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Ancient Arab civilizations found with inscriptions across Saudi Arabia.

Ancient Arab Civilization
Ancient Arab civilizations found with inscriptions across Saudi Arabia.

The inscriptions include writings in Palmyrene, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, ancient Egyptian and Babylonian.

More than thirteen types of inscriptions from historical civilizations, mostly written in Arabic, have been found the Arabian Peninsula, professionals have revealed. The best-known inscriptions are rock inscriptions on mountains, Dr Sulaiman Al-Thiaeb, professor of historical Arabic writings and cultural representative at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, instructed . “The oldest Arabian Islamic and Arabic-associated inscriptions are the Thamudic inscriptions that date as far returned as 1200 B.C.,” he stated. “We did not discover political Thamudic inscriptions because most of them are social and reflect the mind of historical Thamudic or Arab individuals. We usually discover them in deserts, along trade routes and inside cities, along with AlUla, Najran, Tayma and Al-Jouf, which have been kingdoms’ capitals.” According to the professor, the 2nd maximum well-known inscriptions are the Aramaic ones, which may be found in AlUla, the capital city of Dadanite and Lihyanite Kingdoms, and date back to 1000 B.C. “These kingdoms lasted from the 10th century B.C. to the first century B.C., while the Nabataeans overthrew them.” The Lihyanite inscriptions determined in northwestern Arabia are much like the Thamudic, Safaitic, Nabati and Aramaic dialects and the dialects of the South Arabian script and the Sabaean and Minaean dialects, he stated. He introduced that the most outstanding of these inscriptions are determined in northwestern and southwestern Arabia and the region of Hail. This is considered one of the richest areas in terms of historical records and is the home of Jubbah, which has been recognized through UNESCO. The inscriptions consist of writings in Palmyrene, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, ancient Egyptian and Babylonian, some of which will have been written through traders or soldiers who came to Arabia for various reasons.

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In contrast, others are considered memorials and represent an important source of information at the region’s history and culture. The number of inscriptions, she stated, displays a society’s cultural level and its interest in documenting. “The inscriptions are determined on rocks in an arranged or random manner depending at the writer’s skill, at the facades of buildings such as temples and houses, on tombstones or sealed on clay tablets which might be burned after the texts were written to solidify them so that they can last for lengthy intervals of time without fragmenting or crumbling,” Hawsawi introduced. “We can extract historical information from these inscriptions as they reflect the emotions of love, fear, longing, disappointment, and happiness felt by people back then,” stated Hawsawi. “That is why inscriptions are visible as a true witness of what the people of that technology have experienced, which highlights the region’s cultural depth.” In northern Arabia, the Thamudic calligraphy has become known in the 8th century B.C. and the Safaitic, Aramaic, Dadanite, Lihyanite and Nabati calligraphies, that are found in greater than 5,000 inscriptions throughout the Kingdom. She referred to that opinions vary over the inscriptions’ language and whether it was Canaanite, Aramaic or Arabic. However, she introduced, most archaeologists agreed on their Arabism “given the fact that they include Arabic letters such as the “B” and the “F,” words relating to the desert, animal names such as “camel,” proper Arabic nouns such as Al-Hareth, Taym and Qais, in addition to the names of Arab deities followed by Arabic names such as Abdullah, Taym Al-lat, Abd Monat, Abd Manat, Abd Rab El bin Aqabi and Rab El bin Taym. Archaeological research focusing on the Arabian Peninsula commenced with Western travellers’ arrival such as Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, Charles Huber, Joseph Halevy, Eduard Glaser, William Palgrave, Janssen and Savignac, John Philby, Peter Cornwall, Jeffrey Pepe, Ryckmans, Albert Jamme, Jacqueline Byrne and Wiseman. “We need to not forget the efforts of KSU’s College of Tourism and Antiquities, represented by the university’s archaeology department, in its excavations throughout the Kingdom,” she stated.

Written by Jonathan Brody

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