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Before 2000-200 BCEBefore 2000-200 BCE


Dead languages ||| Anatolia / Languages
Luwian language
Also called: Luvian; Luish




Luwian hieroglyphs
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Detail of Stele of Sultanhan. Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara, Turkey.



Extinct Indo-European language spoken by the Luwians, an ancient people of southern Anatolia. It was spoken from before 2000, lasting until 200 BCE.
Luwian is closely related to Hittite, Palaic and Lydian. It is the ancestor, or close to the ancestor, of Lycian. Some theories make Luwian the language of the people of Troy. After the fall of the Hittite Empire, Luwian was spoken in some of the city states emerging after the fall of the Hittite Empire, like Milid and Carchemish.
Our main sources are from cuneiform tablets found in the Hittite archives at Hattusha. Luwian was also written with a form of hieroglyphs beginning in the 18th century and would last until the 8th century BCE. Luwian hieroglyphs are not believed to be derived from the Egyptian counterpart, having a structure and appearance quite different.
There are differences in language between the cuneiform and hieroglyphic; cuneiform was in Central Luwian, hieroglyphic in Eastern Luwian.
At a later stage, from around 600-200 BCE, West Luwian emerged as the most important language, being written with an alphabet.




By Tore Kjeilen