Puzzle

This inscription, sent in by a visitor to Omniglot, appears on silver pendant which is apparently Tuareg.

Tuareg pendant

I think it might be South Arabian.

Can you identify the script and/or decipher it?

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This entry was posted in Language, Puzzles.

5 Responses to Puzzle

  1. I agree. I think it definitely looks like South Arabian

  2. Joe Perez says:

    It is definitely the black speech of Mordor, meaning “The One Ring to the rule the One Ring of Sauron.”

    (just kidding, no clue)

  3. TJ says:

    With some comparison to the Sabaean alphabet, it has some resemblance but not totally.
    If we arranged the set of characters from left to right (regardless of the writing direction) and give them numbers skipping the straight vertical lines (apparently they are word dividers to me); notice how characters 3,4,5 and 7 have the basic shape with changing in line. I think we are facing a syllabic system, and to me they seem more Ethiopic in nature (their writing system was adopted from South Arabian as well).

    All of this assumption of course rules out the Touareg and North African assumption.

  4. nomad says:

    Assuming this is indeed some sort of early Ethiopic, this might be interpreted as (assuming right-to-left writing direction and replacing unknown vowels with ‘?’):

    hutwan?g?hud? | b…ôke’? | r? | m?

  5. TJ says:

    @nomad: could be. Unfortunately I’m not into Ethiopic culture, but however, I think there are other languages in the periphery of Ethiopia that uses the same script for other languages, other than than Amharic.