Around the world, there are many ancient languages that have remained undeciphered or only partially understood due to the lack of available bilingual texts or other relevant clues. Here are five examples:
An ancient script of the Minoan civilization, which flourished on the island of Crete from around 2000 to 1450 BCE. Linear A remains undeciphered, and the limited number of inscriptions has made it challenging to link the script to a known language.
The writing system of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, which existed from approximately 3300 to 1300 BCE in what is now Pakistan and northwest India. Despite many attempts, the script's meanings and underlying language remain uncertain.
The language of the Etruscan civilization in ancient Italy (circa 8th to 3rd centuries BCE). While some progress has been made in deciphering parts of the Etruscan language, much of it remains mysterious due to the scarcity of bilingual inscriptions.
A script used on Easter Island. The script is found on various wooden objects but has not been definitively deciphered. The isolation of Easter Island has made it difficult to find comparable languages for decipherment.
An ancient script used in the Elamite civilization (circa 3200 to 2500 BCE) in what is now southwestern Iran. Despite some progress, the script's meanings and the language it represents remain largely unknown.