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PhD defence

The Safaitic scripts: Palaeography of an ancient nomadic writing culture

  • C. Della Puppa
Thursday 21 April 2022
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof. P.M.M.G. Akkermans
  • Prof. 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.

PhD dissertations

Approximately one week after the defence, PhD dissertations by Leiden PhD students are available digitally through the Leiden Repository, that offers free access to these PhD dissertations. Please note that in some cases a dissertation may be under embargo temporarily and access to its full-text version will only be granted later.

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