Sunday, February 14, 2010

Law and Ancient Texts? The Last UK University Palaeographer? King's College London to Shut Down UK's Only Palaeography Chair

Not much money in studying ancient texts.
Just ask the author of the posting you are now reading.

Hence, we are not surprised to read at The Guardian in Writing off the UK's last palaeographer that:
"The decision by a London university to axe the UK's only chair in palaeography has been met by outrage from the world's most eminent classicists. John Crace on why the study of ancient writings matters – and why history will be lost without it...."
As Crace writes:
"Indus Valley script

Plenty more work to be done . . . palaeographers are yet to decipher the Indus Valley script....

Palaeographers are used to making sense of fragments of ancient manuscripts, but King's College London couldn't have been plainer when it announced recently that it was to close the UK's only chair of palaeography....

Not that palaeography has the answer to everything. No one has still made head or tail of Linear A (dating back to around 1900BC), and the Indus ­Valley script of the third millennium BC is still a mystery.

[Our comment: Maybe the politicians, journalists and academic mainstreamers alike, should first do their homework about the Phaistos Disc and about the Indus Valley Script, before they go into uninformed decisionmaking and propagandizing.

For example, in the Indus Valley Script pictured by Crace -


- as can easily be seen from my graphic at the top of the page of my blog at Indus Valley Script, with the human to be replaced by the upturned arrows and the comparable bow-type symbol
, the Indus Valley script pictured by Crace marks the stars from the Winter Solstice to the Autumn Equinox ca. 2000 B.C. Obviously this a stamp - so the reverse is intended, i.e. from the Autumn Equinox to the Winter Solstice.]

But just days before King's made the announcement, its sister London institution, University College, was boasting how two of Ganz's former students, Dr Simon ­Corcoran and Dr Benet Salway, had pieced together 17 fragments of parchment that form an important ­Roman law code – believed to be the only original evidence yet discovered of the Gregorian Codex (a collection of constitutions upon which a substantial part of most modern European civil law ­systems are built) that had been thought lost for ever." [emphasis added]

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