Sola Rey

Ancient Inscription Blocks from Yeha, Ethiopia, Africa

Oldest script south of the Sahara at Yeha

Sabean is another ancient African syllabary script that is similar to Ge’ez and a descendant of the Proto-Saharan system. The word “Sabaean” itself derives from the Western name, “Sheba” (from the Ge’ez word, Saba, whom modern Ethiopians call Makeda), the D’mt leader to whom the “Sabaean” or “Old Ethiopian” script is attributed.

Sabaean is found all over Ethiopia and Yemen, a former colony of ancient Ethiopia’s D’mt empire. It is important to reiterate that the Arabian peninsula was first colonized by Ethiopians, not vice versa, as attested in ancient literature (see page on the history of Ethiopia/Kush).

Secondly, the oldest examples of the “Sabaean” script are inscriptions at the Temple of Yeha in modern-day Ethiopia, which local historians generally date to 700 BC. There are also several inscriptions at Aksum, the principal city (perhaps not the only one) from which Queen Makeda reigned.

Not only is the Old Ethiopian inscription at Yeha older than any others ever found on the Arabian peninsula, there are subtle differences, as clearly noted by some 19th century linguists such as James Theodore Bent, David Heinrich Mueller, and John George Garson. In other words, “Old Ethiopian” is older and somewhat different than the so-called “Old Arabian/Sabaean” script.


Some estimated these writings to be as old as 14,000 years. 

Russian expedition to Ethiopia.

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