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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The academic discipline of epigraphy includes the search for and discovery of hitherto unknown inscriptions, the publication of accurate editions and translations of and commentaries on inscriptions, and the scholarly discussion and dissemination of the data provided by inscriptions. The governments of most countries now have stringent controls in place regarding who can have access to archaeological sites and how these sites are to be excavated under government supervision. Archaeological teams normally include epigraphers who measure, photograph, take squeezes, and make transcriptions, provisional restorations, and translations of the texts of any inscriptions found on the site. The historical data provided by the huge number of early Christian inscriptions are indispensable to the non-specialist as well as the specialist student of early Christianity. Understanding and interpreting such data correctly demands at least a rudimentary knowledge of the methodology, resources, and results of the academic discipline called epigraphy.

Keywords: epigraphy, inscription, archaeological sites, provisional restorations, early Christianity

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