Monday, January 14, 2019

More ancient Aramaic found in Saudi Arabia

ARAMAIC WATCH: Hieroglyphic inscriptions discovered in Saudi Arabia (Egypt Today). Yes, I know what the headline says. And the discovery of an Egyptian Hieroglypic inscription of Ramses III in Saudi Arabia is important. But slipped in with that report is the following:
The Hieroglyphic inscription was found on a fixed rock, near the Tayma oasis. It bears a royal signature (a double cartouche) of King Ramesses III. Several additional Aramaic, Thamudic and Nabataea inscriptions, as well as ancient illustrations of cattle, ostriches and snakes were discovered. King Ramses III is the most famous ruler of the 20th Dynasty known by the Greeks as Rampsinitus. He followed his father Ramses II's reign to embark on massive construction projects.
(My bold-font emphasis.)

Thamudic is an ancient North Arabian dialect. Nabatean (Nabataean) is an Aramaic dialect used by speakers of Arabic in North Arabia. There's more on North Arabian and Nabatean here and links and here. And for more on Aramaic in ancient Arabia, see here and links.

I believe the Tayma oasis is the site where the last king of Babylon, Nabonidus, pursued his worship of the moon god Sin rather than running his kingdom. The story is alluded to in the Aramaic Prayer of Nabonidus in the Dead Sea Scrolls, on which more here.

There is no more information in the article about the content of the new Aramaic and Nabatean inscriptions.

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