I am adding another form of display. This tries to show the lines as they appear on the tablets, that is “bottom up” and reversed boustrophedon. The display is always as a single tablet side, with little to no space between lines. The purpose is to get a better idea of the general aspect of the tablet.

Please note that I say “try”. The way the lines are displayed is less then perfect, since the line graphics for a single tablet are often of uneven length. One reason for this is of course that the lines are sometimes of very different lengths. But other times this seems to be because the glyphs have been “normalized”, i.e, glyphs which are actually of uneven size are drawn to appear the same size. Because of this, this form of display does not faithfully render glyph adjacency on neighboring lines. The display is auto-generated, and all lines are centered, so in particular short lines can be very far from there correct location.

Considering these problems one might wonder: ‘Why bother?’. Despite the shortcomings I believe that this form of display is helpful. For one it is a reminder of how the lines are arrayed on the tablets. Also for some tablets it actually makes things clearer. This is most obvious with Items that are heavily damaged. For items M and T, Barthel’s graphics show the lines at roughly the same length, with the damaged sections indicated. Placing the lines next to each other gives a general impression of where the legible sections are located on the tablets. This is also the case for item H, where the damaged section covers several lines. On Item D the gash between lines 5 and 6 on side a, which gives the tablet its name (l’Échancrée), becomes clearly visible. Item F’s near circular shape—it is presumably a small shard of an originally larger item—becomes apparent.

A few items (O, V, J, L, X), where I found this form of display to be unhelpful, have been left out.

1 Comment

  1. And as if to prove my point, turns out that some of the tablet sides are wrong. In particular the versos of items K and P have the lines upside down. As is typical for tablets with an odd number of lines per side, the reverse should start with a reversed line. Will have to correct this soon.

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