Arabian Epigraphic Notes

An Open Access Online Journal on Arabian Epigraphy.

On the uses of writing in ancient Arabia and the role of palaeography in studying them

Abstract

Literacy was widespread in large areas of ancient Arabia, as shown by the huge numbers of graffiti by both settled people and nomads. But, it is still extremely difficult to establish a reliable chronology for the literate periods of pre-Islamic Arabian history. This has led to a misuse of palaeography in an attempt to create chronological sequences based on letter forms from undated inscriptions and documents, on widely different kinds of surface, with different purposes, and often separated by large distances. This practice is not confined to Arabian inscriptions but is widespread in Semitic epigraphy.This article offers a new taxonomy for inscriptions and graffiti, examines the misuse of palaeography in Semitic epigraphy and suggests some more useful ways in which palaeography could be used in this field.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Chronology Graffiti Inscriptions Literacy Palaeography

A selection of Safaitic inscriptions from the Mafraq Antiquities Office and Museum

Abstract

This paper provides the photographs, readings, and interpretations of sixty-one Safaitic inscriptions from the Mafraq Museum’s collection.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Old Arabic Safaitic

Prepositional Phrases in the Dadanitic Inscriptions

Abstract

This article is concerned with the use and meaning of ten different prepositions attested in the corpus of Dadanitic inscriptions. Compared with previous overviews of the prepositional system, the article provides a more complete picture of the various semantic functions exhibited by these prepositions. It also discusses the impact of formulaic language on the semantic scope of individual preposition as well as instances where different prepositions have the same semantic function. It also compares the use of these prepositions with cognates in other ancient North-Arabian corpora. In addition to this, it contains some new interpretations and translations.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Dadanitic Prepositions

A new and unique Thamudic inscription from northeast Jordan

Abstract

This article is an edition of an inscription in a variety of Thamudic that contains several glyph shapes that have not been found together in the same inscription, and are typical of inscriptions from central and southern Arabia. Interesting glyph shapes include the glyph shapes for ‘, w, and g. A personal name formed on a morphological H-Causative verb, familiar from the South Arabian, as well as Dadanitic inscriptions, is attested in this inscription. The formula found in the inscription is paralleled most closely by those typical of Thamudic C inscriptions. Finally, the article discusses the implications of the combination of these features, typically associated with different scripts and geographic distribution, for the field of ANA epigraphy.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Graffiti Thamudic

Remarks on the etymon trḥ in the Safaitic inscriptions

Abstract

This paper discusses four new Safaitic inscriptions from Jordan. Two of the funerary inscriptions shed light on the enigmatic grieving term trḥ, which could have both a passive meaning “perished” (lit. grieved for) and an active meaning “grieving intensely”.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Funerary Inscriptions Safaitic

The Language of the Taymanitic Inscriptions & its Classification

Abstract

This work comprises a linguistic survey of the Ancient North Arabian (ANA) epigraphic material from Taymāʾ, conventionally known as Taymanitic (Macdonald 2000: 28-9). A grammatical sketch, based on the linguistic features in the Taymanitic corpus is presented, followed by a discussion of the linguistic features of Taymanitic that are relevant to its linguistic classification. After that, follows a compilation of all previously published
inscriptions with grammatical content. Finally, an appendix with a glossary follows.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Classification Taymanitic

Dadanitic Graffiti from Taymāʾ Region Revisited

Abstract

This contribution is devoted to four Dadanitic graffiti from the Region of Taymā ʾ – North-West Arabia and will provide a new philological treatment of them. They were published by M. Kh. Eskoubi in his work entitled Dirāsa Taḥlīlīya Muqārina li-Nuqūš min Minṭaqat (Ramm) Ğanūb Ġarb Taymāʾ , which appeared in al-Riyāḍ in 1999. It is worth mentioning here that the Taymāʾ region witnessed a diversity of written epigraphical types that can be called Ancient North Arabian.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Dadanitic

Betwixt and Between the Bactrian Camel and the Dromedary: The Semantic Evolution of the Lexeme udru during the 11th to 8th Centuries BCE

Abstract

This paper strives to overturn the general consensus that has formed over the past three decades on the identification of the Akkadian lexeme udru as exclusively designating the Bactrian camel (Camelus bactrianus). This general opinion does not appreciate the semantic evolution of the lexeme udru during the Iron Age. By examining references to udru in Mesopotamian texts from a diachronic perspective, we can outline the semantic evolution of the lexeme. It will be demonstrated that the lexeme udru without any qualifications designated the camel in general and the dromedary in particular during the 11th to 9th centuries bce. Only after the Assyrians defeated the Arabians in the 8th century bce and became better acquainted with the dromedary (Camelus dromedarius), did the lexeme udru start to designate the Bactrian camel in particular.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Animal husbandry Animal names Assyria Camel

A selection of Safaitic inscriptions from the Mafraq Antiquities Office and Museum II

Abstract

This paper edits twenty-one previously unpublished Ancient North Arabian (Safaitic) inscriptions discovered in 2015 in Jordan, one of which mentions the Nabataean Damaṣī.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Damasi Nabataeans Safaitic

Marginal notes on and additions to An Outline of the Grammar of the Safaitic Inscriptions (SSLL 80; Leiden: Brill, 2015), with a supplement to the dictionary

Abstract

This contribution provides a preliminary update to An Outline of the Grammar of the Safaitic Inscriptions (ssll 80; Leiden: Brill, 2015) based on new inscriptions and the re-interpretation of previously published texts. New data pertain to phonology, demonstratives, verbal morphology, and syntax. The supplement to the dictionary contains hundreds of new entries, mainly comprising rare words and hapax legomena.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Arabic grammar Safaitic