The Hebrew alphabet, known variously by scholars as the Jewish script, square script, block script, is an abjad script used in the writing of the Hebrew language. It is used in the writing of other Jewish languages, most notably Yiddish, Judaeo-Spanish, Judeo-Arabic. Two separate abjad scripts have been used to write Hebrew; the original, old Hebrew script, known as the paleo-Hebrew alphabet, has been preserved in a variant form as the Samaritan alphabet. The present "Jewish script" or "square script", on the contrary, is a stylized form of the Aramaic alphabet and was known by Jewish sages as the Ashuri alphabet, since its origins were alleged to be from Assyria. Various "styles" of representation of the Jewish script letters described in this article exist, including a variety of cursive Hebrew styles. In the remainder of this article, the term "Hebrew alphabet" refers to the square script unless otherwise indicated; the Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters. It does not have case. Hebrew is written from right to left.
The alphabet was an abjad consisting only of consonants, but is now considered an "impure abjad". As with other abjads, such as the Arabic alphabet, during its centuries-long use scribes devised means of indicating vowel sounds by separate vowel points, known in Hebrew as niqqud. In both biblical and rabbinic Hebrew, the letters י ו ה א can function as matres lectionis, when certain consonants are used to indicate vowels. There is a trend in Modern Hebrew towards the use of matres lectionis to indicate vowels that have traditionally gone unwritten, a practice known as "full spelling"; the Yiddish alphabet, a modified version of the Hebrew alphabet used to write Yiddish, is a true alphabet, with all vowels rendered in the spelling, except in the case of inherited Hebrew words, which retain their Hebrew spellings. The Arabic and Hebrew alphabets have similarities because they are both derived from the Aramaic alphabet. A distinct Hebrew variant of the Phoenician script, called by scholars the paleo-Hebrew alphabet, emerged around 800 BCE.
Examples of related early inscriptions from the area include the tenth-century Gezer calendar, the Siloam inscription. The paleo-Hebrew alphabet was used in the ancient kingdoms of Judah. Following the exile of the Kingdom of Judah in the 6th century BCE during the Babylonian captivity, Jews began using a form of the Assyrian Aramaic alphabet, another offshoot of the same family of scripts; the Samaritans, who remained in the Land of Israel, continued to use the paleo-Hebrew alphabet. During the 3rd century BCE, Jews began to use a stylized, "square" form of the Aramaic alphabet, used by the Persian Empire, while the Samaritans continued to use a form of the paleo-Hebrew script called the Samaritan alphabet. After the fall of the Persian Empire in 330 BCE, Jews used both scripts before settling on the square Assyrian form; the square Hebrew alphabet was adapted and used for writing languages of the Jewish diaspora – such as Karaim, the Judeo-Arabic languages, Judaeo-Spanish, Yiddish. The Hebrew alphabet continued in use for scholarly writing in Hebrew and came again into everyday use with the rebirth of the Hebrew language as a spoken language in the 18th and 19th centuries in Israel.
In the traditional form, the Hebrew alphabet is an abjad consisting only of consonants, written from right to left. It has 22 letters. In the traditional form, vowels are indicated by the weak consonants Aleph, He, Vav, or Yodh serving as vowel letters, or matres lectionis: the letter is combined with a previous vowel and becomes silent, or by imitation of such cases in the spelling of other forms. A system of vowel points to indicate vowels, called niqqud, was developed. In modern forms of the alphabet, as in the case of Yiddish and to some extent Modern Hebrew, vowels may be indicated. Today, the trend is toward full spelling with the weak letters acting as true vowels; when used to write Yiddish, vowels are indicated, using certain letters, either with niqqud diacritics or without, except for Hebrew words, which in Yiddish are written in their Hebrew spelling. To preserve the proper vowel sounds, scholars developed several different sets of vocalization and diacritical symbols called nequdot.
One of these, the Tiberian system prevailed. Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, his family for several generations, are credited for refining and maintaining the system; these points are used only for special purposes, such as Biblical books intended for study, in poetry or when teaching the language to children. The Tiberian system includes a set of cantillation marks, called "trope", used to indicate how scriptural passages should be chanted in synagogue recitations of scripture. In everyday writing of modern Hebrew, niqqud are absent. Unlike the Paleo-Hebrew writing script, the modern Ashuri script has five letters that have special final forms, called sofit form, used only at the end of a word, somewhat as in the Greek or in the Arabic and Mandaic alphabets; these are shown below the normal form in the
In situ is a Latin phrase that translates to "on site" or "in position." It can mean "locally", "on site", "on the premises", or "in place" to describe where an event takes place and is used in many different contexts. For example, in fields such as physics, chemistry, or biology, in situ may describe the way a measurement is taken, that is, in the same place the phenomenon is occurring without isolating it from other systems or altering the original conditions of the test. In the aerospace industry, equipment on-board aircraft must be tested in situ, or in place, to confirm everything functions properly as a system. Individually, each piece may work but interference from nearby equipment may create unanticipated problems. Special test equipment is available for this in situ testing. In archaeology, in situ refers to an artifact that has not been moved from its original place of deposition. In other words, it is stationary, meaning "still." An artifact being in situ is critical to the interpretation of that artifact and of the culture which formed it.
Once an artifact's'find-site' has been recorded, the artifact can be moved for conservation, further interpretation and display. An artifact, not discovered in situ is considered out of context and as not providing an accurate picture of the associated culture. However, the out of context artifact can provide scientists with an example of types and locations of in situ artifacts yet to be discovered; when excavating a burial site or surface deposit "in situ" refers to cataloging, mapping, photographing human remains in the position they are discovered. The label in situ indicates. Thus, an archaeological in situ find may be an object, looted from another place, an item of "booty" of a past war, a traded item, or otherwise of foreign origin; the in situ find site may still not reveal its provenance, but with further detective work may help uncover links that otherwise would remain unknown. It is possible for archaeological layers to be reworked on purpose or by accident. For example, in a Tell mound, where layers are not uniform or horizontal, or in land cleared or tilled for farming.
The term in situ is used to describe ancient sculpture, carved in place such as the Sphinx or Petra. This distinguishes it from statues that were carved and moved like the Colossi of Memnon, moved in ancient times. In art, in situ refers to a work of art made for a host site, or that a work of art takes into account the site in which it is installed or exhibited. For a more detailed account see: Site-specific art; the term can refer to a work of art created at the site where it is to be displayed, rather than one created in the artist's studio and installed elsewhere. In architectural sculpture the term is employed to describe sculpture, carved on a building from scaffolds, after the building has been erected. Used to describe the site specific dance festival “Insitu”. Held in Queens, New York. A fraction of the globular star clusters in our galaxy, as well as those in other massive galaxies, might have formed in situ; the rest might have been accreted from now defunct dwarf galaxies. In astronomy, in situ refers to in situ planet formation, in which planets are hypothesized to have been formed in the orbit that they are observed to be in rather than migrating from a different orbit.
In biology and biomedical engineering, in situ means to examine the phenomenon in place where it occurs. In the case of observations or photographs of living animals, it means that the organism was observed in the wild as it was found and where it was found; this means. The organism had not been moved to another location such as an aquarium; this phrase in situ when used in laboratory science such as cell science can mean something intermediate between in vivo and in vitro. For example, examining a cell within a whole organ intact and under perfusion may be in situ investigation; this would not be in vivo as the donor is sacrificed by experimentation, but it would not be the same as working with the cell alone. In vitro was among the first attempts to qualitatively and quantitatively analyze natural occurrences in the lab; the limitation of in vitro experimentation was that they were not conducted in natural environments. To compensate for this problem, in vivo experimentation allowed testing to occur in the original organism or environment.
To bridge the dichotomy of benefits associated with both methodologies, in situ experimentation allowed the controlled aspects of in vitro to become coalesced with the natural environmental compositions of in vivo experimentation. In conservation of genetic resources, "in situ conservation" is the process of protecting an endangered plant or animal species in its natural habitat, as opposed to ex situ conservation. In chemistry, in situ means "in the reaction mixture." There are numerous situations in which chemical intermediates are synthesized in situ in various processes. This may be done because the species is unstable, cannot be isolated, or out of convenience. Examples of the former include the Corey-Chaykovsky adrenochrome. In biomedical engineering, protein nanogels made by the in situ polymerization method provide a versatile platform for storage and release of therapeutic
For the movement associated with William F. Albright and known as biblical archaeology, see Biblical archaeology school. For the interpretation of biblical archaeology in relation to biblical historicity, see Historicity of the Bible and List of artifacts in biblical archaeology, for the magazine see Biblical Archaeology Review. Biblical archaeology involves the recovery and scientific investigation of the material remains of past cultures that can illuminate the periods and descriptions in the Bible, be they from the Old Testament or from the New Testament, as well as the history and cosmogony of the Judeo-Christian religions; the principal location of interest is what is known in the relevant religions as the Holy Land, which from a Western perspective is called the Middle East. In contrast, the archaeology of the ancient Middle East deals with the Ancient Near East, or Middle East, without giving any especial consideration to whether its discoveries have any relationship with the Bible.
The scientific techniques used are the same as those used in general archaeology, such as excavation and radiocarbon dating. In order to understand the significance of biblical archaeology it is first necessary to understand two basic concepts: archaeology as a scientific framework and the Bible as an object for research. Archaeology is a science, not in the Aristotelian sense of cognitio certa per causas but in the modern sense of systematic knowledge. Vicente Vilar expands on this point by stating that archaeology is both art and science: as an art it searches for the material remains of ancient civilizations and tries to reconstruct, as far as possible, the environment and the organizations of one or many historical epochs, it might be thought that archaeology would have to disregard the information contained within religions and many philosophical systems. However, apart from the great deal of factual material that they provide such as places of worship, holy objects and other scientifically observable things, there are other aspects that are important for scientific archaeological investigation such as religious texts, rites and traditions.
Myths are used by archaeologists and historians as clues to events or places that have become hidden in the background, a process that Rudolf Bultmann calls "demythification" – the most notable example being Homer’s poems and the mythical city of Troy. This contemporary perception of the myth developed by Bultmann, has encouraged scientists such as archaeologists to examine the areas indicated by the biblical tales. Biblical archaeology is the discipline occupied with the scientific investigation and recovery of the material remains of past cultures that can illuminate the times and descriptions of the Bible, a broad swathe of time between 2000 BC and 100 AD. Other authors prefer to talk about the "archaeology of Palestine" and to define the relevant territories as those to the east and west of the River Jordan; this indicates that "biblical archaeology" or that of Palestine is circumscribed by the territories that were the backdrop to the biblical stories. The raison d’etre of biblical archaeology derives from the fact that it allows an understanding of the peoples that inhabited the Holy Land.
It allows an understanding of their history, culture and movements. This makes it possible to compare them with fact. Regarding this, Kaswalder has noted that the American and Israeli school of biblical archaeology saw archaeology as proof of the veracity of the biblical stories, as can be seen in the work of authors of the stature of William F. Albright, G. Ernest Wright and Yigael Yadin. However, today archaeologists are not trying to prove that the stories in the Bible are true, they are trying to discover the historical world upon which the books of the bible drew and from which they derive their meaning. Using this approach, introduced by P. Kaswalder, it is possible to shed light on the following, according to the classification presented by the Catalan papyrologist Joan Maria Vernet: Biblical archaeology can shed light on the knowledge that we have regarding certain historical data described in the biblical stories such as governments, people and cities, it allows us to provide some specific details reflected in the books of the bible for example the Siloam Tunnel, the Pool of Bethesda and others that relate to those described in the biblical stories.
Biblical archaeology lends fundamental support to exegetical studies. The geographical area that circumscribes the area of interest for biblical archaeology is the biblical lands known as the "Holy Land". There are many points of view regarding the exact extent of this area, biblical archaeology concentrates on the Land of Israel and Jordan, the area called the southern Levant. Many researchers are interested in other areas that are mentioned in the biblical tales and which have a great importance for their connecting thread: Egypt and Mesopotamia which are of interest to scientists interested in the Tanakh. Asia Minor, Macedonia and Rome have greater connections with the stories from the New Testament. In the same way that the spatial criteria vary according to the various points of view of the different researchers, there are a variety of dates that are of interest. Kaswalder comments that: The period is understood to run from the 9th millennium BC, which corresponds to the earliest dated Neolithic remains of Jericho, to 700 AD, which marks the first invasions by Muslim armies.
This time period is considered by some au
The Paleo-Hebrew alphabet spelt Palaeo-Hebrew alphabet, was the script used in the historic kingdoms of Israel and Judah by Israelites. It is variant of the Phoenician alphabet of 22 letters. P-H was coined by Solomon Birnbaum in 1954. Archeology dates usage of P-H for writing the Hebrew language to the 10th century BCE. By the 5th century BCE P-H was subsumed by the Imperial Aramaic abjad with little remnant -- the Aramaic sharing a common protolanguage with a simpler font; the present Jewish "square-script" Hebrew aleph beit abjad evolved from the Aramaic. Samaritans use a P-H abjad derivative, known as the Samaritan alphabet. Usage of P-H is negligible nowadays; the chart below compares the letters of the Phoenician script with those of the Paleo-Hebrew and the present Hebrew alphabet, with names traditionally used in English. According to contemporary scholars, the Paleo-Hebrew script developed alongside others in the region during the course of the late second and first millennia BCE, it is related to the Phoenician script.
The earliest known inscription in the Paleo-Hebrew script is the Zayit Stone discovered on a wall at Tel Zayit, in the Beth Guvrin Valley in the lowlands of ancient Judea in 2005. The 22 letters were carved on one side of the 38 lb stone; the find is attributed to the mid-10th century BCE. The script of the Gezer calendar, dated to the late 10th century BCE, bears strong resemblance to contemporaneous Phoenician script from inscriptions at Byblos; the script on the Zayit Stone and Gezer Calendar are an earlier form than the classical Paleo-Hebrew of the 8th century and later. By the 8th century these early forms developed into a number of national alphabets including Israelite Paleo-Hebrew in Israel and Judah, Moabite in Moab and Ammon, Edomite and Early Aramaic. Clear Hebrew features are visible in the scripts of the Moabite inscriptions of the Mesha Stele, set up around 840 BCE by King Mesha of Moab; the Tel Dan Stele from 810 BCE resembles Hebrew inscriptions although its writing is classified as Old Aramaic and it dates from a period when Dan had fallen into the orbit of Damascus.
The 8th-century Hebrew inscriptions exhibit many specific and exclusive traits, leading modern scholars to conclude that in the 10th century BCE the Paleo-Hebrew script was used by wide scribal circles. Though few 10th-century Hebrew inscriptions have been found, the quantity of the epigraphic material from the 8th century onward shows the gradual spread of literacy among the people of the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah. In 1855 a Phoenician inscription in 22 lines was found among the ruins of Sidon; each line contained about 50 characters. A facsimile copy of the writing was published in United States Magazine in July 1855; the inscription was on the lid of a large stone sarcophagus carved in fine Egyptian style. The writing was a genealogical history of a king of Sidon buried in the sarcophagus; the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet was in common use in the ancient Israelite kingdoms of Judah. Following the exile of the Kingdom of Judah in the 6th century BCE, in the Babylonian exile, Jews began using a form of the Assyrian script, another offshoot of the same family of scripts.
The Samaritans, who remained in the Land of Israel, continued to use the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. During the 3rd century BCE, Jews began to use a stylized, "square" form of the Aramaic alphabet, used by the Persian Empire, while the Samaritans continued to use a form of the Paleo-Hebrew script, called the Samaritan script. After the fall of the Persian Empire, Jews used both scripts before settling on the Assyrian form. For a limited time thereafter, the use of the Paleo-Hebrew script among Jews was retained only to write the Tetragrammaton; the independent Hebrew script evolved by developing numerous cursive features, the lapidary features of the Phoenician alphabet being less pronounced with the passage of time. The aversion of the lapidary script may indicate that the custom of erecting stelae by the kings and offering votive inscriptions to the deity was not widespread in Israel; the engraved inscriptions from the 8th century exhibit elements of the cursive style, such as the shading, a natural feature of pen-and-ink writing.
Examples of such inscriptions include the Siloam inscription, numerous tomb inscriptions from Jerusalem, the Ketef Hinnom amulets, a fragmentary Hebrew inscription on an ivory, taken as war spoils to Nimrud, the hundreds of 8th to 6th-century Hebrew seals from various sites. The most developed cursive script is found on the 18 Lachish ostraca, letters sent by an officer to the governor of Lachish just before the destruction of the First Temple in 586 BCE. A earlier but similar script is found on an ostracon excavated at Mesad Hashavyahu, containing a petition for redress of grievances. After the Babylonian capture of Judea, when most of the nobles were taken into exile, the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet continued to be used by the people who remained
An abecedarium is an inscription consisting of the letters of an alphabet always listed in order. Abecedaria are practice exercises; some abecedaria include obsolete letters. For example, abecedaria in the Etruscan alphabet from Marsiliana include the letters B, D, O, which indicate sounds not present in the Etruscan language and are therefore not found in Etruscan inscriptions. Others, such as those known from Safaitic inscriptions, list the letters of the alphabet in different orders, suggesting that the script was casually rather than formally learned; some abecedaria found in the Athenian Agora appear to be deliberately incomplete, consisting of only the first three to six letters of the Greek alphabet, these may have had a magical or ritual significance. A deliberately incomplete abecedarium found at Hymettos in Attica may have been a votive offering. Near the beginning of the Christian era, the Latin alphabet had undergone its principal changes, had become a definite system; the Greek alphabet was growing closer to the Latin alphabet.
Towards the 8th century of Rome, the letters assumed their artistic forms and lost their older, narrower ones. The three letters added by Emperor Claudius have never been found in use in Christian inscriptions; the letters fell into disuse after Claudius's death. The alphabet used for monumental inscriptions was different from the cursive; the uncial, occurring rarely on sculptured monuments, reserved for writing, did not appear until the 4th century. The majority of objects bearing the abecedaria are not of Christian origin, with the exception of two vases found at Carthage; these objects included. Stones have been found in the catacombs, bearing the symbols A, B, C, etc; these are arranged, sometimes, in combinations. One such stone, found in the cemetery of St. Alexander, in the Via Nomentana, is inscribed as follows: AXBVCTESDR...... BCCEECHI EQGPH.... M MNOPQ RSTVXYZ This can be compared with a denarius of L. Cassius Caecinianus, which has the following inscription: AX, BV, CT, DS, ER, FQ, GP, HO, IN, LM Jerome explained this similarity.
Children were made to learn the alphabet in pairs of letters, joining the first letter of the alphabet with the last letter, the second letter with the second to last, so on. A stone found at Rome in 1877, dating from the 6th or 7th century, seems to have been used in a school, as a model for learning the alphabet, points to the continuance of old methods of teaching. An Abecedary, a full alphabet carved in stone or written in book form, was found in churches and other ecclesiastical buildings. Abecedaries are considered to be medieval teaching aids for the illiterate; the alphabet may have been thought to possess supernatural powers along the lines of the runic alphabet. Each letter would have had a symbolic meaning to the devout. An example, the first seven letters or so of which were found in 1967, is from the long demolished Church of St Mary of the Grey Friars in Dumfries, Scotland. In this case the letters are inscribed in the Lombardic script of the 1260s and the complete structure would have stood near the high altar.
One of the oldest examples is now in use as a gravestone near Dingle, Ireland. It has the appearance of a standing stone and is known as the Alphabet' stone, displaying as it does an alphabet dating from early Christian times. Abecedarian psalms and hymns exist, these are compositions like Psalm 119 in Hebrew, the Akathist hymn in Greek, in which distinct stanzas or verses commence with successive letters of the alphabet; the New England Primer, a schoolbook first printed in 17th-century Boston, includes an abecedary of rhyming couplets in iambic dimeter, beginning with: In Adam's fall, We sinned all. Thy life to mend, This Book attend; the Cat doth play, And after slay. A Researcher's Guide to Local History terminology Fayum alphabet This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed.. "Abecedaria". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton
Limestone is a carbonate sedimentary rock, composed of the skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral and molluscs. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate. A related rock is dolostone, which contains a high percentage of the mineral dolomite, CaMg2. In fact, in old USGS publications, dolostone was referred to as magnesian limestone, a term now reserved for magnesium-deficient dolostones or magnesium-rich limestones. About 10% of sedimentary rocks are limestones; the solubility of limestone in water and weak acid solutions leads to karst landscapes, in which water erodes the limestone over thousands to millions of years. Most cave systems are through limestone bedrock. Limestone has numerous uses: as a building material, an essential component of concrete, as aggregate for the base of roads, as white pigment or filler in products such as toothpaste or paints, as a chemical feedstock for the production of lime, as a soil conditioner, or as a popular decorative addition to rock gardens.
Like most other sedimentary rocks, most limestone is composed of grains. Most grains in limestone are skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as foraminifera; these organisms secrete shells made of aragonite or calcite, leave these shells behind when they die. Other carbonate grains composing limestones are ooids, peloids and extraclasts. Limestone contains variable amounts of silica in the form of chert or siliceous skeletal fragment, varying amounts of clay and sand carried in by rivers; some limestones do not consist of grains, are formed by the chemical precipitation of calcite or aragonite, i.e. travertine. Secondary calcite may be deposited by supersaturated meteoric waters; this produces speleothems, such as stalactites. Another form taken by calcite is oolitic limestone, which can be recognized by its granular appearance; the primary source of the calcite in limestone is most marine organisms. Some of these organisms can construct mounds of rock building upon past generations. Below about 3,000 meters, water pressure and temperature conditions cause the dissolution of calcite to increase nonlinearly, so limestone does not form in deeper waters.
Limestones may form in lacustrine and evaporite depositional environments. Calcite can be dissolved or precipitated by groundwater, depending on several factors, including the water temperature, pH, dissolved ion concentrations. Calcite exhibits an unusual characteristic called retrograde solubility, in which it becomes less soluble in water as the temperature increases. Impurities will cause limestones to exhibit different colors with weathered surfaces. Limestone may be crystalline, granular, or massive, depending on the method of formation. Crystals of calcite, dolomite or barite may line small cavities in the rock; when conditions are right for precipitation, calcite forms mineral coatings that cement the existing rock grains together, or it can fill fractures. Travertine is a banded, compact variety of limestone formed along streams where there are waterfalls and around hot or cold springs. Calcium carbonate is deposited where evaporation of the water leaves a solution supersaturated with the chemical constituents of calcite.
Tufa, a porous or cellular variety of travertine, is found near waterfalls. Coquina is a poorly consolidated limestone composed of pieces of coral or shells. During regional metamorphism that occurs during the mountain building process, limestone recrystallizes into marble. Limestone is a parent material of Mollisol soil group. Two major classification schemes, the Folk and the Dunham, are used for identifying the types of carbonate rocks collectively known as limestone. Robert L. Folk developed a classification system that places primary emphasis on the detailed composition of grains and interstitial material in carbonate rocks. Based on composition, there are three main components: allochems and cement; the Folk system uses two-part names. It is helpful to have a petrographic microscope when using the Folk scheme, because it is easier to determine the components present in each sample; the Dunham scheme focuses on depositional textures. Each name is based upon the texture of the grains. Robert J. Dunham published his system for limestone in 1962.
Dunham divides the rocks into four main groups based on relative proportions of coarser clastic particles. Dunham names are for rock families, his efforts deal with the question of whether or not the grains were in mutual contact, therefore self-supporting, or whether the rock is characterized by the presence of frame builders and algal mats. Unlike the Folk scheme, Dunham deals with the original porosity of the rock; the Dunham scheme is more useful for hand samples because it is based on texture, not the grains in the sample. A revised classification was proposed by Wright, it adds some diagenetic patterns and can be summarized as follows: See: Carbonate platform About 10% of all sedimentary rocks are limestones. Limestone is soluble in acid, therefore forms many erosional landforms; these include limestone pavements, pot holes, cenotes and gorges. Such erosion landscapes are known
Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine foresees it as its seat of power. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times and recaptured 44 times, attacked 52 times; the part of Jerusalem called the City of David shows first signs of settlement in the 4th millennium BCE, in the shape of encampments of nomadic shepherds. Jerusalem was named as "Urusalim" on ancient Egyptian tablets meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the Canaanite period. During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE, in the 8th century the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah.
In 1538, the city walls were rebuilt for a last time around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian and Muslim Quarters; the Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Since 1860 Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries. In 2015, Jerusalem had a population of some 850,000 residents, comprising 200,000 secular Jewish Israelis, 350,000 Haredi Jews and 300,000 Palestinians. In 2011, the population numbered 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000, Muslims 281,000, Christians 14,000 and 9,000 were not classified by religion. According to the Bible, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the united kingdom of Israel, his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. Modern scholars argue that Jews branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatrous — and monotheistic — religion centered on El/Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities.
These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people. The sobriquet of holy city was attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times; the holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Medina. In Islamic tradition, in 610 CE it became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer, Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran; as a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres, the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount with its Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb. Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory. One of Israel's Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset, the residences of the Prime Minister and President, the Supreme Court. While the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem. A city called Rušalim in the execration texts of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt is but not universally, identified as Jerusalem. Jerusalem is called Urušalim in the Amarna letters of Abdi-Heba.
The name "Jerusalem" is variously etymologized to mean "foundation of the god Shalem". Shalim or Shalem was the name of the god of dusk in the Canaanite religion, whose name is based on the same root S-L-M from which the Hebrew word for "peace" is derived; the name thus offered itself to etymologizations such as "The City of Peace", "Abode of Peace", "dwelling of peace", alternately "Vision of Peace" in some Christian authors. The ending -ayim indicates the dual, thus leading to the suggestion that the name Yerushalayim refers to the fact that the city sat on two hills; the form Yerushalem or Yerushalayim first appears in the Book of Joshua. According to a Midrash, the name is a combination of "Yireh" and "Shalem" the two names were un