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Thursday, June 13, 2024




Online Corpus of the Inscriptions of Ancient North Arabia

KRC Research Archive

The OCIANA Project was an AHRC-funded research project that was based at The Khalili Research Centre and was active from October 2013 to June 2017. Note that this website is no longer updated, but all of the project outputs are available here and at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

The OCIANA database is available online at the following URL:


For further information on how to use this version of the database and how the various sections of the database are structured, please see the following presentation, which was recorded at the University of Oxford's Digital Humanities Summer School (DH@OxSS) at St Anne's College in July 2015:


The OCIANA database has been developed using Filemaker Pro, which allows for the rapid deployment and development of complex database systems. Data can be shared with other similar systems, such as DASI and CSAI, via standardised database and web technologies, including SQL and XML, whilst the team in Oxford can tailor the local system to match the requirements of the different groups of inscriptions of ancient North and Central Arabia.

The internal database allows researchers to add new inscriptions easily, upload new images of inscriptions, interrogate the existing dataset and, crucially, to apply tagged information to any of the inscriptions by a simple and easy process. The tagging system has been designed to allow for as much flexibility as possible, to help to create concordances of genealogies and grammatical elements, and to adhere to the emerging tagging standards developed as part of the TEI and Epidoc initiatives.

Phase 3 of the OCIANA Project will allow us to add additional functionality to the database, as well as to add the remaining corpora of North Arabian inscriptions, particularly those belonging to the Thamudic family of scripts.

Photograph of a rock drawing from Tayma

OCIANA Preliminary Editions

The following pdf files contain preliminary editions of the corpora that are contained within OCIANA, and are available here as free downloads for use by researchers. Each pdf contains details of all of the inscriptions within that script family, along with their textual content and translations, commentaries, and provenance information.

Dadanitic Corpus
(858 pages, 8.3MB)

Hismaic Corpus
(1,316 pages, 9.1MB)

Safaitic Corpus
(10,105 pages, 79.8MB)

Taymanitic Corpus
(224 pages, 2.1MB)

Smaller Collections
(104 pages, 1.4MB)

Right-click on the pdf title and choose 'Save as' to download each file.