Origin and Evolution of the Western Alphabets

Origin and Evolution of the Western Alphabets

This is an educational poster I created to show the evolution of modern Western and Middle Eastern alphabets. It starts with the prehistoric African rock art traditions that would form the foundation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs (with perhaps some additional inspiration from Sumerian cuneiform) and then shows derivative forms such as proto-Sinaitic, Phoenician, Greek, Latin, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Arabic (among others). It’s by no means a complete collection of all the scripts that evolved from these foundations, nor does it include alphabets from other literary traditions (e.g. Indian, East Asian, or Mesoamerican ones). Nonetheless, it should go to demonstrate the multicultural, transcontinental heritage of the modern English alphabet we use today.


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