Time for some fieldwork!

In April 2023, Pawel Nowakowski took part in the archaeological survey at Ghawr as-Safi (Jordan) directed by Dagmara Wielgosz-Rondolino from the Faculty of Archaeology, University of Warsaw. The site is known to epigraphists as a find-spot of hundreds of Greek and Aramaic inscriptions dating from Late Antiquity (fourth–seventh century), including spectacular finds of colourfully painted epitaphs, while formulae are grouped in several distinctive models. Hence, it makes an excellent case study for the changing patterns in funerary inscriptions and floor mosaics. Pawel’s work includes the study of a floor mosaic and of the epigraphical collection of the local museum – The Museum of the Lowest Place on Earth.

The STONE-MASTERS project intends to focus on this site and prepare photogrammetric 3D scans of the Musuem’s inscriptions in the following seasons. Accurately made scans may allow us to identify particularities of the lettering and execution techniques within the collection, possibly also identify traces of specific carving tools. This would greatly help in answering the question of the number of workshops making the inscriptions at Zoara, spanning over four hundred years of the collection’s timeline. Was there more than one workshop active at the same time in such a town? Did one workshop offer inscriptions in more than one style? How the styles were transmitted across the centuries? We believe that this site has the potential to answer such questions!