La inscripción árabe más antigua proporciona el eslabón perdido entre la escritura nabatea y árabe

La inscripción árabe más antigua proporciona el eslabón perdido entre la escritura nabatea y árabe

Un equipo arqueológico saudí-francés ha descubierto la inscripción más antigua conocida en el alfabeto árabe en un sitio ubicado cerca de Najran en Arabia Saudita, según un informe en Arab News. El hallazgo es increíblemente raro ya que refleja una combinación de escritura nabatea y árabe, arrojando luz sobre el surgimiento y evolución del alfabeto árabe.

La escritura, que se encontró en las estelas que datan preliminarmente del 470 d.C., corresponde a un período en el que faltaba un eslabón entre la escritura nabatea y la escritura árabe.

“Lo primero que hace que este hallazgo sea significativo es que es un texto mixto, conocido como árabe nabateo, la primera etapa de la escritura árabe”, dijo el epigrafista Frédéric Imbert, profesor de la Universidad de Aix-Marsella.

Una foto publicada por la Comisión Saudita de Turismo y Antigüedades (SCTA) muestra algunas de las estelas encontradas en el Reino con inscripciones árabes. (UNA foto)

No ha sobrevivido ninguna literatura nabatea, sin embargo, se han encontrado ejemplos de grafitis e inscripciones nabateas en varias ciudades nabateas en el Negev, en Wadi Rumm, la ciudad de Petra y en Meda'in Saleh, y son un testimonio de la alfabetización generalizada en Cultura nabatea, que se extendió hasta el extremo norte del Mar Muerto.

La escritura nabatea se desarrolló a partir de la escritura aramea durante el 2 Dakota del Norte siglo a. C. y continuó utilizándose hasta alrededor del siglo IV a. C. th o 5 th siglo después de Cristo. Por tanto, el nabateo se considera el precursor directo de la escritura árabe. De hecho, una de las primeras inscripciones en lengua árabe fue escrita en el alfabeto nabateo, encontrada en Namarah (Siria moderna) y fechada en 328 d.C. Hasta ahora, muchos estudiosos consideraban que esta fecha era la fecha en que la escritura nabatea "se convirtió" en la escritura árabe, aunque en realidad la transición de una a otra se produce de forma gradual a lo largo de los siglos. El último hallazgo sugiere que esta transición ocurrió antes de lo que se creía.

Escritura nabatea antigua en Wadi Rum. Crédito: Brian Searwar

Los enigmáticos nabateos eran originalmente una tribu nómada, pero hace unos 2.500 años, comenzaron a construir grandes asentamientos y ciudades que prosperaron desde el siglo I a.C. hasta el siglo I d.C., incluida la magnífica ciudad de Petra en Jordania. Además de sus actividades agrícolas, desarrollaron sistemas políticos, artes, ingeniería, mampostería, astronomía y demostraron una asombrosa experiencia hidráulica, incluida la construcción de pozos, cisternas y acueductos.

Expandieron sus rutas comerciales, creando más de 2,000 sitios en total en las áreas que hoy son Jordania, Siria y Arabia Saudita. Los arqueólogos todavía están tratando de desentrañar la historia de los nabateos, que en general permanece desconocida. La forma en que se las arreglaron para hacer la rápida conversión de una tribu nómada a los constructores de grandes ciudades es alucinante, y ha llevado a algunos a dudar si fueron de hecho los creadores originales de estas grandes ciudades y monumentos.

Imagen de portada: Petra, Jordania, se cree que fue construida por los nabateos. Fuente de la foto: BigStockPhoto


Los arqueólogos creen haber encontrado un eslabón perdido en el origen del alfabeto

Un fragmento de una jarra de leche de tres milenios y medio desenterrado en Tel Lachish en Israel ha causado bastante entusiasmo.

Musgo de candida

Cuando se trata de los frutos del genio humano, la rueda recibe mucho crédito como el invento más importante de la historia de la humanidad. Sin embargo, si hace girar la rueda hacia un lado, el alfabeto y las diferentes formas de producirlo y organizarlo, como la imprenta, también han tenido un impacto considerable en el curso de la historia de la humanidad. Incluso si las personas están divididas por idioma, es al escribir que las ideas y las historias se liberan de los hablantes individuales y pueden viajar y moverse a través del espacio y el tiempo. Sin embargo, a pesar de su importancia, la evidencia arqueológica limitada hace que sea difícil contar la historia de Occidente. piedra fundamental de la literatura. Ahora, los arqueólogos en Israel afirman que han descubierto una "pieza faltante" del rompecabezas.

En un artículo publicado recientemente en Antigüedad, un equipo de investigación dirigido por Felix Höflmayer, arqueólogo del Instituto Arqueológico de Austria, describe el descubrimiento de un fragmento de jarra de leche de tres milenios y medio desenterrado en Tel Lachish en Israel. El fragmento de cerámica incluye una inscripción parcial que data del siglo XV a. C. Höflmayer dijo que "la inscripción es actualmente la inscripción alfabética fechada con seguridad más antigua del sur de Levante".

El acuerdo académico general sostiene que nuestros ejemplos más antiguos de escritura alfabética provienen de la península del Sinaí y Egipto y pueden fecharse en el siglo XIX a. C. Estas importantes inscripciones se descubrieron en 1998 en el oeste de Egipto y fueron publicadas por un equipo dirigido por el egiptólogo de Yale John Darnell. Está claro que en algún momento la escritura alfabética se trasladó de Egipto a la antigua Palestina pero, hasta ahora, los primeros ejemplos de escritura alfabética del Levante se remontan al siglo XIII o XII a. C., unos seiscientos años después de los ejemplos egipcios. Cómo y bajo qué circunstancias se trasladó el alfabeto de Egipto a Israel era una incógnita.

Aunque existe un debate considerable, algunos estudiosos plantearon la hipótesis de que el alfabeto se transmitió en el siglo XII a. C., un período en el que los egipcios realizaron una minería intensiva en Serabit el-Khadim en el desierto del Sinaí. Los grafitis producidos por prisioneros de guerra esclavizados en las minas y encontrados en el sitio llevaron a algunos a argumentar que el alfabeto proto-semítico se desarrolló durante un período en el que los egipcios dominaban la región. Antes del siglo XIV a. C. no existían inscripciones alfabéticas palestinas. El debate se complicó por el hecho de que los estudiosos a menudo no estaban de acuerdo sobre si las inscripciones eran verdaderamente alfabéticas (en contraposición a las pictográficas) y en qué período, exactamente, deberían estar fechadas. Sin embargo, había una sensación generalizada de que el desarrollo del alfabeto debería estar ligado a un período de dominación egipcia.

Dado que está fechado en 1450 a. C. (siglo XV a. C.), la nueva inscripción llena el vacío.

Höflmayer y su equipo sugieren que la inscripción no solo proporciona otro punto de datos, su fecha temprana cambia la forma en que pensamos sobre la aparición del alfabeto. Hasta 1550 a. C., los Hyskos, un grupo del Levante, gobernaron partes del norte de Egipto y controlaron gran parte del Levante. El hecho de que los símbolos jeroglíficos también se encuentren en el frasco podría sugerir que quienquiera que produjo la inscripción estaba familiarizado con la escritura jeroglífica y alfabética emergente. "La proliferación [del alfabeto] en el sur de Levante", escriben los autores, "probablemente ocurrió durante la (tardía) Edad del Bronce Medio y el Segundo Período Intermedio de Egipto, cuando una dinastía de origen asiático occidental (los hicsos) gobernaba el norte partes de Egipto ". Lo que esto significa es "que la escritura alfabética temprana en el Levante Sur se desarrolló independientemente de, y mucho antes, de la dominación egipcia y el florecimiento de la escritura hierática durante los ... siglos XIII y XII aC".

J. Dye, Academia Austriaca de Ciencias / Cambridge University Press en nombre de Antiquity Publications Ltd

La inscripción en sí es fragmentaria y, por lo tanto, es casi imposible de descifrar. La primera palabra contiene las letras ayin, bet y dalet, mientras que la segunda comienza con las letras nun, pe y tav. Cualquiera que haya aprendido hebreo reconocerá los nombres de estas letras como parte del alfabeto semítico. Aunque la primera versión utilizada en la Península Arábiga es visualmente bastante diferente del alfabeto hebreo que se usa hoy en día, existe una clara conexión entre los dos.

Lo que es particularmente interesante, dada la forma en que muchos estudiosos han vinculado el desarrollo de la escritura alfabética con la historia de la opresión, es que las letras de la primera palabra (ayin, bet, dalet) deletrean la palabra "esclavo". Aunque Höflmayer enfatiza que esto podría ser puramente accidental, ya que estas letras forman el comienzo de muchas palabras antiguas, es posible que algunos deseen leer más aquí. Quizás sea posible que una persona esclavizada haya estado involucrada en la producción de esta inscripción, ciertamente no deberíamos excluir esta posibilidad de la historia de la escritura.

No todo el mundo está convencido de los argumentos de Höflmayer. Qué hace que este descubrimiento sea importante, Seth Sanders, profesor de estudios religiosos en UC-Davis y autor del libro La invención del hebreo me dijo, es que se encontró en un "contexto con fecha segura". Gran parte de esta conversación se basa en el momento en que damos la composición de varios fragmentos de escritos antiguos. Para Sanders, esta inscripción "no es en absoluto un eslabón perdido o un cambio de juego". Hay, me dijo, cuatro inscripciones anteriores de la región, pero los autores del nuevo estudio cuestionan la datación de estos objetos. El resultado es que esta nueva inscripción parece más "única e importante". Sanders le dijo al Bestia diaria que espera "un tratamiento epigráfico real (con la comparación de la orientación y las formas de las letras y una tabla de guiones) que ayudaría tanto a los epigrafistas como a los profanos a obtener una imagen más detallada basada en la evidencia".

En cualquier caso, el descubrimiento y la publicación de la nueva inscripción proporciona más información sobre la historia del alfabeto y ayuda a establecer Tel Lachish como "un centro temprano de escritura" en el mundo antiguo. La preponderancia de la escritura alfabética de cuencos, tumbas y un templo sugiere que este es uno de los lugares en los que se desarrolló el alfabeto semítico. Durante los siglos siguientes, los griegos (y, después de ellos, los romanos) adoptaron un sistema de escritura alfabético. Y, por supuesto, el inglés, y muchos otros idiomas, utilizan el sistema de escritura latino y los números arábigos hindúes hasta el día de hoy.


Charla: arameo nabateo

Este artículo, como el de los nabateos, parece estar destinado a cubrir a los antiguos nabateos del Levante meridional (Petra, Bosra, etc.). Si este es el caso, debe explicarse claramente en ambos artículos que a). los árabes aplicaron el nombre Nabat (Nabateos) diversamente a diferentes grupos arameos del Creciente Fértil, y que b). el artículo solo está destinado a cubrir a los nabateos de Nabatea. De lo contrario, las personas que escriben, leen o enlazan con estos artículos pueden confundir a los nabateos de Nabatea con otros arameos de la Media Luna Fértil (principalmente arameos babilónicos) a quienes los árabes también denominan Nabat (Nabateos). Parece necesaria una página de desambiguación para los nabateos o una nota de sombrero. La situación se explica con mucho detalle en este libro. 94.192.38.247 (hablar) 16:52, 9 de septiembre de 2011 (UTC)

Solo quiero saber por qué algunas personas se sienten ofendidas cuando ven las palabras "árabe" o "árabe" en un artículo relacionado con los registros históricos del Medio Oriente, y especialmente de Palestina. ¿Es esto Wikipedia o "Conflicto árabe-israelí" -pedia?

No inventé nada, he apoyado mi información con fuentes académicas, pero simplemente se eliminaron y el artículo se revirtió a una versión anterior que no contiene ni una sola referencia. solo afirmaciones voladoras sin evidencia que las respalde, pero aún así, se les permite ser un "artículo" en Wikipedia. Omar amross (charla) 16:50, 27 de abril de 2013 (UTC)

Básicamente, estás tratando de pasar el nabateo como lengua árabe y, curiosamente, citas a la Británica para respaldar esta afirmación a pesar de que afirman claramente que el nabateo era una variedad aramea occidental. K a t h o v o hablar 15:45, 28 de abril de 2013 (UTC)

Uh huh, entonces de aquí vino el malentendido hacia mi artículo. He citado la Enciclopedia Británica para la primera afirmación de: "Los nabateos vivían en Jordania, Negev y Palestina", y no por su idioma, no dije que la Enciclopedia Británica :: Reclamó el árabe como idioma de los nabateos. Además de los nabateos (personas), no olvide que la Enciclopedia Británica de 1911 establece claramente que los nabateos eran / son verdaderos árabes. Mi afirmación del idioma árabe se tomó de otras fuentes. 't créanme Omar amross (charla) 08:51, 29 de abril de 2013 (UTC) Aún así, el idioma nabateo generalmente se clasifica como arameo, y los nabateos podrían haber hablado otra variedad árabe nativa además de este idioma. Creo que esto es muy obvio, pero en caso de duda revise el de Beyer [1]. La etnia de los nabateos es otro tema más complicado, llamarlos "árabes puros" como lo hace la edición de Britannica de 1913 es ciertamente muy problemático como se dice aquí, de hecho, los primeros árabes musulmanes solían llamar a todos los hablantes de arameo en Siria e Irak "nabateos". ", Consulte la entrada Nabaṭ de la EoI para obtener más información. K a t h o v o hablar 12:28, 30 de abril de 2013 (UTC)

Pero tengo fuentes que dicen que han hablado árabe influenciado por el arameo según la inscripción de Namara sobre los hablantes de arameo de Irak y Siria, no son el mismo grupo de nabateos de Petra, fuentes árabes clásicas. consideren que son los descendientes de "Nabit" el hijo de "Basur" el hijo de Sem el hijo de Noé ((ver: Kitrab At-Tanbif Wa Al-Israf por Al-Mas'udi, páginas: 78-79) , si bien sostiene que los nabateos de Petra son descendientes de Ismael, el hijo de Abraham, además, se los considera dos grupos distintos, se les llama "Nabat Al-Iraq" en árabe clásico. caso de no ser el mismo grupo de los nabateos de Petra

En cuanto a los nabateos que hablan árabe, consulte las siguientes fuentes:

Árabes en la antigüedad: su historia desde los asirios hasta los omeyas, profesor: Jan Retso, página: 109 El desarrollo de las escrituras árabes: desde la época nabatea hasta el primer siglo islámico según los textos fechados . (1993), B. Gruendler, Harvard Semitic Series No. 43, Scholars Press: Atlanta (GA), páginas: 11-12 La nueva lectura de la inscripción de Namarah ", Revista de la Sociedad Oriental Americana (1985), J. A. Bellamy, Volumen: 105, . Páginas: 31-48

otra cosa, sus nombres son nombres árabes, creo que lo que te hace pensar que no eran árabes es por la pronunciación latinizada de sus nombres, como "Harith" pronunciado "Aretas", y "Obada" pronunciado "Obodos" Omar amross (charla) 14:52, 1 de mayo de 2013 (UTC) Estas fuentes mencionan que las inscripciones árabes más antiguas se escribieron en lengua nabatea. texto, lo que claramente no implica que nabateo fuera árabe. Las inscripciones de Namarah, ampliamente documentadas como precursoras del Corán árabe, datan de varios siglos después de la extinción de los nabateos. Si aún no está de acuerdo, le sugiero que consulte la introducción de la principal revista de estudios arameos que incluye al nabateo en su lista de dialectos arameos. K a t h o v o hablar 15:31, 12 de mayo de 2013 (UTC)

Verá, yo esperaba esto, el problema aquí es que no entendimos el argumento del otro, mi argumento es que los nabateos HABLAN árabe pero ESCRIBIERON en arameo, puedo escribir un texto árabe con el alfabeto inglés, ¿eso lo convierte en un inglés? texto ?? mira Irán, por ejemplo, hablan farsi, pero usan la escritura árabe, ¿eso significa que su idioma es árabe y no farsi? Si revisa la inscripción de Namarah, descubrirá que el texto es árabe pero está escrito en alfabeto arameo, eso es lo que estaba tratando de demostrar, verifique este: ((Lengua nabatea, escritura y graffiti: hablar árabe, escribir arameo y tallar la inscripción)), Petra: y el reino perdido de los nabateos, Prof. Jane Taylor, página: 5 en otra declaración, continuó: ((Después de al menos 700 años de hablar árabe y escribir en arameo, la tensión entre los dos idiomas estaba empezando a notarse claramente. Ya alrededor del año 100 d.C., la inscripción de Oboda parece contener poesía árabe en la escritura nabatea, "Beer "había notado arabismos en las inscripciones del Sinaí de los siglos II y III d. C., y se ha demostrado que la inscripción de la tumba" Raqush "(267/8) de" Hegra "es más árabe que arameo en su idioma, aunque todavía está escrita en la escritura nabatea)) Ibid, página: 170

si su argumento es sobre el guión, entonces dicho argumento debe trasladarse a la página de conversación "Alfabeto nabateo", no al idioma nabateo. --Omar amross (charla) 10:20, 14 de mayo de 2013 (UTC)

Nabateo y árabe Editar

La mayoría de las inscripciones nabateas parecen haber sido escritas por personas que intentaban escribir arameo, pero que en realidad no eran hablantes nativos de arameo (ciertamente no de arameo literario formal), y no siempre lo lograron por completo. Y en algunas de las inscripciones posteriores, la fachada aramea se vuelve excesivamente superficial y el árabe subyacente se abre paso hasta cierto punto. Por lo tanto, el "idioma nabateo", como se define comúnmente, es un dialecto arameo, pero la mayoría de los nabateos del reino nabateo (Petra, etc.) probablemente tenían una forma de árabe como idioma principal hablado, lo que ejerció una influencia en las inscripciones nabateas. No he estado siguiendo la edición de este artículo, pero no estoy seguro de por qué estos hechos no se pueden incorporar al artículo. AnonMoos (charla) 10:42, 14 de mayo de 2013 (UTC)

Gracias por su aporte. De hecho, la evidencia histórica ha demostrado que la patria original de los nabateos estaba al sur de la provincia de Al Jawf, lo que significa que venían del desierto de Arabia, además, sus nombres eran nombres árabes, adoraban a dioses árabes como "Allat", y su dios exclusivo se llamaba "Dushara", que es un nombre 100% árabe, el problema con su idioma es que se vio afectado por el idioma de las naciones circundantes, como los arameos y los asirios, por eso verás que estaban hablando árabe con acento arameo. Además, los qedaritas que eran árabes, han usado algunos elementos arameos en su idioma árabe, como usar el término "hn" en lugar de "al" que significa "el", por ejemplo, después de mezclarse con los arameos, se refirieron a la famosa diosa árabe "Allat" como "Hn-Lat" en lugar de "Al-Lat", lo que demuestra que hablaban en árabe, pero su idioma se vio afectado debido a la supremacía de la cultura aramea. durante esa época --Omar amros s (charla) 12:03, 14 de mayo de 2013 (UTC)

Cualquiera que sea su idioma hablado, estaban tratando de escribir arameo cuando hicieron las inscripciones (al menos al principio). Y "hn" no es el artículo definido en arameo. AnonMoos (charla) 15:14, 14 de mayo de 2013 (UTC) Tampoco HN es el artículo definitivo en árabe. Estaba leyendo Literatura árabe hasta el final del período omeya, el libro hace una distinción entre los "idiomas" del norte de Arabia y los idiomas del Corán a los que pertenece lo que ahora llamamos árabe. Una cita de la p. 3 dice: "Las inscripciones Safaitic y las llamadas Thamudic claramente no son" árabes ", como tampoco lo anglosajón podría llamarse inglés por una cosa, su artículo definido es ha (n) -". A pesar de eso, el nabateo era en su forma literaria una lengua aramea descendiente del arameo imperial. K a t h o v o hablar 17:16, 14 de mayo de 2013 (UTC) Eran antiguos árabes del norte, no exactamente iguales que el árabe coránico, pero más estrechamente alineados con el árabe que cualquiera de los otros subgrupos semíticos principales (cananeo, arameo, acadio, árabe del sur, Etíope, etc.). Las primeras inscripciones nabateas estaban destinadas a estar escritas en arameo, pero no siempre con pleno éxito, y en algunas de las inscripciones posteriores, la fachada aramea se volvió bastante endeble. AnonMoos (charla) 03:34, 15 de mayo de 2013 (UTC)

Oh, lo siento, pensé que los qedaritas usaban el término HN porque estaban mezclados con naciones del norte, parece que estoy malinterpretando lo que "Israel Eph'al" ha mencionado sobre la ortografía norteña de la diosa árabe "Allat", pero de todos modos, el problema con el norte de Arabia "idiomas"es que eran dialectos, no idiomas independientes, lea esta pieza estos dialectos eran una forma antigua del árabe, por lo que se están clasificando como árabe" preclásico ", mientras que eran la forma primitiva del idioma árabe moderno, o puede que Digo "protoárabe" para obtener más información, consulte este libro sobre la historia detallada del idioma árabe - Omar amross (charla) 16:04, 15 de mayo de 2013 (UTC) No creo que los idiomas del norte de Arabia y el árabe clásico puedan ser considerado el mismo idioma, y ​​el árabe del sur pertenece a una familia lingüística completamente diferente. Volviendo al tema principal, para justificar la reversión una vez más, el nabateo no puede ser llamado dialecto árabe bajo ninguna circunstancia. K a t h o v o hablar 20:28, 16 de mayo de 2013 (UTC) lo dijiste, no lo crees, pero los expertos sí. el libro que les di, estudia en profundidad la historia de la lengua arábica, y dice que ONA es solo la forma antigua / primitiva del árabe clásico No estaba hablando del árabe clásico, estaba hablando del árabe en general, ya sea clásico o primitivo Si echas un vistazo a lo que pensaban los primeros árabes sobre el "idioma" del sur de Arabia, habrías descubierto que lo consideraban un dialecto, no un idioma independiente, y no creo que nadie sepa árabe más que antes. Los propios árabes también, las referencias que les di claramente lo llaman "árabe" del sur, y claramente indicaron que eran protoárabes, no clásicos con respecto a su negativa a revertir el articel, eso está bien para mí, pero ¿por qué no simplemente decirlo desde el principio? podríamos haber ahorrado este tiempo perdido y haberlo utilizado en algo útil en lugar de debatir algo muy claramente declarado por eruditos y especialistas --Omar amross (charla) 21:49, 16 de mayo de 2013 (UTC) El antiguo y moderno sur de Arabia están más relacionados con Etíope que al árabe. La relación entre el árabe del norte y lo que ahora llamamos "árabe" era similar a la del latín y el francés, ya que el árabe era uno de los muchos idiomas relacionados dispersos en el norte de Arabia. Confío en que AnonMoos esté de acuerdo conmigo al menos en esta pinta. K a t h o v o hablar 12:55, 17 de mayo de 2013 (UTC)

Por favor, concéntrate conmigo. No dije que el sur de Arabia se deriva del árabe, pero lo contrario es cierto, las fuentes que les di dicen que el sur de Arabia era la forma antigua PRIMITIVA del árabe si no fuera así, entonces los expertos no habrían llamado es "árabe" del sur, simplemente lea lo que los primeros árabes pensaban sobre el idioma himyarita y sabrá a qué me refiero: Omar amross (charla) 14:09, 20 de mayo de 2013 (UTC) Los nombres no tienen ningún peso aquí. Se ha establecido desde hace mucho tiempo que el árabe del sur no es el predecesor del árabe, y lo que es más confuso, tampoco lo es el árabe del sur moderno, descendiente del árabe del sur antiguo. La razón detrás de esto es que esos nombres se aplicaron mucho antes de que realmente despegaran los estudios semíticos. K a t h o v o hablar 22:18, 22 de mayo de 2013 (UTC)

pero la fuente que les di es del año 2001, del siglo XXI, eso no está tan lejos de ahora, ya saben y si echan un vistazo a los elementos del árabe y el árabe del sur, encontrarán una gran similitud entre ambos, incluso en elementos lingüísticos y gramaticales --Omar amross (charla) 15:28, 23 de mayo de 2013 (UTC) La fuente que proporcionó distingue claramente entre árabe y árabe del sur, en realidad debería haber leído el libro antes. Las páginas 12 y 14 contienen cifras claras en caso de que no quiera molestarse en leer. Esta discusión ha tomado demasiado tiempo y obviamente no lleva a ninguna parte. Puede agregar lo que quiera al artículo, pero asegúrese de encontrar una buena referencia y LÉALO antes de sacar conclusiones. K a t h o v o hablar 17:39, 23 de mayo de 2013 (UTC) las páginas que me proporcionó están en contra de su punto de que "Arabia del Sur" está más relacionado con el etíope que con el árabe, pero dice exactamente en las páginas que me dio que provienen exactamente del mismo origen otra cosa, me acusan de "no leer las fuentes antes de sacar conclusiones", pero si ese fuera el caso no habría sacado conclusiones sobre algo que nunca leí, ¿cómo es posible? intente leer este análisis para estas inscripciones thamúdicas solo para ver qué tan arraigadas son: Algunas inscripciones thamúdicas del reino hashimita de Jordania - Omar amross (charla) 16:27, 27 de mayo de 2013 (UTC) Old South Arabian se llama así porque se habló en el sur de Arabia, i. e., el sur de la península arábiga, y el antiguo norte árabeian es un término general para una serie de variedades que se hablan en el norte de la península arábiga. Es crucial distinguir árabe y Arábica. Arabia es un lejos región más grande que la región (en el Hijaz alrededor de La Meca) en la que el árabe, la lengua caracterizada por el artículo definido al-, se hablaba originalmente en la antigüedad. Old South Arabian ni siquiera estaba particularmente relacionado con el árabe, un nombre alternativo menos confuso para Old South Arabian es Sayhadic. En la antigüedad, en la península arábiga se hablaban muchos idiomas semíticos además del predecesor del árabe coránico clásico: el árabe del norte antiguo, el sayhadico, los precursores antiguos del árabe del sur moderno, el himyarítico. Sería mejor si los semitistas pudieran acordar cambiar el nombre de ANA y MSA además de Sayhadic / OSA, para reducir la confusión. --Florian Blaschke (charla) 16:32, 18 de junio de 2015 (UTC)

http://nabataea.net/write.html Esta fuente dice que está relacionada con muchos idiomas .-- Gho2t993 (hablar) 10:55, 3 de septiembre de 2013 (UTC) gho2t993

El SCRIPT está relacionado con otros idiomas, porque el SCRIPT desciende de un antepasado común. Por otro lado, el LENGUAJE está estrechamente relacionado con el árabe. Los elementos arameos en nabateo son un barniz que refleja el uso común del arameo en la región como lengua franca. Los persas usaban el arameo en asuntos oficiales, pero ellos mismos no son arameos. Del mismo modo, los nabateos eran árabes que adoptaron el arameo para usos oficiales, pero no eran arameos. Las primeras inscripciones nabateas mostraron que no eran hablantes nativos de arameo y, a medida que la influencia del arameo disminuyó, su verdadera identidad árabe emergió en sus inscripciones posteriores. 210.19.13.194 (charla) 04:59, 27 de julio de 2015 (UTC)


La inscripción árabe encontrada debajo de la Torre de David reescribe la antigua ciudadela y el pasado # 8217

Amanda Borschel-Dan es editora de The Times of Israel sobre el mundo judío y la arqueología.

La historia se está reescribiendo en el Museo Torre de David de Jerusalén. El reciente descubrimiento de una inscripción fechada en el siglo XIII d.C. ha adelantado el reloj para la construcción de al menos una parte de la ciudadela de la Ciudad Vieja y los muros exteriores # 8217.

De pie a la sombra de la fortaleza cruzada que se avecina cerca de la Puerta de Jaffa en un día soleado de noviembre, el director de excavación Amit Re & # 8217em describió a The Times of Israel la oportunidad única en la vida de ahondar en los misterios enterrados en y bajo el fortaleza.

Como parte del reinicio físico masivo, la entrada del museo se está moviendo de su lugar tradicional a una nueva ubicación fuera de la ciudadela que está más cerca de las murallas de la Ciudad Vieja. Re & # 8217em, la Autoridad de Antigüedades de Israel y el jefe del distrito de Jerusalén # 8217, observó cómo los trabajadores tomaban medidas con láser de alta tecnología para retirar una plataforma de cañón de la era otomana que se construyó sobre un foso lleno de la era de los cruzados. & # 8220Es & # 8217s como una nave espacial, & # 8221 bromeó.

Este nexo inusual de cuando la historia se encuentra con los dispositivos futuristas es exactamente lo que nos llevó allí ese día.

Con la icónica torre redonda de la fortaleza sobresaliendo hacia el cielo detrás de nosotros, Re & # 8217em relató el emocionante descubrimiento de una inscripción fechada ubicada en uso secundario, lo que significa que había sido reciclada de un uso anterior, en los cimientos de un muro occidental exterior.

(La inscripción aún no se ha publicado científicamente y no se le permitió a The Times of Israel publicar una foto).

& # 8220Todos pensamos que esto era de la época de los cruzados, el siglo XII. ¡Aparece en los libros! Pero ahora, cuando realizamos esta excavación, tenemos un gran signo de interrogación. Porque aquí mismo descubrimos una inscripción árabe en uso secundario que perteneció a uno de los grandes gobernantes ayubíes de Jerusalén, su nombre es El-Melek El-Muatem Isa, & # 8221 dijo Re & # 8217em.

Jerusalén fue conquistada por los cruzados en 1099 y reconquistada por una dinastía musulmana, los ayyubíes, en 1187. En 1212, la ciudad estaba gobernada por el sobrino de Saladino, El-Melek El-Muatem Isa, también conocido comúnmente en inglés como Al- Mu & # 8217azzam Isa.

Según Re & # 8217em, Al-Mu & # 8217azzam Isa erigió las fortificaciones de Jerusalén en aproximadamente 1212, & # 8220 y en cada torre puso un gran cartel en árabe, & # 8216I & # 8217m el gran gobernante El-Melek El-Muatem Isa . '& # 8221 Junto a su nombre en esta piedra estaba el año 1212.

Rara vez los arqueólogos se llevan el premio gordo de una inscripción fechada de forma segura. Este, explicó Re & # 8217em, también arroja luz sobre la mentalidad del gobernante musulmán cuando se enfrentó a las fuerzas de los cruzados invasores, que se trasladaron hacia la ciudad en 1217.

Re & # 8217em dijo que mientras los cruzados se dirigían a Tierra Santa, el sultán no tenía un ejército permanente disponible en Jerusalén, por lo que decidió derribar las fortificaciones de la ciudad, pensando que sería más fácil retomar ese camino después. presumiblemente, los cruzados entraron en la ciudad.

& # 8220Así que demolió todos sus muros y esas inscripciones, & # 8221 dijo Re & # 8217em, & # 8220, pero los cruzados nunca llegaron a Jerusalén & # 8221.

Finalmente, se reconstruyeron los muros y la piedra con su nombre y fecha se utilizó en la base de los muros de la fortificación occidental de la ciudadela. Allí permanecería durante siglos hasta que Re & # 8217em y su equipo lo encontraran, lo que ayudó a reescribir lo que sabemos sobre la ciudadela.

& # 8220Así que si tenemos una fecha en la inscripción & # 8212 1212 & # 8212 y la encontramos en la base de la fortificación, significa que la fortificación es del siglo XIII, y no del siglo XII. Así que estamos cambiando la historia & # 8221, dijo Re & # 8217em.

Tecnología de vanguardia para desenterrar la tierra de la ciudadela

El hallazgo de la inscripción es solo una de las anécdotas que dan un color vibrante a la estructura de piedra gris que durante los últimos 30 años ha servido como un museo dedicado a los miles de años de historia de Jerusalén & # 8212 un proyecto imaginado por el alcalde de Jerusalén desde hace mucho tiempo. Teddy Kollek.

El proyecto de renovación de $ 40 millones permitirá al museo, ubicado en un sitio arqueológico de 2.5 acres, actualizar sus instalaciones. Trabajando en cooperación con conservadores y arqueólogos, se instalarán dos ascensores, haciendo que la fortaleza de varios pisos sea accesible para todos los visitantes por primera vez. Antes de la crisis del coronavirus, el museo recibía anualmente a más de 500.000 visitantes de todo el mundo. Con la renovación, espera duplicar ese número.

Durante las excavaciones arqueológicas a gran escala que se llevan a cabo actualmente como parte de una renovación masiva de la ciudadela, los arqueólogos están utilizando excavaciones antiguas, así como una metodología de vanguardia para descubrir nueva evidencia para fechar cada uno de sus muros & # 8212 un mosaico histórico que abarca desde el reinado del rey Ezequías en el siglo VIII a. C. hasta el período otomano.

Si bien lo que es más visible a simple vista son las adiciones medievales posteriores al fuerte & # 8212 por los ejércitos cruzados y musulmanes & # 8212 el sitio & # 8217s capas se remontan a la era bíblica, pasando por todos los importantes época de la vida de Jerusalén en el camino. In the inner courtyard, an untouched pile of round stone ballistics point to the presence of Hasmoneans. Remnants of the palace of the ancient world’s great builder King Herod will be preserved in a new Herodian Wing, housed with the excavated “Kishle” archaeological site.

The site was largely razed after the Byzantine period’s monks vacated their cells and rebuilt during the early Muslim period as a fortress. The Crusaders added several features to that fort — including a dry moat, one side of which is now being excavated — and then the Mamelukes added their own hiding passages and fortifications. The Ottomans, who ruled Jerusalem from the 16th century until the British Mandate period with Lord Allenby’s arrival at the citadel gates in 1917, continued construction on the citadel — including filling in the moat that is now being uncovered.

Re’em is taking full advantage of the opportunity to test new high-tech archaeological methods to solve looming riddles, including the intensive documentation of the citadel through photogrammetry. After the archaeologists perform a series of measurements and photographs, photogrammetry allows for precise topographical maps — and perfect 3-D renderings of objects and architecture.

The dating of various parts of the structure is also being solved by another new technique: carbon-dating the plaster fill between the massive building blocks. The cutting-edge method was recently used to date the construction of Wilson’s Arch, but never has it been used in such a widespread manner, said Re’em.

Re’em aims to eventually analyze all the walls of the citadel through the carbon dating of mortar.

“We are only in the beginning of working together with the distinguished Weizmann Institute,” he said

“We are using the accurate science,” he said. “Every mortar has its own ID, a certain identification. Every period of time has a different ID.”

Through analyzing the carbon inside the mortar and matching them with their own ID, “we are creating new technology for archaeologists for dating,” he said. “It was never done on the medieval building in Jerusalem… Here in the citadel we have an opportunity and this is a groundbreaking project.”

In lengthy discussions with The Times of Israel, Re’em, whose expertise is the medieval archaeology of Jerusalem, has the air of a man whose “baby” is finally getting recognition.

In the past, biblical archaeology was more of an allure, he said. Only in the last decade have the Israel Antiquities Authority and other archaeologists in Jerusalem started to look deeply into the medieval history of Jerusalem.

“In a way, the medieval period of Jerusalem was neglected,” he said. “But no more. And the exploring of the citadel is going to be the peak of exploring medieval Jerusalem — with advanced technological tools.”

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Archaeologists Think They’ve Found Missing Link in Origin of the Alphabet

When it comes to the fruits of human genius the wheel gets a lot of credit as the most important invention in human history. If you roll the wheel to the side, however, the alphabet and different ways of producing and arranging it, like the printing press, have also had a sizeable impact on the course of human history. Even if people are divided by language, it’s by writing that ideas and stories are unshackled from individual speakers and can travel and move across space and time. For all its importance, though, the limited archeological evidence makes it difficult to tell the history of western. literature’s foundation stone. Now, archaeologists in Israel claim that they have discovered a “missing piece” of the puzzle.

In a recently published article in Antiquity, a research team led by Felix Höflmayer, an archaeologist at the Austrian Archaeological Institute, describes the discovery of three and a half millennia old milk jar fragment unearthed at Tel Lachish in Israel. The pottery fragment includes a partial inscription that dates to the fifteenth century BCE. Höflmayer said that the “inscription is currently the oldest securely dated alphabetic inscription from the Southern Levant.”

General scholarly agreement maintains that our oldest examples of alphabetic writing comes from the Sinai Peninsula and Egypt and can be dated to the nineteenth century BCE. These important inscriptions were discovered in 1998 in western Egypt and were published by a team led by Yale Egyptologist John Darnell. It’s clear that at some point alphabetic writing moved from Egypt to ancient Palestine but—until now—the earliest examples of alphabetic writing from the Levant were dated to the thirteenth or twelfth century BCE, some six hundred years after the Egyptian examples. How and under what circumstances the alphabet was moved from Egypt to Israel was anyone’s best guess.

Though there is considerable debate, some scholars hypothesized that the alphabet was transmitted in the twelfth century BCE, a period when there was intensive mining by Egyptians at Serabit el-Khadim in the Sinai desert. Graffiti produced by enslaved prisoners of war at the mines and found at the site led some to argue that the proto-semitic alphabet developed during a period in which Egyptians dominated the region. Prior to the 14 th century BCE there were no alphabetic Palestinian inscriptions. The debate was complicated by the fact that scholars often disagreed about whether or not inscriptions were truly alphabetic (as opposed to pictographic) and to what period, exactly, they should be dated. There was a general sense, however, that the development of the alphabet should be tied to a period of Egyptian dominance.

Given that it is dated to 1450 BCE (the fifteenth century BCE) the new inscription fills the gap.

Höflmayer and his team suggests that the inscription doesn’t just provide another data point, its early date changes how we think about the emergence of the alphabet. Up until 1550 BCE the Hyskos, a group from the Levant, ruled parts of northern Egypt as well as controlling much of the Levant. The fact that hieroglyphic symbols are also found on the jar might suggest that whomever produced the inscription was familiar with both hieroglyphic and emergent alphabetic script. “The proliferation [of the alphabet] into the Southern Levant,” the authors write, “probably happened during the (late) Middle Bronze Age and the Egyptian Second Intermediate Period, when a Dynasty of Western Asiatic origin (the Hyksos) ruled the northern parts of Egypt.” What this means is “that early alphabetic writing in the Southern Levant developed independently of, and well before, the Egyptian domination and floruit of hieratic writing during the … thirteenth and twelfth centuries BC.”

The inscription itself is fragmentary and is thus near impossible to decipher. The first word contains the letters ayin, bet and dalet while the second begins with the letters nun, pe, and tav. Anyone who has learned Hebrew will recognize the names of these letters as part of the Semitic alphabet. Though the early version used in the Arabian Peninsula are visually quite different from the Hebrew alphabet used today, there’s a clear connection between the two.

What’s particularly interesting, given the way in which many scholars have tied the development of alphabetic script to the history of oppression, is that the letters of the first word (ayin, bet, dalet) spell the word “slave.” Though Höflmayer stresses that this could be purely accidental as these letters form the beginning of many ancient words, some might wish to read more here. Perhaps it is possible that an enslaved person was involved in the production of this inscription we certainly shouldn’t exclude this possibility form the history of writing.

Not everyone is convinced by Höflmayer’s arguments. What makes this discovery important, Seth Sanders, a professor of religious studies at UC-Davis and author of the book The Invention of Hebrew told me, is that it was found in a “securely dated context.” So much of this conversation rests on when we date the composition of various fragments of ancient writing. For Sanders this inscription “is absolutely not a missing link or game-changer.” There are, he told me, four earlier inscriptions from the region, but the authors of the new study dispute the dating of these objects. The result is that this new inscription looks more “unique and important.” Sanders told the Bestia diaria that he looks “forward to a real epigraphic treatment (with comparison of orientation and letterforms and a script chart) that would help both epigraphers and laypeople get a more detailed evidence-based picture.”

In either case, the discovery and publication of the new inscription provides more information about the history of the alphabet and helps establish Tel Lachish as “an early centre of writing” in the ancient world. The preponderance of alphabetic scription from bowls, tombs, and a temple suggest that this is one of the places that the Semitic alphabet developed. Over the followed centuries, the Greeks (and, following them, the Romans) adopted an alphabetized writing system. And of course English—and many other languages—use the Latin writing system and Hindu-Arabic numerals to this day.


‘Missing link’ in alphabet’s history said unearthed in Israel on Canaanite sherd

A 3,500-year-old alphabetic inscription has been found by archaeologists during excavations at the ancient Canaanite town of Tel Lachish, with researchers saying the pottery sherd is the oldest in the region with alphabetic text.

They described the discovery as the “missing link” in the history of the early alphabetic writing in the Southern Levant, the system of writing that most, if not all, alphabetic scripts can be traced back to.

The clay fragment, measuring just 40 millimeters by 35 millimeters, is said to have been part of a milk bowl imported from Cyprus, according to an article published in the journal Antiquity on Thursday.

The sherd was found during renewed excavations by an Austrian team in 2018 after previous artifacts were unearthed by a Tel Aviv team between 1973 and 1987.

While it was difficult to decipher the text on the small sherd, and unclear from which direction it should be read, researchers said the first three letters could spell out ‘bd meaning slave, or part of a common Semitic personal name.

The second line could read nophet, meaning honey or nectar in Hebrew, or part of an unknown name if read from the opposite direction.

The inscription helps contextualize the spread of the early alphabet in the Levant, as well as evidence that it developed both independently and well before the Egyptian domination in the region, the researchers concluded.

The Tel Lachish a rchaeological site is said to be one of the most prominent Bronze Age and Iron Age sites of the Southern Levant. It is situated near the modern Israeli town of the same name.

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Contenido

Nabataeans Edit

The Nabataeans were one among several nomadic Bedouin tribes that roamed the Arabian Desert and moved with their herds to wherever they could find pasture and water. [1] They became familiar with their area as seasons passed, and they struggled to survive during bad years when seasonal rainfall diminished. [1] Although the Nabataeans were initially embedded in Aramaic culture, theories about them having Aramean roots are rejected by modern scholars. Instead, archaeological, religious and linguistic evidence confirm that they are a northern Arabian tribe. [2]

The precise origin of the specific tribe of Arab nomads remains uncertain. One hypothesis locates their original homeland in today's Yemen, in the southwest of the Arabian peninsula, but their deities, language and script share nothing with those of southern Arabia. [1] Another hypothesis argues that they came from the eastern coast of the peninsula. [1]

The suggestion that they came from the Hejaz area is considered to be more convincing, as they share many deities with the ancient people there nbtw, the root consonant of the tribe's name, is found in the early Semitic languages of Hejaz. [1]

Similarities between late Nabataean Arabic dialect and the ones found in Mesopotamia during the Neo-Assyrian period, as well as a group with the name of "Nabatu" being listed by the Assyrians as one of several rebellious Arab tribes in the region, suggests a connection between the two. [1]

The Nabataeans might have originated from there and migrated west between the 6th and 4th centuries BC into northwestern Arabia and much of what is now modern-day Jordan. Nabataeans have been falsely associated with other groups of people. A people called the "Nabaiti", who were defeated by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal, were associated by some with the Nabataeans because of the temptation to link their similar names. Another misconception is their identification with the Nebaioth of the Hebrew Bible, the descendants of Ishmael, Abraham's son. [1]

Unlike the rest of the Arabian tribes, the Nabataeans later emerged as vital players in the region during their times of prosperity. However, their influence then faded, and the Nabataeans were forgotten. [1]

Emergencia Editar

The literate Nabataeans left no lengthy historical texts. However, thousands of inscriptions have been found in their settlements, including graffiti and on minted coins. [3] The Nabataeans appear in historical records from the fourth century BC, [4] although there seems to be evidence of their existence before that time. Aramaic ostraca finds indicate that the Achaemenid province Idumaea must have been established before 363 B.C. after the failed revolt of Hakor of Egypt and Evagoras I of Salamis against the Persians. [4] The Qedarites joined the failed revolt, and consequently lost significant territory and their privileged position in the frankincense trade, and were presumably replaced by the Nabataeans. [4] It has been argued that the Persians lost interest in the former territory of the Edomite Kingdom after 400 BC, allowing the Nabataeans to gain prominence in that area. [4] All of these changes would have allowed Nabataeans to control the frankincense trade from Dedan to Gaza. [4]

The first historical reference to the Nabataeans is by Greek historian Diodorus Siculus who lived around 30 BC. Diodorus refers accounts made 300 years earlier by Hieronymus of Cardia, one of Alexander the Great's generals, who had a first-hand encounter with the Nabataeans. Diodorus relates how the Nabataeans survived in a waterless desert and managed to defeat their enemies by hiding in the desert until the latter surrendered for lack of water. The Nabataeans dug cisterns that were covered and marked by signs known only to themselves. [5] Diodorus wrote about how they were "exceptionally fond of freedom" and includes an account about unsuccessful raids that were initiated by Greek general Antigonus I in 312 BC. [1]

neither the Assyrians of old, nor the kings of the Medes and Persians, nor yet those of the Macedonians have been able to enslave them, and. they never brought their attempts to a successful conclusion. - Diodorus. [1]

After Alexander the Great's death in 323 BC, his empire split among his generals. During the conflict between Alexander's generals, Antigonus I conquered the Levant, and this brought him to the borders of Edom, just north of Petra. [6] According to Diodorus Siculus, Antigonus sought to add "the land of the Arabs who are called Nabataeans" to his existing territories of Syria and Phoenicia. [7] The Nabataeans were distinguished from the other Arab tribes by wealth. [8] The Nabataeans generated revenues from the trade caravans that transported frankincense, myrrh and other spices from Eudaemon in today's Yemen, across the Arabian peninsula, passing through Petra and ending up in the Port of Gaza for shipment to European markets. [9]

Antigonus ordered one of his officers, Athenaeus, to raid the Nabataeans with 4000 infantry and 600 cavalry, and loot herds and processions. Athenaeus learned that, every year, the Nabataeans gathered for a festival, during which women, children, and elders were left at "a certain rock" (later interpreted by some as the future city of "Petra", "rock" in Greek.) [10] The Antigonids attacked "the rock" in 312 BC while the Nabataeans were away trading the inhabitants were taken by surprise and tonnes of spices and silver were looted. The Antigonids departed before nightfall and made camp to rest 200 stadion away, where they thought they would be safe from Nabataean counter-attack. The camp was attacked by 8000 pursuing Nabataean soldiers and - as Diodorus describes it - "all the 4000 foot-soldiers were slain, but of the 600 horsemen about fifty escaped, and of these the larger part were wounded" [10] [11] Athenaeus himself was killed. [10] [12] The Antigonids had deployed no scouts, a failure that Diodorus ascribes to Athenaeus's failure to anticipate the rapidity of the Nabataean response. After the Nabataeans returned to their rock, they wrote a letter to Antigonus accusing Athenaeus and declaring that they had destroyed the Antigonid army in self-defence. [10] [11] Antigonus replied by blaming Athenaeus for acting unilaterally, intending to lull the Nabataeans into a false sense of security. [10] [13] But the Nabataeans, though pleased with Antigonus response, remained suspicious and established outposts on the edge of the mountains in preparation for future Antigonid attacks. [10] [14] [13]

The Antigonids' second attack was with an army of 4000 infantry and 4000 cavalry led by Antigonus's son, Demetrius "the Besieger". [10] [15] The Nabataean scouts spotted the marching enemy and used smoke signals to warn of the approaching Antigonid army. [10] [16] The Nabataeans dispersed their herds and possessions to guarded locations in harsh terrain - such as deserts and mountain tops - which would be difficult for the Antigonids to attack, and garrisoned "the rock" to defend what remained. [10] [16] The Antigonids attacked "the rock" through its "single artificial approach", but the Nabataeans managed to repulse the invading force. [10] [16] A Nabataean called out to Demetrius pointing out that Antigonid aggression made no sense, for the land was semi-barren and the Nabataeans had no desire to be their slaves. [10] [13] Realizing his limited supplies and the determination of the Nabataean fighters, Demetrius eventually was forced to accept peace, and withdraw with hostages and gifts. [10] [16] [13] Demetrius drew Antigonus's displeasure for the peace, but this was ameliorated by Demetrius's reports of bitumen deposits in the Dead Sea, [10] a valuable commodity that was essential for the embalming process. [16] [17]

Antigonus sent an expedition, this time under Hieronymus of Cardia, to extract bitumen from the Dead Sea. [10] A force of 6000 Arabs sailing on reed rafts approached Hieronymus's troops and killed them with arrows. [10] These Arabs were almost certainly Nabataeans. [17] Antigonus thus lost all hope of generating revenue in that manner. [10] The event is described as the first conflict caused by a Middle Eastern petroleum product. [18]

The series of wars among the Greek generals ended in a dispute over the lands of modern-day Jordan between the Ptolemies based in Egypt and the Seleucids based in Syria. The conflict enabled the Nabataeans to extend their kingdom beyond Edom. [19]

Diodorus mentions that the Nabataeans had attacked merchant ships belonging to the Ptolemies in Egypt at unspecified date, but were soon targeted by a larger force and "punished as they deserved". [20] While it is unknown why the wealthy Nabataeans turned to piracy, one possible reason is that they felt that their trade interests were threatened by the understanding of the nature of monsoon in the Red Sea from the third century BC. [20]

Creation of the Nabataean Kingdom Edit

The Nabataean Arabs did not emerge as a political power suddenly their rise instead went through two phases. [21] The first phase was in the 4th century BC (ruled then by an elders' council), [22] which was marked by the growth of Nabataean control over trade routes and various tribes and towns. Their presence in Transjordan by the end of the fourth century BC is guaranteed by Antigonus's operations in the region, and despite recent suggestions that there is no evidence of Nabataean occupation of the Hauran in the early period, the Zenon papyri firmly attest the penetration of the Hauran by the Nabataeans in the mid-third century BC beyond all doubt, and according to Bowersock, it "establish[es] these Arabs in one of the principal areas of subsequent splendor". [23] Simultaneously, the Nabataeans had probably moved across the 'Araba to the west into the desert tracts of the Negev. [24] In their early history, before establishing urban centers, the Nabataeans demonstrated on several occasions their impressive and well organized military prowess by successfully defending their territory against larger powers. [25]

The second phase saw the creation of the Nabataean political state in the mid-3rd century BC. [21] Kingship is regarded as a characteristic of a state and urban society. [26] The Nabataean institution of kingship came about as a result of multiple factors, such as the indispensabilities of trade organization and war [27] the subsequent outcomes of the Greek expeditions on the Nabataeans played a role in the political centralization of the Nabatu tribe. The earliest evidence of Nabataean kingship comes from a Nabataean inscription in the Hauran region, probably Bosra, [28] which mentions a Nabataean king whose name was lost, dated by Stracky to the early third century BC. [29] The dating is significant, since the available evidence does not attest the existence of Nabataean monarchy until the second century BC. [29] This nameless Nabataean king perhaps could be linked with a reference from the Zenon archive (the second historical mention of the Nabataeans) [20] [note 1] to deliveries of grain to "Rabbel's men", Rabbel being a characteristically royal Nabataean name, [30] it is thus possible to link Rabbel of the Zenon archive with the nameless king of Bosra's inscription, though it is highly speculative. [31]

A recent papyrological discovery, the Milan Papyrus, provides further evidence. The relevant part of the Lithika section of the papyrus describes an Arabian cavalry of a certain Nabataean king, [32] providing an early 3rd century BC reference to a Nabataean monarch. [27] The word Nabataean stands alone beside a missing word that start with the letter M one of the suggested words for filling the gap is the traditional name of Nabataean kings, Malichus. [33] Furthermore, the anonymous Nabataean coins dated by Barkay to the second half of the 3rd century BC, found mainly in Nabataean territory, support such an early date of the Nabataean Kingdom. This is in line with Strabo's account (whose description of Arabia derives ultimately from reports by 3rd century BC Ptolemaic officials) that the Nabataean kingship was old and traditional. [34] In conclusion, Rachel Barkay states that "the Nabataean economy and political regime were in existence by the third century BC". [33] The Kingship of the Nabataeans, was in the view of Strabo, an effective one, where the Nabataean kingdom was "very well governed" and the king was "a man of the people". [35] For more than four centuries the Nabataean kingdom dominated, politically and commercially, a large territory and was arguably the first Arab kingdom in the area. [36]

The testimony of the 4th and 3rd century external accounts and local materialistic evidence demonstrate that the Nabataeans played a relatively substantial political and economic role in the sphere of the early Hellenistic world. [27] While the Nabataeans didn't attain observable characteristics of a Hellenistic state (i.e. monumental architecture) in their early period, similar to contemporary Seleucid Syria, the Milan papyrus speaks of their wealth and prestige in this period. In that respect, the Nabataeans must be considered a unique entity. [27]

Aretas I, mentioned in II Macc as "the tyrant of the Arabs" (169-168 BC), is regarded as the first explicitly named king of the Nabataeans. His first appearance in history is in the II Macc, where the high-priest Jason, driven by his rival Menelaus, sought the protection of Aretas. [37] Upon his arrival at the land of the Nabataeans, Aretas imprisoned Jason. [38] It is not clear why or when that happened his arrest by Aretas was either after he escaped Jerusalem, where Aretas, fearing the retaliation of Antiochus IV Epiphanes for "openly demonstrating pro-Ptolemaic stand" (in Hammond's view however, Aretas hoped to use Jason as a political bargaining counter with the Seleucids), arrested Jason. [38] Or his imprisonment might have happened at a later date (167 BC), as a result of the established friendship between the Nabataeans and Judas Maccabaeus, aimed to hand Jason to the Jews. "Either suggestion is feasible and so the riddle remains unresolved", according to Kasher. [38]

A Nabataean inscription in the Negev, mentions a Nabataean king called Aretas, the date given by Starcky is not later than 150 BC. [39] However, the dating is difficult. It has been claimed that the inscription dates to the 3rd century BC, based on the pre-Nabataean writing style, [40] or somewhere in the 2nd century BC. [41] Generally, the inscription is attributed to Aretas I of II Macc, or perhaps as suggested by others, to Aretas II. [42]

Around the same time, the Arab Nabataeans and the neighboring Jewish Maccabees had maintained a friendly relationship, the former had sympathized with the Maccabees, who were being mistreated by the Seleucids. [31] The Romano-Jewish historian Josephus report that Judas Maccabeus and his brother Jonathan marched three days into the wilderness before encountering the Nabataeans in the Hauran, where they were settled in for at least a century. [43] The Nabataeans treated them peacefully and told them of what happened to the Jews residing in the land of Galaad. This peaceful meeting between the Nabataeans and two brothers in the first book of Maccabees seems to contradict a parallel account from the second book where a pastoral Arab tribe launched a surprise attack on the two brothers. [43] Despite open contradiction between the two accounts, scholars tend to identify the plundering Arab tribe of the second book with the Nabataeans in the first book. [43] They were evidently not Nabataeans, for good relations between the Maccabees and their "friends", the Nabataeans, continued to exist. [31] The friendly relations between them is further emphasized by Jonathan decision to send his brother John to "lodge his baggage" with the Nabataeans until the battle with the Seleucids is over. [31] Again, the Maccabean caravan suffered an attack by a murderer Arab tribe in the vicinity of Madaba. [44] This tribe was clearly not Nabataean, for they were identified as the sons of Amrai. [44] In Bowersock view, the interpretation of the evidence in the books of Maccabees "illustrates the danger of assuming that any reference to Arabs in areas known to have been settled by the Nabataeans must automatically refer to them". [44] But the picture is different, many Arab tribes in the region continued to be nomadic and moved in and out of the emerging Nabataean kingdom, and the Nabataeans, as well as invading armies and eventually the Romans also, had to cope with these people. [44]

The Nabataeans began to mint coins during the second century BC, revealing the extensive economic and political independence they enjoyed. [3]

Petra was included in a list of major cities in the Mediterranean area to be visited by a notable from Priene, a sign of the significance of Nabataea in the ancient world. Petra was included with Alexandria, which was considered to be a supreme city in the civilized world. [3]

Nabataeans and Hasmoneans Edit

The Nabataeans were allies of the Maccabees during their struggles against the Seleucid monarchs. They then became rivals of their successors, the Judaean Hasmonean dynasty, and a chief element in the disorders which invited Pompey's intervention in Judea. [45] The Port of Gaza was the last stop for spices that were carried by trade caravans before shipment to European markets, giving the Nabataeans considerable influence over the Gazans. [3]

The Hasmonean King Alexander Jannaeus, besieged the city of Gaza around 100 BC, on the grounds that the Gazans had favoured the Ptolemies over the Judaeans in their recent battles. Gaza was occupied and its inhabitants put to the sword by Jannaeus. [3]

The Hasmoneans, under Jannaeus, launched a campaign that captured several territories in Transjordan north of Nabataea, along the road to Damascus, including northern Moab and Gilead. The territorial acquisitions threatened Nabataean trade interests, both to Gaza and to the Seleucids in Damascus. [46] The Nabataean King, Obodas I fought to restore the areas. Obodas managed to defeat Jannaeus in the Battle of Gadara around 93 BC, when he ambushed him and his forces in a steep valley where Jannaeus "was lucky to escape alive". [3]

After the Nabataean victory over the Judaeans, the former were now at odds with the Seleucids, who were not impressed with the increasing influence of the Nabataeans to the south of their territories. [47] The Nabataeans were again victorious over the Greeks, and this time over the Seleucids. During the Battle of Cana, the Seleucid king Antiochus XII waged war against the Nabataeans the king himself was slain during combat. His demoralized army fled and perished in the desert from starvation. After Obodas's victories over the Judaeans and the Greeks, he became the first Nabataean king to be worshipped as a god by his people.

Avdat was a temple built in the Negev desert by the Nabataeans to commemorate Obodas. He was buried there and inscriptions have been found referring to "Obodas the god". [3]

During the reign of Aretas III (87 to 62 BC) the kingdom seems to have reached its territorial zenith it was defeated by a Roman army under the command of Marcus Aemilius Scaurus. Scaurus's army even besieged Petra eventually a compromise was negotiated. Paying a tribute, Aretas III received formal recognition by the Roman Republic. [48]

The Nabataean kingdom saw itself slowly surrounded by the expanding Roman Empire, which conquered Egypt and annexed Hasmonean Judea. While the Nabataean kingdom managed to preserve its formal independence, it became a client kingdom under the influence of Rome. [48]

Roman annexation Edit

In 106 AD, during the reign of Roman emperor Trajan, the last king of the Nabataean kingdom Rabbel II Soter died. [48] That might have prompted the official annexation of Nabatea to the Roman Empire, but the formal reasons and the exact manner of annexation are unknown. [48] Some epigraphic evidence suggests a military campaign, commanded by Cornelius Palma, the governor of Syria. Roman forces seem to have come from Syria and also from Egypt. It is clear that by 107 AD Roman legions were stationed in the area around Petra and Bosra, as is shown by a papyrus found in Egypt. The kingdom was annexed by the empire to become the province of Arabia Petraea. Trade seems to have largely continued thanks to the Nabataeans' undiminished talent for trading. [48] Under Hadrian, the limes Arabicus ignored most of the Nabatæan territory and ran northeast from Aila (modern Aqaba) at the head of the Gulf of Aqaba. A century later, during the reign of Alexander Severus, the local issue of coinage came to an end. There was no more building of sumptuous tombs, apparently because of a sudden change in political ways, such as an invasion by the neo-Persian power under the Sassanid Empire.

The city of Palmyra, for a time the capital of the breakaway Palmyrene Empire, grew in importance and attracted the Arabian trade away from Petra. [49] [50]

The Nabataean Kingdom was situated between the Arabian and Sinai Peninsulas. Its northern neighbour was the kingdom of Judea, and its south western neighbour was Ptolemaic Egypt. Its capital was the city of Raqmu in Jordan, and it included the towns of Bosra, Mada'in Saleh (Hegra), and Nitzana.

Raqmu, now called Petra, was a wealthy trading town, located at a convergence of several important trade routes. One of them was the Incense Route which was based around the production of both myrrh and frankincense in southern Arabia, [49] and ran through Mada'in Saleh to Petra. From there, aromatics were distributed throughout the Mediterranean region.


Jews vs. Christians in the desert

While the Koran and later Muslim tradition make no bones about the presence of Jewish and Christian communities across the peninsula in Mohammed’s day, the general picture that is painted of pre-Islamic Arabia is one of chaos and anarchy. The region is described as being dominated by jahilliyah – ignorance – lawlessness, illiteracy and barbaric pagan cults.

The decades immediately before the start of the Islamic calendar (marked by Mohammed’s “hijra” – migration – from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE) were marked by a weakening of societies and centralized states in Europe and the Middle East, partly due to a plague pandemic and the incessant warfare between the Byzantine and Persian empires.

The bleak representation of pre-Islamic Arabia was less an accurate description, it seems, than a literary metaphor to emphasize the unifying and enlightening power of Mohammed’s message.

Reexamination of works by Muslim and Christian chroniclers in recent years, as well as finds like the one in Saudi Arabia, are producing a much more elaborate picture, leading scholars to rediscover the rich and complex history of the region before the rise of Islam.
One of the key, but often forgotten, players in Arabia at the time was the kingdom of Himyar.

Established around the 2nd century CE, by the 4th century it had become a regional power. Headquartered in what is today Yemen, Himyar had conquered neighboring states, including the ancient kingdom of Sheba (whose legendary queen features in a biblical meeting with Solomon).

Petroglyphs in Wadi Rum, JordanEtan J. Tal, Wikimedia Commons
In a recent article titled “What kind of Judaism in Arabia?” Christian Robin, a French epigraphist and historian who also leads the expedition at Bir Hima, says most scholars now agree that, around 380 CE, the elites of the kingdom of Himyar converted to some form of Judaism.
United in Judaism

The Himyarite rulers may have seen in Judaism a potential unifying force for their new, culturally diverse empire, and an identity to rally resistance against creeping encroachment by the Byzantine and Ethiopian Christians, as well as the Zoroastrian empire of Persia.

It is unclear how much of the population converted, but what is sure is that in the Himyarite capital of Zafar (south of Sana’a), references to pagan gods largely disappear from royal inscriptions and texts on public buildings, and are replaced by writings that refer to a single deity.

Using mostly the local Sabean language (and in some rare cases Hebrew), this god is alternatively described as Rahmanan – the Merciful – the “Lord of the Heavens and Earth,” the “God of Israel” and “Lord of the Jews.” Prayers invoke his blessings on the “people of Israel” and those invocations often end with shalom and amen.

For the next century and a half, the Himyarite kingdom expanded its influence into central Arabia, the Persian Gulf area and the Hijaz (the region of Mecca and Medina), as attested by royal inscriptions of its kings that have been found not only at Bir Hima, just north of Yemen, but also near what is today the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Returning to the early Arabic texts discovered at Bir Hima, the French-Saudi team notes that the name of Thawban son of Malik appears on eight inscriptions, along with the names of other Christians in what was probably a form of commemoration.

According to Christian chroniclers, around 470 (the date of the Thawban inscription), the Christians of the nearby city of Najran suffered a wave of persecution by the Himyarites. The French experts suspect that Thawban and his fellow Christians may have been martyred. The choice of the early Arabic script to commemorate them would have been, in itself, a powerful symbol of defiance.

This pre-Islamic alphabet is also called Nabatean Arabic, because it evolved from the script used by the Nabateans, the once-powerful nation that built Petra and dominated the trade routes in the southern Levant and northern Arabia before being annexed by the Romans in the early 2nd century. Used at the gates of Yemen, this northern alphabet would have stood in sharp contrast to the inscriptions left by Himyarite rulers in their native Sabaean.

“The adoption of a new writing signaled a distancing from Himyar and a reconciliation with the rest of the Arabs,” the French researchers write in their report. “The inscriptions of Hima reveal a strong movement of cultural unification of the Arabs, from the Euphrates to Najran, which manifested itself by the use of the same writing.”
Joseph the rebel

The growing outside pressures ultimately took their toll on Himyar. Sometime around the year 500, it fell to Christian invaders from the Ethiopian kingdom of Aksum.

In a last bid for independence, in 522, a Jewish Himyarite leader, Yusuf As’ar Yath’ar, rebelled against the puppet ruler enthroned by the negus and put the Aksumite garrison to the sword. He then besieged Najran, which had refused to provide him with troops, and massacred part of its Christian population – a martyrdom that sparked outrage amongst Yusuf’s enemies and hastened retribution from Ethiopia.

In 2014, the French-Saudi expedition at Bir Hima discovered an inscription recording Yusuf’s passage there after the Najran massacre as he marched north with 12,000 men into the Arabian desert to reclaim the rest of his kingdom. After that, we lose track of him, but Christian chroniclers recorded that around 525 the Ethiopians caught up with the rebel leader and defeated him.

According to different traditions, the last Jewish king of Arabia was either killed in battle, or committed suicide by riding with his horse into the Red Sea.

For the next century, Himyar was a Christian kingdom that continued to dominate Arabia. In the middle of the sixth century, one of its rulers, Abraha, marched through Bir Hima, leaving on the stones a depiction of the African elephant that led his mighty army. A later inscription, dated 552 and found in central Arabia, records the many locations he conquered, including Yathrib, the desert oasis that just 70 years later would become known as Madinat al-Nabi (the City of the Prophet) – or, more simply, Medina.
Were they ‘real’ Jews?

One big question that remains about the Jews of Himyar is what kind of Judaism they practiced. Did they observe the Sabbath? Or the rules of kashrut?
Some scholars, like the 19th century Jewish-French orientalist Joseph Halevy, refused to believe that a Jewish king could persecute and massacre his Christian subjects, and dismissed the Himyarites as belonging to one of the many sects in which Christianity was divided in its early days.

Robin, the French epigraphist, writes in his article that the official religion of Himyar may be described as “Judeo-monotheism” – “a minimalist variety of Judaism” that followed some of the religion’s basic principles.

The fact is that the few inscriptions found so far, along with the writings of later chroniclers, who may have been biased against the Himyarites, do not allow scholars to form a clear picture of the kingdom’s spirituality.

But there is another way to look at the question.

Through Christian and Muslim rule, Jews continued to be a strong presence in the Arabian Peninsula. This is clear not only from Mohammed’s (often conflictual) dealings with them, but also from the influence that Judaism had on the new religion’s rituals and prohibitions (daily prayers, circumcision, ritual purity, pilgrimage, charity, ban on images and eating pork).

In Yemen, the heartland of the Himyarites, the Jewish community endured through centuries of persecution, until 1949-1950, when almost all its remaining members – around 50,000 – were airlifted to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet. And while they maintain some unique rituals and traditions, which set them apart from Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jews, no one would doubt that they are indeed, the last, very much Jewish descendants of the lost kingdom of Himyar.


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