Erich Lessing

Hebrew homework. The small limestone tablet known as the Gezer calendar describes the yearly agricultural cycle. Because both the language and the script contain archaic elements, the tablet is thought to be the earliest extant Hebrew inscription. Signs of erasing suggest that it may have been a practice tablet, perhaps belonging to a scribe’s apprentice.

Most scholars date the Gezer calendar to the tenth century B.C. Israel Finkelstein, however, assigns the Gezer calendar to the ninth century B.C. In his view, “meaningful writing” did not appear in Israel before the eighth century B.C.