i’m certain

I’m certain that the detail shown below refers to indigo – sold by the block, stitched into a cloth cover – and that below the block is a piece of indigo-dyed fabric.

The term for indigo is either ‘indigo’ or a word containing the element ‘nil’  most languages, though Chinese and some south-east Asian languages have a distinct term for it. With my previous post mentioning Jews in Thailand, and Thai being one of those exceptions,  I’ll pause to consider its alphabet. (In Thai, Indigo is  Khrām).

mood vimgey

It isn’t difficult to render the last few characters (in the inscription below the cloth) as t ‘khram’ in Old Thai : all you need do is  suppose the Voynich  ‘o’ should be  part of the letter to its right.

Thai indigo

The Thai alphabet with phonetic rendering (See too  Ancient Scripts.com).

The first known example of Thai script is 1283 AD – which doesn’t  especially please me;   evidence for Jewish traders which was given in my previous post refers to the tenth century. However, in this context, see ‘Jews in China

The late thirteenth century does  coincide with Roger Bacon’s time (c. 1214–1294) and is less than fifty years before we hear of a small Genoese community established in the Chinese port of Zaytun or Guangzhou.[1]

There,   in the ninth century, all resident foreigners had been massacred: as many as two hundred thousand, according to the  Sirafi, Abu Zayd Hasann.   Jewish merchants had been among them and Muslim Arabs, Muslim Persians, Zoroastrians (i.e. Parsees or Mazdaians) and Christians.

[1] –  mentioned in 1326 by André de Pérouse.

But the script used for Voynichese is tantalising in the number of scripts it does seem to resemble somewhat.


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