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Written in Stone
Written In Stone: Pre-Islamic Period Inscriptions
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Safaitic

Safaitic inscriptions are mostly found in the north of Saudi Arabia and are attributed to 3rd–2nd century BC. Safaitic tribes settled in the north of the country and left thousands of their Inscriptions on the rocks and hills. This script consisted of 28 letters and was written from left to right or right to left.


Safaitic inscription (1)
"L'ra'at bin Udai bin lashma bin Sarou" (family names)
54cm x 36cm x 8cm
NMSA: 801
Family names of a Safaitic tribe, inscribed on stone.
Written from left to right over the remnants of an earlier, now illegible script.
  fig14
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Safaitic inscription (2)
"Lashast bin Maiz bin Mahab w datha"
(person's name and family names)
40cm x 30cm x 9cm
NMSA: 797
Written from right to left, starting at a central point and then spiraling outward.
  fig15
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Safaitic inscription (3)
"Bar al bin U'adi bin Ta'aldam bin Sar Ahqas Ar A'amjou Wa Rab hat walat's shash w ad qabr wad" (person's name and family names)
20cm x 19cm x 10cm
NMSA: 796
Written from left to right, starting at the periphery and then spiraling inward.
  fig16
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Safaitic inscription (4)
"Lam Bathith bin laid bin Hashri wadath" (person's name)
54cm x 29cm x 16cm
NMSA: 829.
Written from right to left.
  fig17
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Safaitic inscription (5)
"Lkhazan bin Zaabd bin Khazan .. Khalasha Zt wa Shatiya"
(trans: Lkhazan prepared for the winter)
23cm x 15cm x 10cm
NMSA: 804.
Written from right to left.
  fig18
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Safaitic inscription (6)
"L'harab bin Ashamo Aa'mal A'ahan w Alaz min qabilat Lnab"
(family name and tribe name)
18cm x 12cmx 10cm
NMSA: 786.
This important inscription bears the name of a large and important family name in the region.
  fig19
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Safaitic inscription (7)
"Waisaq was balawi Lyasad Halr bin Raba'a L'lal and La'at salam wa mataq. Wa Yarhas" (person's name and family name)
45cm x 16cm x 18cm
NMSA: 809
Written from right to left.
  fig20
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Safaitic inscription (8)
"Likam bin Kam bin Iffat bin Mas bin Yabna'a Air wa bani" (family name)
29cm x 14cm x 12cm
NMSA: 787
The name relates to the inscriber. Writing starts at the bottom right corner and spirals up and toward the left.
  fig21
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Safaitic inscription (9)
"L'qadam bin Lamo w hadafa hal'lat slm"
(A person's name asking a favor from the deity E'lat).
40cm x 20cm x 15cm
NMSA: 850
This inscription is a prayer to the deity E'lat, a northern god; the scribe is asking a favor from E'lat.
  fig22
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Safaitic inscription (10)
"Shalab bun A'atel Tashouq wa Kutam"
22cm x 36cm x 7cm
NMSA: 848
Tribal marker of a Safaitic tribe, inscribed on stone.
Written from right to left in a semicircle next to seven straight lines, this inscription is one among thousands of stones with tribal markers left on rocks and hills of northern Saudi Arabia by Safaitic tribes. Most are dated between the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.
  fig23
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Pre-Islamic Exhibit: Origin & Develpment | Thamudic | Lihyanite | Safaitic | Musnad al Janubi
Islamic Exhibit: Islamic Period | Kufi 1 | Kufi 2 | Naskh
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