Even more unknowable than the origins of writing are origins of the first alphabet. We accept that the alphabet reached the modern world via the ancient Greeks. We do not know how or when the alphabet appeared in Greece, four centuries after the disappearance of the syllabic Linear B around 1200 bc. Scholars have spent years asking: how did the Greeks come up with vowels and consonants? How did the idea of an alphabet occur to the pre-Greek societies? Did the alphabetic principle evolve or was it a stroke of inspiration? Why was an alphabet thought necessary? Was it a commercial drive that gave rise to an alphabet?