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Nabataean alphabet

Languages Nabataean language
Time period
2nd century BC to 4th century AD
Parent systems
Child systems
Arabic alphabet
ISO 15924 Nbat, 159
Direction Right-to-left
Unicode alias

The Nabataean alphabet is a consonantal alphabet (abjad) that was used by the Nabataeans in the 2nd century BC.[2] Important inscriptions are found in Petra, Jordan. The alphabet is descended from the Syriac alphabet, which was itself descended from the Aramaic alphabet. In turn, a cursive form of Nabataean developed into the Arabic alphabet from the 4th century,[2] which is why Nabataean's letterforms are intermediate between the more northerly Semitic scripts (such as the Aramaic-derived Hebrew) and those of Arabic.

Nabatean Name Arabic
File:01 aleph.svg Alaph ا Template:Script/Strng א
File:02 bet.svg Beth ب Template:Script/Strng ב
File:03 gimel.svg Gamal ج Template:Script/Strng ג
File:04 dal.svg Dalath Template:Script/Strng ד
File:05 ha.svg Heh ه Template:Script/Strng ה
File:06 waw.svg Waw Template:Script/Strng ו
30x30px Zain Template:Script/Strng ז
File:08 ha.svg Heth ح Template:Script/Strng ח
File:09 taa.svg Teth Template:Script/Strng ט
File:10 yaa.svg Yodh ي Template:Script/Strng י
File:11 kaf.svg Kaph ك Template:Script/Strng כ / ך
File:12 lam.svg Lamadh ل Template:Script/Strng ל
File:13 meem.svg Meem م Template:Script/Strng מ / ם
File:14 noon.svg Noon ن Template:Script/Strng נ / ן
File:15 sin.svg Simkath Template:Script/Strng ס
File:16 ein.svg 'E ع Template:Script/Strng ע
File:17 fa.svg Peh ف Template:Script/Strng פ / ף
File:18 sad.svg Sad'e ص Template:Script/Strng צ / ץ
File:19 qaf.svg Qoph Template:Script/Strng ק
File:20 ra.svg Resh Template:Script/Strng ר
File:21 shin.svg Sheen ش ,س Template:Script/Strng ש
File:22 ta.svg Taw Template:Script/Strng ת
  • Note that the Syriac and Arabic alphabets are always cursive and that some of their letters look differently in medial or initial position.
  • See the entry Aramaic Alphabet for more a more complete comparison of letterforms.


The Nabataean alphabet (U+10880–U+108AF) was added to the Unicode Standard in June 2014 with the release of version 7.0.

Template:Unicode chart Nabataean

See also


  1. ^ Himelfarb, Elizabeth J. "First Alphabet Found in Egypt", Archaeology 53, Issue 1 (Jan./Feb. 2000): 21.
  2. ^ a b [1],

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