A systematic scientific study of coptic inks from the late roman period to the middle ages [Tesi di dottorato]

This doctoral dissertation addresses the material analysis of inks used in Egypt between the late Roman period and the Middle Ages, complementing the information provided by previous sporadic studies. It is based on the examination of 162 manuscripts produced in different areas of Egypt during the time span considered. Half of these are Coptic literary texts. Their inks are compared with those found on Coptic documentary texts and on literary and documentary texts written in Greek and Latin. This research explores the variety of types of ink used and aims at unveiling possible distribution patterns needed to lay the foundation for a geo-chronological map of the history of inks. An interdisciplinary approach involving cooperation between the humanities and the natural sciences was adopted. The PAThs project (“Tracking Papyrus and Parchment Paths: An Archaeological Atlas of Coptic Literature”) fosters the material study of inks as an integral part of the examination and description of Coptic literary codices and provided a historical dimension for many of the manuscripts that were analysed. The BAM (Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung, Berlin) and the CSMC (Centre for the Study of Manuscript Cultures, University of Hamburg) granted the use of non-invasive techniques and portable equipment to facilitate access to museums and libraries located in England, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Spain. Manuscripts were examined using near-infrared reflectography, X-ray fluorescence and occasionally other spectroscopic techniques. The results show the contemporaneous use of different types of ink. No correlation is observed between the writing medium and the support or the language. However, there is a strong association of iron-gall ink with literary texts whereas contemporaneous documentary texts were written predominantly with carbon ink. In addition, the results obtained on some of the medieval literary codices suggest the existence of regional trends in the chemical composition of iron-gall inks produced within a relatively short period. Mixed inks seem to have been used frequently in the period investigated. However, they could not be unequivocally identified using the current protocol. This dissertation suggests and discusses possible solutions to overcome the restrictions encountered. The present work shows that the different types of ink used in Egypt between Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages could be exploited as a foundation to develop a geo-chronological map describing the evolution of inks. To serve this purpose, the current analytical protocol should be broadened to include techniques that allow for a routine identification of the organic ingredients of inks. In addition, data should be complemented with the analysis of a substantial number of dated and located manuscripts.

diritti: info:eu-repo/semantics/embargoedAccess
In relazione con info:eu-repo/semantics/altIdentifier/hdl/11573/1467762
BUZI, Paola
Valutatori esterni: O. Hahn, I. Rabin
tutor esterno: I. Rabin

Tesi di dottorato. | Lingua: Inglese. | Paese: | BID: TD21002988