Puzzle

The owner of the knife pictured below would like to know what script is written on it, and what it says. Can you help?

Knife blade with mysterious inscription

The writing looks like Arabic to me, but I can’t make any sense of it.

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This entry was posted in Arabic, Language, Puzzles, Writing.

5 Responses to Puzzle

  1. TJ says:

    hmmm looks like some scribbles only… couldn’t make possible arabic lettering combination at all.

  2. Alex says:

    It is defititely Arabic, however the left side Arabic does not have any “accents” or the later added vocalisations other than the straight vertival lines representing “A”.
    The right side definitely has the vocalisation marks seen above or below the letters.
    So I am pretty sure it is Thuluth-Muhaqqaq style calligraphy, which uses letters to underline words or sentences as you can see on the left side of the dagger, there is a straight line running through the middle of it horizontally across, that is the letter “h”, perhaps as it was common on smaller ornaments, the vocalisations were left out.

    The age of the dagger would be the best thing to determine which specific arabic it is. But I am pretty certain that it is in Thuluth/Muhaqqaq arabic caligraphy.

  3. Christopher Miller says:

    I understand why Alex sees Arabic calligraphy, but concur with TJ on this. There is a single pattern that repeats in blocks across the surface: that is the first observation. Second, the actual tracings clearly seem at the least to be inspired by Arabic letter shapes (I see tracings that at least imitate the form of ,و ,ڪ ,ح ,ﻻ, and ﻫ, among others) and even by the kinds of ligatures between letters that you find in more complex and sophisticated handwriting and calligraphy, such as taa’-ħaa’ ligatures.

    Since there is no dotting anywhere, it is very unlikely this was intended as a text per se. Dotting is such an integral part of the structure of letters in all styles of Arabic script except for the very earliest (and the shapes here clearly imitate later styles) that I can only see this as an abstract imitation of what may at some point have been a real text. I think it very likely that the patterns were copied from an Arabic text but purely for the decorative value of the sinuous lines.

  4. Frank says:

    I have found from list on Ancient Scripts.com five examples (Samaritan, Avestan, Aramaic, Landa and Old Hebrew) that have one or two similar characters but nothing conclusive. I’m not an expert by any means on the subject, but I have been researching
    this since before the internet was launched.I can’t stop now.I will keep trying to get more and better samples as there are two blades with writing on all sides.
    Thank you all for any and all the info I receive.

  5. TJ says:

    @Frank: this dagger is yours?
    if so can you give a full image?
    and another closer image?

    I’m an Arab myself and actually I don’t read anything Arabic on this blade. However, the design looks interesting, and probably these scribbles have some meaning in some other languages. Yet, I can tell it is not Arabic (nor Hebrew).