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12848Re: [ANE-2] Re: how did ancient scribes write?

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  • Peter T. Daniels
    Sep 11, 2010
      I went to the "OI History" page and clicking the link there produced a message
      on the bottom frame of the window that the file was downloading, but no window
      ever appeared.

      The pen-scribe's position is impossible because the pen is perpendicular to the
      paper. The painter thus wasn't a terribly careful observer (or there was some
      weird sort of convention -- which isn't seen in the Assyrian reliefs showing a
      pair of scribes), so he perhaps was just guessing about how the stylus-scribe
      holds _his_ implement.

      Or we could ask Joann Scurlock -- she has some _very_ fat books on cuneiform
      medicine. --
      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
      Jersey City


      >
      >From: Robert M Whiting <whiting@...>
      >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      >Sent: Sat, September 11, 2010 10:18:31 AM
      >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: how did ancient scribes write?
      >

      >On Sat, 11 Sep 2010, Peter T. Daniels wrote:
      >
      >> No, it's not broken over two lines; it ceases to be a link after the
      >> #. As I said, I copy-pasted the whole thing and did not reach the page
      >> in question.
      >>
      >> Perhaps it only works for people who have Facebook.
      >
      >It worked for me, and I don't have facebook. Here's a link straight off
      >the page:
      >
      >http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=699801829626
      >
      >> I wouldn't rely too much on the accuracy of the Tell Ahmar painting,
      >> because the pen-writing scribe's position is impossible (and why do you
      >> say leather rather than papyrus?).
      >
      >I can't see why the pen-wielding scribe's position is impossible apart
      >from the fact that he seems to have six fingers (or rather five fingers
      >and a thumb) on his right hand. I always thought this was an artistic
      >convention because the thumb isn't shown. Clearly, the digit extended
      >along the pen is not the thumb but the forefinger, the thumb being out of
      >sight behind the pen. This is exactly the way I hold a pen, apart from
      >the number of fingers that I can bring to the task.
      >
      >The cuneiform scribe also seems to have five fingers on his right hand,
      >with the thumb being out of sight. On the other hand (ahem), the
      >cuneiform scribe's left hand has only four fingers and a thumb but appears
      >to be a second right hand rather than a left hand.
      >
      >But artistic conventions aside, even you can't deny that the manner of
      >holding the pen/brush and the manner of holding the stylus are portrayed
      >differently in this single painting, presumably with both figures drawn by
      >the same artist. (And I say leather rather than papyrus because it looks
      >more like leather. Papyrus, especially when new, is stiff, primarily
      >because of the crossways layering of the stalks during manufacture, not
      >floppy like leather. The material in the painting behaves more like
      >leather than papyrus, but then we may be dealing with artistic conventions
      >again.)
      >
      >> If most of the scribal action is in the wrist, there should hbe a large
      >> number of complaints about carpal tunnel syndrome among scribes. Is
      >> there?
      >
      >I don't know. I'll get back to you as soon as we find their medicare
      >archive.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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