The Caucasian Albanian alphabet, which is also known as the Old Udi script,
was used by the Caucasian Albanians, speakers of a northeast Caucasian language
who lived in parts of what is now Azerbaijan and Daghestan. The alphabet was
mentioned in some early sources, and was rediscovered in 1937 by Professor Ilia
Abuladze in an Armenian language manuscript dating from the 15th century. The
manuscript contained details of alphabets such as Armenian, Greek, Latin,
Georgian, Coptic and Caucasian Albanian, which was referred to as "Ałuanic
girn e", which means "Aghuanic alphabet/writing" in Armenian. Professor Abuladze
believed the alphabet was based on the Georgian alphabet.
Further examples of the Caucasian alphabet were found in the 1940s and
1950s in the form of short inscriptions on a stone altar post, and on
candlesticks, tiles and vessels. In 2003 a longer text on a palimpsest
was found in St. Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai in Egypt.
Georgian scholars believe that King Pharnavaz I (ფარნავაზი) of Kartli (Iberia) created
the Caucasian Albanian alphabet, probably in the late 4th
or early 5th century AD, however Armenian scholars believe
that Mesrop Mashtots' (Մեսրոպ Մաշտոց), an Armenian missionary, did so.
Udi, a northeast Caucasian language spoken in parts of Azerbaijan, Georgia and
Armenia, is thought to be a descendant of the Caucasian Albanian language.
The name "Albania" is Latin for "mountaneous land" and the Caucasian Albanians
were not related to the Albanians of Albania, nor were their languages related.