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Old Western Europeans, the Tarim Basin & Ogham Writing

Old Western Europeans, the Tarim Basin & Ogham Writing

There is nothing more magical and powerful than a free mind. (Lori Lappin, the witch of Witchcrafts Artisan Alchemy).

Most of us are taught that the first true alphabet was Phoenician, developed around 1050 BCE. What if that is not true? What if a tally mark derived letter system of communication actually emerged before that as a first alphabet, like the Ogham of Western Europe?

We know that mummies carrying the Western Atlantic European U5 maternal lineage are found in places critical to ancient trade routes, most notably, in the Tarim Basin along the Silk Road, Egypt, Phoenicia and among the North African Berbers. Indeed, the presence of mummies carrying the U5 maternal lineage predates the Silk Road, suggesting that U5 from Western Atlantic Europe could have even been instrumental in contructing and maintaining military security along the length of the Silk Road near the Tarim Basin. Certainly, such a livelihood would have contributed to the fierceness of the Picts, descendants of Tarim Basin merchants and military.

The Tarim Basin [1] has been documented to have been inhabited since at least 2000 BCE. Many of the mummies there carried European maternal lineages, including my own U5. European lineages found among the Tarim mummies including U5, U, U2e, U7, K and H. U5, U, U2e, U7 and K are all derived from the European maternal macrohaplogroup U. 

The presence of maternal macrohaplogroup R (a mother group to all of the listed European lineages, including H) suggests that this Tarim Basin group of Europid humans may have lived together in this general area for a long, long time, most certainly for longer than has been documented. The R mtDNA haplogroup is 66,000 years old, while European U is about 55,000 years old. The Tarim Basin population is therefore, very likely, the source population from which most Old European-specific maternal lineages ultimately descend. The Tarim Basin may be our Urheimat.

Back to the tally marks; tally marks have been used in both Old Europe and East Asia for over 35,000 years. We know that during the Paleolithic (a period which generally ended around 10,000 years ago), that a first true letter symbol emerged in China from a pre-existing tally mark [2]. At least 10,000 years ago. During the Paleolithic. In China. In China, like the Tarim Basin is in China. It is not far-fetched to suggest that here, in the Tarim Basin among the Europids, that letters also emerged from a pre-existing tally mark system.

It is also interesting to think that the emergence of these new letter systems in China proper and in the Tarim Basin among the Europids drove the development of the Silk Road and a more modernized way of conducting commerce.

The first true alphabetic letters emerged from tally marks at least 10,000 years ago. Among the ancient Chinese and among the Europids of the Tarim Basin. Those that were developed in the Tarim Basin came with the U lineages all the way to Western Atlantic Europe, becoming the Ogham script.

The tally-mark derived letters developed to facilitate commerce and commercial communications along a proto-Silk Road trade route are around 7000 years older than the Phoenician alphabet. The tally mark derived letters are very likely the oldest known alphabetic script in the world, not Phoenician.


1. Within the territorial range of the archaic Denisovans. I have 2.1% Denisovan ancestry.

2. "The first letter symbol emerged in the Paleolithic" [in China]. https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/china-...

3. Post written during the Black Super Moon in Leo trine with Jupiter on July 31, 2019.