Computer Science and Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



Revesz, P.Z. Decipherment Challenges Due to Tamga and Letter Mix-Ups in an Old Hungarian Runic Inscription from the Altai Mountains. Information 2022, 13, 422. https://


open access


An Old Hungarian Runic inscription from the Altai Mountains with 40 signs has posed some special challenges for decipherment due to several letter mix-ups and the use of a tamga sign, which is the first reported use of a tamga within this type of script. This paper gives a complete and correct translation and draws some lessons that can be learned about decipherment. It introduces sign similarity matrices as a method of detecting accidental misspellings and shows that sign similarity matrices can be efficiently computed. It also explains the importance of simultaneously achieving the three criteria for a valid decipherment: correct signs, syntax, and semantics.