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Thousands of clay tablets were found there, documents of inestimable value in many fields of research (including epigraphy, philology, and the history of religion).

Dating from the 15th and 14th centuries and are thus the earliest preserved documents in an alphabetic writing.

The Egyptian theory actually subdivides into three separate theories, according to whether the Egyptian hieroglyphic, the hieratic, or the demotic script is regarded as the true parent of alphabetic writing.

Similarly, the idea that cuneiform was the precursor of the alphabet may also be subdivided into those singling out Sumerian, Babylonian, or Assyrian cuneiform.

Every country situated in or more or less near the eastern Mediterranean has been singled out for the honour.

Egyptian writing, cuneiform, Cretan, hieroglyphic Hittite, the Cypriot syllabary, and other scripts have all been called prototypes of the alphabet.

Despite the conflict in theories, scholars are generally agreed that, for about 200 years before the middle of the 2nd millennium , alphabet making was in the air in the Syro-Palestinian region.

It is idle to speculate on the meaning of the various discoveries referred to.

The inventor or inventors of the alphabet were, no doubt, influenced by Egyptian writing—perhaps also by other scripts.

The Greeks and Romans considered five different peoples as the possible inventors of the alphabet—the Phoenicians, Egyptians, Assyrians, Cretans, and Hebrews.

Among modern theories are some that are not very different from those of ancient days.

The Canaanite and Aramaic branches constitute the North Semitic main branch.

The two Canaanite branches may be subdivided into several secondary branches.

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