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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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On the Regionalization of Roman-Period Egyptian Hands

On the Regionalization of Roman-Period Egyptian Hands

(p.184) 8 On the Regionalization of Roman-Period Egyptian Hands
Scribal Repertoires in Egypt from the New Kingdom to the Early Islamic Period

Joachim Friedrich Quack

Oxford University Press

In earlier periods of Egyptian history, cursive writing tends to display a certain degree of uniformity all over the country, and it is difficult to localize a hieratic text just on the basis of its writing style. Beginning in the Ptolemaic period and even more so in Roman imperial times, indigenous Egyptian scripts tend to become regionalized to such a degree that, for relatively well-known places, the attribution of an unprovenanced item simply on the basis of the individual hand can become a viable option. Even places of comparatively limited distance can develop seriously different features in orthography as well as preferred sign forms. The most likely explanation is that there was no super-regional centre setting standards to be emulated all over the country. Thus, teaching Egyptian writing was purely a local tradition taking place in the temple schools, and local habits could grow freely.

Keywords:   Egyptian writing, hieratic, demotic, central standard, regionalization

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