The Biblical Archaeology Society is proud to announce that Orly Goldwasser’s article “How the Alphabet Was Born from Hieroglyphs”  has won the “Best of BAR” award for 2009–2010. The article, which appeared in the March/April 2010 issue, explained the simple but ingenious ideas that led Canaanites laboring in the turquoise mines of Sinai to develop the first alphabet. The groundbreaking article not only generated considerable response from our readers, but also launched a valuable scholarly debate between Goldwasser and the late Anson Rainey that is featured on our Web site.
The winner was selected by judges P. Kyle McCarter, Jr., and Katharina Galor. McCarter, a leading paleographer and expert on the origin of the alphabet, is William Foxwell Albright Professor in Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. Galor is visiting assistant professor at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World at Brown University and is also codirector of the excavations of the ancient port city of Apollonia-Arsuf along the coast of Israel.
The $1,000 award was made possible by the generous support of the Leopold and Clara M. Fellner charitable foundation through its longtime trustee, Frederick L. Simmons.