It’s a great feeling to sit back on the rocking chair in our living room and contemplate upon the amazing week that we had in Bergen with Giovanni Ruffini, Petra Weschenfelder, Kerstin Weber-Thum, Vincent Laisney, and Vincent van Gerven Oei.
Between Wednesday morning and Saturday afternoon, I can count more than 30 hours of work and discussions on topics relating with the Old Nubian language and literature, the medieval Nubian society and their Christian civilization.
The case study was the collection of a dozen of manuscripts in Old Nubian, discovered in 1966 on the island of Attiri in the Batn el-Hajjar. When each member of our group started working individually with this material the task of deciphering the Attiri texts seemed very difficult. From the first day of our workshop though, we were happily surprised by the results achieved.
We are certain that the publication of this collection will clearly prove the importance of tackling Old Nubian texts in a group and not in the isolation of each scholar’s office, like it was happening in the past, and despite the immensity of the contributions by G.M. Browne.
We hope that those who attended the open session with lectures on Friday also felt our passion with working with these texts, our wish to balance between the different backgrounds and opinions of each one of us, and of course the fantastic discoveries that were awaiting us in each sentence that we analyzed and tried to understand.
I think that closing this short report from the 2015 Bergen workshop on Old Nubian, it is appropriate to thank on behalf of the entire Attiri collaborative, the Research Group of Middle Eastern and African Studies and the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion at the University of Bergen for the support and the hospitality. It felt like home for all of us and home is a place you always wish to return! I hope that the publication of the P. Att. in 2016 will make it feasible to organize the second Bergen workshop on Old Nubian, with a new collection that our collaborative has decided to share, study, and publish before 2018.