As we went to press, we received a communication from a distinguished senior Israeli epigrapher, Aaron Demsky, also disagreeing with Professor Christopher Rollston’s conclusion rejecting all four candidates for the oldest Hebrew inscription. Professor Demsky argues that two of the four contenders are Hebrew inscriptions—the Gezer Calendar and the Izbet Sartah Abecedary. The latter is older and therefore deserves the honor of the oldest Hebrew inscription.
Professor Demsky’s analysis will be a must-read for students and others grappling with the question of what makes a Hebrew inscription. His analysis may be found at www.biblicalarchaeology.org/Demsky