South Arabian    Sogdian

The South Arabian alphabet is thought to have developed from the Proto-Sinaitic alphabet in about the 9th century BC. It is known from inscriptions found in Eritrea, Babylonia and Yemen dating from between 9th century BC and 7th century AD, and was used to write Sabaean, Qatabanian, Hadramautic, Minaean, Himyarite and proto-Ge'ez, extinct Semitic languages once spoken in southern parts of the Arabian peninsula. It is also known as the Old Yemeni alphabet or المُسند (musnad).

The South Arabian was used for monunmental inscriptions, and was also carved into wooden sticks, which were used as everyday documents.

Notable features

South Arabian alphabet

South Arabian alphabet

The top row of letters are written in monumental style, while the bottom row of letters are in cursive style.

Sample text

Sample text in the South Arabian alphabet


Sample video about South Arabian


Information about the South Arabian alphabet

Written in Stone: Inscriptions from the National Museum of Saudi Arabia

Corpus of South Arabian Inscriptions

Ancient South Arabian Inscriptions in Baynun (Yemen)

Semitic languages

Akkadian, Amharic, Arabic (Algerian), Arabic (Bedawi), Arabic (Chadian), Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Gulf), Arabic (Hassaniya), Arabic (Hejazi), Arabic (Lebanese), Arabic (Modern Standard), Arabic (Moroccan), Arabic (Najdi), Arabic (Syrian), Aramaic, Argobba, Assyrian / Neo-Assyrian, Canaanite, Chaha, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, Ge'ez, Hadhramautic, Harari, Hebrew, Himyaritic, Jewish Neo-Aramaic, Maltese, Mandaic, Nabataean, Neo-Mandaic, Phoenician, Punic, Qatabanic, Sabaean, Sabaic, Silt'e, Syriac, Tigre, Tigrinya, Turoyo, Ugaritic, Western Neo-Aramaic

Consonant alphabets (Abjads)

Ancient Berber, Arabic, Aramaic, Hebrew, Manichaean, Nabataean, Pahlavi, Parthian, Phoenician, Paleo-Hebrew, Proto-Sinaitic / Proto-Canaanite, Psalter, Punic, Sabaean, Samaritan, Sogdian, South Arabian, Syriac, Tifinagh, Ugaritic

Other writing systems

Page last modified: 10.08.21


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