Alphabet and the Egyptian Hieroglyph connection

The origins of the present-day alphabet can be traced back to the hieroglyphs, but this first jump is admittedly somewhat speculative.

Around 1900 BC the Proto-Sinaitic script began to appear in Egypt, the Sinai and the Levant (particularly the Egyptian turquoise mines of Serabit el-Khadim in Sinai).

Proto-Sinaitic consists of roughly 19 or so signs that can be, at least theoretically, associated with hieroglyphic or hieratic signs.


Whatever the mysterious origins of the script, it eventually spread East throughout the Sinai and the Levant and was adopted by the Canaanites (hence it’s other names: Proto-Canaanite or Old Canaanite) and later by the Phoenicians.