Topic: Extra-Scribal Writing in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean (1600-800 c. BCE)

Workshop Leader/Volume Editor: Cassandra Donnelly

Time of First Meeting: Fall 2021 – specific date to be agreed upon by participants

The leader of the workgroup Extra-Scribal Writing in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean (1600-800 c. BCE), Cassandra Donnelly, is planning a multivolume project and is currently soliciting interested contributors to the volume “Extra-Scribal Writing.” 

The volume will address extra-scribal and peripheral writing practices at the conceptual level and through case studies. We welcome scholars who have theoretical, textual and linguistic, iconographic and/or material cultural expertise in writing systems and practices, marking systems, numerical notation, technologies of writing, linguistics, and epigraphy.

For this first volume, seminar participants will present and discuss evidence regarding:

  • peripheral writing practices
  • materiality of writing
  • social networks that facilitate the spread of writing practices outside of scribal schools
  • movements of people, scripted, marks, and number systems beyond their points of origin
  • contacts between writers of different script traditions
  • primary and secondary script invention
  • regional and local variations in writing practices
  • intersections between script, language, and identity
  • writing and marking as an adaptive strategy of individuals and communities in economic settings
  • continuity in extra-scribal writing practices across space and time
  • graffiti, letters, writing on perishable materials

The first workgroup will convene via Zoom in the Fall 2021 Semester at a time and date agreed upon by the participants. The workgroup will gather for two further editorial meetings over the course of 18 months. The results of the seminar will be published in a volume after the last meeting. Participants are expected to contribute specific sources and to contextualize them within the discussion. 

Participation is free of charge but limited in capacity based on fit. Interested persons should complete the following form by September 15, 2021. 

Questions can be addressed to the volume editor, Cassandra Donnelly, at