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Written In Stone
Written in Stone: Islamic Period Inscriptions
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Islamic Period Inscriptions

Arabic Text

Aramaic script existed in the north of Arabian Peninsula from which developed various branches of writings interconnected with each other, such as Nabataean & Neo-Semitic, from which later developed Arabic writing. With the advent of Islam and the Holy Qu'ran in the Arabic language, Arabic developed and was spread more rapidly all over the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic world.

The art of Arabic writing has long been associated with Islamic art and calligraphy. There were special schools that taught Arabic calligraphy. Arabic calligraphy is unique in the world due to its complexity and beauty, allowing for a great range of artistic creativity.

Archeologists and historians depend heavily on the study of writings found on rocks, inscribed building stones or markers, and on the rock faces of hillsides. Such inscriptions provide valuable insight into the history, culture and social values of the early Islamic period.

The first school of Arabic writing and calligraphy developed in the two Holy cities of Makkah and Medinah. The two well known scripts which were developed in Makkah and Medina were known as Makki and Madani scripts. These appeared long before the Kufi script and during the first century Hegra; the Arabic was written in two different styles known as Hard Kufi and Soft Kufi. The present form of Arabic writing with dots and signs developed around 2nd century Hegra (8th century AD).

After a period Arabian calligraphy developed further and decorations were added to the text. Many examples of this development are found in the form of foundations of milestones (on the pilgrimage routes), dams, forts, castles, watch towers, mosques, tombstones (name of persons, and the dates of death of people inscribed)—as well as Quranic verses and poetry. These inscriptions also provide us with the evidence of the development of Arabic writing, the art of calligraphy, and the decorative patterns in different periods. In addition, the examination of these objects gives us valuable insight into the history of the people.

The archaeologists and historians depend heavily on the inscriptions engraved on the rocks and hills, which provide valuable information on the history, culture and social values of early Islamic period.

Kufi Script (1-11) >>

Pre-Islamic Exhibit: Origin & Develpment | Thamudic | Lihyanite | Safaitic | Musnad al Janubi
Islamic Exhibit: Islamic Period | Kufi 1 | Kufi 2 | Naskh
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