Fred C. Woudhuizen


Luwian hieroglyphic, a script used by the Hittites of ancient Anatolia and the first being designed for an Indo-European (= IE) tongue, is best known from the Early Iron Age inscriptions. For the first time, in this study the Luwian hieroglyphic monumental rock and stone inscriptions from the Hittite Empire period (c. 1450-1180? BC) are collected and treated in a systematic way. The reader will find him- or herself face to face with many new reconstructions and readings, which elucidate not only the history of especially the later part of the Hittite Empire period, but also give a clear insight in the morphology and grammar of the Luwian language during this early phase of its development. In fact, this study is designed as an indispensable handbook, covering all subjects from the reading of individual words and forms on the one hand to the position of the language within the IE Anatolian language group and Indo-European in general on the other hand. An index of the Luwian hieroglyphic words will facilitate the reader in his journey through this as yet not well-known but fascinating set of documents. In addition, some texts from the earliest phase of the Early Iron Age are discussed which show the continuity of Late Bronze Age scribal tradition after the fall of the Hittite Empire—a period so dark that according to some scholars it does not exist. Finally, highly controversial issues like the reconstruction of the geography of the western part of the Hittite Empire or the relation of the Luwian hieroglyphic Late Bronze Age inscriptions to the script of the famous discus of Phaistos (Crete) are not shunned.


The author, Fred C. Woudhuizen, is well-versed in the field of IE Anatolian linguistics through his publications ranging from Luwian hieroglyphic to later dialects like Lydian and Sidetic. He also showed in his writings the key-importance of the Luwian hieroglyphic script and language for our understanding of Cretan hieroglyphic, Cypro-Minoan and, last but not least, Etruscan. Books worthy of mention in this connection, are Ancient Scripts from Crete and Cyprus and Lost Languages from the Mediterranean (with Jan Best), The Language of the Sea Peoples, and Linguistica Tyrrhenica I-II. The author is presently engaged in a researchproject on the ethnicity of the Sea Peoples for the Erasmus University at Rotterdam.


Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft, Sonderheft 116.
2004. 203 pp. € 40.00. ISBN 3-85124-209-2.


The given volumes of the series of the Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft can be ordered from the Institut für Sprachen und Literaturen der Universität Innsbruck, Abteilung Sprachwissenschaft, Innrain 52, A-6020 Innsbruck, e-mail