A new approach to old writing: using Graphology and RTI technology on Linear B: Guest post by Lavinia Giorgi

Hi there! I am Lavinia Giorgi, a PhD student in Mycenaean philology at Sapienza University of Rome (Italy). My PhD research deals with the management and circulation of bronze in the Mycenaean world focusing on the reconstruction of the bronze production chain mainly through the analysis of the Linear B tablets, but also taking into account the Hittite and Ugaritic texts and the el-Amarna letters and combining philological data with archaeological evidence.

In the meantime, I am collaborating with THE PAITO/PHAISTOS EPIGRAPHIC PROJECT, which aims to provide a new critical edition of the Linear B tablets of Knossos mentioning pa-i-to, Phaistos, a place located in southern Crete, adopting the digital photography technologies of RTI (Reflectance Transformation Imaging) and 3D Laser Scanning.

The research I did in Cambridge as a visiting fellow within the CREWS project is part of THE PAITO/PHAISTOS EPIGRAPHIC PROJECT because it focused on the word pa-i-ti-ja, the ethnic feminine adjective derived from pa-i-to.

The word is attested in 9 tablets, covering several topics, dating from different periods (15th-13th century BC) and were written by different scribes. In particular, two of these tablets, KN Ap 639 and KN E 777, are kept at Ashmolean Museum, so, thanks to my stay in Cambridge I was also able to directly access them and take RTI photographs of both.

Continue reading “A new approach to old writing: using Graphology and RTI technology on Linear B: Guest post by Lavinia Giorgi”

CREWS Display: A Cypriot Figurine with a Greek Alphabetic Inscription

fig whole.jpgOur next object, from our special CREWS-themed display at the Fitzwilliam Museum, has a privileged position in the Cypriot gallery: standing in its own cabinet in the centre of the room. At first glance, you wouldn’t guess why this Cypriot statuette is included in an exhibition about writing, but if you move around it, you may see that it has some scratches on the back side.

Although it would seem that these are random damage to the stone, they conceal a votive inscription written in the Greek alphabet. This is the perfect excuse to talk about the presence of the Greek alphabet in Cyprus and also about how epigraphists work with problematic inscriptions like this one to untangle the text behind them.

Continue reading “CREWS Display: A Cypriot Figurine with a Greek Alphabetic Inscription”