Wikijunior:Ancient Civilizations/Arabian

When did Arabian civilization exist?


The earliest known mention of Arabian people was in 853 BC where they were listed as one of the peoples defeated by the Assyrians.

Where did they live?

The Arabian Peninsula

Arabians lived in Arabia, a peninsula in the southwest of Asia.

Arabia has several different regions. The biggest part, which is the interior part of the peninsula, is desert. It was populated by nomadic tribes who frequently invaded richer lands and their caravans.

The northern and southern regions were inhabited by more civilized people. Arabians in the northern regions were in contact with the Romans and Persians.

The southern part (Arabia Felix) was relatively greener than the other regions. Its people were engaged in trading, particularly trading spices from India as well as expensive aromatic substances, called frankincense and myrrh, which were obtained from certain trees of their land and were used in perfumery and medicines.

What did they eat?


Arabians ate dates, camel milk, bread (made of barley and wheat), lizards, locusts, meat, grapes, and olives.

What did they wear?


Arabians wore simple, loose, long garments and headwear.

What did their writing look like?


Their writing was similar to other Semitic writing. They wrote from right to left. They did not have any dedicated letters for vowels.

What do they believe?


Most Arabians were polytheistic pagan people; that means they believed in many gods. Of all the gods they believed in, the sun god and the moon god were most important. There were also some Jewish tribes in Arabia before the rise of Islam.

What did their buildings look like?


Many Arabians preferred to live in tents, particularly the nomadic Arabs. Others lived in houses made of mud. Some Arabians of northern Arabia built structures by excavating solid rock out of mountains.

Legend says the first building of Arabia was the Holy Kaaba, the house of God, built by Prophet Ibrahim and his son, Ismail.

Are some of them famous even today?


The Queen of Sheba, who according to the Bible had a visit to King Solomon, is believed by some to have been from the south Arabian Kingdom of Saba.

Muhammad, who lived in Arabia, was the last prophet of Islam.