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Sunday, July 14, 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 Note that this website is no longer updated, but all of the project outputs are available here and at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Ancient North Arabian is the name given to a group of scripts belonging to the South Semitic script family, which also includes the Ancient South Arabian alphabets (musnad and zabūr) and the vocalized alphabets used in Ethiopia for Geʿez, Amharic, etc.

The Ancient North Arabian scripts were used both in the oases (Dadanitic, Dumaitic, Taymanitic,) and by the nomads (Hismaic, Safaitic, Thamudic B, C, D, and possibly Southern Thamudic). There are tens of thousands of inscriptions and graffiti in these scripts which were used in the period roughly between the sixth century BC and the fourth century AD. See the descriptions of the individual scripts below. You can also see a comparison of the letter forms used in each script in the following table:

Table showing the various scripts that were used in Ancient North Arabia
Table showing the various scripts that were used in Ancient North Arabia

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.