Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources


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    The National Workshop on Oriental Studies «Egitto e Vicino Oriente antichi: tra passato e futuro», will take place in Pisa, Polo Carmignani, room 2, from June 5th to 6th 2016. Program and subscription information can be found here; abstracts can be downloaded here.

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    Found 12th Dead Sea scrolls cave

    An archeological expedition from the University of Jerusalem announced the discovery of a new cave (the 12th?) containing scrolls at Qumran. Broken jars holding parchments - already looted in the 50s or 60s - were found in the cave. Only one scroll fragment was discovered. It cannot be excluded a priori that a number of scrolls that have ended up in the antiques market and have already been published, originated from this cave.
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    The workshop «Epigrammata 4. L'uso dei numeri greci nelle iscrizioni», will take place in Rome, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, "Roberto Pretagostini" conference room, from December 16th to 17th 2016.
    Program available here.

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    Manuale di epigrafia micenea. Introduzione allo studio dei testi in lineare Bndbook, which is the fruit of the collaboration of a group of specialists from various universities and research centres in Italy and abroad, aims to provide an updated overview about Mycenaean epigraphy. It contains an introduction to the writing and language of the Mycenaean texts and a detailed analysis of the main Linear B documents divided by topic. In the first volume the Linear B writing system and the Mycenaean scribal and administrative practices are analyzed and compared with their Minoan antecedents (Cretan Hieroglyphics and Linear A). The second volume contains a detailed description of the different production sectors as they can be reconstructed from the Linear B texts as well as a synthesis of some major topics relating to the Mycenaean world, such as geography, society, economy and religion. Each chapter is provided with an essential bibliography. The book ends with a glossary of the Mycenaean words.
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    Mnamon seminars

    On November 28th starting at 11.30 a.m. in Scuola Normale Superiore, Bianchi-scienze conference room, Palazzo della Carovana, the following seminar will be held:

    Alessia Prioletta (CNRS - UMR 8167 Orient & Méditerranée) "Tra iscrizioni e graffiti, tra oasi e deserto: la pratica della scrittura in Arabia centro-settentrionale prima dell’Islam".
    Live video streaming on YouTube
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    The following paper on the proliferation of literacy in 7th century BCE Judah as documented in the ostraka from the Judahite fortress of Arad (ca. 600 BCE) has just been published online before print in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States".
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    On April 14th the seminar “Their (cuneiform) hands before our eyes. Paleografia quantitativa e tecniche di scrittura nel Vicino Oriente Antico” will be held by Michele Cammarosano (Julius-Maximillians Universität, Würzburg), within the Historical studies PhD program, at 3 p.m. at the Dipartimento di Storia, Archeologia, Geografia, Arte e Spettacolo, room 17, Via Gino Capponi, 9 in Florence.
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    On 2-5 September 2015 the 14th Mycenological Colloquium was held in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the conference A. Vassilogambrou presented the new Linear B texts from Haghios Vasileios (Laconia).
    The full conference programme is available at:
    (Maurizio Del Freo)
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    Mnamon seminars

    On December 15th starting at 2.30 p.m. in Scuola Normale Superiore, Mancini conference room, Palazzo della Carovana, the following seminar will be held:

    Daniele Tripaldi "From Signs to Writing: Human and Divine Languages in the Gospel of Truth (NHC I,3 / XII,2)"
    Live video streaming on YouTube.

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    Seal impression found in Jerusalem

    A seal impression of King Hezekiah of Juda (722-698 BCE) was exceptionally found in situ in Jerusalem. The inscription mentioning the king encircles a winged, radiating sun and is flanked by two Egyptian ankhs.

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