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illustration Paleography



Part of speech: noun

Origin: English, 18th century


The study of ancient writing systems and the deciphering and dating of historical manuscripts.

Examples of Paleography in a sentence

"The professor taught paleography, with an expertise in Egyptian hieroglyphics."

"The archivist took a course in paleography so she could do more work with ancient manuscripts."

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illustration Paleography

About Paleography

“Paleography” was formed in English as a combination of two Latin terms: “paleo-,” meaning “ancient,” and “-graphy,” which relates both to writing, and to descriptive sciences like “geography” and “photography.”

Did you Know?

Paleography isn’t actually about understanding ancient writing and is not a study of the contents of such writing. Rather, paleography is limited to studying the structures of ancient writing systems and styles, and sometimes involves dating ancient writings.

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