, 5 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
Vehicles and riding animals often play a symbolic role in ancient funerary rituals, e.g. #Viking boat burials. How did the ancient Arabians navigate the afterlife? The video below, shot by @qifanabki, documents the discovery of a #Safaitic /baleyy/, a special ‘camel’ burial.
The baleyy (Classical Arabic baliyyah بلية) is a grave/cairn to which the deceased’s camel is bound. It is left at the side of its dead master to die and rise as a reliable mount in the afterlife.
Islamic tradition states that some pre-Islamic Arabs believed that men buried with a baliyyah would rise on the day of judgement riding their beasts and those who were not were thus obliged to walk to meet their lord.
A fascinating #Nabataean inscription published by H. Hayajneh also documents the use of baliyyahs in #WadiRam, where it is called in Aramaic blwʾ, perhaps /balwā/. The inscription is associated with a cairn, ʾgmʾ, probably related to the Safaitic verb of mourning /wagama/.
For more on Baliyyahs from the vista of Islamic-period sources:
Pellat, Ch. 1960: Baliyya. Encyclopedia of Islam 1:997.

Hayajneh's article on the Nabataean baliyyah
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