The Iberian numeral system: beyond a formal similarity with Basque numerals

Joan Ferrer i Jané

This paper presents a summary of the evidence supporting the identification of the Iberian numeral system, structured in four sections: formal similarity with Basque nu-merals, internal combinatorics, proof of the value marks on coins featuring ban (1), erder (1/2) and śeŕkir (1/6), and fa-vourable contexts. A special emphasis is placed on evidence derived from archaeological contexts, such as the stone weight from Puig Castellar, bearing abaŕ (10), and the dolium of Ruscino, with ogei (20). This paper also reviews the impact of the theory in the academic world, where it has nearly always been viewed favourably in Iberian studies and unfavourably in Basque historical linguistics. The evidence and the num-ber of items identified (11) completely rule out a random re-lationship. This, combined with the virtually nil chance of a systemwide borrowing, bolsters the notion of a genetic rela-tionship between the two languages.

Keywords: numerals, Iberian, Basque, genetic relationship