I’m obsessed with learning different writing systems, but keeping things organized can be difficult. Fortunately, very few writing systems are independent inventions: most are derived from other scripts. To make things easier for myself, I created a taxonomic tree of all writing systems descended from Egyptian Hieroglyphs.1,2 Also included are some inspired orthographies such as Cherokee, which was invented by Sequoyah. Click here for the full screen version (recommended).

Hieroglyphs

image of script

Type:
Logography, abjad

Languages:
Egyptian

Time period:
32nd century BC to 5th century AD

 

Method

While many of these writing systems have historically attested geneologies, I had to apply some guesswork in assembling this tree. I relied on Wikipedia as both a source itself and as a platform for finding primary sources (many of these primary sources weren’t properly reflected in the articles citing them, requiring me to make some edits).


  1. Data taken from Wikipedia

  2. Some taxonomic groupings such as North Brahmic and South Brahmic are used for convenience of organization even though they are not scripts themselves.