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RE: orion Cryptic A

At 15:28 24.07.98 -0700, David Suter wrote:
>	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.

It would be better to depart from S. Uhlig, Aethiopische Palaeographie,
Wiesbaden, ~ 1988 (sorry for not having the reference handy).
Ethiopian Tawe may be without the small brush strokes on the ends of
the horizontal line (if I recall well). It is more important that the Ethiopian 
script goes back to South Arabian one. Therefore, the whole question 
should be readdressed to the latter.

Basil Lourie

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