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West Semitic Research Project

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 [First posted in AWOL 1 February 2010, updated (new text and links) 25 February 2015]

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West Semitic Research Project
http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/wsrp/title.gif
The West Semitic Research Project is an academic project affiliated with the University of Southern California School of Religion and directed by Dr. Bruce Zuckerman. For the past 32 years WSRP has used advanced photographic and computer imaging techniques to document objects and texts from the ancient world. In doing this we have built a vast collection of images that we are now making available to scholars, students, educators and the general public through a variety of ways. Leningrad Codex Bruce Zuckerman and Marilyn Lundberg photographing the Leningrad Codex in the Russian National Library (Saltkov-Shchedrin) as part of a joint project between West Semitic Research and the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center in Claremont, California. 

WSRP was started in the early 1980s by Bruce Zuckerman and his brother Kenneth. Bruce, a scholar and teacher of the Bible and ancient Semitic languages, was frustrated by the lack of good photographs of important ancient inscriptions. With the help of his brother, Ken, he set out to remedy the situation.

The study of ancient writing is called epigraphy. In this field it has been typical of scholars who read ancient texts to do their own reading, produce a drawing of the text and publish the drawing, translation and transcription as the main tool for study. Photographs, if provided, can rarely be used for study. The reason is that the photographs are either taken by scholars who know little about photography, or by photographers who cannot read what they are looking at and so may miss important data.

The most important principle that governs the work of the WSRP is the combining of good photography with knowledge of the scripts and languages. We believe in training scholars to be good photographers, or at least encouraging them to work closely with photographers to get the best possible results.
Educational Site
Ancient Texts Relating to the Biblical World El-Kerak
 MRZH Text
 Cuneiform Tablet
 Amman Citadel
 Heshbon Ostraca
 Incirli Stela
 Cylinder Seals
 El-Amarna Tablets
 Kingdom of Sam'al
     Kilamuwa
     Hadad
     Panamu
     Bar Rakkib II, III


Biblical Manuscripts Leningrad Codex
 Leningrad f.40b
 Leningrad Carpet Page

Dead Sea Scrolls Discovery
 Testimonia
 Isaiah Pesher
 Congregation
 Copper Scroll
 Qohelet
 Words of Moses

USCARC Etruscan Pendant
 Isis
 Deity on a Bull
 Ushabti
 Sasanian Seals
 Seals
 Coins
 Bullae

Collections Moussaieff
 Annenberg Exhibition

Epigraphy Chicken Little
 Papyrus Grain

Archaeological Petra
 Jerash
 Qusayr `Amra
 St. Catherine's
Scholarly Site
Assyriological Texts
Dead Sea Scrolls
Elephantine Papyri
Leningrad Codex
Non-Semitic
Northwest Semitic
Other Papyri
Syrus Siniaticus
Ugaritic Tablets
Uninscribed Objects

USCARC Collection
InscriptiFact Database
Adobe Photoshop Manual
 Training Program in the Use of Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI)

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