Category Archives: Archeology

Review: A Manual of Ugaritic (Bordreuil and Pardee)

A Manual of Ugaritic

Many thanks to Jim Eisenbraun (and Gina Hannah) for sending me a copy of EisenbruansA Manual of Ugaritic (by Pierre Bordreuil and Dennis Pardee) to review.

Anyone who teaches or studies Ugaritic will want to take a serious look at adding this book to his or her collection of resources. I had high hopes for this book and I was not disappointed.

The manual was first published as Manuel d’Ougaritique in 2004 (by Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner S. A.). This 2009 edition not only provides an English translation, but also incorporates corrections, modifications (of some grammatical presentations and also some text interpretations), and updates to the bibliography. The authors note in the preface that the “most important of the modifications is in the presentation of the verbal system particular to poetry.”
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Imaging the Qeiyafa Ostracon

There are many websites and blogs discussing all manner of interesting things about the Qeiyafa ostracon. I have hesitated to add to the noise conversation.

However, I would like to point you to an article (available as a PDF for download here) which details the science behind the imaging of the ostracon. I find this fascinating (and a great change of pace from the speculation contained in some of the other articles).

The article is SPECTRAL IMAGING OF OSTRACA by Gregory Bearman & William A. Christens-Barry, PalArch’s Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology, 6(7) (2009). Abstract:

By analogy with ancient texts, infrared imaging of ostraca has long been employed to help improve readings. We report on extensive spectral imaging of ostraca over the visible and near infrared. Spectral imaging acquires the complete spectrum for each pixel in an image; the data can be used with an extensive set of software tools that were developed originally for satellite and scientific imaging. In this case, the spectral data helps explain why infrared imaging works to improve text legibility (and why not in some cases). A better understanding of the underlying imaging mechanism points the way for inexpensive methods for taking data either in the field or at museums.