Rollston post on the invention of the alphabet
There has been some talk recently of the invention of the alphabet spurred by this article from the Atlantic and this exchange between Anson Rainey and Orly Goldwasser. In response to the latter, Chris Rollston has contributed a nice post to the ASOR blog. In sum, Goldwasser argued that the inventors of the alphabet were illiterate Canaanite miners. Rollston makes a strong case, however, that the inventors of the alphabet were Northwest Semitic speakers who had a relatively high social status within Egyptian officialdom and who had probably learned to write Egyptian from Egyptian scribes.