Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries Blog //Talking the Talk: Calculation Bookmark
Blog //Talking the Talk: Calculation Bookmark

In this series we honor the contributions made on the Zooniverse Talk boards for our project,Scribes of the Cairo Geniza. Talk is a way for citizen scientists on Zooniverse to converse with one another and experts on the different material they are working on, ask questions, and explore new insights. Each week we will feature a talk conversation that we love. Thanks for the participation #genizascribes!

@citsci-rancho: #arabicscript and #hebrewscript both present?

@YaronS: I can definitely see the Indo Arabic digits, Judaism/Hebrew uses the alphabet itself to represent number, for example, this is the current Jewish year: 5778, the Hebrew equivalent is ה׳תשע״ח (Some explanation about this numerical system can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gematria).

@citsci-rancho: Thanks for the very informative link! Perhaps use of some version of gematria is what we see here. Let’s #asktheexperts. Two other subjects from MS 9214, fol.3.2 (11672061 and 2065) are similarly-sized strips. (Possibly the faintly visible strips masked by the white paper at left and right of the image?) Fragments of one document, perhaps?

@YaronS: Nice catch! Part #11672061 looks very similar but there’s more text there than letters. Seeing your findings I would also like to ask: Is this some sort of list with no calculation or an actual calculation with labels? BTW I’m no expert but I’m a native Hebrew speaker and I know Arabic at a certain level of proficiency (It changes depending on the colloquial).

@citsci-rancho: An excellent question to #asktheexperts ! I hope they will shed some light on these very peculiar strips. Meanwhile, subjects 11672070 and 2073 appear to be part of this strange group of strips. They are shorter and wider, but the text looks somewhat similar, and just as baffling. 11672070 has math mostly in Hindu-Arabic numerals, except the zero is the “.” symbol. 11672073 seems to be all #arabicscript , or nearly so, to me. I can’t tell for sure. Any thoughts?


Read the full conversation on the talk boards here.

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By Judaica DH at the Penn Libraries on May 2, 2019.

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Exported from Medium on April 14, 2020.

Cite this post: admin. “Talking the Talk: Calculation Bookmark”. Published May 02, 2019. https://judaicadh.github.io//blog/2019-05-02-talking-the-talk/. Accessed on .