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The Linear B Tablets revealed When Arthur Evans started digging at Knossos on Crete in 1900, a major aim was to find inscriptions and prove that the ancient Cretans had been literate. He was rewarded almost immediately by the discovery of slabs of baked clay, some rectangular, some leaf-shaped, bearing two types of inscription of hitherto unknown form. The earlier, Linear A, represented the language of the Minoans, who had built the great palace at Knossos.

Clay seal with characters "Huang Di Xin Xi", 2-3rd century BCE, China

Same Minoan model, different view.

Chino, Nagano, Japan, c. 2000 B.C.E. detail of

Marble stele (grave marker) of a youth and little girl with capital and finial in the form of a sphinx. Greek, Attic, Archaic, ca. 530 BC.

Inscription on Lycian tomb. Lycian was an Anatolian language spoken in what is now the Antalya region of Turkey up to about the 3rd Century BC, when the Lycians adopted Greek as their languages. Lycian is thought to have developed from Luwian, a language spoken in Asia Minor before the arrival of the Hittites (c. 18th century BC), and was related to Lydian. Around 180 inscriptions in Lycian dating from the fifth and fourth centuries BC have been found..

National Treasure of Japan, Jomon no Megami (a goddess figure from the Jomon era, known as the Nishinomae ceramic figure) , c. 2500 BCE 国宝・縄文の女神

10th C. BCE. A tablet of soft limestone inscribed in a paleo-Hebrew script, the Gezer Calendar is one of the oldest known examples of Hebrew writing, dating. It reads: "Two months of harvest/Two months of planting/Two months of late planting/One month of hoeing/One month of barley-harvest/One month of harvest and festival/Two months of grape harvesting/One month of summer fruit."