Nabataean script

Script used by the Nabataeans from the second century BC onwards / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Nabataean script is an abjad (consonantal alphabet) that was used to write Nabataean Aramaic and Nabataean Arabic from the second century BC onwards.[2][3] 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.

Quick facts: Nabataean script , Script type, Time period, ...
Nabataean script
Nabat_alaph.png Nabat_bat.png Nabat_gamal.png Nabat_dalat.png Nabat_ha.png Nabat_waw.png Nabat_zayin.png Nabat_hha.png Nabat_tta.png Nabat_yat.png Nabat_kaf.png Nabat_lamad.png Nabat_mayim.png Nabat_nun.png Nabat_sa.png Nabat_hamza.png
Script type
Time period
2nd century BC to 4th century AD
Directionright-to-left script Edit this on Wikidata
LanguagesNabataean Aramaic
Nabataean Arabic
Related scripts
Parent systems
Child systems
Arabic script
ISO 15924
ISO 15924Nbat (159), Nabataean
Unicode alias
Final Accepted Script Proposal
Example in Nabataean alphabet

Nabataean is only known through inscriptions and, more recently, a small number of papyri.[4] It was first deciphered in 1840 by Eduard Friedrich Ferdinand Beer.[4] 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.[4] A majority of inscriptions considered Nabataean were found in Sinai,[4] and another 4,000 – 7,000 such Sinaitic inscriptions remain unpublished.[5] Prior to the publication of Nabataean papyri, the only substantial corpus of detailed Nabataean text were the 38 funerary inscriptions from Hegra (Mada'in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.[4]

Coin of Aretas IV and Shaqilath
Nabataean Kingdom, Aretas IV and Shaqilath, 9 b. C. – 40 a. D., AE18. On the reverse, an example of Nabataean script: names of Aretas IV (1st line) and Shaqilath (2nd and 3rd line).[6][7]