Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Online Groningen Symposium on Palaeography and Hebrew/Aramaic Scribal Culture


Thanks to Drew Longacre for alerting me to the the 2021 International Online Groningen Symposium.


  • When: 6–8 April 2021 13:00–20:00 Central European Summer Time (UTC+2)
  • Hosts: Qumran Institute and Bernoulli Institute (University of Groningen)
  • Where: online, of course
  • Registration: email Drew Longacre at d.g.longacre[at]rug.nl for the Zoom link
You can make this your Zoom background and pretend you’re in the Netherlands


Tuesday, 6 April

13:00 CET Jouke de Vries (President of the University of Groningen)


Mladen Popović (University of Groningen)


Session 1 — The Hands that Wrote the Bible: Digital Palaeography

Chair: Eibert Tigchelaar

13:15 Mladen Popović (University of Groningen)

Digital Palaeography for Identifying the Unknown Scribes and Dating the Undated Manuscripts from the Dead Sea Scrolls

13:45 Maruf Dhali (University of Groningen)

Artificial Intelligence and Pattern Recognition Techniques in Analyzing the Dead Sea Scrolls

14:15 Gemma Hayes (University of Groningen)

Digital Palaeography and the Scribes of the Dead Sea Scrolls

14:45 Drew Longacre (University of Groningen)

Data Mining for Writer Identification: The Test Case of the Dead Sea Psalm Scrolls

15:15 Discussion

15:30–16:15 Break

Session 2 — The Hands that Wrote the Bible: Radiocarbon Dating

Chair: Mladen Popović

16:15 Kaare Rasmussen (University of Southern Denmark)

The 14C Dating in the ERC project “The Hands that Wrote the Bible”: Chemical Aspects and the Cleaning of the Samples

16:45 Hans van der Plicht (University of Groningen)

The 14C Dating in the ERC project “The Hands that Wrote the Bible”: Physical Aspects and the Measurement of the 14C Content

17:15 Discussion

17:30–18:15 Break

Session 3 — Hebrew/Aramaic Palaeography

Chair: Drew Longacre

18:15 Michael Langlois (University of Strasbourg)

Deciphering Ancient Hebrew and Aramaic Inscriptions in a Digital World: Potential and Limitations

18:45 James Moore (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)

Toward a Systematic Description of the Imperial Aramaic Script and its Meaning for Dating and Writer Identification


19:15 Bronson Brown-deVost (University of Göttingen)

Scripta Qumranica Electronica

19:30 Daniel Stoekl ben Ezra (École Pratique des Hautes Études)


19:45 Sarah Yardney and Miller Prosser (University of Chicago)


20:00 Conclusion

Wednesday, 7 April

13:00 CET Welcome

Session 4 — Digital Palaeography

Chair: Maruf Dhali

13:15 Lambert Schomaker (University of Groningen)


13:45 Peter Stokes (École Pratique des Hautes Études)

When is a Scribe Not a Scribe? Some Reflections on Writer Identification

14:15 Nachum Dershowitz (Tel Aviv University)

Computational Paleography

14:45 Discussion

15:00–15:45 Break

Session 5 — Digital Palaeography

Chair: Lambert Schomaker

15:45 Shira Faigenbaum-Golovin (Tel Aviv University)

Algorithmic Handwriting Analysis of Iron Age Documents and its Implications to the Composition of Biblical Texts

16:15 Hussein Mohammed (Universität Hamburg)

Pattern-Recognition Approaches for Handwriting-Style Analysis

16:45 Eythan Levy (Tel Aviv University) and Frédéric Pluquet (Haute École

Louvain en Hainaut [HELHa] - Tournai and Ecole Supérieure

d'Informatique [ESI] - Brussels)

New Developments in the Scrypt Software for Old Hebrew Epigraphy

17:15 Discussion

17:30–18:15 Break

Session 6 — Hebrew/Aramaic Palaeography

Chair: Gemma Hayes

18:15 Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (University of Oxford)

Hebrew Palaeography Album: A New Online Tool to Study Medieval Hebrew Manuscripts

18:45 Elvira Martín-Contreras (Spanish National Research Council)

Distinguishing Scribal Hands in the Masora of the Medieval Hebrew Bible Manuscripts


19:15 Joe Uziel (Israel Antiquities Authority)

IAA projects

19:30 Isabelle Marthot-Santaniello (University of Basel)


19:45 James Moore (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)


20:00 Conclusion

Thursday, 8 April

13:00 CET Welcome

Session 7 — Hebrew/Aramaic Palaeography and Textual Communities

Chair: Mladen Popović

13:15 Eibert Tigchelaar (KU Leuven)

Scribal Culture, Palaeography, and the Scrolls

13:45 Ayhan Aksu (University of Groningen)

Leaving No Scroll Unturned: Opisthographs and Scribal Culture of the Dead Sea Scrolls

14:15 Hanneke van der Schoor (KU Leuven)

Assessing Palaeographic Variation in Informal Manuscripts: The Scribe(s) of the Testament of Qahat and Visions of Amrame

14:45 Discussion

15:00–15:45 Break

Session 8 — Hebrew/Aramaic Palaeography

Chair: Ayhan Aksu

15:45 Nadia Vidro (University College London)

Calendars from the Cairo Genizah as a Dating Tool for Palaeography

16:15 Estara J Arrant (University of Cambridge)

From Scholastic to Scribal: A Developmental Analysis of “Unprofessional” Square Hebrew Script from Cairo Genizah Bible Fragments

16:45 Elihu Shannon (Sofer STaM)

Why My Script is Different from My Teacher's

17:15 Discussion

17:30–18:15 Break

Session 9 — Final Discussion Panels

Chairs: Drew Longacre and Maruf Dhali

18:15 Digital Palaeography Panel Discussion

18:45 Hebrew/Aramaic Palaeography and Scribal Culture Panel Discussion

19:15 Final Open Discussion

20:00 Conclusion

1 comment

  1. Unrelated to the topic, but the INTF has just recently cataloged P141, 2 fragments of Luke from the third century, P.Oxy.5478. Verses included: Luke 2:32-34, 40-42; 24:22-28, 30-38. The portions from chapter 2 appear to be the earliest witness to these verses.