Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources


- 9th-2nd c. BC

Online resources

Web sites of general interest

  1. Styppax
    Focused on sculpture, the website Styppax (by Derek B. Counts) is technically accurate and collects a great number of very useful resources: bibliographical references of general interest (museum and collection catalogues; accounts of early travellers, explorers and antiquarians; excavation-relevant publications; specialised journals); entire monographs in pdf format, available in the public domain; research papers and notes; links to databases, maps, collections of antiquities online.
  2. Amathous
    Scripts and inscribed objects organise the “story map” of the site of Amathous: images of inscriptions in Cypro-Syllabic, Phoenician, Greek and Latin, links to bibliographical resources and short introduction texts offer a way to discover the ancient city and its monuments. The same map exists in English []. Other Cypriot story maps, all realised by Alexandre Rabot (Lyon): Kition (in French [] and in English []), Salamis (in French [] and in English []).
  3. The archives of the French archaeological mission of Kition and Salamis
    The archives of the French archaeological mission of Kition and Salamis, established in 1964, are kept in Lyon, at the Maison de l’Orient. This website makes them available in the digital format: inventory sheets, photographs, drawings, excavation diaries, architectural surveys and more. The site is progressively enriched.
  4. Grands Sites Archéologiques
    On this website of the French Ministry of Culture are presented the great archaeological excavations and sites which are explored with funding from the French ministry of Foreign affairs, particularly (in what concerns Cyprus) Kition [] and Amathous [ttps://].

Institutions, centers for study and research

  1. Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory
    The website of PASP (Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory) reports on the activities and resources of this important centre, founded in 1986 at the University of Texas at Austin by Thomas G. Palaima, an expert in Aegean scripts of the second and first millennia BC.
  2. Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute
    Founded in 1978, the CAARI is a research center headquartered in Nicosia; it can accommodate a certain number of students and scholars at low rates; it has one of the richest libraries on the island specialized in Cypriot studies. It also organizes conferences and other study and research activities, and it occasionally publishes monographs.
  3. Institut für Interdisziplinäre Zypern-Studien
    Founded in 1995, the Institut für Interdisziplinäre Zypern-Studien promotes and organises symposia and meetings, cooperation with study and research activities, and promotion in general of cultural initiatives concerning Cyprus.
  4. Centro Internazionale per la Ricerca sulle Civiltà Egee "Pierre Carlier"
    The International Centre for the Research on Aegean Civilisations “Pierre Carlier” (Centro Internazionale per la Ricerca sulle Civiltà Egee = CIRCE), founded by Massimo Perna under the auspices of the University of Sassari at Oristano, preserves the archives and the library of Jean-Pierre Olivier and Frieda Vandenabeele. Opened in 2019, it organises seminars and events.
  5. The A. G. Leventis Foundation
    The A.G. Leventis Foundation is of interdisciplinary character, as its aim is to conserve and develop the interest areas of Anastasios George Leventis (1902-1978), the famous Cypriot entrepreneur. Concerning the study of Cypriot antiquities the Foundation offers financing for wide-ranging projects (including the publication of the most important collections of Cypriot antiquities) and for research centers (such as the Centre d’Études Chypriotes), symposia and study activities; it also offers several scholarships, to which are dedicated a specific website [].
  6. Cahiers du Centre d’Études Chypriotes
    The Centre d’Études Chypriotes, founded in 1983 by Olivier Masson and directed by him until his death in 1997, is at the moment the reference point for Cypriot studies in French-speaking countries (and not only). Directed by Sabine Fourrier, it publishes the Cahiers du Centre d’Études Chypriotes, an annual review with important contributions at an international level about Cypriot history and archaeology. The Cahiers 1 to 46 (1984-2016) are fully accessible on the open access platform Persée []. The website (in French and in English) has a section with news which is regularly updated.
  7. HiSoMA
    On the website of HiSoMA (Histoire et Sources des Mondes Antiques) laboratory, at the Maison de l’Orient in Lyon, a page summarizes the Cypriot activities of the laboratory: excavations at Salamis, Kition and Amathous, conferences, exhibitions, publications and other productions.
  8. Department of Antiquities, Cyprus
    Directed by Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou, the Department of Antiquities is part of the Ministry of Communications and Work of the Republic of Cyprus. It is engaged in very intense archaeological activity on the whole territory of the island, mostly emergency and rescue excavations. It is also responsible for the antiquities collections in the public museums on the island, and it publishes a great number of monographs and excavation reports. Its annual journal, the Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus, has been published in the last years with irregular periodicity (the last volume, n.s. 1, 2018, appeared in 2020). For the most up-to-date news consult the DA’s Facebook page []
  9. The Archaeological Research Unit
    The Archaeological Research Unit is the archaeological department at the University of Cyprus. It organises a regular seminar (each Monday evening at 7:30 p.m., Nicosia time) which is very popular among researchers, as well as conferences and workshops; many of these events are accessible on its YouTube channel [].
  10. Kyprios Charakter
    Kyprios Charakter is the website of the research project SilCoinCy (“The Silver Coinage of the Kings of Cyprus: Numismatics and History in the Archaic and Classical Periods, 6th to 4th centuries BC”), led by Evangéline Markou at Athens (IHR-NHRF). The website presents: a database of silver coins minted by Cypriot kings, progressively enriched; a bibliographic database, by Anne Destrooper-Georgiades; several scientific articles, in English and Modern Greek, on the history, archaeology, numismatics, and epigraphy of ancient Cyprus.
  11. CoCyMed
    Website of the research project CoCyMed (“Cypriot connectivity in the Mediterranean from the Late Bronze Age to the end of the Classical period”), led by Giorgos Bourogiannis at Athens (IHR-NHRF). The website presents a series of research articles and the videos of the conference Beyond Cyprus (8-11 December 2020).


  1. The Bulwer Tablet
    Clay tablet inscribed in Cypro-Syllabic Greek from Akanthou, 4th c. BC. London, British Museum.
  2. Tablet from Idalion
    Bronze tablet inscribed in Cypro-Syllabic Greek on the two faces, from Idalion, 5th c. BC. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Cabinet des médailles, Bronze.2297.
  3. Paphos stele
    Limestone stele inscribed in Cypro-Syllabic Greek (Paphian syllabary): epitaph of Echetimos, king of Paphos, 4th c. BC. Paris, Louvre, AM 1859.
  4. Linteau d'Amathonte
    Limestone lintel with two Cypro-Syllabic Eteocypriot inscriptions, from Amathous, Cypro-Archaic or Classical period. Paris, Louvre, AM 799.
  5. Copy of a gold bracelet from Kourion
    Gold bracelet (copy) inscribed in Cypro-Syllabic Greek (Paphian syllabary), from Kourion, Archaic period. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 74.51.3552.
  6. Stele of Onasis
    Limestone stele inscribed in Cypro-Syllabic Greek (Paphian syllabary): epitaph of Onasis, from Palaepaphos, Archaic or Classical period. Berlin, Antikensammlung, Misc. 8172.


  1. Alphabetum
    Unicode font created by Juan-José Marcos García, for-pay
  2. CTAN: directory: /tex-archive/fonts/archaic/Cypriot
    Files set for writing Cypro-Syllabic signs in LaTeX.
  3. Code 2001 font
    This website provides downloadable Code2001, free Unicode font created by James Kass and including Cypro-Syllabic signs.
  4. Unicode Fonts for Ancient Scripts
    The Unicode font Aegean allows the transcription of several scripts from the ancient Eastern Mediterranean basin, such as Phoenician, Ugaritic, Linear B and Cypro-Syllabic.
  5. Unicode Character Code Charts
    The Unicode Character Code Charts gives all the Unicode values grouped by writing system. Cypro-Syllabic occupies the block 10800–1083F.
  6. BabelMap
    The software BabelMap, for Windows, is very useful for finding and transcribing Unicode characters; it is a creation of Andrew West, and it can be freely downloaded and used.
  7. Noto Sans Cypriot
    Unicode font belonging to the great family of Google Noto fonts for writing Cypro-Syllabic, free.


  1. The archives of Marguerite Yon
    The archives of Marguerite Yon, archaeologist and scholar of Cyprus (excavations of Salamis and Kition), were kept at the Maison de l’Orient in Lyon, where she worked all her life. They have been classified and transferred to the Rhone departmental archives. For their variety and completeness, they offer an unprecedented perspective on a researcher’s activity and on Marguerite Yon’s intellectual activity.