Several Arabic inscriptions were excavated by the Princeton University Archaeological Expedition to Antioch


Gravestone with Arabic inscription (I-12) using the Kufic script; discovered in the area of the Roman circus. Hitti (1934:54) dated a similar gravestone (reg. no. 458B) to the middle of the 9th to early 10th century AD. The text is from the Quran:

(1) In the name of God,
(2) the compassionate, the merciful.
(3) [He is God alone!] God.


Measures 54 x 37 cm. [Archives in the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology.]

Gravestone with Arabic inscription (I-50) using the Kufic script; purchased so there is no specific information on its findspot at Antioch. Measures 16 cm (height) x 21.5 cm (width) x 6 cm (thickness).The first line was translated by Faris as "and peace...died" and the second line "but God". Faris estimated the date for this inscription from the 9th century AD (AH 184 288). [Archives in the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology.]

Gravestone with Arabic inscription (I-73) using the Kufic script; from Sector 19-M. Measures 20 cm (height) x 28 cm (width) x 3 cm (thickness). Faris (1938:166-7, inscription no. 11) translated the seven lines as:

1. [In the name of God], the Compassionate, the Merciful
2. God that there is no god but He
3. and the angels and those endued with knowledge
4. established in righteousness. There is no god but He,
5. the Mighty, the Wise. This is the tomb of
6. Harun ibn-al-Khalil ibn-'Abd-A
7. llah al-Jaza'iri

Faris estimated the date for this inscription as the middle of the 9th century AD (AH 184 - 288). [Archives in the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology.]

Arabic inscription (no. 269) using the Kufic script discovered during the 1938 field season. This fragment measures 45 x 32 cm with a thickness of approximately 5 cm. The letters measure 8 cm in height.. [Archives in the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology.]

Arabic inscription (no. 270) that was purchased by the archaeological expedition. This fragment measures 14.5 by 6 cm and measures 2.5 cm in thickness. [Archives in the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology.]

Arabic inscription using the Kufic script - discovered in 1938. Inventory number 262. This inscription was discovered in excavation area 16 - 03 in debris at the northeast corner of the excavation at a depth of 3 meters. It measures 53.8 by 19 cm with a thickness of 11.6 cm. The letters measure 5.8 cm in height. . [Archives in the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology.]

Arabic inscription (no. 186?) using the Kufic Script. [Archives in the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology.]

Arabic inscription using the Kufic Script. The artifact inventory card indicates that this gravestone fragment was found on the surface of the Kharab suburb of Antioch. The fragment measures 12.5 x 11 cm and 4.8 cm in thickness. [Archives in the Princeton University Department of Art and Archaeology.]
Faris, Nabih A.
1938 Kufic Inscriptions. in Antioch-on-the-Orontes II. Edited by Richard Stillwell. Princeton University Press.

Hitti, Philip K.
1934 Kufic Inscriptions. in Antioch-on-the-Orontes I. dited by George W. Elderkin. Princeton University Press.
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Webpage updated 7 October 2015