The Greek Alphabet

The Greek alphabet came from the Phonecians around the year 900 B.C. When the Phonecians invented the alphabet there were 600 symbols. Those symbols took up too much room on the papyrus, so they narrowed it down to 22 symbols. The Greeks borrowed some of the symbols and then they made up some of their own. But the Phonecians, like other cultures, used their symbols to represent consonants and vowel sounds together. The Greeks were the first people to have separate symbols (or letters) to represent vowel sounds. Even the name "alphabet" comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet -- "alpha" and "beta." All later alphabets came from the Greek alphabet.

Link: http://www.ibiblio.org/koine/greek/lessons/alphabet.html