Where did the oldest alphabet come from? Why is there much less signs in it than in the cuneiform and writing of the ancient Egyptians?
The first alphabet was composed by Phoenician sailors and merchants who sailed the Black and Mediterranean seas. They needed him in order to carry out correspondence on commercial matters. Among the sailors and merchants, there were no educated people who knew cuneiform or hieroglyphic writing. There are two reasons: first, the privileged estates – the clergy and officials – read and wrote; the second – cuneiform and hieroglyphs were too complex, included hundreds and thousands of signs and their combinations, their rules were confusing. The merchants needed a simple recording system that anyone could understand. No complicated rules and a limited number of easy-to-remember icons. They created an alphabet in which each icon represented a sound (rather than a word or syllable, as in earlier and more complex writing systems). It is noteworthy that the first alphabet included only consonants, but there were no signs to denote vowels.
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