The History of Tefinagh Inscription

Author(s): Ahmed Alsherif

Year: 2015


The Tuareg speak the Berber language, which is called Tamajaq/Tamasheq/Tamahaq. The language is known as Tamasheq by western Tuareg in Mali, Tamahaq among Algerian and Libyan Tuaregs, and Tamajaq in the Azawagh and Aïr regions, Niger. Generally, the Tuaregs are Muslim, semi nomadic, and traditionally stratified group of people who has lived in the Saharan and Sahelian regions of Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Libya, and Algeria.

The word Tuareg which is plural comes from Tarqi or Tarki that is the name given by the Arabs scholars The Tuaregs also use an alphabet with characters called Tafineq (plural: Tefinagh). Some of writers have related this word’s root (FNQ) to the word used by the Greeks to refer to the Phoenicians. The Tuareg alphabet Tefinagh, for example, is traditionally taught by a mother to all her children. Approximately 50 percent of the Tuareg know how to use this alphabet for short messages and inscriptions. Tefinagh dates back at least to the second half of the first millennium BC. On the other hand, the name of Duveyrier, De Foucauld, Lhote, Keenan, Rasmussen, Casajus and Le Quellec are the best known of the many individuals with the discoveries of the past century.

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Cite this Record

The History of Tefinagh Inscription. Ahmed Alsherif. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397327)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;