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RE: orion Cryptic A

	Someone was inquiring some time ago about a possible comparison
between the Taw of the Qumran Cryptic A script and the Ethiopic Tawe.  I
have just obtained a copy of Stephen Pfann's article on 4Q298, with the
samples of the cryptic script, and compared the Taw with the Tawe in
Knibb's edition of Ethiopic Enoch (which is a photograph of an Ethiopic
mms, albeit much later than Qumran).  There is actually a significant
difference between the two.  The horizontal line of the Qumran Taw
curves up on the left and down on the right, while the small brush
strokes on the ends of the horizontal line in the Ethiopic Tawe are
symmetrical.  In addition, the Ethiopic is shaded on the vertical line,
while the shading in the Qumran cryptic script is on the horizontal.
Ethiopic mms are generally not more than five centuries old, since the
practice seems to have been to use worn-out books for the training of
new scribes.  One might try searching out evidence of ancient
inscriptions in Ethiopic to push the issue further.

	David Suter
	Saint Martin's College