Normally, at least in Roman times, the text of any inscription was approved by officials and sent to a workshop to be carved. The stone cutter was an artisan, often illiterate, who copied the design from the approved model provided to him. In the workshop a variety of purpose built tools where available and the inscription was not simply carved (as in the most common writing technique) but also painted with red color. This situation can be observed in the text themselves and provides as a lot of information about techniques used to write, literacy, economy. Moreover, the study of letter forms often helps to date inscriptions which are not datable by internal or archeological evidence.

Execution Techniques: how to write an inscription

The EAGLE Vocabulary of Execution Techniques provides an extensive list of techniques deployed to write inscriptions with a brief description of the technique and some examples.

Related Stories


Room 5 - The stone cutter, methods and mistakes: Previous Room | Next Room

See the inscriptions in this room:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Room 0: Introduction

Room 1: Inscriptions and history

Room 2: Script and Alphabets

Room 3: Objects and the relation between image, text and context

Room 4: Emotions in inscriptions

Room 6: Digital technologies for epigraphy


Links to other related resources