Friday, July 06, 2018

More on Ada Yardeni

RECOGNITION: Dead Sea Scrolls decoder remembered as grande dame of Semitic paleography. Ada Yardeni, who died this month at 81, combined practical knowledge of calligraphy with scholarly insights on the development of Hebrew to become a world-renowned forgery expert (Amanda Borschel-Dan, Times of Israel). Excerpt:
Yardeni was “definitely one of the three best paleographers of the Dead Sea Scrolls and maybe one of the best Hebrew paleographers for all [historical] periods,” said [Prof. Emanuel] Tov this week.

Tov told The Times of Israel that Yardeni’s background in graphic arts gave her a decided advantage in reading ancient scripts.

“She was the only one who combined the practical knowledge of a calligraphist with the scholarly insights of the knowledge of the development of the writing in all the various Hebrew scripts,” he said. “She was the only one who really knew exactly how the movement and the strokes of the scripts went, which was a tremendous benefit in analyzing the scripts and helping others in analyzing their scrolls.”

Personal friend Cotton-Paltiel told The Times of Israel that unlike many of today’s scholars, Yardeni worked directly from primary sources.

Most scholars, she said, develop theories based on documents in which texts are deciphered by others. “Ada mainly worked on the primary documents herself and gave us the material to work on.”
There's more on Ada Yardeni here and links.

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