|2nd century BC to 4th century AD|
The Nabataean alphabet is a consonantal alphabet (abjad) that was used by the Nabataeans in the 2nd century BC. 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, which is why Nabataean's letterforms are intermediate between the more northerly Semitic scripts (such as the Aramaic-derived Hebrew) and those of Arabic.
- 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.
- Himelfarb, Elizabeth J. "First Alphabet Found in Egypt", Archaeology 53, Issue 1 (Jan./Feb. 2000): 21.
- , http://www.omniglot.com/writing/nabataean.htm.
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