Thursday, June 04, 2020

More Aramaic in Saudi Arabia

EXHIBITION: Saudi Arabia’s masterpieces of antiquities down the ages. Gulf News offers a glimpse into the Arabian Peninsula’s fascinating past (Samir Salama, Gulf News).
‘Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia’: Organised by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), it is one of the most important Saudi exhibits. It portrays the cultural depth and traditions of the kingdom in the most famous international museums — most notably in European and Asian capitals, and in American cities. The exhibition, through its 14 international channels and two local channels in Riyadh and in the King Abdul Aziz Centre for World Culture in Dhahran, constitutes an important and exceptional opportunity to introduce the kingdom’s culture as well as that of the Arabian Peninsula to five million visitors.
You can access the exhibition's website here.

The Gulf News article highlights a number of artifacts, including one bearing an Aramaic inscription:
Also among the famous Saudi artefacts is the ‘Monument with the Eyes’, a memorial “tombstone” inscribed with a human face dating back to the 5th century BC, found in Tayma. A memorial in the Aramaic language is inscribed on the stone: “On the Memory of Taim Ibn Zaid.”

This piece is the only clear evidence of the existence of cultural contacts between Tayma, the northwest and south of the Arabian Peninsula and the south.
The article does not include a photo of the object, but you can see one on the exhibition website. Unfortunately, I can't link to it. But click on the "Tayma, Al-‘Ula & Qaryat Al-Faw" circle and then scroll down to the sixth object on the far left, with the title "gravestone with abstract face,and Aramic [sic] inscription, Tayma, 5th–4th century BC Tayma_Al_Ula_Qaryat_al_Faw."

The website has photos of a vast number of artifacts, including more inscriptions in Aramaic, Nabatean, North Arabian, Greek, Latin, cuneiform, and Arabic.

For more on Tayma (Teima) and its ancient connection with Aramaic Fantasy Babylon and the Daniel tradition, see here and here. For additional inscriptions from Tayma, see here, here, and here.

For yet more PaleoJudaica posts on Aramaic, Nabatean (Nabataean) and old Arabian inscriptions in Saudi Arabia and ancient Arabia more generally, see here and links.

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