When was the Alphabet invented?

It is believed that the parent alphabet dates back to 1700 bc and was derived from a North Semitic alphabet spoken and used by the people of Syria and Palastine.

Before the invention of the alphabet, it is known that pictograms or syllabic signs were used. The first known pictograms were made by using reeds pressed into clay. The pictograms and syllabic signs were complicated as there were hundreds of signs for each syllable which meant a lot of memorizing of the signs applicable to each sound.

When the Semitic people realised that syllables were composed of a relatively small number of elementary sounds, around 20 or 30 of them, it was easier to compose one symbol for each sound.

The names given to these symbols were the same as the objects on which they were based.

In 1050 bc, the people of Phoenicia were using a 22 letter alphabet. The Phoenicians were at a focal point of trade, reaching Greece, Egypt and east into Mesopotamia, there alphabet was introduced into many European areas. All alphabets of the West derive from the Greek Alphabet.

One version was the Cyrillic, while the best known version evolved from the modern Roman or Latin script. Latin scripts date back to the 7th century bc.

Some ancient scripts are still a mystery to historians even to this day. There are around 300 scripts created by the Indus Valley people around 4,000 years ago, that are so obscure that they are continuing the process of deciphering the signs and scripts known as Linear A.