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Online Abnormal Hieratic Reading Book

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First part of An Abnormal Hieratic Reading Book now online
The online publication of the first fascicle of Koenraad Donker van Heel & Joost Golverdingen, An Abnormal Hieratic Reading Book Containing Texts from the British Museum (London), the Brooklyn Museum (New York), the Egyptian Museum (Cairo), the Louvre (Paris), the Museo Egizio (Turin), the Nationalbibliothek (Vienna), Queen’s College (Oxford) and the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden (Leiden), with a Palaeography of Abnormal Hieratic Signs and Sign Groups [Uitgaven vanwege de Stichting “Het Leids Papyrologisch Instituut” no. 24] is now freely available online to students and scholars.

Abnormal hieratic is the most difficult of the cursive documentary scripts used in Late Period Egypt. Its use was confined to the south of the country. In the 6th century BCE it was replaced by demotic, probably as part of a conscious reform policy by the 26th or Saite dynasty that came from the city of Sais in the north. Sais is also the most likely origin of the competing demotic script, which developed on a separate course from abnormal hieratic.
At present only a handful of Egyptologists is able to read abnormal hieratic and there are even less scholars who are actively engaged in the publication of texts. There are no tools to help scholars or students, such as a dictionary, a comprehensive palaeography, etc. Also, there is no standard university course teaching abnormal hieratic, except at Leiden University. This is to be deplored, because the ancient Egyptian legal contracts written in abnormal hieratic – which differ from their demotic counterparts in many respects – represent the last stage of law practice in Egypt that can be readily traced back to its earliest Egyptian roots (which is far more difficult for demotic).

That is why the decision was made to provide scholars working in this and neighbouring fields and advanced students who want to know more about this fascinating script with some essential tools, the first being an online reading book – including a concise palaeography – that may be used in class.

The Papyrologisch Instituut would like to acknowledge the support and cooperation of Richard Parkinson (British Museum), Edward Bleiberg (Brooklyn Museum), Vania Vanzella (Fondazione Museo delle Antichità Egizie di Torino), Guillemette Andreu (Louvre), Sophie Kovarik (Nationalbibliothek Wien), John Baines (University of Oxford) and Maarten Raven (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden).

Valuable help was further received from Peter Jan Bomhof, Catherine Bridonneau, Hannes Fischer-Elfert, Steffie van Gompel, Petra Hogenboom, Richard Jasnow, Georges Poncet, Günter Vittmann and Sven Vleeming.
http://beeldbank.leidenuniv.nl/ImageDisplay.php?uid=FT132876&thumbed=5

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