On the origins of the Oghamic writing system

Michel-Gerald Boutet

For most scholars, the Ogham is the creation of early medieval missionaries in the conversion effort of the illiterate pagan population of Ireland. Their reasoning being that the letters derive from the Roman alphabet and that no recognised archaeological example dating from the pre-Christian era was never found. This argument is often used to disqualify the case for an ancient Old World and New World Ogham outside the historical Hibernian area and period. In no way this highly simplistic view holds water when confronted to the scrutiny of interdiscipli-nary studies. Indeed, the Ogham sign system, not only seems to predate the alphabet and other codes of writing but, might very well be as old as the Stone Age. We are therefore in great need of a paradigm shift!