Ancient writing systems in the Mediterranean

A critical guide to electronic resources


- 10th cent. B.C. - today

Online resources

Web sites of general interest

  1. Promotora Española de Lingüística (Proel)
    The Promotora Española de Lingüística (Proel) is an organization registered at the Spanish Ministry of Internal Affairs. Its mission is to promote interest in world's languages and scripts (especially the ones on the verge of extinction). The site features a thorough analysis of Aramaic scripts of Old, Official, Middle and Late Aramaic periods, with a good deal of pictures and samples of scripts.

Online documents

  1. West Semitic Research Project
    The site is the outcome of a University of Southern California project. It provides a good deal of epigraphic testimonies and papyri related to Old, Official and Late Aramaic. The pictures refer to items housed in both public and private collections.
  2. Mandaean Gnosticism
    The site features downloadable Mandaic texts, both in Mandaic script and in English translation.
  3. Northwest Semitic Inscription Archive
    The site is the result of a University of Southern California project and features the transliterations (Square script) of a good deal of Old and Imperial Aramaic texts. Neither pictures, not comments are included.
  4. Mandaic Script Summary
    The page makes a precise and effective analysis of the Aramaic Mandaic language, letting the reader understand its structure, the phonological implications, its uses and tradition.
  5. Achemenet
    The site contains a large choice of Aramaic texts organized on a geographic basis (Official Aramaic period) accompanied by publication excerpts and good quality images.

Institutions, centers for study and research

  1. Virtual Magic Bowl Archive
    The Virtual Magic Bowl Archive is a site aimed at the study of Mesopotamian incantation bowls. Here scholars may share and discuss their studies and new texts editions are planned and realized. The sites features pictures and information about single items, as well as an updated "Prosopography of Babylonian Incantation Bowls".
  2. Aram Society
    Aram Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies was founded in 1986 at the Oriental Institute (Oxford) by Dr Shafiq Abouzayd. Aram Society organizes seminars, conferences and meetings dealing with ancient and modern cultures of Siria and Mesopotamia, with a particular focus on Aramaic studies. Aram is also editing a journal (ARAM).
  3. Arshama Project
    The site is dedicated to the "Arshama Project", funded by AHRC and based in Oxford. Material of the series of lessons and seminars held in Oxford ("Classes in Achaemenid Aramaic") are available.
  4. Association for the Understanding of Ancient Cultures (AUAC)
    The Association for the Understanding of Ancient Cultures (AUAC) was founded in January 2000 at Basel (Switzerland). AUAC is a purely non-profit institution whit the primary aim to support and encourage projects focusing on archaeological research and exploration mainly in the Mediterranean area. AUAC is now mainly suppoting archaeological activities in the area of the former Nabataean kingdom.
  5. The North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic Database Project
    The site gives access to the extensive material collected during the twenty-year project led by Prof. Geoffrey Khan (Cambridge University) and intended for the safeguard, preservation and study of the linguistic heritage of the neo Aramaic-speaking communities traditionally settled in north-eastern Iraq, in south-eastern Turkey and in north-western Iran. The site allows users not only to read and to listen to texts in all the studied dialects, but also to locate geographically the documented variety, to compare their features and to highlight their characteristics.
  6. Surayt-Aramaic on line
    The site contains a rich inventory of tools for learning and studying the neo Aramaic language known as “Turoyo”, mainly spoken in south-eastern Turkey and nowadays also used in many communities of the "neo-Aramaic diaspora" in Europe and in the United States.

Study and research centers

  1. Persepolis Fortification Archive
    The site features a thorough survey of the work on Persepolis Fortification Archive (Oriental Institute, Chicago). The Persepolis Fortification Archive Project is a new phase in recording and distributing the information that brings about these changes, using electronic equipment and media alongside the conventional tool-kits of philology and scholarship. Aramaic documents are included in the textual evidences.

Museums and collections

  1. Schøyen Collection
    The Schøyen Collection comprises most types of manuscripts from the whole world spanning over 5000 years. It is the largest private manuscript collection formed in the 20th century. Among the documents housed in the Collection one finds also a good deal of Aramaic items. The site features some good pictures of the most significant ones.

Collections of texts and digital libraries

  1. Trismegistos
    The site features the list of Aramaic papyri found in Egypt, allowing to identify their collocation and their editions in the scholarly discussion.
  2. The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon
    The site is one of the most important outcomes of the Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon project, aiming at creating a lexicon including all Aramaic varieties. A range of search functions are available, including both lemma and concordance searchs. A detailed and searchable bibliographical section helps in singling out the sources used in the work.


  1. Fabrizio A. Pennacchietti
    The site features biography and cv of Prof. Fabrizio A. Pennacchietti, leading Italian scholar in Aramaic studies. Articles may be downloaded free of charge.
  2. Reinhard G. Lehmann
    Reinhard G. Lehmann (University of Mainz) collected and organized a series of sites relating to Northwest Semitic languages, including Aramaic (language and scripts).