Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources


- 9th-6th century BC

Online resources

Online documents

  1. West Semitic Documents
    Transcriptions and English translation of the Amman Citadel Inscription, with essential bibliography and further related links.
  2. West Semitic Research Project
    Published by the University of Southern California. Users are asked to sign a free agreement for access to the "Scholarly Site" section, which offers high-resolution images of epigraphic documents and more in Western Semitic languages, including Hebrew; the links to further online resources is also useful. Images are provided with an introduction, a short comment and an English translation, and they can be studied down to the detail of a single letter, and re-examined.
  3. Northwest Semitic Inscriptions Archive
    Electronic archive of inscriptions written in North-West Semitic languages; it can be looked through by artefact and bibliography. Every single inscription has a catalogue number according to the main critical editions. Description, transcription into Hebrew square writing, and suggested dating follow. The site is divided into two sections – one is educational, “for educators and students”; one is more technical “for scholars” – and offers high resolution images to document objects and epigraphy. For copyright reasons not all the images are included in this site, but one can gain access via the parallel site Inscriptifact, which is part of the same project, or by emailing the site administrators.


  1. Inscriptifact
    Online archive of high-resolution images of inscriptions and artefacts from the Near East, freely accessible by signing up, published by the University of Southern California.


  1. The Alphabet at the Turn of the Millennium: The West Semitic Alphabet Ca. 1150-850 BCE
    Benjamin Sass,The Alphabet at the Turn of the Millennium: The West Semitic Alphabet Ca. 1150-850 BCE : the Antiquity of the Arabian, Greek and Phrygian Alphabets, Tel Aviv University Institute of Archaeology Occasional Publications 4), Tel Aviv, 2005. Downloadable in pdf from the Benjamin Sass page in


  1. ABZU Bibliography
    Database for the research of periodicals, monographs and websites relevant to ancient Near Eastern studies, ed. by Charles E. Jones, head librarian of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University.