Syriac Paleography

Mean image taken from many samples of the letter Alaph

Paleography refers to the study of ancient and historical handwriting forms. The Syriac language was used by early Christians in portions of the Middle East for sacred and religious texts. Although tens of thousands of documents survive, most are not securely dated and few have been examined exhaustively by scholars.q

Working with Michael Penn (William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Religion at Mt. Holyoke College) I have been developing automated systems that can date Syriac mansucripts based upon the letter forms used. We have built a collection of securely dated manuscripts for use as a yardstick, and are looking at the most effective way to compare their handwriting style.

See a list of papers relating to Syriac paleography.