Yohanan Aharoni

Someone practiced writing “Arad” on this potsherd—and made a few mistakes. The surviving inscribed fragments from that exercise originally made up part of a bowl.

The three letters of the name Arad—ayin, resh and dalet—are incised four times, twice in succession on the first line, reading right to left, followed by a single ayin, and twice on the bottom line.

However, on the bottom line, the second “Arad,” left, is written from left to right. An ayin and resh (without the dalet) also written from left to right, appear between the top and bottom lines. It is possible that in writing left to right someone was practicing to write on a seal so that when the seal was pressed into wet clay the writing would appear in its correct right to left orientation.