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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: September 2020

Six - Written Words


One of the most dramatic features of our connected Mediterranean Iron Age period is the use of writing by many of the populations across the sea with alphabets of a common origin. This is the first such occurrence in Mediterranean history. The mechanisms by which this happened, where and when have been the subject of considerable debate, given the particularly patchy nature of the evidence of writing during this period. Our preserved examples are on very durable materials, such as ceramic, stone or metal, although much more was likely written on perishable media, such as papyrus and parchment, which simply have not survived.

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