Steve Caruso chimed into the discussion with some interesting insights (as usual), and he posits that some of the script on the lead codices (recently supplied by Jim West) might be Coptic. So I took a look (Caveat: I am not proficient in Coptic, but I’ve studied enough Coptic to have an amateurish grasp of it). I leave it to the experts to tell me how I did (Marvin Meyer, if you’re reading, or April DeConick, leave a note or two) and offer any additional comments.
(Edit: Steve Caruso alerted me to this file [shown below] examining Coptic script in earlier pictures of the faux codices)
I had noted to myself some similarities to Coptic before but dismissed it when it became clear the tablet iconography were but modern casts. Returning to Jim’s posted pictures I did see some similarities to Coptic. Of course there is the shai (Ϣ) and ti (t), and also what might be a fai (Ϥ), but they are all backwards…that is, they are facing the wrong direction. And this is among other characters I am not familiar with. I am not sure if this represents an additional instance where the inscriber/forger was simply unfamiliar with Coptic and because of his method of copying, copied them backwards or if this is due to something else. Either way, there is one important thing to remember: These are also on the same tablet with images which appear to be taken directly from the coins provided by Robert Deutsch (via Jim West’s blog)…
And of course, I share Steve’s frustration and curiosity, and what better way than this?
Filed under: Archaeology, Blog Memes, Early Christianity, Minimalism, Scholarship | Tagged: April DeConick, Coptic, Jim West, lead, lead codices, lead tablets, Marvin Meyer, Steven Caruso | 3 Comments »