The Digitisation of the Ethio-Sabaic Inscriptions (August 2010 - March 2011)

The Ethio-Sabaic inscriptions from the northern Ethiopian and Eritrean highlands are still the only written source of information about the kingdom of DʿMT, that existed there in the early first millennium BC and whose rise and fall are still in the dark. Written in Epigraphic South Arabian script and Sabaic language the inscriptions document the close cultural connection of their authors to South Arabia, even the presence of Sabaean stonemasons in Ethiopia. However, at the same time, they show several morphological and lexical deviations from the Sabaic language and contain elements of local tradition, such as the mentioning of the maternal line in the ruler's title.

For a comprehensive processing of the texts, over 200 ethio-sabaic inscriptions known to date were digitized and archived in an electronic database with the financial support of the Deutsche Orientgesellschaft (DOG). The database provides the transliteration of each text as well as detailed information about its provenance, bibliography, support material, text genre etc. and enables efficient searching of individual words and text passages. Additionally, the corpus has been incorporated in a database containing all Ancient South Arabic inscriptions published to date, which forms the basis of the Online Sabaic Dictionary currently in progress.


14.06.2010 DOG fördert Erschließung äthio-sabäischer Inschriften
(DOG) Anschubfinanzierung für Forschungsprojekt an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

project manager

Prof. Dr. Norbert Nebes

research assistant

Mariam Kilargiani, M.A.

Title image: The ancient city of Mārib | © Iris Gerlach

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