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What is Epigraphy? Video Lecture | History Class 12 - Humanities/Arts

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1. What is epigraphy?
Epigraphy is the study of inscriptions, usually carved into stone or other durable materials, for the purpose of understanding ancient cultures and civilizations. It involves the deciphering, interpretation, and analysis of these inscriptions to gain insights into the history, language, religion, and society of the past.
2. What are the main types of epigraphy?
The main types of epigraphy are classified based on the materials used and the purpose of the inscriptions. Some common types include: - Hieroglyphic epigraphy: Inscriptions found in ancient Egyptian civilization, characterized by pictorial symbols. - Numismatic epigraphy: Inscriptions found on coins, providing information about rulers, dates, and political events. - Funerary epigraphy: Inscriptions found on tombstones or monuments, providing details about the deceased and their family. - Monumental epigraphy: Inscriptions found on large structures or monuments, commemorating important events or individuals. - Paleographic epigraphy: Inscriptions that help in the study of ancient writings and scripts.
3. How do epigraphers decipher ancient inscriptions?
Epigraphers use a combination of linguistic, historical, and archaeological methods to decipher ancient inscriptions. They compare the inscriptions with known scripts and languages, analyze the context in which they were found, and draw on previous knowledge of the civilization or culture being studied. Additionally, epigraphers may rely on the use of specialized tools, such as infrared photography or chemical analysis, to enhance the visibility of faded or damaged inscriptions.
4. What are the contributions of epigraphy to the study of history?
Epigraphy has made significant contributions to the study of history by providing valuable primary sources of information. Inscriptions offer firsthand accounts of events, individuals, religious beliefs, laws, and social customs, which may be absent or biased in other historical records. They help in establishing chronologies, understanding cultural practices, tracing the development of languages, and identifying political and religious institutions. Epigraphy also aids in verifying or challenging existing historical narratives and provides a more comprehensive understanding of past civilizations.
5. How is epigraphy relevant in modern times?
Epigraphy remains relevant in modern times as it continues to provide valuable insights into ancient cultures and civilizations. It helps in preserving and documenting cultural heritage, particularly in cases where the original structures or artifacts have been lost or destroyed. Epigraphic studies also contribute to linguistic research by deciphering ancient scripts and languages. Furthermore, epigraphy plays a crucial role in archaeology, anthropology, and art history, enabling scholars to reconstruct and understand the past through the interpretation of inscriptions.
38 videos|246 docs|31 tests

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