Richard Salomon, An Arapacana Abecedary from Kara Tepe (Termez, Uzbekistan)

Ostrakon from Kara Tepe (Termez) with a partial Arapacana abecedary.

The subject of this article is a partial abecedary (alphabet or syllabary written out in a standard order as a teacherís model or a studentís practice exercise) of the Arapacana syllabary in Kharoshthi script, discovered in the course of excavations of the Buddhist monastic complex at Kara Tepe, near Termez, Uzbekistan, on the northern bank of the Amu Darya (Oxus) River. This inscription is unusual, not only in constituting a rare instance of an abecedary in Kharoshthi script, but also in being written on an ostrakon.