Decrypted the meaning of oldest known sentence ever written found on a comb

“May this tusk root out the lice of the hair and the beard.”

That’s the oldest known sentence ever written and scientists found it engraved in an ivory comb. The Caaananite script appears on a double-edged comb from approximately 1700 BCE. From The Guardian:

“The inscription is very human,” said Prof Yosef Garfinkel, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who helped direct the Lachish excavations. “You have a comb and on the comb you have a wish to destroy lice on the hair and beard. Nowadays we have all these sprays and modern medicines and poisons. In the past they didn’t have those.”

The comb, which measures 3.5cm by 2.5cm, was discovered at the site in south-central Israel in 2017, but the shallow engravings on the surface were only spotted in December last year. Analysis of the markings confirmed the writing to be Canaanite script, the earliest alphabet, which was invented about 3,800 years ago.

Further evidence for the comb’s purpose came when researchers examined it under a microscope and identified the tough outer membranes of half millimetre-long nymph stages of head lice.