Tuesday, October 15, 2013

9. Ancient Berber script

Ancient Berber script

The ancient Berber script is probably based on or derived from the Punic script, with some influence from the South Arabian and North Arabian scripts. The earliest inscriptions for which the dates are known were inscribed sometime during the 2nd century BC, though the ancient Berber script may be six or seven hundred years older than that. The script was until at least the 3rd century AD, possibly later.
From the 12th century onwards, Berber languages were written with the Arabic abjad. There are also some Berber texts in the Hebrew abjad written by Berber Jews. A version of the Berber script, known as Neo-Tifinagh is still used to some extent in Morocco.

Notable features

  • Type of writing system: abjad / consonant alphabet
  • Used to write: Ancient Berber languages
  • Direction of writing: most inscriptions are written in vertical columns running from bottom to top starting either on the left or the right. Monumental inscriptions generally run in horizontal lines from right to left.
  • Some letters have more than one form.

Ancient Berber script


Ancient Berber (horizontal)


Ancient Berber (vertical)

Sample text

Sample text in the Ancient Berber alphabet


Information about the Ancient Berber script
Monde Berbere (Berber World) - information on the Berber people of Morrocco in Berber, French and English: http://www.mondeberbere.com
Amazigh World - information about the Berber language and people (in English, French and Berber): http://amazighworld.net/


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