Inscribing words, reading stories (online, March 10, 2021)

Posted for Ilaria Bucci, to whom any questions about the event should be addressed:

Syriac Incantation Bowls (cover)

I am delighted to announce that Professor Marco Moriggi (University of Catania) will hold a methodological masterclass at Birkbeck, Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, on 10 March 2021 on the topic

“Inscribing words, reading stories. Features and challenges of epigraphic and historical research on Late Antique and Early Medieval Near East”

Date: 10 March 2021
Time: 17.00-19.00 (GMT)
Room: online, Microsoft Teams

Marco Moriggi, Associate Professor in Semitic Philology at the University of Catania, will present on the features and challenges of the epigraphic and historical investigations carried on by researchers working in the area of the Near East, from the Syro-Palestinian coast to Iran.

Starting from the case study of the so-called Syriac incantation bowls, ceramic vases inscribed with painted texts that include magic formulas meant to capture demons and are mainly dated to the Sasanian period (3rd-7th century CE), the speaker will examine the main steps defining the work of an epigraphist, from the direct examination of the artifacts to their study and publication. Due to his long-standing experience in archaeological excavations as well as in archives and museum collections, Moriggi will tackle the issues related to record keeping systems and research methodologies, and will analyse the significance of incantation bowls as primary material for the historical research. Enlightening many aspects of the religious and social practices in Mesopotamia during the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages, Aramaic incantation bowls are an outstanding source of information for understanding the everyday beliefs of the Jewish, Christian, Mandaean, Manichaean, Zoroastrian and Pagan communities on the eve of the Islamic conquest. Lastly, part of the masterclass will be devoted to the recent evolution of the editorial processes in the realm of Digital Humanities and the urge for the creation of online corpora and dynamic digital publications.

The event is open to PhD students only.
Since the number of participants is limited, please send a brief explanation of why you would like to take part in the masterclass to
You will receive confirmation of your acceptance via email, together with the joining details.
Deadline for registration: 3 March 2021

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