digital archive for the study of pre-islamic arabian inscriptions


Ancient nameDioskouridou (Greek), ḏ-S³krd (South-Arabian)
KingdomMahrah sultan (1511)
CoordinatesLatitude: 12° 30' 00"    Longitude: 53° 45' 00"    
Coordinates accuracycertain
Type of siteOther
StructuresRock inscriptions
LanguageBrāhmī, South-Arabian, Ethiopic, Greek, Palmyrene, Syriac
Location and toponomyArchaeological objects, inscriptions and drawings were found by speleologists in the Ḥoq cave, north-east of the island.
General descriptionPart of Yemen, Soqoṭra is a small island of an archipelago (4 islands) in the Indian Ocean. It lies some 240 km east of the Horn of Africa.
A third of its vegetation is composed of endemic species: the most striking is the Dracaena cinnabari tree ("dragon's blood").
The island measures 132 km in lenght and 50 km in width.
ChronologyLower Palaeolithic: Oldowan culture (Hadibo area).
The local tradition holds that the inhabitants were converted to Christianity by Thomas the Apostle.
Archaeological finds from 1st-6th centuries AD.
A Christian Syriac Nestorian church is attested in the 10th century.
Classical sourcesPeriplus of the Erythraen Sea.
IdentificationStrauch, Robin, Gorea, Bukharin (see Robin and Gorea 2002; Dridi 2002, Strauch 2012).
Travellers1506-1507: Tristão da Cunha and Alfonso de Albuquerque
1737: Captain de la Garde-Jazier.
Archaeological missions2001: Belgian Socotra Karst Project


Your browser doesn't support Google Maps or Javascript is turned off.


south-west of Hoq Cave (Unknown)


Strauch and Bukharin 2004Strauch, Ingo and Bukharin, Michael D. 2004. Indian inscriptions from the Cave Ḥoq on Suquṭrā (Yemen). Annali dell'Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli, 64: 121-138.
Dridi 2002Dridi, Hédi. Indiens et Orientaux dans une grotte de Suquṭrā. Journal Asiatique, 290/2002: 565-610.
Strauch 2012Strauch, Ingo (ed.) 2012. Foreign Sailors on Socotra. The Inscriptions and Drawings from Cave Hoq. (Vergleichende Studien zu Antike und Orient). Bremen: Ute Hempen Verlag.