See the Earliest Alphabetic Inscriptions Discovered in Egypt aboard a Christian Cruise on the Red Sea

Wadi el-Hol

Exodus cruise ship

By Jennifer Bartlett

Christian travelers pursuing truth and Biblical documentation have a new opportunity on a Red Sea cruise itinerary aboard a small luxury yacht with Living Passages. Reached from a visit of our privately chartered ship we drop anchor at a Red Sea port.  From here, we can draw near to a dramatic curve in the Nile River called the Qena Bend, along an ancient caravan route between Thebes and Abydos, there is a dry gulley called the Wadi el-Hol. Like an overpass hosting ancient graffiti, this escarpment features several hundred rock inscriptions and ceramic material that spans several millennia: traces of the traveling Kilroys of Egypt, both military and commercial, from the Predynastic era to the Roman Period and beyond.[1] It is here that two of the earliest examples of an alphabetic script, dated to about the 18th century BC, were discovered by John and Deborah Darnell in the 1990s.[2]

Saudi Arabia Group

The first known form of Egyptian writing, dating back to 3000 BC or even earlier, was an elaborate system of hieroglyphs containing pictures or diagrams.[3]Around 2600 BC, a cursive form of hieroglyphs called hieratic developed, which allowed them to be written (or carved) more efficiently. The alphabetic texts discovered at Wadi el-Hol use symbols that were borrowed from lapidary hieratic, an Old Kingdom hybrid script consisting of hieroglyphic and hieratic characters.[4] These were likely employed in the Middle Kingdom to represent a range of linguistic sounds, and with fewer characters to learn, this simplified form could have been used to bridge the language gap between Egyptians and others with whom they interacted, particularly at sites such as the Wadi el-Hol.[5] 

Living Passages is able to make this unique visit a reality on our soft adventures in Egypt. The ship-based Christian cruise itinerary combines the Sinai, and Red Sea Exodus sites with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel.  Click here for a video regarding the Red Sea cruise journeys or other Red Sea and Saudi Arabia Christian tours or cruises.

[1] Darnell, 2013, Wadi el-Hol. UEE.

[2] Leblanc, 2017, Deciphering the Proto-Sinaitic Script. Subclass Press.

[3] Adkins, 2001, The Little Book of Egyptian Hieroglyphs. Hodder & Stoughton.

[4] Darnell, 2013.

[5] Ibid.

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