ALEPH - the bull (cont.)
One of the oldest Semetic inscriptions found on the Ahiram-sarcophagus (found in Byblos and
dated 1300-1000 B.C.) is considered to be a prototype for Phoenician,Palestine and Aramaic
alphabets. The character on this sarcophagus used for the 'a'-sound is
, in later Phoenician
it is written as
and is called ALEPH which means 'bull'. In later ages the Phoenician
characters were introduced in Crete and in Greece, and ALEPH is written as
'alpha'. Funny enough the Greek call their script "φουνικία γράμματα"(phoinikéa grammata)
which means "Phoenician characters"...
The background-picture behind this story is part of a fresco from the palace of king Minos at
Knossos, on the isle of Crete (ca. 1500 B.C.). It's considered to be a picture of ritual bull-
jumping but some say it could also be a picture of Theseus fighting the Minotaur. Fighting the
bull is, even today, a tradition in the Mediterranean region: Spain, Portugal and Southern-France.