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Hasaitic

A gravestone inscribed in Hasaitic found at the site of Thāj, in north-east Saudi Arabia. A. Sima, ‘Die Hasaitischen Inschriften’, pp. 167–200 in N. Nebes (ed.) Neue Beiträge zur Semitistik (Wiesbaden, 2002), no. 10Hasaitic is the name given to the inscriptions — mostly gravestones — which have been found in the huge oasis of al-Ḥasā in north-eastern Saudi Arabia at sites like Thāj and Qatīf, with a few from more distant locations. They are carved in what may be an ANA dialect but expressed in a slightly adapted form of another member of the South Semitic script family, the Ancient South Arabian alphabet. Many of the personal names in these texts are etymologically ANA but there are other names, as well as features of the language of the texts, which are more difficult to explain as ANA. So far, just over 40 Hasaitic inscriptions are known and many of these are badly damaged. It will not be possible to make a more sophisticated linguistic analysis until more texts are discovered. They are thought to date from the first two centuries AD.

The Online Corpus of the Inscriptions of Ancient North Arabia,
The Khalili Research Centre, The University of Oxford,
3 St John Street, Oxford OX1 2LG, UK
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2014 The Khalili Research Centre, University of Oxford

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