Syllabic Writing on Cyprus and Its Context [Review]

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



For well more than a millennium, from at least the 15th century through the third century B.C.E., Cypriots wrote in syllables. Why and how they first began writing is unclear, and the language(s) expressed by syllabic writing during the Bronze Age is/are still unknown (ca. 216 inscriptions [ch. 2]). The earliest syllabic inscription that can be read dates to the 11th century and expresses a Greek name. But when and how and why Cypriots adapted their syllabic script specifically to write Greek remains unclear. Most of the 1,360 syllabic inscriptions (ch. 7) written in the course of the next 800 years express Greek. Why and how syllabic script persisted after the introduction of alphabets (Phoenician by the ninth century B.C.E., Greek by the sixth century B.C.E.) is not yet well understood.

Document Object Identifier (DOI)



Archaeological Institute of America


Boston, MA

Publication Information

American Journal of Archaeology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License