Understanding The Alphabet Of The Dead Sea Scrolls by Carta

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The most important discovery of documents written in the “Jewish” script is the discovery of the documents from the Judean desert, known as “the  Dead Sea Scrolls”.


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Understanding The Alphabet Of The Dead Sea Scrolls from Carta

This book contains: Deciphering the “Jewish Alphabet”; A record of the script, divergences and development; The evolution of the “Jewish Alphabet” from the late 3rd to early 2nd centuries BCE — a suggestion for chronology; A reasoned proposal for applying scribal progression and characteristics to the dating of the Dead Sea Scroll fragments.

Exerpt from Forward by Weston W. Fields, Ph.D.:

"The Book exels in so many ways:  its comprehensive survey of current Hebrew and Aramaic Paleographic research, its aesthetically pleasing layout, its prolific examples, its atttention to detail, and simplicity of style, all of which will appeal to professional and lay readers alike.

Beginning with concise definitions of terms in the field, Dr. Yardeni offers a careful description of how letters were formed on various materials, and in various times and locations over many centuries.  With didactically sophisticated but simple explanations of what is a rather complicated field, the book masterfully describes the information it is possible to glean from a careful, even minute, examination of the letters and words of ancient Hebrew and Aramaic documents.  It is a book written by a seasoned teacher, who knows how to lead the reader from the very first steps in the field into all the knowledge that must be assimilated by anyone who aspires to begin the long journey toward at least a partial expertise in the analysis of ancient Hebrew and Aramaic inscriptions."


  • Definitions
  • The Land
  • Foreword by Dr. Weston W. Fields
  • Introduction
  • Palaeography as a Tool in the Reading and Dating of the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Toward the Birth of the "Jewish" Script
  • Prominent Characteristics of Certain Late Aramaic and Early "Jewish" Letters
  • Main Phases in the Evolution of the "Jewish" Script
  • Morphological Aspect of the Letters
  • Palaeography as a Tool for the Reading of Damaged Texts
  • Early Characteristics in Pre-"Jewish" Manuscripts from Qumran
  • Author's Hints
  • Select Bibliography

 About the Author:  Ada Yardeni, born and residing in Jerusalem, is a graduate of the Bezalel School of Art, where she received a diloma in graphic arts and calligraphy, and of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she received a Ph.D. in ancient Semitic languages, palaeography and epigraphy.  She specializes in the study of the Hebrew and Aramaic scripts and in the decipherment and interpretation of ancient inscriptions and documents from Elephantine.  She has designed a number of typefaces, one of which bears her name.  Dr. Yardeni is one of the world's leading authorities on ancient Semitic languages, palaeography, and epigraphy and has published several books, including The Book of Hebrew Script (Jerusalem 1997; The British Library edition 2002), and numberous articles on these and other subjects.

Typical Features of:
Early and Mid-Hasmonean Formal Script
Late Hasmonean or Early Herodian Formal Script
Late Herodian Formal Script

40 pages
9 x 11.75 in.

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