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Further reading and images The Romans Several hundred years later, the Romans used the Greek alphabet as the basis for the uppercase alphabet that we know today.They refined the art of handwriting, fashioning several distinctive styles of lettering which they used for different purposes.
There is, however, a small number of comparable symbols known from other Cretan inscriptions, known summarily as Cretan hieroglyphs.
This unique object is now on display at the archaeological museum of Herakleion in Crete, Greece.
The Phoenicians are the descendants of the Bronze Age Canaanites who, protected by the Lebanon mountains and the sea, did not succumb to the Israelites or the 'Sea Peoples'.
When they first appear in western historiography, in the eighth and seventh century BCE, the Phoenicians already possess scores of colonies all around the Mediterranean, and have extensive trade networks, extending as far as the Atlantic coast of Africa and the Black Sea, from which they challenged the Greeks, and later the Romans, for supremacy of the seas.
From it can be traced nearly all the alphabets ever used, most of which descend from the younger Phoenician version of the script.