foster discussion among different academic cultures within a larger international context pertaining to the study of the Hebrew Bible and ancient Israel in the first millennium B. C. E.
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