Ancient inscription curse found on Tabuk mountain

Dr. Suleiman Al-Theeb, Professor of ancient Arabic writings
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Dr. Suleiman Al-Theeb, Professor of ancient Arabic writings
Ancient inscription curse found on Tabuk mountain
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Updated 04 June 2023
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Ancient inscription curse found on Tabuk mountain

Dr. Suleiman Al-Theeb, Professor of ancient Arabic writings
  • An interesting fact that Al-Theeb revealed was that people from all walks of life living in the Arabian Peninsula had the freedom to engrave their thoughts, feelings, poetry, or curses on rocks

MAKKAH: Many monuments in the Arabian Peninsula have been found bearing inscriptions in the Thamudic, Nabataean and Safaitic languages invoking evil upon those who try to tamper with or obliterate them.

One such Thamudic inscription, dating between the end of the first century AD to the fourth century AD, was found by a Saudi citizen named Khalid Al-Fraih in the Tabhar area northwest of Tabuk, which is dotted with many ancient inscriptions and monuments.

FASTFACT

People from all walks of life living in the Arabian Peninsula had the freedom to engrave their thoughts, feelings, poetry, or curses, on rocks contrary to those who lived in Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt, where inscriptions were exclusively written by the leaders or those who with a high status.

Professor of ancient Arabic writings, Dr. Suleiman Al-Theeb, told Arab News that this Thamudic inscription is written on the facade of one of the mountains of Wadi Tabhar. “What is interesting is that they used curses so that evil befalls … those who distort and sabotage … it. This type of curse is well known in the Thamudic, Nabataean, Palmyrian and Safaitic inscriptions.”

People who inhabited the area centuries ago were pagans who indulged in idol worship.

“This curse was written, most likely, to intimidate and scare away those who want to destroy their god … and the purpose of intimidation by cursing is to maintain and keep what has been written,” he said.

In order to prevent others from attacking their rocks, they used to write on them words of threat, curse and intimidation of the wrath of the gods. The fear was real and people would then refrain from destroying the rocks.

Dr. Suleiman Al-Theeb, Professor of ancient Arabic writings

Al-Theeb also revealed that the writings and inscriptions on rocks were similar to published material that we see today. “If two people disagree or a problem occurred between them, they would usually attack the rock of others. In order to prevent others from attacking their rocks, they used to write on them words of threat, curse and intimidation of the wrath of the gods. The fear was real and people would then refrain from destroying the rocks.”

An interesting fact that Al-Theeb revealed was that people from all walks of life living in the Arabian Peninsula had the freedom to engrave their thoughts, feelings, poetry, or curses on rocks, contrary to those who lived in Mesopotamia, Syria and Egypt, where inscriptions were exclusively written by leaders or those who with high status.

The professor stressed that these inscriptions are very important as they depict the history of previous civilizations, and should be monitored and documented by specialists to preserve them.