Cypro-Minoan is the term used to describe the Syllabic Writing of Late Bronze Age Cyprus, in approximately the Second Half of the Second Millennium BC, roughly contemporary with Minoan and Mycenaean Crete and Greece.
It was originally thought that there were four variations, Archaic CM and CM1 (also known as Linear C) as well as CM2 and CM 3 (Ugarit, Syria). It is now considered that CM 1,2,3 constitute Linear C and that the signs can be favourably compared to both Mycenaean Linear B (c.1400-1200 BC) and Minoan Linear A (c.1700-1400 BC) and, but with some more difficulty, to “Cretan Hieroglyphics” (c.2000-1700 BC) including the infamous Phaistos Disk.
The Cypro-Minoan Inscriptions are now being systematically studied by the international, multilingual and interdisciplinary, Research Groups, INSCRIBE and CREWS, based in Oxford and Cambridge, respectively, over the last decade.
The Syllabic Cypriot Script continued into the First Millennium when it was also used to write the Greek Language alongside Bigraphic Transcriptions in the Hellenic Alphabet. Thus it is possible to read to some extent the Cypro-Minoan Inscriptions of the Second Millennium as the same script was used in the First Millennium for Greek Inscriptions in the Cypriot Syllabic Script. The Cypriot Scripts are members of the Aegean Family of Scripts from the Second Millennium.
Due to the Decipherment of First Millennium Classical Cypriot by George Smith in the 19th Century AD, and Second Millennium Linear B by Michael Ventris in the 20th Century AD it is now possible to read Cypro-Minoan Inscriptions. Where inscriptions can be read but not yet understood, then the language is considered to be “EteoCypriot” ie native to the island and before the Mycenaean Greek presence in the Second Half of the Second Millennium. Due to the work of INSPIRE and CREWS the Cypro-Minoan Inscriptions are now not only “studiable” but also “readable” so progress can now be made to “understand” them. Carpe Diem…G


INSCRIBE – Oxford University

Cypro-Minoan Inscriptions, Volume I: Analysis. Silvia Ferrara, UOP, 2013.

Cypro-Minoan Inscriptions, Volume II: The Corpus. Silvia Ferrara, UOP, 2013.

The Greatest Invention, A History of the World in Nine Mysterious Scripts,       Silvia Ferrara, Translated by Todd Portnowitz, Picador, 2022.

CREWS – Cambridge University

A Linguistic History of Ancient Cyprus. Philippa M. Steele, CUP, 2013.

Syllabic Writing on Cyprus and its Context. Edited by Philippa M. Steele, CUP, 2013.

Understanding Relations Between Scripts. The Aegean Writing Systems.          

Edited by Philippa M. Steele, Oxbow, 2017.