Alphabets of Anatolia

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Inscription in Carian of the name 𐊨𐊣𐊠𐊦𐊹𐊸, qlaλiś[1]

Various alphabetic writing systems were in use in Iron Age Anatolia to record Anatolian languages and Phrygian. Several of these languages had previously been written with logographic and syllabic scripts.

The alphabets of Asia Minor proper share characteristics that distinguish them from the earliest attested forms of the Greek alphabet. Many letters in these alphabets resemble Greek letters but have unrelated readings, most extensively in the case of Carian. The Phrygian and Lemnian alphabets by contrast were early adaptations of regional variants of the Greek alphabet; the earliest Phrygian inscriptions are contemporary with early Greek inscriptions, but contain Greek innovations such as the letters Φ and Ψ which did not exist in the earliest forms of the Greek alphabet.

The Anatolian alphabets fell out of use around the 4th century BCE with the onset of the Hellenistic period.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Palaeolexicon. "The Carian word qlaλiś".
  2. ^ "From the Harvard Art Museums' collections Cast of an Inscribed Marble Stele from the Sardis Synagogue". Retrieved 13 September 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • Diringer, David (1948). The Alphabet: A Key to the History of Mankind. Cambridge: Hutchinson.
  • Friedrich, Johannes (1966). Geschichte der Schrift. Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung ihrer geistigen Entwicklung. Heidelberg: Winter.

External links[edit]