Turkic Runes
Quick Facts
TypeC&V Alphabet
LocationCentral Asia
Time8th to 9th Century CE
DirectionRight to Left (but also Top to Bottom)

One of the earliest recorded Turkic language is in the form of a script called "Turkic Runes", found in Russia's southern Siberia and the Xinjiang uygur Autonomous Region of China (a region not surprisingly also known as Chinese Turkestan) beginning at around the 8th century CE.

At first sight, the angular Turkic Runes evoke comparison with Futhark or Germanic Runes. However, Turkic Runes cannot be shown to relate to Futhark conclusively. The angular visual style of Turkic Runes is more likely a result of carving texts on hard surfaces rather than some kind of formal link with Futhark. Instead, it is far more likely that Turkic Runes is derived from the Sogdian script.

There are two slightly different forms of Turkic Runes, namely Orchon and Yenisei. They are named after the geographical location they are found. The following chart illustrates the Orchon variant.

And the following is the Yenisei variant.

Turkic Runes ceased to be used by the 9th century CE. Instead they started to use the Uighur (Uygur) script which was another offshoot of the Sogdian script.

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