The Nabataean script was used from the 2nd century BC until the 4th or 5th century AD for writing the Nabataean language, a Northwest Semitic language closely related to Arabic. The script was developed from Aramaic writing, and was the immediate precursor of Arabic writing.
Nabatean was a right-to-left abjad; each letter represented a consonant and the reader had to supply the vowels from the context. It was a cursive script which made extensive use of ligatures. The script was used over a wide geographic area, and letter shapes were highly diverse from one region to another.