Pre-Islamic Arabia (Jahiliyyah) is the history of Arab people who lived in the Arabian Plate before the rise of Islam in the 630s. The study of Pre-Islamic Arabia is important to Islamic studies as it provides the context for the development of Islam.
The scientific studies of Pre-Islamic Arabs starts with the Arabists of the early 19th century when they managed to decipher epigraphic Old South Arabian (10th century BC), Ancient North Arabian (6th century BC) and other writings.
Nabataean trade routes in Pre-Islamic era. Trade Caravans travelled by land and depending on the trade winds also by sea. The map above demonstrates the main land routes, with key land markets and sea ports
Pre-Islamic Arabia, hence it is no longer limited to the written traditions which are not local due to the lack of surviving Arab historians accounts of that era, therefore it is compensated by existing material consisting of primarily written sources from other traditions (such as Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, etc.).
From the 3rd century CE, Arabian history becomes more tangible with the rise of the Himyarite Kingdom, and with the appearance of the Qahtanites in the Levant and the gradual assimilation of the Nabataeans by the Qahtanites in the early centuries CE, a pattern of expansion exceeded in the explosive Muslim conquests of the 7th century.
Sources of history include archaeological evidence,, foreign accounts and oral traditions later recorded by Islamic scholars especially pre-Islamic Poems and Hadiths plus a number of ancient Arab documents that survived to the medieval times and portions of them were cited or recorded.
Archaeological exploration in the Arabian Peninsula has been sparse but fruitful, many ancient sites were identified by modern excavations.
Early Semitic migrations: The earliest known events in Arabian history are migrations from the peninsula into neighbouring areas. In the 3rd millennium BCE, Semitic-speaking peoples migrated from the Arabian Peninsula into Mesopotamia, brought down Sumer, and eventually established the semitic Akkadian Empire under Sargon of Akkad (c. 2300 BCE).
The East Semitic group established itself at Ebla. The Amorites were Northwest Semitic speakers who left Arabia in the late 3rd millennium BCE and settled along the Levant. Some of these migrants established societies that evolved into the Aramaeans and Canaanites of later times.
Pre-Historic to Iron Age:
Ubaid period (5300 BC)-could have originated in eastern Arabia
Umm an-Nar Culture (2600-2000 BC)
Sabr culture (2000 BC)
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