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Written in Stone
Written In Stone: Pre-Islamic Period Inscriptions
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Thamudic (Musnad al Shamali)

Thamudic script is the most ancient Arabian script. The script was used from about 1500 BC to the 4th or 3rd century BC. Stones inscribed with Thamudic script are generally found in northern Saudi Arabia but have been found from many parts of the Arabian Peninsula. Stones inscribed with Thamudic script form the largest part of the Museum's epigraphic collections.

This script consisted of 28 letters and was written left-to-right, right-to-left, or top-to-bottom.


Thamudic inscription (1)
On right "Habar" (person's name); on left "Maslad" (person's name)
35cm x 46cm x 20cm
NMSA: 836
Written from top to bottom.
  fig05
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Thamudic inscription (2)
"L'radh" (or "LRD" or "Lirad"), name of a pre-Islamic god in northern Arabia.
33cm x 30cm x 10cm
NMSA: 803
Written from right to left.
  fig06
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Thamudic inscription (3)
Undeciphered inscription on rock face (archival photo), under study
1m x 1m (inscription area)
ca. 500 BC
  fig07
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Thamudic inscription (4)
Undeciphered inscription on rock face (archival photo), under study
1m x 500cm (inscription area)
ca. 500 BC
  fig08
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Thamudic inscription (5)
"L-Mak [bin] thar" (person's name), "L'ta'a bin yea" (person's name)
28ck x 25cm x 14cm
NMSA: 811
Two lines written from top to bottom, progressing from right to left.
  fig09
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Thamudic inscription (6)
"L'habarban" (person's name)
20cm x 17 cm x 3 cm
NMSA: 865
Written from left to right.
  fig10
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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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