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Thamudic is a name invented by nineteenth-century scholars for large numbers of inscriptions in Ancient North Arabian (ANA) alphabets which have not yet been properly studied. It does not imply that they were carved by members of the ancient tribe of Thamūd. These texts are found over a huge area from southern Syria to Yemen. In 1937, Fred V. Winnett divided those known at the time into five rough categories A, B, C, D, E. In 1951, some 9000 more inscriptions were recorded in south-west Saudi Arabia which have been given the name 'Southern Thamudic'. Further study by Winnett showed that the texts he had called 'Thamudic A' represent a clearly defined script and language and he therefore removed them from the Thamudic 'pending file' and gave them the name 'Taymanite', which was later changed to 'Taymanitic'. The same was done for 'Thamudic E' by Geraldine M.H. King, and this is now known as 'Hismaic'. However, Thamudic B, C, D and Southern Thamudic still await detailed study.[1]


Thamudic B[edit]

The Thamudic B inscriptions are concentrated in Northwest Arabia, but can be occasionally found in Syria, Egypt, and Yemen.[2]

Thamudic C[edit]

The Thamudic C inscriptions are concentrated in the Najd, but can be found elsewhere across western Arabia as well.[2]

Thamudic D[edit]

These inscriptions are concentrated in northwest Arabia, and one occurs alongside a Nabataean tomb inscription in Hegra (Mada'in Salih) dated to the year 267 CE.[2]

Southern Thamudic[edit]

These texts come from the southwestern part of the Arabian Peninsula and seem to contain only names, although some of these names contain mimation and one example of a hl- */hal/ definite article.[2]


  • Lipinski, Edward (2001). Semitic Languages: Outlines of a Comparative Grammar (2nd ed.). Leuven: Orientalia Lovanensia Analecta. p. 75. 

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