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Composition analysis of writing materials in Geniza fragments

  • Our current projects focus on the material analysis of the writing materials kept in the Taylor-Schechter Collection at Cambridge University Library, which houses the largest collection of Cairo Geniza fragments, about 190,000. Although Geniza manuscripts have attracted a great deal of scholarly attention, the material aspects of these documents seem to have been largely neglected. The current study aims to obtain information on the composition of the writing supports and the inks that were used, the production of the original manuscripts and the history of their degradation. The collected data should supplement the description based on Hebrew palaeography and codicology. Moreover, a characterisation of the writing materials would provide insights on trade, local production techniques and social structures. The tabulated results have the potential to be used as geo-chronological markers if sufficient data is collected. For our study, we chose Hebrew legal documents andOur current projects focus on the material analysis of the writing materials kept in the Taylor-Schechter Collection at Cambridge University Library, which houses the largest collection of Cairo Geniza fragments, about 190,000. Although Geniza manuscripts have attracted a great deal of scholarly attention, the material aspects of these documents seem to have been largely neglected. The current study aims to obtain information on the composition of the writing supports and the inks that were used, the production of the original manuscripts and the history of their degradation. The collected data should supplement the description based on Hebrew palaeography and codicology. Moreover, a characterisation of the writing materials would provide insights on trade, local production techniques and social structures. The tabulated results have the potential to be used as geo-chronological markers if sufficient data is collected. For our study, we chose Hebrew legal documents and letters from three communities that co-existed in Fustat (today Cairo) in the 11th century: the Jerusalemite (or ‘Palestinian’) community, the Babylonian community and the Karaites, three different communities with different scribal traditions. In addition to this, we studied non-biblical scrolls attributed to the Palestinian and Babylonian communities. The question we addressed was whether we can correlate the use of a specific type of ink to an objective criterion. For our analysis at Cambridge University Library, we used a number of protocols developed at BAM (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung) in Berlin and at the Centre for Study of Manuscript Cultures, University of Hamburg (CSMC). These include reflectographic examination followed by non-destructive X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis using transportable instruments so that the analysis can be carried out in situ. We have illustrated our approach here by providing two examples. The first one describes our investigation of the leather fragment containing a portion of the Babylonian Talmud on its hair side (TS Misc.26.53.17). The second example illustrates our ability to compare iron-gall inks using the XRF method. In this case, we explored the question of the codicological attribution of three fragments (TS F17.4, TS 12.755 and TS 12.756) to the same Talmud manuscript.zeige mehrzeige weniger

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Metadaten
Autoren/innen:Zina Cohen, Judith Olszowy-Schlanger, Oliver Hahn, Ira Rabin
Persönliche Herausgeber/innen: Wandrey
Dokumenttyp:Beitrag zu einem Sammelband
Veröffentlichungsform:Verlagsliteratur
Sprache:Englisch
Titel des übergeordneten Werkes (Englisch):Jewish Manuscript Cultures
Jahr der Erstveröffentlichung:2017
Organisationseinheit der BAM:4 Material und Umwelt
4 Material und Umwelt / 4.5 Kunst- und Kulturgutanalyse
Veröffentlichende Institution:Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM)
Verlag:de Gruyter
Verlagsort:Berlin
Jahrgang/Band:13
Erste Seite:323
DDC-Klassifikation:Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / Chemie / Analytische Chemie
Freie Schlagwörter:Cairo Genizah
Themenfelder/Aktivitätsfelder der BAM:Analytical Sciences
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110546422-013
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:b43-435590
Verfügbarkeit des Dokuments:Datei für die Öffentlichkeit verfügbar ("Open Access")
Lizenz (Deutsch):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung
Datum der Freischaltung:02.01.2018
Referierte Publikation:Nein
Schriftenreihen ohne Nummerierung:Wissenschaftliche Artikel der BAM