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  • Carolynn S. Williams

    House of God Ostracon:- This Ostracon (writing on pottery) was discovered in Arad, an ancient Judean administrative center. Written in ancient Hebrew script dated to the early 6th century BCE, it is presumed to be one of the earliest epigraphic references to the Temple in Jerusalem.A portion of the inscription reads: "To my lord Elyashib,may the Lord seek your welfare and as to the matter which you command me it is well,he is in the House of God"

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Some of these writings are man’s way of creating answers to questions which every person holds within their minds. Namely questioning why they exist, and what their purpose is, and how they came to be, and what is to become of them at the time of their passing. These things have long been desired to know. (z2 of 12)

A particularly interesting artifact from the Solomon Temple reign of King Uzziah of Judah, c. 750 BC, is a small ivory pomegranate - vase shaped with a long neck and petals. Around its shoulder, in an early Hebrew script, is inscribed "Sacred donation for the priests of the House of the Lord ". Like the Temple Ostracon and the David Tablet, this item is also held at the Israel Museum.

~Families of Writing Systems~ Another way to classify writing systems is by "family". This classification can get a bit fuzzy. "Family" can denote a group of writing systems that either have evolved from a common ancestor or have similar "style" or appearance. An example of this latter definition would be Old Persian, which looks like cuneiform but isn't directly descended from Summerian or Akkadian.

“Pillars of a Sabaean moon-god temple near Marib, Yemen loom beyond a broken slab. In the inscription, fathers petition for divine protection of their sons, contemporaries of Jesus.”

Dancer Horvat Qitmit Iron Age II, late 7th - early 6th century BCE Pottery H: 17.5 cm Israel Antiquities Authority

The ancient texts known as the Dead Sea Scrolls are considered one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century, yet to this day they remain shrouded in mystery and controversy. The 2,000-year-old collection of writings, which includes the earliest surviving pieces of the Bible such as the Book of Isaiah, shown here, was discovered in 1947 by a Bedouin shepherd in a cave above the ancient settlement of Qumran.

Perhaps the Oldest European Alphabet Circa 800 BCE. A writing tablet in Greek/Phoenician dating from this time may be the oldest European alphabet, the oldest writing tablet extant, and part of the world's oldest book in codex form. The other old writing tablets are 2 from Nimrod [Nimrud], one ivory, the other walnut wood, dated 707 - 705 BC., in addition to a 8th c. BC Neo-Hittite wood tablet.

Writing Palette and Brushes of Princess Meketaten New Kingdom, Amarna Period Dynasty 18 Reign of Akhenaten ca. 1353–1336 B.C. Medium: Ivory, rush brushes, red, yellow, and black pigments Reed

On Oct. 23, 2012, the Basel Museum of Ancient Art will open an exhibit on this "Atlantis in the Desert." "Petra - Miracle in the Desert" will showcase some 150 artifacts from the city and run until March 17, 2013. Here, one of the few pieces of Nabataean writing to survive.

There are a few archaeologically discovered artifacts from the first Temple's operative era which make specific reference to Solomon's House of the Lord. One of these is known as the Temple Ostracon, which resides in the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. This pottery shard from about 800 BC (in the Jerusalem reign of King Joash of Judah) clearly mentions, in old Hebrew, the Temple of the 'Bayit Yahweh' - the Jerusalem House of the Lord.

This photo displays a reproduction of the oldest known inscription of the name YHWH, the personal name of God (cf. Exodus 3). The writing is in hieroglyphs and is dated to c. 1400 BC. The inscription was discovered in the temple built by the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III in Soleb, which is in modern day Sudan. The text refers to a group of wandering followers of YHWH, possibly the Israelites.

The oldest surviving manuscript of the Lord's Prayer, with fragments from the Gospels of Luke and John. Written in Egypt in Alexandrian-style text. It was donated to the Vatican Library in March 2007.