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

La datation paléographique des inscriptions sudarabiques du Ier millénaire avant J.-C. : méthode et limites

Abstract

This paper proposes a new chronological classification of the Ancient South Arabian inscriptions of the first millennium BCE. Our proposal is based on recent archaeological and epigraphic discoveries, as well as synchronisms with external sources. These data contradict the traditional paleography-based dating and invalidates paleography as a method of dating the South Arabian inscriptions.


Keywords

Ancient South Arabian Chronology Palaeography Yemen Dating

A new Safaitic square-script inscription with a unique expression of ‘longing’

Abstract

This paper aims to study a new Safaitic inscription documented from the
eastern Jordanian Badiyah. The inscription is written in the square script
by a member of the lineage of ʿmrt and includes a rare expression of longing.


Keywords

Ancient North Arabian Graffiti Palaeography Safaitic Safaitic square script