Material Text Cultures

Visual means of structure for Egyptian texts on papyrus


current staff members

Teilprojektleiterin Carina Kühne-Wespi
akademische Mitarbeiterin Sarah Braun




Italic script, text inset, underlining, and emphasizing by colour are only some of the graphical means one can use today in order to guide the reader through a text and to communicate information concerning e.g. the content and the structure of the text. Similarly, in the Ancient Egyptian writing culture, the scribes disposed of a variety of material-bound means of structure, which include rubra and blank spaces as well as corrections, verse points, page and line numbers, the grH-sign, positionally precise additions or other supralinear notes. In the subproject B15, these and other material-bound means of structure are systematically collected and examined with regard to how they were applied by the Egyptian scribes and what information they transmitted. In doing so, the main objective of the subproject is to conduct fundamental research with regard to visual means of structure and to provide reference material for the edition of Egyptian texts.

The project thus focuses on the communicative situation constituted by the ‘scribe’, the visual appearance of the text (‘Schriftbild’), and the ‘reader’ as well as the practices and the materiality of the script-bearing artefacts. Through detailed analyses focussing on the praxeology and on the function of the visual means of structure, we study how their use developed in the course of the Ancient Egyptian history. Thereby, we mainly examine religious and literary papyrus manuscripts in hieratic and demotic script.


Subprojects of the 3rd Funding Period

A01 A02 A03 A05 A06 A08 A09 A10 A11 A12 B01 B04 B09 B10 B13 B14 B15 C05 C07 C08 C09 C10 INF Ö2 Z



Completed Subprojects

A01 A03 A04 B02 B03 B06 B07 B11 B12 C01 C02 C03 C04 C06 IGK Ö1



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