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The Negeb Script

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image of Vetus Testamentum

To sum up: From some time in the second half of the 1st cBCE to the Bar Kokhba War (132-135) there existed a Jewish script which contained Hebrew and Nabataean elements. The Murabba'at finds show that there was close contact between Jews and Nabataeans in, presumably, the north-eastern corner of the Negeb. Palaeographically, the documents in this alphabet appear to indicate that the new script came into being in the second half of the 1st cBCE, through the influence of the Nabataean on Hebrew script. The period of amalgamation seems to have been of short duration. As to the further fate of Neg, it seems reasonable to assume that the upheaval caused by the Bar Kokhba War resulted in the dispersal of those who used this writing, and that after the loss of its territorial base the Negeb script would have had no possibility of remaining alive.


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