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The Safaitic scripts: Palaeography of an ancient nomadic writing culture

  • C. Della Puppa
donderdag 21 april 2022
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof.dr. P.M.M.G. Akkermans
  • Prof.dr. M.G. Kossmann


This dissertation is the first systematic investigation of the materiality of Safaitic inscriptions, which were carved by ancient nomads in the arrah, a basaltic desert stretching from southern Syria, through north-eastern Jordan, into northern Saudi Arabia. The thesis focuses on graphic variation and palaeographic development in the Safaitic inscriptions, seeking to analyse different levels and patterns of variation in the Safaitic script(s). By using the long genealogies of several texts by members of the lineage of f as chronological framework, it describes and measures the palaeographic development from the ‘common’ to the ‘fine’ script across generations. The thesis also deals with several aspects of the materiality of Safaitic texts which have never been treated systematically, such as carving techniques, text layout, writing styles, and disruptive practices towards the texts, that is, their effacement and modification.


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