Gardiner, Inscriptions of Sinai, Part I

INVENTOR OF THE ALPHABET? On one of the Serabit el-Khadem stelae, Khebeded, “the brother of the Ruler of Retenu,” is shown proudly seated atop a donkey being led by two attendants (see drawing above). While such a depiction would have been considered an insult by most Egyptians, for the Canaanites who labored at the mines, it was a sign of Khebeded’s elevated, even royal, status and, most probably, his high rank within the Canaanite workforce. Was he the Canaanite who invented the alphabet?