Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources


- 2nd (9th?) century BC-7th century AD

Online resources

Web sites of general interest

  1. Deciphering: A few thoughts about the Libyco-Berber script
    Discusses Libyco-Berber. Two studies, the one devoted to contemporary rock inscriptions and the other to the evolution of Libyco-Berber scripts from Ancient Times up till the present, are reviewed; and a few hypotheses related to the dating of engravings are discussed as well as the circumstances of the initial discovery made in Dougga.
  2. 'Libyan' Inscriptions in Numidia and Mauretania
    A brief introduction for beginners, taking a sceptical line on decipherment.
  3. Written in Stone: the Libyco-Berber Scripts
    A short illustrated introduction prepared at the British Museum for the general public, centred on the script’s use in rock art.
  4. Les écritures libyco-berbères
    A presentation of Libyco-Berber and its descendants by Mohamed Aghali-Zakaria and Jeannette Drouin.
  5. Ecriture libyque
    A non-academic introduction to Libyco-Berber by Salim Djoudi accompanied by an extensive and fairly well-cited map of documented inscriptions, often allowing images of the inscriptions to be viewed.

Online documents

  1. Répertoire des Inscriptions Libyco-Berbères
    A yearly newsletter edited by Lionel Galand till 2014.
    2008 issue;
    2009 issue
    2010 issue
    2011 issue
    2012-3 issue
    2014 issue.
  2. L'écriture libyco-berbère : Etat des lieux et perspectives
    A general introduction to Libyco-Berber.
  3. L'écriture libyco-berbère. Etat des lieux, déchiffrement et perspectives linguistiques et sociolinguistiques.
    A general introduction to the Libyco-Berber script, with a focus on the problem of understanding the language it is written in.
  4. Almogaren
    The journal of the Institutum Canarium, which has published many articles on Libyco-Berber inscriptions, especially those near the Atlantic seaboard.
  5. Association des Amis de l’Art Rupestre Saharien
    An association for the study of Saharan rock art, whose journal sometimes covers inscriptions of the Libyco-Berber period.


  1. Fonts for Berber - Luc Devroye
    A collection of links to Libyco-Berber and (Neo-)Tifinagh fonts.

Collections of texts and digital libraries

  1. Libyco-Berber Inscriptions Online Database
    An online database for the storage and analysis of Libyco-Berber inscriptions from the Canary Islands and Morocco.
  2. "Digital images of Tifinagh inscriptions at the Acacus Mountains in Libya, created during fieldwork by the Italian-Libyan Archeaological Mission in the Acacus and Messak"
    Images of Tifinagh inscriptions from 111 sites in southwestern Libya; while most are relatively recent, the earliest may date back to 400 BC, and thus to the period of Libyco-Berber proper.


  1. Lionel Galand
    Lionel Galand (1920-2017), a leading French specialist in Berber linguistics, prepared an important reference on the Libyco-Berber inscriptions of Morocco, Inscriptions antiques du Maroc. Inscriptions libyques; devoted a number of articles to the language of the inscriptions in a cautiously comparative perspective; and further encouraged their study by establishing the yearly newsletter Répertoire des Inscriptions Libyco-Berbères.
  2. Mansour Ghaki
    Mansour Ghaki (1948-), a prominent Tunisian archeologist and historian, has contributed extensively to the study of eastern Libyco-Berber inscriptions in their cultural context, discovering and publishing new material from Dougga in particular.
  3. J.-P. Chabot
    Jean-Baptiste Chabot (1860-1948), a Catholic priest and Aramaic specialist, wrote what remains the most extensive reference work on Libyco-Berber inscriptions, Recueil des Inscriptions Libyques.
  4. F. de Saulcy
    Félicien de Saulcy (1807-1880), an archeologist and later a French senator, deciphered the eastern Libyco-Berber script in 1843, using bilingual inscriptions found at Dougga.


  1. Bibliographie berbère
    A general bibliography of Berber studies, including Libyco-Berber.
  2. A Bibliography of Berber Language Materials
    A general bibliography in English of Berber studies, including Libyco-Berber.
  3. LBI: Script
    A partial bibliography with links to PDF versions of articles.
  4. Tabbourt Imgharen
    A detailed bibliography of archeology in the Maghreb, including works on Libyco-Berber inscriptions.