April 1, 2023

One of the stations for deciphering the ancient “Libyan” Amazigh language, which the Institute of Archeology and Heritage in Rabat seeks to reach, collecting and documenting documents that, although “the writing of them has not yet been deciphered,” are of “tremendous significance.” from historical, cultural and biblical points of view, as they are considered clear indicators and evidence. Specifically, about the reconstruction of the region in the ancient era and the spread of the Libyan alphabet.

This comes after a photo of “Naqishe” was circulated on Facebook earlier this month and was said to have been found in “Al-Walaja, Sidi Abed, Doukkala” (new districts), after which The National Institute of Archeology and Heritage agreed with the Office of Cultural Heritage to “take all necessary measures to verify the site of the find, and gain access to the stone for the purpose of studying and documenting it. ”

Thus, “the regional directorates of the cultural sector, the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Communications, conducted extensive on-site investigations in cooperation with local authorities in the province of El Jadida, but were unable to obtain clear and reliable information about the aforementioned stone,” according to a report by the Institute of Archeology in Rabat.

Abdel Aziz Al-Khayari, a professor at the Institute of Archeology and Heritage Sciences who specializes in ancient writings, examined the photographs and confirmed that they are “a tombstone with a headstone inscription consisting of a vertical line and written in ‘Libyan’ letters. (these are the letters used in the past to write in the Amazigh language and from which the letters “tifinagh” originated) And added: “The inscription belongs to an ancient era before the advent of Islam, and it is similar to the terms of the type and characteristics of the Libyan alphabet used in it, to others inscriptions previously found in each of Ain al-Jumaa (in the southwest of Casablanca), Sidi al-Arabi, the suburbs of Muhammadiyah, and al-Nakhil to the Settat district and the Friday market in the Al-Maaziz district.

In a statement to Hespress e-newspaper, Al-Khayari said the preliminary inscription is “authentic and old given the nature of the calligraphy and the letters in it,” adding: “Because the letters of the ancient Amazigh script vary from one region to another, they can only come from the coastal area between Rabat and El Jadida. in it, since it does not exceed four, in contrast to the northern region.

A scholar who specializes in ancient writings said that there are other inscriptions that people find and do not declare, although they are important material documents. measurements taken, drawn and dug on the spot, because this is also important; The picture shows a tombstone and it will be associated with funerary structures, and if it is unearthed and unearthed, it will give us information about the burial in the pre-Islamic period and its history.

The inscriptions of the Libyan script were described by the author as a “great legacy”. Because these are “tangible documents about the existence of a population interested in writing, and its alphabet is different in different regions. In the north, for example, it is different in the Tamesna region, and in pre-Roman cities, and with similar letters, but in each of them there are letters that not in another” to continue the explanation: “The oldest script is archaeologically documented in the Libyan script, found in the Moroccan sites of Lixos and Banasa, and dates back to the second century BC. The Libyan script is a clear script with geometric letters written vertically and read from bottom to top.

Al-Khayari explained in a statement to Hespress that “the importance of such inscriptions is evident not only in their historical value, but also in attempts to read the ancient Amazigh language, whose Libyan letters were used from western Egypt to Morocco and from the Mediterranean to Mali and Niger, which is the source of the tifanagh, and has survived among the Tuareg tribes, even if it has disappeared from North Africa, and it has extinct roots in the current Amazigh languages.

Regarding the content of the inscription, the same speaker said: “This is the problem of inscriptions throughout Morocco, in cities and deserts, south of Meknes and on the rocks of the High Atlas, and in the Draa, up to Avsard … This script, which early researchers call “Western script” , has not yet been deciphered, in contrast to the “East Libyan”. In eastern Algeria and western Tunisia, which determined the phonetic meaning of its letters, which means that they are still read even if the language is not yet very well known.

And the professor of the National Institute of Archeology and Heritage continued: “We are still at the beginning of the journey, and in the future we may find bilingual inscriptions that will help us determine the phonetic meanings of Western Libyan letters, and after that the stage of interpreting the language and texts written in him.”

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