The Nabataean script is an abjad (consonantal alphabet) that was used to write Nabataean Aramaic and Nabataean Arabic from the second century BC onwards. Important inscriptions are found in Petra (now in Jordan), the Sinai Peninsula (now part of Egypt), and other archaeological sites including Abdah (in Israel) and Mada'in Saleh in Saudi Arabia.
|2nd century BC to 4th century AD|
|ISO 15924||Nbat (159), Nabataean|
Final Accepted Script Proposal
Egyptian hieroglyphs 32nd c. BCE
Hangul 1443 CEThaana c. 18 CE (derived from Eastern Arabic numerals and Brahmi numerals)
Nabataean is only known through inscriptions and, more recently, a small number of papyri. It was first deciphered in 1840 by Eduard Friedrich Ferdinand Beer. 6,000 – 7,000 Nabataean inscriptions have been published, of which more than 95% are extremely short inscriptions or graffiti, and the vast majority are undated, post-Nabataean or from outside the core Nabataean territory. A majority of inscriptions considered Nabataean were found in Sinai, and another 4,000 – 7,000 such Sinaitic inscriptions remain unpublished. Prior to the publication of Nabataean papyri, the only substantial corpus of detailed Nabataean text were the 38 funerary inscriptions from Hegra (Mada'in Salih), published by Julius Euting in 1885.