Researchers have come across the earliest instance of a full-sentence written with alphabet letters. Surprisingly, the sentence was found on a 3,700-year-old lice comb made of ivory. The inscription is written in Canaanite, which is the earliest alphabet that laid the foundation for Latin and English. As the inscription suggests, lice has apparently been a nuisance plaguing society for thousands of years. The sentence reads, “May this tusk root out the lice of the hair and the beard.” The comb was discovered in Lachish, an Israli archaeological site, and is estimated to be from 1700 BC. Experts were pleasantly surprised that the inscription was about something so trivial— it shows that there likely are other objects out there detailing early written language.
Image via Dafna Gazit / Israel Antiquities Authority