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Rediscovered Gravestones from a Destroyed Jewish Cemetery in Ostróg: The Case of Two Inscriptions of 1445

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The earliest extant gravestone inscriptions from Western Ukraine are from the 16th century; however, some perished monuments of the 15th century have been mentioned in literature. Among these are two 1445 inscriptions from Ostróg published by M. Biber in 1907. The Jewish cemetery in Ostróg was destroyed in 1968, and the two gravestones did not survive. However, several hundreds of gravestones from the destroyed cemetery in Ostróg have been found recently and there are several 17th–19th century epitaphs published by Biber among them. In addition, several photographs of the cemetery and its monuments are kept in the depositary of a local museum, including one presumed 1445 inscription. We have compared these materials with those published by Biber and thus have been able to re-evaluate the authenticity of the 1445 epitaphs. One of them turns out to be of 1520, while the date of the other one remains questionable.

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Science St. Petersburg ; 2: University of Wisconsin


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