Alphabet is a prerequisite for many advances since it is the basis of written language.
| Prerequisite advances:|
| Alphabet (Civ1)|
| Needed for further advances:|
Code of Laws, Map Making, Mathematics, Writing
An Alphabet is a group of symbols that represents phonemes, sounds that humans can make or distinguish. Some Alphabets represent syllables. The ancestors of modern Alphabets are the iconographic and ideographic symbols of ancient man such as cuneiform and hieroglyphics. The modern Alphabet of the West traces back to the Romans, then to the Greeks, and then to the Phoenicians. The Alphabet was significant because ideas could now be transferred by being painted on pottery, carved in stone, or impressed in clay. Ideas no longer had to be exchanged face-to-face by voice or hand signals.