Tartessian Old Gallaic
Tartessian was a Celtic language used by the Celts
of the Celtic civilisation of Tartessos (TRSS in the Nora inscription
of 800 BC or earlier, Tarshish in the Old Testament). This civilisation
commanded the Straits of Gibraltar (Fretum Tartessium or Pillars
of Hercules), the only maritme transit zone between the Mediterranean
Sea and the Atlantic Ocean (beyond the Pillars of Hercules). Other
Celtic languages explain the meaning of the name: Old Irish 'tar'
and Welsh 'tra' mean 'beyond' deriving from the Indo European for
'cross over, pass through, overcome'. If you want know more about
the Tartessian language please have a look at, like or join our "Tartessian" Facebook page and group.
was written in a derived version of the West Semitic 'alephat' (our
own 'alphabet' is derived from the alephat too) that was in use around
825 BC called the 'abekatu'. This writing has been found on around
100 tombstones, abekatu 'learning' stones and pottery graffiti dating
from the 7th to 5th century BC. There are also examples of Tartessian
written in Greek as graffiti or mentioned in Classical texts.
On this page we are going to read some Tartessian
inscriptions written in the abekatu and see how easily they can
be translated into meaningful Celtic as Professor John T Koch has
done. We will start with the abekatu which has the following letters
1. Vowels - Phoenician trade with Tartessos was conducted
by Cypriot merchants which had many Greek settlers at the time who
needed to use vowels for their language, so under their influence:
2. Syllables - the native Cypriots
had their own syllabic script representing a consonant followed
by a vowel, so under their influence:
3. Consonants - as in the original
Phoenician alephat which only had consonants (in their language
the vowel sounds are regular and understood with respect to the
consonant sounds and so were not shown):
The first 4 words in bottom line of the Tartessian inscription
above transliterates in the Tartessian abekatu as LOKOBO...TO ARAIAI.
Compare this to the "Callaecian" inscription embedded
in Latin and in Latin script LVCVBO ARQVIENOBO and the Celtiberian
inscription in Latin script LVBVEI ARAIANOM to see the resemblance.
See the inscriptions themselves below: