Following up on my discussions of the cuneiform alphabetic inscription on ivory from Tirnys, I decided to take a look at the thirty one alphabetic inscriptions on ivory from Ugarit published by Dietrich and Loretz published with drawings and photographs in 1976 (there are also a number of more recently published and unpublished alphabetic inscriptions on ivory). If my backlog of work in progress ever becomes manageable again, I may write on a few of these inscriptions on ivory from Ugarit.
For now, I want to make the following observations with reference to the Tirnys inscription: None of these other inscriptions appear to be on a cylindrical rod. While there are some interesting variations none of them use the m of the short cuneiform alphabet. In other words, all their ms are more or less “canonical” in morphology. Unlike the wedges on the Tiryns inscription, the overwhelming majority of the wedges have well defined tails. All the alphabetic inscriptions on ivory published by Dietrich and Loretz read from left to right. Most have or clearly had more than one line.
While many of them appear to be labels of one kind or another, none of them appear to feature numerals and none of them combine syllabic and alphabetic signs. This last observation should raise a question, but only a slight question, concerning Cohen, Maran and Vetters interpretation that I mentioned previously.
Now, back to work on snakes.
Dietrich Manfried and Oswald Loretz, Die Elfenbeininschriften und S-Texte aus Ugarit (Alter Orient und Altes Testament, Bd. 13; Kevelaer: Butzon und Bercker; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1976)