New technologies may well blow the ‘dust’ off traditional scholarly skills such as palaeography, which risk being scratched from curriculums. In the ‘Digital Editing’ class in Leiden University’s Dutch department, students helped train a computer to automatically read medieval manuscripts.
Leiden, UB, BPL 100 A, a glossed (annotated) copy of the biblical Book of Job dating from the twelfth century contains a number of sketches. What can these tell us about the interpretation of Job’s suffering in the Middle Ages?
The religious and philosophical landscape in Arabia before the advent of Islam remains, for the most part, uncharted territory. This post sheds light on how the new Islamic dispensation of the seventh century AD came to see the Arabian pagans and their worldview.
They have been described as castles, castle towns or simply fortified medieval villages. The hilltop settlements of the late-medieval Peloponnese dominate the landscape as relics of its feudal past. Yet, their identity, origin, purpose and chronology remain ambiguous.
Palestinian wines were praised and consumed across western Europe. Transport containers found in Jerusalem, likely used to carry these wines, are stored in the depot at the Faculty of Archaeology. What can these amphorae tell us about connectivity across the Mediterranean in the early Middle Ages?
During the Early Islamic Period, a variety of coins emerged from the dying empires of Rome and Iran that helped the local Central Asian economies supply of silver for the next several hundred years. One of these coins was centred around one city that would rise from conquests and continue to thrive.
In studying building inscriptions in the Netherlands, I came across some curious initialisms that are difficult to interpret and therefore intriguing. What to make of an inscription that says DOVK and nothing else, or a stone plaque showing a four-poster bed, the date 1591 and the letters IGDFC?