Libyco-Berber alphabet

The Libyco-Berber alphabet or the Libyc alphabet (modern Berber name: Agemmay Alibu-Maziɣ) is an abjad writing system that was used during the first millennium BC by various Berber peoples of North Africa and the Canary Islands, to write ancient varieties of the Berber language like the Numidian language in ancient North Africa.[2][3][4][5][6]

Libyco-Berber alphabet
Script type
Time period
Sometime during the first milennium BC to the 4th-7th century AD
Directionright-to-left script 
LanguagesNumidian language, Libyco-Berber (ancient or classical Berber language)
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Tifinagh (Tuareg Tifinagh)

The Libyco-Berber script is found in thousands of stone inscriptions and engravings throughout Morocco, northern Algeria, Tunisia, northern Libya and the Canary Islands.

Apart from thousands of small inscriptions, some of the best known and significant Libyco-Berber inscriptions are in the Massinissa Temple (discovered in 1904) and the Prince Ateban Mausoleum in Dougga / Thugga (TBGG), northern Tunisia. Other significant Libyco-Berber inscription are the Azib N'Ikkis[7] and the Oukaimeden,[8] both found in the High-Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

The use of the Libyco-Berber alphabet died out in northern areas during or after the reign of the Roman and Byzantine empires, but it spread south into the Sahara desert and evolved there into the Tuareg Tifinagh alphabet used by the Tuareg Berbers to this day.


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