header: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Written in Stone
Written In Stone: Pre-Islamic Period Inscriptions
(decorative line)  


Lihyanite writing was common among the Lihyan tribes of northern Saudi Arabia. It is similar to the Thamudic script and consisted of 28 letters. Its use is attributed to 6th to 4th century BC.

Lihyanite inscription (1)
"A'azar al bin Jar" (person's name)
40cm x 31cm x 7cm
NMSA: 841
Top line written from right to left; bottom line from left to right.
Click for details  

Lihyanite inscription (2)
Lihyanite inscription
"For Aaz'r" (person's name) & "L'salm, Raja bin Awas bin Sam"
Line 1 written from left to right; Line 2 from right to left
Click for details

Lihyanite inscription (3)
(Possibly: "This friend of Merdan, Nabonadis, King of Babel, shepherded in this place…"; see discussion)
1m x 1.5m (inscribed area)
Commemoration of an event.
Engraved from right to left, the three-line inscription is located on a boulder southwest of Taima.
The writer was involved in the story of Merdan and Nabonadis.
The inscription documents an event as an important one.
Click for details

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