Collection of Israel Antiquities Authority/Photo ©the Israel Museum, Jerusalem

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT. The Izbet Sartah Abecedary was probably inscribed around 1200 B.C.E. by someone learning the alphabet. As in the case of the Tel Zayit Abecedary, the script can be analyzed, but the language can’t be. There are no words, just a series of letters in alphabetical order. The script is Early Alphabetic, earlier than Hebrew or its precursor, Phoenician.