This racial question can hardly be determined till those Hatti records, whether in cuneiform or pictographic script, which are couched in a native tongue, not in Babylonian, are read.
A system of pictographic writing came into use early in this Palace period, but only a few documents, made of durable material, have survived.
This is equally true both of the pictographic and the linear Aegean systems. Its nearest affinities are with the "Asianic" scripts, preserved to us by Hittite, Cypriote and south-west Anatolian (Pamphylian, Lycian and Carian) inscriptions.
The pictographic characters, found on seals and discs of Period II.
Certain clay sealings, eight of which bore pictographic signs, found by A.
HITTITES, an ancient people, alluded to frequently in the earlier records of Israel, and also, under slightly variant names, in Egyptian records of the XVIIIth, XIXth and XXth Dynasties, and in Assyrian from about 1100 to 700 B.C. They appear also in the Vannic cuneiform texts, and are believed to be the authors of a class of monuments bearing inscriptions in a peculiar pictographic character, and widely distributed over Asia Minor and N.
Jessup, rediscovered, at Hamah (Hamath) on Orontes, five basaltic blocks bearing pictographic inscriptions in relief, one of which had been reported by J.
Sculptured stelae, honorific or funerary, all with pyramidal or slightly rounded upper ends, and showing a single regal or divine figure or two figures, have come to light at Bor, Marash, Sinjerli, Jerablus, Babylon, &c. These, like most of the rock-panels, are all marked as Hittite by accompanying pictographic inscriptions.
It is, however, during the Middle Minoan age, the centre point of which corresponds with the XIIth Egyptian dynasty, according to the Sothic system of dating, c. 2000-1850 B.C., that a systematized pictographic or hieroglyphic script makes its appearance which is common both to signets and clay tablets.
During the Third Middle Minoan period, the lower limits of which approach 1600 B.C., this pictographic script finally gives way to a still more developed linear system - which is itself divided into an earlier and a later class.
These, now almost sixty in number (excluding seals), are all in a pictographic character which employed symbols somewhat elaborately depicted in relief, but reduced to conventional and " shorthand " representations in the incised texts.