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by Archaeology Newsroom

Greek Inscriptions

Writing served ancient Greeks as a medium for the expression of thought, for the communication of important public texts and for the keeping of various archives. Greeks mainly wrote on wood, papyrus, linen material, parchment, wax etc. Inscriptions are generally classified as public and private ones. Due to the immense expansion of the classical world, ancient Greek inscriptions can be found in the entire Mediterranean, the Black Sea and even in the remote areas of Asia Minor. They range chronologically from the beginning of alphabetic writing to the end of the Hellenistic Age. Varieties of the written word in the Archaic period are incredibly rich. Local varieties of certain letters of the alphabet I are due to different versions of the phonetic alphabet. None of the Greek alphabets of the Archaic years retained the exact form and the phonetic value of any of the twenty-two letters of the Phoenician alphabet. Writing gradually evolved into three forms; verse, columns and “boustrophedon”.