Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New light on Aramaic

Jutta wanted to share this interesting discovery being studied at the University of Chicago:

Images capture details of ancient tablets

U. CHICAGO—High-quality scans of ancient documents discovered in Iran are shedding new light on Imperial Aramaic, the dialect used for international communication and record-keeping in many parts of the Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian empires, including parts of the administration at the imperial court of Persepolis.

Members of the West Semitic Research Project at the University of Southern California are collaborating with researchers at the University of Chicago to make very high-quality electronic images of nearly 700 Aramaic texts that were incised in the surfaces of clay tablets with styluses or inked on the tablets with brushes or pens.

“We don’t have many archives of this size. A lot of what’s in these texts is entirely fresh, but this also changes what we already knew,” says Annalisa Azzoni, an assistant professor at the Divinity School of Vanderbilt University. More...

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