Arabian Epigraphic Notes

An Open Access Online Journal on Arabian Epigraphy.

The Nabataeans against the Ḥwlt – once again. An edition of new Safaitic inscriptions from the Jordanian Ḥarrah desert


This paper examines three Safaitic graffiti recently discovered during a survey of the Wādī Salmā area in the ḥarrah desert, north-eastern Jordan. While one of these texts consists exclusively of onomastica, the other two contain new references to the Ḥwlt tribe, one of which is in a prayer asking Dushara to avenge the Nabataeans against them. This provides further evidence of a conflict that took place between the Nabataeans and the Ḥwlt, a mysterious event that has recently been brought to attention by Sabri Abbadi. The decipherment of the texts is followed by an updated list of the documents referring to this war and by some remarks on its historical context. The question that is asked is whether it could have occurred during the Nabataean takeover of northern Arabia during the first century bc.


Ancient North Arabian Nabataean inscriptions Safaitic Northwest Arabia Tribes of Pre-Islamic Arabia