New research on the ‘Thamudic’ graffiti from the region of Дimā (Najrān, Saudi Arabia)


  • Alessia Prioletta


Ancient South Arabian, Ancient North Arabian, Thamudic, graffiti, Najrān region


The region of Дimā includes a wide area located in the desert about 100 km north-east of Najrān. In antiquity, this was on the route leading from South Arabia to the north of the Arabian Peninsula and thus has an exceptional archaeological ensemble of graffiti, rock drawings, and funerary structures. Since 2007 the Saudi-French mission to Najrān has been conducting explorations and epigraphic surveys in Дimā and has already exhaustively recorded the area of ΚAn Jamal, ΚAn Halkān, and Jabal as-Sammā. In 2016 C.J. Robin achieved the complete decipherment of the graffiti in the ‘Southern Thamudic’ script and sketched their basic linguistic features. Through a preliminary study of the material recorded by the Saudi-French mission, this paper provides a new, general overview of the graphic and linguistic features of these texts. The new data, combined with what was previously known (script, palaeographic varieties, chronology, formulae, and language) are presented and examined and compared with Ancient South Arabian and with the scripts and languages from northern Arabia.





How to Cite

Prioletta, A. (2018). New research on the ‘Thamudic’ graffiti from the region of Дimā (Najrān, Saudi Arabia). Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies, 48, 53–71. Retrieved from

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