Hard Rock Quarry

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Stone Abecedary

An abecedarian is a person learning the alphabet, a beginner; a person teaching the alphabet or the basic elements of a subject. [Webster's New World Dictionary]  An abecedary is their practice medium.

The oldest known abecedary is the Tel Zayit abecedary.  It is confidently dated to the 10th century BC.  This practice writing is carved into a 38 pound chunk of limestone - the back of which could be a bowl.  The practice nature of this writing is reinforced as the letters are not in the conventional order.

Next time someone is carping about the rigors of keyboarding (oh the carpal tunnel syndrome), remind them that once people had to learn their alphabets by carving the letters in limestone (oh my thumb).  Maybe the carving in stone was a final exam.

Such was and is life in the school of hard rocks.

Image from New York Times
The Tel Zayit Abecedary - 10th Century BC
Image from Cosmic Log - "Bible Gets A Reality Check"
The Tel Zayit Abecedary - 38 pounds, limestone
Read more about the Tel Zayit Abecedary

New York Times - A Is for Ancient, Describing an Alphabet Found Near Jerusalem

Cosmic Log - Bible Gets A Reality Check

Abecedaria - Update on the Tel Zayit Abecedary