Phoenician Alphabet


The Phoenician alphabet was one of the first in the history of mankind. Appeared, approximately, in the XV century BC. It is phonetic, that is, each symbol corresponds to a certain sound. And also constant — includes only consonant letters. Vowels are denoted by diacritical marks, or they are omitted altogether. The Phoenician system of writing became the progenitor of most modern writings.

The invention of the alphabet became an important achievement of mankind. Compared with an ideographic or pictographic letter, this writing was much easier to learn. In addition, the alphabet is not tied to the language or the materials on which the record is made.

The scientists can't say exactly how the language appeared due to the fact that a lot of years have passed. However, there are several hypotheses. According to one of them, the alphabetic writing system evolved from the hieroglyphic system in Egypt. However, if this is so, then it is unclear why the Egyptians have been writing hieroglyphs for so many centuries. According to another version, the alphabet evolved from the Sinai script. Unfortunately, there are very few samples for decoding, so you can not claim anything with confidence.

The oldest example of the Phoenician script, perhaps, is an inscription on a clay pitcher, which dates back to the 13th century BC. More significant writings were found on the lid of the sarcophagus of King Ahirim in 1922. It was not possible to accurately determine their age. Different scientists refer them to the XIII, XI and VII centuries BC. Difficulties with dates do not contribute to a better understanding of history.

The Phoenician alphabet became the basis for Greek and Aramaic. The latter served as a basis for the Arabic and Jewish scripts, and the Greek alphabet was the predecessor of Cyrillic and Latin.