North West Semitic

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    The North West Semitic alphabet originated in the early first millenium b.c. as a set of pictographs with names and sounds. For example, the first letter was aleph, "bull." It was a glottal stop (It sounded like the a in army). The pictograph was the head of a bull, . As time went on, with rotations and reflections many of these letters became letters in the Latin alphabet which we use today.
    The alphabet appears in many forms before that however: Caananite, Aramaic, Phoenician, Hebrew, Etruscan and Greek.


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     The Hebrew language was written in Aramaic characters from about the 9th century a.d. The stamp below shows a 13th century form of Hebrew script in the picture of the Worms Mazor, as well as 20th century Hebrew type faces.


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