Greek Alphabet Was In Use at 6000 BC

February 1997

The potsherd of 5500-6000 BC, found at the islet Yura of Northern Sporades bearing Greek alphabet letters. The facsimile to the classic Greek letters Alpha, Ypsilon and Delta can be recognized. This find proves that the classic Greek alphabet is older than the Greek linear alphabets. It also demolishes crushingly and definitely the false theory that Greeks took the alphabet from the Phoenicians, who emerged in history around 1150 BC, i.e. 4500-5000 years after the creation of the Yura written potsherd.

After the discovery of a wooden plate at Dispilion Kastorias, which was dated at 5300 BC, a new impressive discovery came to light, concerning the "prehistorical" alphabet in the Greek region. In the "Cyclop cave" at the desert islet Yura of Northern Sporades (20 miles out of Alonissos), ceramic fragments of written pots (potsherds) were excavated, upon the surface of which have been carved symbols facsimile with the letters of the classic Greek alphabet. The potsherds are dated between 6000 and 5500 BC.

The discovery at the cave in question, is conducted by the archaeologist Adamantios Sampson since 1992 and according to him: "besides the ceramics of the Later Neolithic, we have discovered written potsherds of exceptional quality dated at the end of Early Neolithic and at the beginning of Middle Neolithic. The aceramic layer was dated between 6445 and 6375 BC with the radioactive carbon method, while the layers of the Middle and Early Neolithic (among which are the potsherds) were dated between 6025 and 5955 BC" (A.Sampson, "The Greek Neolithical Civilization", Goulandris Foundation, 1996).

In the above study A.Sampson makes no other menthion of the tremendously imprortant discovered Yura potsherds, but confines himself to the description of the fishing activities at the Sporades area during the Neolithic era. The reference material, which he mentions, includes photographs of other finds (fish-hooks, statuettes, decorated pots) from the excavation in question, but not one of the written potsherds.

The photograph of one of the written potsherds came out from the newspaper "Adesmeftos Tipos" (presentation of N.Nikitidis 13 February 1997) in a relevant publication under the title "The most ancient alphabet is Greek". On the surface of the potsherd the letters Alpha, Ypsilon, Delta in a row are clearly distinguished, which make up the root of the word "ÁÕÄÇ" (speech, voice), first encountered in "Theogony" (Hesiodus) as well as in "Iliad" (Homer). In the same publication A.Sampson is reported to confirm that "they are alphabet symbols and make up a conscious act of the ceramist" and reserves his total evaluation of the finds for a future scientific paper.

It must be noted that only a small part of the cave in question, has so far been excavated, thus, in the immediate future probably, the rest written potsherds will be discovered. When this will happen, it will be possible to make a total evaluation of this ancient alphabet type, which doesn't seem to be different from the classic and modern type. These tremendously important finds justify the historic and linguistic view of the simultaneous creation and evolution of the Greek language and Greek alphabet and render beneath significance and importance the Phoenician theory for the History of Civilization.

An article by Pan.Kouvalakis published in "Davlos" magazine

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