Oldest known written sentence from 3,700 years ago gives very important advice

EXPERTS have uncovered the oldest known written sentence on an ancient comb, which is dated 3,700 years ago – and it holds some hair-raising advice.

The surprise inscription urges people to use the comb on their hair and beards to get rid of the dreaded lice.

Comb was made of ivory and probably imported for a wealthy person

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Comb was made of ivory and probably imported for a wealthy personPhoto credit: AFP

It seems like the contagious critters caused as many problems a long time ago as they do today.

Israeli archaeologists even found microscopic traces of head lice on the ancient object.

“May this tusk wipe out the hair lice and beard lice,” reads the sentence in Canaanite script.

The Canaanite alphabet was invented around 1800 BC. invented

It belonged to a group of people who lived in the land of Canaan, believed to be in the region of present-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

Israeli archaeologists who found the ancient object say it sheds new light on some of humanity’s earliest uses of the ancient alphabet, as well as the influence it had on those that followed, such as Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Latin and Cyrillic.

The nit comb was first excavated in 2016 at Tel Lachish, an archaeological site in southern Israel.

But it wasn’t until 2022 that expert Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu the tiny scratched words.

“This is the first sentence ever found in the Canaanite language in Israel,” said Professor Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

“This is a milestone in the history of the human ability to write.”

The comb is believed to have been an imported luxury item as it was made of ivory.

There were no elephants in Canaan at the time, so the crest likely came from nearby Egypt—and suggests that even the wealthiest of the period suffered from lice.

Their findings were published in the Jerusalem Journal of Archaeology.

A rare inscription sheds new light on the use of the Canaanite language some 3,700 years ago

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A rare inscription sheds new light on the use of the Canaanite language some 3,700 years agoPhoto credit: AFP

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