New History of Alphabet

(May 30, 2023) Syllabic cuneiform writing (examples: BAB, BA, AB) was invented by the Sumerians around 3500 BCE for writing on clay. This writing was then adopted by the Akkadian speakers of Mesopotamia during the early Bronze Age for the purposes of empire, trade, and temple. Inspired by this example via contact in Anatolia but needing a simpler lighter writing system, Akkadian speaking Minoan traders around 2000 BCE invented a phonetic writing system for trade and temple (examples: AB, BA). With this system they wrote the Phaistos Disk and Linear A tablets. By 1500 BCE this writing system was further simplified by allowing the phonetic signs to have any trailing vowel sound, in effect, making them a consonant letter sign. This was the birth of the alphabet.

Etruscan fluted bowl trade range
These 800-700 BCE fluted bowls seem to have been made in Etruscan lands in Italy and traded to wherever Akkadian was still spoken (or at least written).

Writing Development was Motivated by Trade Initially Controlled by Temple Palaces

(July 4, 2022) Akkadian became the world’s first empire language for use in temple, trade and government when the world’s first empire was established in Mesopotamia by Sargon of Akkad (2334-2279 BCE). The Akkadians adopted the writing idea from the Sumerian temple estates of southern Mesopotamia and used it to organize their economy and rule. The distant spatial control made possible by writing allowed empires to exist for the first time in history. Writing, trade, and empire go hand in hand.

This first writing scheme was syllabic with each syllable represented by a cuneiform sign. The wedge patterns of cuneiform was a natural way write on clay which was abundant in Mesopotamia. The writing was syllabic (dab, da, ad) because that is the most accurate way to represent sound patterns of a language. Yet this made for a complex writing system only usable by well-educated specialists (scribes). 

By 2000 BCE Akkadian cuneiform writing had spread to distant Anatolia where Akkadian speaking traders from the early Assyrian Empire had established distant trading outposts to ensure their own bronze supply. This is evidenced by their thousands of cuneiform trade tablets found in Anatolia dating to between 2000 and 1800 BCE (Bryce 1998).

This demand for bronze was soon felt along the Anatolian coast and its nearby Islands. By 1900 BCE these regions had copied Assyrian trading methods including cuneiform writing.  


Bryce, Trevor (1998) The Kingdom of the Hittites. Oxford University Press
Olmsted, D. D. (August 13, 2020) Alphabetic Akkadian Texts at Serabit el-Khadim Reference Drought and Magic Crafters (1170- 1140 BCE). Humanities Commons Permanent URL: Online at:

(August 19, 2023) Spread of Alphabetic Akkadian writing as known in 2023. Red is the Bronze Age spread from Minoan Phaistos disk. The northern branch is Minoan Linear A script which became Phoenician script while the southern branch is the Serabit el-Khadim script. At this time the Minoans had extensive trade relations with the New Kingdom of Egypt. Orange is the spread after the collapse of the Bronze Age. The last major Alphabetic Akkadian text is the Codex Runicus of 1190 CE from Denmark. All the Nordic runes texts are Akkadian and this codex (book) is the culmination of Druid philosophical writing which began with the debate recorded on the Minoan Phaistos Disk. The Druid civilization with its decentralized government, trade, religion and freedom of expression was the real beginning of Western (now Oceanic) civilization.

Phaistos Disk as now displayed in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum in Crete. Olmsted personal photo.

Minoan Phaistos Disk (1900 BCE)

The earliest translated example of this new Mediterranean writing is from Crete and is the Minoan Phaistos Disk. It dates to 1800 BCE. Stamps were used to impress the signs upon the unfired clay disk before it was fired. The disk is a philosophical/religious debate about the cause of a drought (Olmsted June 2020). As in Sumeria and Egypt, temples were the main economic centers of the Minoans and they quickly adopted writing for religious purposes.

Some of the signs on the Phaistos Disk are the direct ancestor of the signs used in our alphabet and that allowed for its translation. The transition to phonetic writing allowed the immediate use of letters because they are simply wildcard phonemes in which their following vowel sound can by anything. The Phaistos Disk is a mix of letters and phonemes as shown in the chart below. 

Minoan workshop tag with inscriptions from Malia
Notice the hole for twine at the tip just like modern shipping tags. Sign assignments by Olmsted (Image from foldout 3 of Goldart and Poursat 1978)
Modern shipping tag
Modern shipping tag

Minoan Linear A Shipping Tag 3 From Port City of Malia (1700 BCE)

(May 30, 2023)  The next stage of the alphabet was the elimination of sign stamps and the beginning use of scratching to form signs and letters. This next stage is represented by Minoan Linear A texts and the texts at Wadi el-Hol which appeared after 1700 BCE which had their signs scratched onto clay tablets which were then dried in the sun. This "writing" was also likely soon applied to wood but those have not survived in the archaeological record.

Translation into Akkadian

(read point to base. Large letters on items, small letters are inferred inner vowels. Verb in italic bold)
  1. Gi Pu Qi Ya | (Minoan Text 1.3.1)


  1. For emotional-energy to not affect thread-empowered openings |  ____

This tag describes some as yet unnamed items for use in rituals to inhibit the ability of the motion powers (energy, Gi) from affecting the life powers. Specifically, from inhibiting the flow of the fertility fluids in the threads (channels) which trigger the manifestation of life on earth.


Godart, L. and Poursat, J-C (1978) Malia. Le Quartier Mu 1. Introduction générale par J.-Cl. Poursat. Écriture hiéroglyphique crétoise par L. Godart et J.-P. Olivier. Études crétoises, 23, 1978 - 2021 École Française d'Athènes. Online at:
Minoan Linear A Malia Tablet Listing Ritual Supplies to Eliminate Misery
Linear A text reads left to right. Sign assignments by Olmsted. Minoan Malia Tablet HT 12 (Text Page 24 of Godart, L., and Olivier, J-P (1970).

Minoan Linear A Text From Malia In Linear A Text (1700 BCE)

(May 30, 2023) This text is a list of ritual supplies for motion power rituals involving the full moon god Su. Motion powers push the divine fertility fluids through the life network for triggering Yahu for manifesting life forms on earth.

The text reads:

In Akkadian (Minoan Text 6.1, Malia Tablet HT 12)

  1. Zu  Su  Wa  Še 10
  2. ḪīYa  5  Qi  5
  3. Ṣi  Si  ZaQa  1
  4. ŠuŠu  30  ZīKu  Du
  5. 5 ŠaLu  3  Zi  1
  6. Si  Ya  Na  Ḫu  Ya  50


  1. For emitting of Su’s fate-curses of sameness 10,
  2. for respect 5, for thread-powers (of the life network) 5.
  3. For activity-powers for working with Su-powers 1
  4. liquorice-root, 30 emotional-purifiers. For life-manifestations 
  5. 5. For Salu (Selene) 3. For elimination-powers 1.
  6. For Su-powers not affecting the Revealer by not affecting Hu 50.

Minoan Writing Jumps to the Israelites and Phoenicians of the Levant (1500 BCE to 1200 BCE)

Notice that while a few signs were alphabetic in the Cretan Malia texts, more signs are alphabetic in these texts.

Map showing caravan route out of the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor through the  Wadi el-Ḥôl
Map showing caravan route out of the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor through the  Wadi el-Ḥôl and heading towards the oases in the desert. The inscriptions were found one day out from Luxor where the caravanners would have camped.

(Jan 15, 2023) This is the first translation of the two graffiti texts found at the exit of Wadi el-Ḥôl ("Wadi of Terror") in the Qena bend area of Egypt. These texts were found by John and Deborah Darnell during their 1993-94  excavation season (Darnell, and all 2005). Their location was the first night’s camping spot on a caravan route out of Luxor, the longtime Egyptian capital in the center of the country. At the time Luxor was re-establishing its power and would soon become the capital of a newly reunited Egypt in 1550 BCE. Its 18th dynasty rulers (1550-1295 BCE) would soon reunite Egypt by throwing out the Akkadian speaking rulers from the Levant known as the Hyksos (c. 1640-1550 BC). Based upon later Minoan buildings found in the Hyksos capital of Avaris, the Luxor Egyptians seem to formed an alliance with the Minoans who taught their writing to the Akkadian speakers of the Levant (the Israelites).


Darnell, J.C.; Dobbs-Allsopp, F.W.; Lundberg, M.J.; McCarter, P.K.; Zuckerman, B. (2005) Two Early Alphabetic Inscriptions from the Wadi el-Ḥôl. The Annual of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Volume 59. Boston. American School of Oriental Research. Online at:
Shaw, Ian -editor (2000) Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press
Egyptian Wadi el-Ḥôl Horizontal Inscription. Photo from Darnell and all, 2005. Sign assignments by Olmsted using Bronze Age Sign Chart.

Photo from West Semitic Research Project, Photo by Bruce Zuckerman with scratched inscriptions inked for clarity by Marylin Lundberg 1999. Online at:
White letter assignments added by David Olmsted

The Horizontal Inscription at Wadi el-Ḥôl Egypt Is a Minoan Linear A Variant Which Defends Magic (1500 BCE)

(May 30, 2023) This text defends magic as a necessary component of the divine realm. The shapes of these letters are intermediate between the signs of the Phaistos Disk and Linear A indicating the author is not Minoan but someone else, probably an Akkadian speaking Phoenician because Phoenicians were always for magic.

Akkadian Translation (Sinai Text 1.2)

  1. A  Su  MūBû  Na
  2. ḪaMû  Inu  Ku  Nu  Mu
  3. Na  Lu  Bu  Gu


  1. Those Su powers are mobilizing the Revealer (Yahu),
  2. Mobility from the Moon-Eye (Su) is getting involved with Revealer's fertility-fluids 
  3. The Revealer is lacking energized nourishments 
Egyptian Wadi el-Ḥôl Vertical Inscription. Photo from Darnell and all, 2005. Sign assignments by Olmsted using Bronze Age Sign Char
Egyptian Wadi el-Ḥôl Vertical Inscription. Photo from Darnell and all, 2005. Sign assignments by Olmsted using Bronze Age Sign Chart.

The Vertical Inscription at Wadi el-Ḥôl Egypt Is a Minoan Linear A Variant Which Attacks Magic (1500 BCE)

(May 30, 2023) The large Egyptian Ankh life sign (head, outstretched arms, body) indicates the text is about life powers. In this case the text is stating that the fertility fluids which flow through the life network are not being pushed enough, that is, they are not being energized. Blame is being placed on magic.

The shapes of these letters are intermediate between the signs of the Phaistos Disk and Linear A indicating the author is not Minoan but someone else, probably an Akkadian speaking Israelite because Israelites were always against magic.

Akkadian Translation (Sinai Text 1.1)

(read top to bottom. Large letters on items, small letters are inferred inner vowels. Verb in italic bold)
  1. Mu WA Tu Gu 
  2. Ḫu Pu Qu
  3. Tu Ya 
  4. WA Ri Lu


  1. Fertility-fluids are energized by fate-curses of magic
  2. Hu (Sun god representing the life network) is opening the threads
  3. Don't make magic 
  4. Fate-curses cause a lack of eagle-vulture-powers


Eagle-Vultures edit the connections of the life threads (channels)

Minoan Linear A Ivory Comb Text from Lachish Israel (1400 BCE)

(November 21, 2022)

Text in Akkadian Linear A

(Read right to left. Capital letters on object. Small letters are inferred Inner vowels. Verb is italic bold). 
  1. [                     ] Gi
  2. Qu  AKu [ 2 ]P Ḫi          -  (P has no vertical handle, Ḫi is more image based than normal for this time and likely is the missing Phaistos Disk version)
  3. ŠiGi  ṢMa  Qu  Ki  Q‘ u  Nu    -  (notice the small vertical line on the Ṣ which is a merger of Linear A styles)

(Dual use letters are E/H, I/Y, U/W, and '/A in which vowel appears at beginning of words except for Yahu which is keeping its traditional Hebrew transliteration)

Text Translated into English

  1. ……. emotional-energy
  2. Life-threads, emotion-owls [2 unreadable words ] Hu-powers
  3. Conflict is dehydrating the threads which involves envy of the Revealer (Yahu)

Shin (Ṣ) and Sade (Š) sounds in Alphabetic Akkadian are reversed from Hebrew, a fact which seems to be reflected in the Shibboleth story of Judges 12:6.


  1. The only word remaining in this line indicates the text is talking about magical emotional energy. Feelings are what was transmitted to the divine realm.
  2. Hu is the connective masculine life power who was represented by the sun. At a deeper level he represented the life network which transmitted life powers (fertility fluids) to the earth from the divine realm. Emotion owls are the mechanism in which emotion magic affects this life network (life-threads). This line is missing its verb so we do not know what sort of interaction is happening.
  3. The root cause of some drought are the feelings of envy in the population which is driving conflict. The target of this envy or anger is Yahu to when triggered by the fertility fluids reveals and manifests the invisible life-forms. A common epithet for Yahu is "Revealer." The "power of Yahu" is "Yahweh."


Daniel Vainstub, Madeleine Mumcuoglu, Michael G. Hasel, Katherine M. Hesler, Miriam Lavi, Rivka Rabinovich, Yuval Goren and Yosef Garfinkel (2022). A Canaanite’s Wish to Eradicate Lice on an Inscribed Ivory Comb from Lachish. Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology 2: 76–119. ISSN: 2788-8819;; https://jjar.huji.Also online at:
Photo of alphabetic inscription from Mine L at Serabit el-Khadim
Photo and drawing of Butin’s inscription 353 (text 3) from Mine L (Butin 1928). It is now at the Cairo Museum were it was deposited by Petrie. Red letter assignments by Olmsted

Wall Relief from Mine L at Serabit el-Khadim Blames Human Emotion Magic for Causing the Great Drought (Sinai Text 3)

(August 6) Only one sign in this text is phonetic like that found in Minoan Linear A. This text blames human emotion magic for causing chaos in the network. It absolves from blame the astrological motion powers. This anti-magic-crafter theme indicates it was written by the Israelite culture.

Text In Akkadian

(starts at top right. Capital letters on tablet, verbs in italic bold)

Right Column (Sinai Text 3.1)

  1. ETû  DâṢu  NaMû
  2. aMȗ  Ḫu  Bā’u  LeTû

Middle Column (Sinai Text 3.2)

  1. INu  EŠû  NâṢu
  2. A  Gȗ  U  Tu Gu is Linear A

Left Column (Sinai Text 3.3)

  1. E  ITtu ŠâMu
  2. A  Tu  Lu  Dȗ  LâŠu  Nu

In English

Right Column - agreement on the problem

  1. The boundary is disrespecting the fertility-fluid-Revealer (Yahu)
  2. Dehydration splits-off Hu's nest (life-network)

Middle Column - magic motion powers are the cause

  1. The moon-eye (Su) is confusing the repulsions
  2. That energizing is being done by magic

Left Column - life powers are the cause

  1. Nothing is obligated by the omens
  2. These magic-powers are lacking life-manifestation influences of the Revealer

The right column is blaming the life power's middle layer of the Ancient Pagan Paradigm (boundary) for a drought. The network is not allowing fertility fluids to flow through it. These fertility fluids are needed to trigger the life form manifestations by the Revealer (god Yahu). The drying-out (dehydration) of fertility fluids  causes the network (nest) represented by the sun god Hu to split-off from the Revealer.

The middle column blames the magic crafters for making the flow of the fertility fluids chaotic. These fluids are pushed through the channels by repulsion.

The last column absolves the motion powers from the astrological night sky. The drought is not due to fate but due to magic crafters.

Philistine ritual bowl from Qubur al-Walaydah which is identified by its text style and theme.
This is a Philistine ritual bowl from Qubur al-Walaydah which is identified by its text style and theme. This bowl dates to the early Iron Age 1A period (Lehmann and all, 2010) which puts it at 1160 BCE soon after the Philistines settled the coast of the Levant.


Lehmann, G. Rosen, S.A. Berlejung, A, Neumeier, B.A. Niemann, H.M. (2010) Excavations at Qubur al-Walaydah, 2007–2009. In Die Welt des Orients, 40. Jahrgang, S. 137–159, ISSN 0043-2547 Vandenhoeck and Ruprecht GmbH and Co. KG, Göttingen. Online at:
Olmsted, D.D. (August 2020-2) Three Religiously Themed Philistine Texts in Alphabetic Akkadian (1160-960 BCE). Humanities Commons Permanent URL: Online at:

Qubur al-Walaydah Bowl From Philistine Coast Mentions Drought And Indicates Aegean Islanders Were Literate By This Time - 1160 BCE 

(May 31, 2022) This text indicates the Aegean islanders were using writing for some time because the letter styles were getting more cursive for fast writing in  ink.

Translation in Akkadian (Levant Text 4.1 )

(read right to left. Capital letters on object. Small letters are inferred Inner vowels. Verbs in italic bold)
  1. ṢaMu  Gâ’u  Bu |
  2. Pu  ABu |
  3. ṢaDu ...

In English

  1. Dehydration is breaking-out the nourishments (for the divine-powers) |
  2. Those are being opened by the life priests (fathers) |
  3. Feeding …

This bowl was found during a 1977 rescue dig by Rudolf Cohen at a small 2 hectare (80 meters in diameter) settlement at the head of Nahal Besor (Wadi Gaza) as shown in the image at the top of this page. This location suggests that it was originally a military outpost and trading center between the Philistines and the Israelites.

This bowl dates to the Iron Age 1A period (Lehmann and all, 2010) which ranges from 1190 - 1140 BCE. This was the period of the 50 year great drought which ended the Bronze Age. While the archaeological remains at the beginning of this period are qualitatively poor like this bowl by the end of this period  prosperity had returned such that the Philistines were able to import overseas trade goods and create more colorful pottery (the bichrome ware).

This small settlement had a central building which was a fortress-like mud-brick building  having outer walls of 1.5 to 2 meters and standing two stories tall. (Lehmann and all, 2010). The floors were cobble and earth. Yet sometime after the Sea People took over the area an earthquake occurred causing the walls to fall inward. This debris preserved the artifacts then in the building. Besides various types of bowls a flint scythe was found with a shiny gloss on the blade indicating it had been used in nearby agriculture production. This shows that agriculture was returning and explains the focus of the text. After the earthquake a poor squatter’s settlement was built on top of the ruins.

Photo of Black Sarcophagus 1 from Sidon which is  mistakenly called the Tabnit Sarcophagus due to a prior false translation
Photo of Black Sarcophagus 1 from Sidon is  mistakenly called the Tabnit Sarcophagus due to a prior false translation. The alphabetic text on the bottom is read from right to left. The sarcophagus dates to the great drought which ended the bronze age. It is now in the Istanbul archaeological museum.  (Photo from Wikimedia Commons).
This sarcophagus was discovered by Turkish archaeologist Osny Bey Hamdy on May 31, 1887 in a necropolis just east of Sidon (Hamdy and Hamdy-Bey 1887, Eiselen 1907).It is inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphics on its body and Alphabetic Akkadian in Phoenician letters on its base. The translation of the hieroglyphic text indicates that the sarcophagus belonged to an Egyptian general named Penptah who died in Lebanon while the Egyptians controlled the city. This Egyptian control ended during the great drought (1200 to 1140 BCE) which brought the Bronze Age to an end. The last pharaoh in control of Sidon was thus Ramesses III (1184-1153 BCE). This time frame is supported by the alphabetic Akkadian text which is discussing that drought.

Sidon Sarcophagus 1 Belongs To Egyptian General Penptah Who Died During the Great Drought Absolves Magic of Blame (1170 BCE)

(August  14, 2022) This text at the bottom of the sarcophagus absolves magic crafters of any blame for the Great Drought which ended the Bronze Age. This is because their emotion magic was not powerful enough to overcome the storm of generated human emotions like envy which inhibited the flow of fertility fluids through the life network. Without this flow, the Opener (Asher, Asherah) cannot open her gate and allow the Revealer (Yahu) to manifest the life forms.

Translation in Akkadian (Levant Text 11)

(read right to left)

  1. Annu pu qu. Bu nu qu pu e. Ne’u ki qera qamu ya. Pu šēru nu. Mu bu nu.
  2. Aku mu ne’u. Zu ru pu e. Ne’u ki pu raqu ya. Pu šēru nu. Mu ki pu. Bibu aru nu
  3. Zu matu. Aqu pu ya. A ramu aku. Qulu du. A tu qu e. Aru nu zu ayu qu.
  4. Laqu hu'u. Ya qu tawu. Ayu qu ruggu. Zu napu a tu. Aru ya napu sâlu, Su lu a tu.  Aru inu.
  5. Ḫu ru ši. Upu imi nu. Māmȗ ki rabu. Ya qu anu pu, ki pu bibu. Aru nu zu. Nuzu ayu palu qu
  6. Hū’u ya qu. Tawu ayu qeru. Gi zu nâpu. Qi’u bu. Qi’u ki qeru qu. Erru bu ru. E aw am lagu.
  7. Ḫu qu laqu ḫū’u. Ya qu tawu ru. Gi zuqu ruqu zunu. Ayu tēnȗ ya zu. Rē’û bu Ḫu. Tu miqqu. E qu kamu.
  8. u umu kapu bu aqu. Ru lu amu.

In English

  1. Considerations (focused emotions) can open the life-threads. Nourishments (offerings) for the Revealer (Yahu) cannot open life-threads. Effective-action involves not burning (killing) the fate-callers (prophets). The Opener (Thu) conducts the Revealer (Yahu). Fertility-fluids nourish the Revealer.
  2. Emotion-owls affect the fertility-fluid's emissions. Eagle-vultures do not make openings. Effective-action involves not spurning the Opener. The Opener conducts the Revealer.  Fertility-fluids are involved with to the Opener. Gating controls the Revealer.
  3. The emissions are being murdered. Expectations are not being opened (not being met). That is releasing the emotion-owls. The fields are not being manifested.  That magic is is emitting nothing. The Controllers (Ayu and eagle-vultures) should be revealing the emissions from Ayu's life-threads.
  4. Dominate the astrological owls. Are not the threads being pastured. Ayu's threads are false. Emissions are being filtered by that magic. Don't control the filter with aroma-offerings (animal sacrifices). Su lacks that magic. Control the moon-eye.
  5. Hu is the same-power as the eagle-vultures. Wind-powers reveal the emotion-powers. Water is due to the authorities (planets). Are not the threads being considered by the Opener due to the opener being a gate? The Controllers should be revealing the emissions. The emptiness of Ayu is ruling the life-threads
  6. Astrological-Owls do not affect the life-threads. The pasture (starry night sky) calls fate on Ayu. Emotional-energy is emitting the filter (network). Envy is being nourished. Envy is involved with calling-fate on the life-threads. The enclosed-region (life source) is nourishing the eagle-vultures. No motion-power dominates the reed-boat (crescent moon goddess Ayu).
  7. Hu’s life-threads are being dominated by the astrological owls (of fate). Are not the life-threads being pastured by the eagle-vultures? Emotional-energy is blowing difficulty on the rain. Ayu is not replacing the emissions. The shepherds (magic crafters) should be nourishing Hu. Magic is being undermined. None of the life-threads are being bound.
  8. Stormy activity is handing back the expected nourishments. Eagle-vultures are going without the Reed-Boat.


Eiselen, Frederick C. (1907) Sidon, a Study in Oriental History. MacMillan, New York. Online at:
Hamdy, J. and Hamdey-Bey (1887) Mémorie sur une Nécropole Royale Découverte a Saida. Revue Archéologique. Troisième Série. T. 10 Julliet-Decémbre. pp 138-150
Bronze Age letter chart showing their Akkadian origin page 1
Bronze Age letter chart showing their Akkadian origin page 2