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Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period$
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Jennifer Cromwell and Eitan Grossman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198768104.001.0001

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Scribal Habits at the Tebtunis Temple Library

Scribal Habits at the Tebtunis Temple Library

On Materiality, Formal Features, and Palaeography

(p.153) 7 Scribal Habits at the Tebtunis Temple Library
Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period

Kim Ryholt

Oxford University Press

The Tebtunis temple library provides a unique opportunity to investigate the operation of an institutional library from ancient Egypt. This chapter focuses on a range of formal features, palaeography, and the maintenance of texts and manuscripts. An analysis and comparison of formal features—e.g. the choice of new vs reused papyrus, choice of script, and the use of guidelines and pagination—with contemporary material from other sites reveals variation in practice and indicates general local trends. However, there is also significant variation within the temple library itself, and some features are closely linked to specific scribes and their personal habits. The many distinctive hands attested in the library leads to the related question of paleography and orthography and the extent to which these factors may help to determine the provenance of specific texts. Finally, the maintenance and transmission of texts and manuscripts through collation, corrections, repair, and recopying is addressed.

Keywords:   ancient Egypt, papyrology, history of libraries, history of writing, Tebtunis

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