This picture was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot who would like to know what the inscription means.

Ring with mysterious inscription in Arabic (?)

The writing is looks like Arabic, but I can’t make any sense of it. Can you help?

[Update: The image is now the right way round, thanks to Christopher]

10 thoughts on “Puzzle

  1. If the picture were flipped left-right, the three symbols at the bottom would say 329.

  2. The image is flipped the wrong way round. I just emailed an image flipped the right way round to Simon.

    The characters in sequence seem to be:

    trlmbd (y above the rest)

  3. Maybe it’s not so much the image that is flipped the wrong way round, but rather the object itself, since it looks a lot like a stamp seal.

  4. !

    Very good point. The reversed image I sent to Simon should better reflect how a printed image would appear. As long as it’s clear that the image here is a mirror image of what the actual text would look like.

  5. It can be indeed a stamp. Anyway it’s hard to read this as it is a “tholoth” style. Highly decorated.
    It could be: TRLMYDY or something close to what Miller said. The number at the bottom is 329, in Hindi numerals. I wonder really about the date of this thing! If 329 is the year (in A.H.) it is still old (more than 1000 years old!) and such elaborated decorated text is… superb to be preserved still!
    Seems it’s a name or a title.

  6. @lukas: yes, 1329 is much more reasonable, even though the “1” is not so obvious here. Seems it’s Ottoman.

  7. I haven’t been able to find anything in searches for this particular sequence of letters, but a search on the web for ترلميد (i.e. without the final ي) does bring up several book references containing this sequence that seem to be in Persian, complete with the eastern shape for ٤ (4).

  8. Thanks for the help, I’m still having trouble finding more on this. I’ve gotten a few opinions and some say its Islamic. I love the piece, I just wish I knew exactly what it was.

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