Luwian Hieroglyphics
This script was originally mislabeled as Hieroglyphic Hittite, as well as the language which wrote it, but the decipherment of the signs eventually led to the conclusion that the language recorded was not Hittite, but the related Luwian language . Within the Anatolian group of Indo-European languages Luwian, Hittite and Palaic made first three main dialects.

Hieroglyphic Luwian was used in city-states of Southern Anatolia and Northern Syria, from 1000 BC to 700 BC. In general, hieroglyphs are one of the most ancient system of writing, they appeared independently in several locations in the world (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley, America, China). Luwian symbols can also be independent, though some similarity can be found with the Elamite hieroglyphic script in shape of symbols, and with Babylonian cuneiform in the structure of the script.

At all there were about 500 symbols, each of them meaning not just sounds, but more often words, terms, even expressions. A great lot of hieroglyphs cannot yet be explained except as the determinatives, auxiliary symbols to show the meaning of the sentence. But still many signs denoted a sound or a combination of them.

The system has a lot of homophonous signs, that is, different looking signs with the same phonetic value. The diacritical marks on the vowels, like in transcribing Sumerian, do not denote any phonetic value, but simply act as a tag saying that this is the n-th sign discovered to have a certain pronunciation (the acute accent being the second and the grave the third). Therefore, wa, w, w, wa4, wa5 and wa6 represent the same sound.

Luwian hieroglyphs fell out of use after three centuries of existence, and no future writing system used in Asia Minor were affected by them. Later nations of the Anatolian group used either cuneiform, or numerous alphabets modified from the Phoenician script.
 
Language which used the script: Anatolian (Hieroglyphic Hittite/Luwian).


Images: Luwian Hieroglyphics


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