Hebrews were jotting down their history as early as the 10th Century BCE (BC).
This breakthrough indicates that at least some of
the scriptures were composed hundreds of years before the dates
previously believed, and that the Kingdom of Israel already existed at
that time. The 10th century BCE was the period of King David’s reign.
The inscription itself, which was written in ink on
a 15 cm X 16.5 cm trapezoid pottery shard, was discovered a year and a
half ago at excavations that were carried out by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel
at Khirbet Qeiyafa near the Elah Valley.
This text is a social statement, relating to slaves,
widows and orphans,” Prof. Galil explained. “It uses verbs that were
characteristic of Hebrew, such as asa (“did”) and avad (“worked”), which were rarely used in other regional languages. Particular words that appear in the text, such as almana (“widow”) are specific to Hebrew and are written differently in other local languages.”
The location of the find is just south of Jerusalem and west Hevron, in the Valley of Elah where future King David grabbed his slingshot and slew Goliath.
Very interesting, and profound if the dating is correct. Here is an interesting discussion of the find from almost 1-1/2 years ago, before the shard was completely deciphered.