2013 publications


Ras Shamra XXI, Études ougaritiques III

Title: Matoïan, V. and M. Al-Maqdissi, Etudes ougaritiques III, Paris: Editions recherche sur les civilisations, 2013.

Keywords: Ras Shamra - Ras Ibn Hani - Bronze Age - buildings - architecture - irrigation - technology - construction - results of surveys

Abstract: Les Études ougaritiques III, volume XXI de la série Ras Shamra - Ougarit, est un ouvrage collectif - rassemblant les contributions de vingt-huit auteurs. Les études présentées portent sur les deux sites voisins de Ras Shamra et de Ras Ibn Hani, localisés sur le littoral syrien à quelques kilomètres au nord de la ville de Lattaquié. Une première partie comporte quinze textes relatifs à des recherches menées dans le cadre de la Mission archéologique syro-française de Ras Shamra - Ougarit (Ministère français des Affaires étrangères, Direction générale des Antiquités et des Musées de Syrie). Les résultats portent principalement sur l'âge du Bronze et, pour l'essentiel, sur la période du Bronze récent. Ils concernent, d'une part, des travaux de terrain (études de plusieurs bâtiments et d'aménagements hydrauliques, analyses des techniques de construction) et, d'autre part, des études du matériel archéologique et épigraphique, avec la présentation de pièces inédites, provenant des fouilles en cours ainsi que de l'exploration ancienne du tell de Ras Shamra et du site de Minet el-Beida. Dans une seconde partie, quatre articles portent sur Ras Ibn Hani. Le premier présente les résultats d'un sondage mené à Ibn Hani en 1987, qui a permis de mettre en évidence une occupation du Bronze ancien dans le secteur. Puis, trois rapports préliminaires relatifs à la campagne de fouille, menée en 2011 par la Direction générale des Antiquités et des Musées de Syrie sur le site de Ras Ibn Hani, apportent de nouvelles données sur l'occupation de ce secteur, du Bronze récent à l'époque byzantine. (table of content)

Vicino oriente 17

Title: Università di Roma, Istituto di studi del Vicino oriente, Vicino Oriente XVII, 2013.

Keywords: Gherardo Gnoli - Estakhr - Istakhr - Sasanian settlements - early Islamic settlements - north of the Persian Gulf - Motya - Phoenician Motya - Motya graveyard - earliest sttlements in Motya - Khirbet al-Batrawy - potter’s wheels - Tell el-'Ajjul - metal weapons - Hittite historiography - poetic style - sumerogram IR - Hittite


P. Gignoux - Souvenirs d'un grand savant: Gherardo Gnoli (1937-2012)

N.N.Z. Chegini - M.V. Fontana - A. Asadi - M. Rugiadi - A.M. Jaia - A. Blanco - L. Ebanista - V. Cipollari, Estakhr Project - second preliminary report of the joint Mission of the Iranian Center for Archaeological Research, the Parsa-Pasargadae Research Foundation and the Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

A. Asadi - S.M. Mousavi Kouhpar - J. Neyestani - A. Hojabri-Nobari - Sasanian and Early Islamic settlement patterns north of the Persian Gulf

L. Nigro - Before the Greeks: the earliest Phoenician settlement in Motya - recent discoveries by Rome «La Sapienza» Expedition

C. Fiaccavento - Potters' wheels from Khirbet al-Batrawy: a reconsideration of social contexts

D. Montanari - A copper javelin head in the UCL Palestinian Collection

A. Massafra - A group of metal weapons from Tell el-'Ajjul in the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow

A. Campus - Costruire memoria e tradizione: il tofet

F. Spagnoli - Demetra a Mozia: evidenze dall'area sacra del Kothon nel V secolo a.C.

R. Francia - Lo stile 'poetico' delle historiolae ittite

V. Pisaniello - Il sumerogramma IR nei testi ittiti

Syrian Archaeology

Title: S. Mazzoni and S. Soldi (eds), Syrian Archaeology in Perspective Celebrating 20 Years of Excavations at Tell Afis: Proceedings of the International Meeting Percorsi di Archeologia Siriana Giornate di studio Pisa 27-28 Novembre 2006 Gipsoteca di Arte Antica - S. Paolo all’Orto. ETS, Pisa, 2013.

Keywords: archaeology - Syria - middle bronze age

Abstract: (Table of Contents).


Title: A. R. George, Babylonian Divinatory Texts Chiefly in the Schøyen Collection: With an Appendix of Material from the Papers of W.G. Lambert. CDL Press, Bethesda, Maryland, 2013.

Keywords: divination - magic - omens - Babylonian religion

Abstract: Transliteration, translation, and commentary of new Mesopotamian divination prayers, extispicy texts, omen lists, and divinatory models (Table of Contents). These texts extend over two millennia and come from many sites, including a previously unknown city.

Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records 3

Title: R. Da Riva, The Inscriptions of Nabopolassar, Amēl-Marduk and Neriglissar. De Gruyter, Berlin, 2013.

Keywords: Neo-Babylonian - royal inscriptions - transliterations - translations

Abstract: This volume will include critical and collated editions of all the inscriptions of the 1st-millennium Babylonian kings Nabopolassar (626–605), Amel-Marduk (biblical Evil-Merodach, 561–560), and Neriglissar (559–556). The editions will be preceded by an in-depth study and followed by a glossary and concordance of the inscriptions as well as complete indexes of toponyms, anthroponyms, and theonyms. The volume includes aCD-ROM with high-definition full-color digital images of the inscriptions.


Title: F.N.H. al-Rawi, F. Gorello, & P. Notizia, Neo-Sumerian Administrative Texts from Umma Kept in the British Museum, Part Five (NATU V). Di.Sc.A.M., Messina, 2013.

Keywords: archival - Neo-Sumerian - Ur III - Umma

Abstract: This volume is the fifth of the sub-series NATU. In this volume 103 Ur III texts with different contents ranging in time from Shulgi 25 to Ibbi-Suen 2 and a mu-iti text from the former Sargonic period edited.


Title: D. Ragavan (ed.), Heaven on Earth. Temples, Ritual, and Cosmic Symbolism in the Ancient World. Oriental Institute Seminars 9. The Oriental Institute, Chicago, 2013.

Keywords: temple - rituals - interdisciplinary

Abstract: The volume (Table of Contents and possibility to download pdf) is the result of the eighth Annual University of Chicago Oriental Institute Seminar, held on March 2-3, 2012. Seventeen speakers, from both the US and abroad, examined the interconnections between temples, ritual, and cosmology from a variety of regional specializations and theoretical perspectives. The seminar revisited a classic topic, one with a long history among scholars of the ancient world: the cosmic symbolism of sacred architecture. Archaeologists, art historians, and philologists working not only in the ancient Near East, but also Mesoamerica, Greece, South Asia, and China, re-evaluated the significance of this topic across the ancient world. Part IV of the volume contains three contributions on temple and sacred space in Mesopotamia.


Title: V. Bartash, Miscellaneous Early Dynastic and Sargonic Texts in the Cornell University Collections. Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology 23, CDL Press, Bethesda/Maryland, 2013.

Keywords: text publication

Abstract: Translation, transliteration and commentary on economic and literary texts from ancient Sumer in Mesopotamia from the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. These, previously unpublished texts, are some of the very earliest cuneiform texts in existence.

Ebla and its Landscape

Title: P. Matthiae & N. Marchetti (eds), Ebla and its Landscape. Early State Formation in the Ancient Near East. Walnut Creek/CA, 2013.

Keywords: Ebla - archeology - geomorphology - archaeometry - bioarchaeology

Abstract: The discovery of 17,000 tablets at the mid-third millennium BC site of Ebla in Syria has revolutionized the study of the ancient Near East. This is the first major English-language volume describing the multidisciplinary archaeological research at Ebla. Using an innovative regional landscape approach, the 29 contributions to this expansive volume examine Ebla in its regional context through lenses of archaeological, textual, archaeobiological, archaeometric, geomorphological, and remote sensing analysis. In doing so, they are able to provide us with a detailed picture of the constituent elements and trajectories of early state development at Ebla, essential to those studying the ancient Near East and to other archaeologists, historians, anthropologists, and linguists. This work was made possible by an IDEAS grant from the European Research Council.

The Cyrus Cylinder

Title: J. Curtis, The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia. A New Beginning for the Middle East. The British Museum, 2013.

Keywords: Cyrus Cylinder - ancient Persia

Abstract: The Cyrus Cylinder is one of the most famous objects to have survived from the ancient world. Inscribed in Babylonian cuneiform on the orders of the Persian King Cyrus the Great (559−530BC) after he captured Babylon, it is often referred to as the first bill of human rights, as it appears to permit freedom of worship throughout the Persian Empire and to allow deported people to return to their homelands. It is a valued object by people all around the world as a symbol of tolerance and respect for different peoples and different faiths, which is why a copy of the cylinder is on display in the United Nations building in New York. This lavishly illustrated catalogue is published to complement the first ever tour of the object to the United States, along with sixteen other objects from the British Museums world-famous collection. Including a new authoritative translation of the Cyrus Cylinder by Irving Finkel, The Cyrus Cylinder and Ancient Persia offers a fascinating introduction into a period of great social and political change in the Ancient Near East.. You could almost say that the Cyrus Cylinder is a history of the Middle East in one object and it is a link to a past which we all share and to a key moment in history that has shaped the world around us.

PIHANS 123, Old Assyrian Archive Studies 6

Title: T. K. Hertel, OLD Assyrian Legal Practices: Law and Dispute in the Ancient Near East. Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, Leiden, 2013.

Keywords: Assyria - legal history - dispute management

Abstract: This volume investigates the nature of law and legal process in the Old Assyrian Colony period c. 1900-1800 BC as attested in cuneiform documents from Kültepe (ancient Kanesh). It offers a comprehensive study of the legal system as a whole in terms of its institutions, agents, substantive laws and procedural rules, where a central concern is to clarify the judicial competences of legal and political institutions. The author argues that the nature of the legal system and the role of legal institutions can only be meaningfully understood if we examine the relationship between central and local institutions, between formal and informal procedures, and the shifts of legal processes between formal and informal settings. These aspects are investigated through a study of processes used in the resolution of private disputes (private summons, mediation, arbitration, lawsuits and trials), which involves discussion of the procedural and institutional Sitz im Leben of judicial records and analyses of numerous legal cases. The book presents a number of new interpretations pertaining to the legal system and its institutions, the understanding of judicial records and legal terminology, and points to the existence of previously unrecognized Old Assyrian legal processes.

Nisaba 15

Title: D. I. Owen, Cuneiform Texts Primarily From Iri-Saĝrig / Āl-Šarrākī and the History of the Ur III Period. Two Volumes. CDL Press, Bethesda, Maryland, 2013.

Keywords: primary sources - Ur III - economy - social history

Abstract: Two volume presentation of indices, catalogue and texts from the Ur III period, with commentary and analysis.

History, Archaeology, and Culture of the Levant 5

Title: J. L. Cooley, Poetic Astronomy in the Ancient Near East : the Reflexes of Celestial Science in Ancient Mesopotamian, Ugaritic, and Israelite Narrative. Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, 2013.

Keywords: astronomy - cross-cultural - Mesopotamia - Ugarit - Israel

Abstract: Modern science historians have typically treated the sciences of the ancient Near East as separate from historical and cultural considerations. At the same time, biblical scholars, dominated by theological concerns, have historically understood the Israelite god as separate from the natural world. Cooley’s study, bringing to bear contemporary models of science history on the one hand and biblical studies on the other hand, seeks to bridge a gap created by 20th-century scholarship in our understanding of ancient Near Eastern cultures by investigating the ways in which ancient authors incorporated their cultures’ celestial speculation in narrative.

Writings From the Ancient World, Supp. 31

Title: J. L. Miller, with M. Giorgieri (ed), Royal Hittite Instructions and Related Administrative Texts. Society for Biblical Literature, Atlanta, 2013.

Keywords: Hittite - Anatolia - primary sources

Abstract: Few compositions provide as much insight into the structure of the Hittite state and the nature of Hittite society as the so-called Instructions. While these texts may strike the modern reader as didactic, the Hittites, who categorized them together with state treaties, understood them as contracts or obligations, consisting of the king s instructions to officials such as priests and temple personnel, mayors, military officers, border garrison commanders, and palace servants. They detail how and in what spirit the officials are to carry out their duties and what consequences they are to suffer for failure. Also included are several examples of closely related oath impositions and oaths. Collecting for the first time the entire corpus of Hittite Instructions, this accessible volume presents these works in transliteration of the original texts and translation, with clear and readable introductory essays, references to primary and secondary sources, and thorough indices.

From the 21st Century

Title: S. J. Garfinkle & M. Molina (eds), From the 21st Century B.C. to the 21st Century A.D. Proceedings of the International Conference on Neo-Sumerian Studies Held in Madrid, 22-24 July 2010. Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, 2013.

Keywords: Ur III period - language - administration - ideology - society - economy

Abstract: This volume (Table of Contents) collects the proceedings of a three-day conference held in Madrid in July 2010, and it highlights the vitality of the study of late-third-millennium B.C. Mesopotamia. Workshops devoted to the Ur III period have been a feature of the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale roughly every other year, beginning in London in 2003. In 2009, Steve Garfinkle and Manuel Molina asked the community of Neo-Sumerian scholars to convene the following year in Madrid before the Rencontre in Barcelona. The meeting had more than 50 participants and included 8 topical sessions and 27 papers. The 21 contributions included in this volume cover a broad range of topics: new texts, new interpretations, and new understandings of the language, culture, and history of the Ur III period (2112–2004 B.C.).

The present and future of Neo-Sumerian studies are important not only for the field of Assyriology but also for wider inquiries into the ancient world. The extant archives offer insight into some of the earliest cities and one of the earliest kingdoms in the historical record. The era of the Third Dynasty of Ur is also probably the best-attested century in antiquity. This imposes a responsibility on the small community of scholars who work on the Neo-Sumerian materials to make this it accessible to a broad, interdisciplinary audience in the humanities and related fields. This volume is a solid step in this direction.

AOAT 409

Title: J. J. W. Lisman, Cosmogony, Theogony and Anthropogeny in Sumerian Texts. Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2013.

Keywords: Sumer - mythology - religion - deities

Abstract: Based on his Ph.D., Lisman presents in his book all sources of the “Sumerian Beginnings” from Early Dynastic to Kassite period. The main focus lays on the cosmogony, theogony and anthropogeny and the importance of special gods involved in like Enlil, Ninlil and Enki. Next to that god lists are discussed and additionally a glance is cast on beginnings and creation myths worldwide compared with the Mesopotamian beginnings. The volume is supplemented by editions and philological commentaries of the texts under discussion.

Bibloteca del Próximo Oriente Antiguo 11

Title: X. Ouyang, Monetary Role of Silver and Its Administration in Mesopotamia During the Ur III Period (c. 2112-2004 BCE) : A Case Study of the Umma Province. Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 2013.

Keywords: ancient economy - social history - Ur III - Sumerian

Abstract: This book presents the first systematic study on the use and role of silver in the economy of Mesopotamia in the third millennium before Christ. This study aims to determine to what extent and in what sense silver can be considered to have functioned as money during the third dynasty of Ur (c. 2112-2004 B.C.), demonstrating the importance of the role of monetary silver in the institutional economics of the city of Umma. By way of conclusion conclusion, based on a statistical analysis of the texts, it shows how four members of the family of the provincial governor received and spent the largest part of the silver recorded in Umma's administrative files.

The Birth of the State

Title: P. Charvát, The Birth of the State: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. Karolinum, Prague, 2013.

Keywords: early state formation - interdisciplinary - social history

Abstract: This volume provides an overview of four of the most significant cultural centers in the ancient world, now in Egypt, the Persian Gulf region, India, and China. Petr Charvát approaches his subjects from a variety of perspectives and offers information on the economy, society, political climate, and religion within each of the empires. Using the most up-to-date research and theories available, Charvát not only delves into each of these nation states individually, but also synthesizes the material to reveal overarching themes in the birth and decline of civilizations.

Die Wahrsagekunst im Alten Orient

Title: S. M. Maul, Die Wahrsagekunst im Alten Orient: Zeichen des Himmels und der Erde. C.H. Beck, München, 2013.

Keywords: divination - wisdom literature - Babylon

Abstract: Stefan M. Maul erschließt in seinem gleichermaßen spannenden wie erhellenden Buch das kaum überschaubare und in weiten Teilen noch unveröffentlichte Schrifttum der babylonischen Gelehrten. Anschaulich erklärt er die altorientalischen Verfahren der Zukunftsschau und zeigt auf, wie sich im Lauf von Jahrtausenden aus den Lehren von der Zeichenhaftigkeit der Welt der Nährboden für unsere heutigen Wissenschaften bildete. In seinem eindrucksvollen Beitrag zur Geistesgeschichte geht er zudem der Frage nach, wie es möglich war, daß eine auf Eingeweideschau und Astrologie fußende Politikberatung dauerhaft stabile politische Verhältnisse beförderte.

Discovering Gilgamesh

Title: V. Cregan-Reid, Discovering Gilgamesh: Geology, Narrative and the Historical Sublime in Victorian Culture. Manchester University Press, Manchester, 2013.

Keywords: Gilgamesh - decipherment - translation - Victorian assyriology

Abstract: In 1872, a young archaeologist at the British Museum made a tremendous discovery. While he was working his way through a Mesopotamian 'slush pile', George Smith, a self-taught expert in ancient languages, happened upon a Babylonian version of Noah's Flood. His research suggested this 'Deluge Tablet' pre-dated the writing of Genesis by a millennium or more. Smith went on to translate what later became The Epic of Gilgamesh, perhaps the oldest and most complete work of literature from any culture. Against the backdrop of innovative readings of a range of paintings, novels, histories and photographs (by figures like Dickens, Eliot, James, Dyce, Turner, Macaulay and Carlyle), this book demonstrates the Gordian complexity of the Victorians' relationship with history, while also seeking to highlight the Epic's role in influencing models of time in late-Victorian geology. Discovering Gilgamesh will be of interest to readers, students and researchers in literary studies, Victorian studies, history, intellectual history, art history and archaeology.

Neo-Babylonian Documents from Sippar

Title: S. Zawadzki, Neo-Babylonian Documents from Sippar Pertaining to the Cult. Instytut Historii Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza, Poznań, 2013.

Keywords: Neo-Babylonian period - Sippar - Ebabbar - ritual - temple archive

Abstract: Tablet copies, transliteration, and translation of administrative and economic texts pertaining to the cult at Sippar.

OBO 260

Title: S. Zawadzki, Garments of the Gods. Vol. 2: Texts. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 260. Academic Press Fribourg, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Göttingen, 2013.

Keywords: textiles - garments - Neo-Babylonian period - Sippar - Ebabbar - temple archive

Abstract: An integral part of Garments of the Gods (OBO 218, 2006), this volume offers the transliteration, translation and selected copies of over 600 administrative documents on the textile industry in the Ebabbar temple at Neo-Babylonian Sippar (Table of Contents). The documents are mostly divided in accordance with the former discussion presented in OBO 218. The aim of the new publication is to enlarge the data base for future studies and to create the possibility of checking and discussing the observations made in the first volume. Indices provide the names of garments and fabrics, and the paleography will allow the reader easy comparison when identifying new texts in the future.

Creation and Chaos

Title: J. Scurlock & R. H. Beal (eds) Creation and Chaos. A Reconsideration of Hermann Gunkel's Chaoskampf Hypothesis. Winona Lake, Eisenbrauns, 2013.


Abstract: Hermann Gunkel was a scholar in the generation of the origins of Assyriology, the spectacular discovery by George Smith of fragments of the "Chaldean Genesis," and the Babel-Bibel debate. Gunkel's thesis, inspired by materials supplied to him by the Assyriologist Heinrich Zimmern, was to take the Chaoskampf motif of Revelation as an event that would not only occur at the end of the world but had already happened at the beginning, before Creation. In other words, in this theory, one imagines God in Genesis 1 as first having battled Rahab, Leviathan, and Yam (the forces of Chaos) in a grand battle, and only then beginning to create.

The problem with Gunkel's theory is that it did not simply identify common elements in the mythologies of the ancient Near East but imposed upon them a structure dictating the relationships between the elements, a structure that was based on inadequate knowledge and a forced interpretation of his sources. On the other hand, one is not entitled to insist that there was no cultural conversation among peoples who spent the better part of several millennia trading with, fighting, and conquering one another.

Creation and Chaos attempts to address some of these issues (Table of Contents). The section entitled "Creation and Chaos" contains reflections by Sonik, Campbell, Lambert, and Scurlock on creation narratives in various cultures of the ANE and beyond. In the section entitled "Monster-Bashing Myths," Frayne, Gilan, Töyräänvuori, and Benz explore in regional perspective the phenomena of monsters and divine combat, the strongest fire under Gunkel's smoke. In the section "Gunkel and His Times," Lundström, Feinman, and Tugendhaft examine the political maelstrom in which Gunkel himself operated and remind us that neither his theories nor the form criticism that he helped to initiate were free of political or religious agendas. The papers of Pitard and Miller in the "Power and Politics" section explore the politico-religious issues that would have been the concern of the original myth-makers. Of course, it is important not to go too far in disenchanting ancient texts that contain clear mythological content. But how far is too far? And how far is not far enough? And which mythological elements from various ANE cultures actually match and in which passages? The papers of Batto and Averbeck in the "Kampf and Chaos" section constitute a sort of debate within a debate. In the final section, "Chaos and (Re)Creation," Scurlock and Melvin bring us as readers back full circle to our starting point.

Studies on the Archaeology of Ebla

Title: P. Matthiae (edited by F. Pinnock) Studies on the Archaeology of Ebla 1980-2010. Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2013.

Keywords: Ebla - archaeology

Abstract: The archaeological exploration of Tell Mardikh started in 1964 and, since the first campaigns, some of the most influential archaeologists of the time considered it one of the most promising excavations in the Levant. In 1968, the discovery of a basalt bust bearing the dedicatory inscription of Ibbit-Lim, king of Ebla, allowed to propose that the large archaeological site was ancient Ebla, usually located North of Aleppo, and not to the South. In 1975, the spectacular, and revolutionary discovery of the Royal Archives of 2350-2300 BC took place. After 1975, the Ebla Expedition was engaged in the systematic exploration of large areas of the Lower Town, with the discovery of the great residential palaces, of some temples, of the fortified buildings on the earthwork ramparts, of some quarters of private houses, and of the city gates of the great Old Syrian town. The publication of the Archives and of the archaeological discoveries led Ignace J. Gelb, the late dean of the Oriental Institute of Chicago, to say that the Italians had discovered at Ebla “a new history, a new language, a new culture”. Paolo Matthiae, the Director of the Ebla Expedition, published, since the beginning of the research, many studies about aspects of material culture, artistic productions, architectural, and urban structures, chronological and historic matters. These studies appeared in Italian, in international scientific journals as well as in miscellaneous volumes, and are therefore scattered and sometimes not easy to access. Forty-two of these contributions of particular value for an evaluation of Ebla discoveries, published between 1980 and 2010, and all in English language, are now collected in the volume edited by Francis Pinnock (Table of Contents).

Schriften zur Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 1

Title: W. Orthmann, M. al-Maqdissi, and P. Matthiae Archéologie et Histoire de la Syrie Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2013.

Keywords: archaeology - material culture

Abstract: Nach langen Jahren intensiver Forschung vervollständigt nun der noch ausstehende zweite Teilband das Projekt einer ‚Geschichte und Archäologie Syriens‘. Während Teil 2 sich mit Syrien von der Achämenidenzeit bis zum Islam befasst hatte, behandelt Teil 1 die syrische Frühgeschichte. In 39 englisch-, französisch- und deutschsprachigen Beiträgen werden die Geschichte, die Kulturgeschichte und die Archäologie Syriens vom Neolithikum bis zur neubabylonischen Zeit umfassend dargestellt (Table of Contents). Dabei wird die historische Entwicklung mit Hilfe der erhaltenen Schriftquellen nachgezeichnet und die archäologischen Denkmäler werden anhand von stratigraphischen Befunden gegliedert und nach Sachgruppen (Architektur, Bildkunst, Glyphik) geordnet präsentiert. Die Beiträger des Sammelbands, die zum überwiegenden Teil selber als Ausgrabende in Syrien tätig waren und hoffentlich bald wieder sein können, beleuchten aus unterschiedlichen Blickwinkeln heraus die verschiedenen Aspekte der Entwicklung dieses Landes zwischen Mesopotamien, Anatolien und dem Mittelmeer, das trotz aller äußeren Einflüsse immer wieder eine bedeutende eigenständige Kultur hervorgebracht hat.

Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth

Title: T. S. Kawami and J. Olbrantz Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, Salem, Oregon, 2013.

Keywords: art - material culture

Abstract: Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections encompasses the geographic regions of Mesopotamia, Syria and the Levant, and Anatolia and Iran, and explores several broad themes found in the art of the ancient Near East: gods and goddesses, men and women, and both real and supernatural animals. These art objects reveal a wealth of information about the people and cultures that produced them: their mythologies, religious beliefs, concepts of kingship, social structures, and daily lives.

Experiencing Power, Generating Authority

Title: J. A. Hill, P. Jones, and A. J. Morales (eds) Experiencing Power, Generating Authority: Cosmos, Politics, and the Ideology of Kingship in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia, 2013.

Keywords: kingship - religion - Mesopotamia - Egypt

Abstract: Experiencing Power, Generating Authority draws on rich material records left behind by both kingdoms, from royal monuments and icons to the written deeds and commissions of kings. Thirteen essays provocatively juxtapose the relationships Egyptian and Mesopotamian kings had with their gods and religious mediators, as well as their subjects and court officials (Table of Contents). They also explore the ideological significance of landscape in each kingdom, since the natural and built environment influenced the economy, security, and cosmology of these lands. The interplay of religion, politics, and territory is dramatized by the everyday details of economy, trade, and governance, as well as the social crises of war or the death of a king. Reexamining established notions of cosmic and political rule, Experiencing Power, Generating Authority challenges and deepens scholarly approaches to rulership in the ancient world.

Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records, Vol. 2

Title: A. Seri The House of Prisoners: Slavery and State in Uruk during the Revolt Against Samsu-Iluna De Gruyter, Berlin and Boston, 2013.

Keywords: social history - slavery - Mesopotamia

Abstract: This book deals with the house of prisoners (bit asiri ) at the city of Uruk during the revolt against king Samsu-iluna of Babylon, Hammurabi’s son. The political history of this brief period (ca. 1741–1739 BC) is not widely known and until now there has been no comprehensive treatment of the bit asiri. This book includes autograph copies, transliterations, and translations of 42 unpublished cuneiform tablets from various collections, collations, and detailed tables and catalogues (Table of Contents). The analysis comprises some 410 documents dated or attributable to king Rim-Anum, one of the insurgents who attained relative independence as the ruler of Uruk. The study of this corpus reveals details about diplomatic dealings between the central power and rebel rulers, about the functioning of the house of prisoners of war, and about the individuals who participated in different echelons of the local administration. This monograph investigates what kind of organization “the house of prisoners” was, how it worked, how it interacted with other institutions, the composition of its labor force, and state management of captive and enslaved individuals.

Creation and Chaos

Title: J. Scurlock and R. H. Beal (eds) Creation and Chaos: A Reconsideration of Hermann Gunkel's Chaoskampf Hypothesis Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, 2013.

Keywords: myth - religion

Abstract: Hermann Gunkel was a scholar in the generation of the origins of Assyriology, the spectacular discovery by George Smith of fragments of the "Chaldean Genesis," and the Babel-Bibel debate. Gunkel's thesis, inspired by materials supplied to him by the Assyriologist Heinrich Zimmern, was to take the Chaoskampf motif of Revelation as an event that would not only occur at the end of the world but had already happened at the beginning, before Creation. In other words, in this theory, one imagines God in Genesis 1 as first having battled Rahab, Leviathan, and Yam (the forces of Chaos) in a grand battle, and only then beginning to create.

The problem with Gunkel's theory is that it did not simply identify common elements in the mythologies of the ancient Near East but imposed upon them a structure dictating the relationships between the elements, a structure that was based on inadequate knowledge and a forced interpretation of his sources. On the other hand, one is not entitled to insist that there was no cultural conversation among peoples who spent the better part of several millennia trading with, fighting, and conquering one another. Creation and Chaos attempts to address some of these issues. (Table of Contents).

Studies on the Archaeology of Ebla

Title: P. Matthiae with F. Pinnock (ed) Studies on the Archaeology of Ebla 1980-2010 Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2013.

Keywords: archaeology - Ebla - material culture

Abstract: The archaeological exploration of Tell Mardikh started in 1964 and, since the first campaigns, some of the most influential archaeologists of the time considered it one of the most promising excavations in the Levant. In 1968, the discovery of a basalt bust bearing the dedicatory inscription of Ibbit-Lim, king of Ebla, allowed to propose that the large archaeological site was ancient Ebla, usually located North of Aleppo, and not to the South. In 1975, the spectacular, and revolutionary discovery of the Royal Archives of 2350-2300 BC took place. After 1975, the Ebla Expedition was engaged in the systematic exploration of large areas of the Lower Town, with the discovery of the great residential palaces, of some temples, of the fortified buildings on the earthwork ramparts, of some quarters of private houses, and of the city gates of the great Old Syrian town. The publication of the Archives and of the archaeological discoveries led Ignace J. Gelb, the late dean of the Oriental Institute of Chicago, to say that the Italians had discovered at Ebla “a new history, a new language, a new culture”. Paolo Matthiae, the Director of the Ebla Expedition, published, since the beginning of the research, many studies about aspects of material culture, artistic productions, architectural, and urban structures, chronological and historic matters. These studies appeared in Italian, in international scientific journals as well as in miscellaneous volumes, and are therefore scattered and sometimes not easy to access. Forty-two of these contributions of particular value for an evaluation of Ebla discoveries, published between 1980 and 2010, and all in English language, are now collected in the volume edited by Francis Pinnock (Table of Contents).

Ancient Iran

Title: C. A. Petrie (ed) Ancient Iran & Its Neighbours. Local developments and long-range interactions in the fourth millennium BC The British Institute of Persian Studies. Archaeological Monographs Series III. Oxbow Books, Oxford & Oakville, 2013.

Keywords: Iran - 4th millennium

Abstract: The fourth millennium BC was a critical period of socio-economic and political transformation in the Iranian Plateau and its surrounding zones. This period witnessed the appearance of the world’s earliest urban centres, hierarchical administrative structures, and writing systems. These developments are indicative of significant changes in socio-political structures that have been interpreted as evidence for the rise of early states and the development of inter-regional trade, embedded in longer-term processes that began in the later fifth millennium BC. Iran was an important player in western Asia especially in the medium- to long-range trade in raw materials and finished items throughout this period. The 20 papers (Table of Contents) presented here illustrate forcefully how the re-evaluation of old excavation results, combined with much new research, has dramatically expanded our knowledge and understanding of local developments on the Iranian Plateau and of long-range interactions during the critical period of the fourth millennium BC.

Leipziger Altorientalische Studien 3

Title: A. Berlejung & M. P. Streck (eds) Arameans, Chaldeans, and Arabs in Babylonia and Palestine in the First Millennium B.C. Leipziger Altorientalische Studien 3. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 2013.

Keywords: Arameans - Chaldeans - Arabs - Babylonia

Abstract: Arameans, Chaldeans, and Arabs in Babylonia and Palestine in the First Mill. B.C. edited by Angelika Berlejung and Michael P. Streck comprises the papers presented at an international workshop in the Villa Tillmanns/ Leipzig on 24th and 25th of June 2010. The interdisciplinary event was part of the research projects on "Space and Mobility in Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine in the Time of the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Period". Organized by the Universities of Leipzig and of Halle-Wittenberg among others, the projects are part of the Collaborative Research Center "Difference and Integration" (SFB 586). The resulting volume has ist focus on the interaction between nomadic, mobile and settled cultures, and possible mechanisms of inculturation. The contributors examine the material finds and written sources in order to deepen our understanding of the history, geography, culture, and religion of the Aramean, Chaldean and Arabian tribes.

Early Neo-Assyrian State Ideology

Title: M. Karlsson, Early Neo-Assyrian State Ideology. Relations of Power in the Inscriptions and Iconography of Ashurnasirpal II (883-859) and Shalmaneser III (858-824). Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala, 2013.

Keywords: Neo-Assyrian period - ideology - iconography - inscriptions - Ashurnasirpal II - Shalmaneser III

Abstract: This study aimed at identifying and discussing Early Neo-Assyrian state ideology through focusing on relations of power in the inscriptions and iconography of Ashurnasirpal II and Shalmaneser III. The relationship between the Mesopotamian deities (“the great gods”), the Assyrian king, and the foreign lands was highlighted in this analysis. Through a close reading of all the epigraphic and iconographic sources of the two kings, i.e. the “major primary sources”, using basic philological and art historical methods as well as theories such as critical theory and post-colonial theory, the results of the study were reached, presented mainly in chapters 3-5. In chapters 6-9, the below described results of the analysis formed the basis of discussions on ideological development within the reigns, local state ideology and regional politics, ideological comparison between the two kings, and a historical-ideological contextualization of the identified Early Neo-Assyrian state ideology.

The great gods were imagined as the masters and the conquerors of the foreign lands. The Assyrian king presented himself as the representative, priest, servant, master builder, and warrior of the great gods. The great gods had ordered the Assyrian king to implement their world dominion. On this divine mission, the Assyrian king was confronted by various hinderances such as the wild foreign landscape and its wild animals. By the act of conquering, the named chaotic elements of Otherness became a part of Order. The relationship between the Assyrian king and the foreign deities was portrayed as characterized by mutual respect. The religious imperialism of the two kings was not of an iconoclastic character. The foreign elites and people had the choice to submit and pay tribute and then be shepherded, or to resist and then be annihilated or enslaved. In times of confrontation, polarizations and dichotomies centred social classes (“elites”) and not nations or nationalities.

Le Statut du Musicien

Title: S. Emerit (ed.) Le Statut du Musicien dans la Méditerranée Ancienne. Égypte, Mésopotamie, Grèce, Rome. Actes de la table ronde internationale tenue à Lyon Maison de l'Orient et de la Méditerranée (université Lumière Lyon 2) les 4 et 5 juillet 2008, Lyon. Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale, Cairo.

Keywords: musician - ancient cultures

Abstract: The question of the status of musicians transcends chronological and cultural boundaries and demands a twofold approach, combining anthropology and history. This topic, which has never before been the subject of a thorough study in the case of the Ancient World, is approached here from an interdisciplinary and comparative angle. The International Round Table held at Lyon in 2008 addressed the figure of the musician in Egypt, Mesopotamia (4 contributions by D. Collon, R. Pruzsinszky, N. Ziegler, and D. Shehata), Greece and Rome from the fourth millennium BC up to the beginnings of Christianity. Sometimes adored, sometimes despised, professional musicians did not have a simple role in ancient societies. The aim of this volume is to define the contours of their status by addressing payment, honours equipment, training and skills, as well as the legal and social limitations which were sometimes placed on the status of the professional musician. Each society had its own hierarchy in which musicians occupied very different places according to the relative prestige of their musical instruments, their proximity to power, the context of the performance, or the gender of the performer. The contributions to this volume explore the marked differences in status between performers, according to whether they were male or female, free or slave, members of a guild or not.

The God Resheph

Title: M. M. Münnich, The God Resheph in the Ancient Near East. Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 11. Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2013.

Keywords: god - Resheph - Syria - study

Abstract: Resheph was quite a popular god in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC - especially in Syria - but during the 1st millennium his cult became extinct. Finally it was only maintained in several peripheral and isolated sites, such as in the Palmyra desert and in Cyprus. Maciej M. Münnich presents the written sources which mentioned Resheph and analyzes the features of Resheph's cult. He emphasizes that there is no confirmation for the theory that Resheph was a lord of the netherworld. Resheph was a belligerent, aggressive god who used diseases to attack people, but who could also heal. In Egypt, Resheph was originally venerated as the deity who supported the Pharaoh in battles, but then he was summoned mainly because of illness and everyday needs. In ancient Israel, Resheph was at first reduced to the level of a demonic assistant of Yahweh, but his name then became a common term, always however in reference to the character of the deity. Among the Hurrites, Resheph appeared as a divine guardian of trade. He was not treated as a solely harmful, dangerous god, as has been suggested in numerous previous studies.

Inanna, heerseres van hemel en aarde

Title: H. Broekema, Inanna, heerseres van hemel en aarde. Geschiedenis van een Sumerische godin. Leeuwarden, 2013.

Keywords: Inana

Babylonische Archive 5

Title: G. Frame, The Archive of Mušēzib-Marduk. Son of Kiribtu and Descendant of Sîn-na:s,ir. A Landowner and Property Developer at Uruk in the Seventh Century BC. Babylonische Archive 5, Islet, Dresden, 2013.

Keywords: Neo-Babylonian period - Babylonia - archive - text publication

Abstract: The Mušēzib-Marduk archive provides an interesting view of an individual’s activities in Babylonia while that land lay under Assyrian domination, a period for which few other private archives of any size are attested in Babylonia. Although the transactions took place at eight or nine different locations, most come from Uruk and, to a lesser extent, Babylon. Mušēzib-Marduk’s activities date from 678 until at least 649 (a career of at least forty-five years). It is likely that the political events of the period, in particular the rebellion of 652–648 led by Šamaš-šuma-ukīn, influenced his actions, and the end of the archive may have been connected to the collapse of Assyrian control in southern Babylonia. Although he seems to have spent most of his active career at Uruk, he may have been based at Babylon in the years immediately before the rebellion. Mušēzib-Marduk was no common citizen. He appears conducting business in at least five other locations in addition to Uruk. Every single document in the archive except for the very last one is connected in some way to his acquisition of property—either by purchase or as security for silver owed to him. He was clearly attempting to acquire property adjacent or near to property he already owned and to acquire full control of property to which he previously had only partial ownership. There is nothing about the texts that suggests that Mušēzib-Marduk had any connection to the Eanna temple—except for the fact that he owned property located in the district of that temple— in contrast to many of the legal and administrative texts from the following Neo-Babylonian period at Uruk. No relatives of his appear in any of the documents, nor are any clearly attested in any other document known to the author. Thus, this reconstructed archive is comprised of documents for a single generation and provides light on the career of one individual during a period when relatively few such archives have been preserved. This volume contains text editions of 33 legal documents written on clay tablets pertaining to urban and rural real estate in Babylonia. The edition comprises copies of the cuneiform texts with transliteration, translation in English and philological as well as contextual commentary.

RLA 13, 7./8. Lieferung

Telipinu. B - Tiergarten

AOAT 405

Title: G. Goldenberg, Further Studies in Semitic Linguistics. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 405. Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2013.

Keywords: Semitic - linguistics - studies

Abstract: The present volume (Table of Contents) comprises most of the English articles on Semitic languages written by Gideon Goldenberg (1930-2013) after the first collection of his selected writings was published (“Studies in Semitic Linguistics”. Jerusalem 1998). Additionally, two hitherto unpublished studies on Old Amharic have been included. This collection focuses on General Semitic Philology, Ethiopian studies and, supplementary, studies on Neo-Aramaic. It thus adds to the pictures of his scholarly impact which also has also become apparent in the Festschrift dedicated to him (“Studies in Semitic and General Linguistics”. AOAT 334. Münster 2007).

The Babylonian Theodicy

Title: T. Oshima, The Babylonian Theodicy. State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts 9. the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, Helsinki.

Keywords: text edition - literature

Abstract: The Babylonian Theodicy is a lengthy dialogue between two learned men, the "Sufferer" and the "Friend," taking the form of an acrostic poem divided into 27 stanzas. Each stanza is exactly 11 lines long and represents a speech by one of the two speakers mainly on social injustice and piety, those of the Sufferer alternating with counterarguments of the Friend. The text unquestionably is a literary masterpiece and, as one of the most important pieces of Mesopotamian wisdom literature, a must for every aspiring Assyriologist. Because of its many affinities with the biblical book of Job, it also is of obvious interest to biblical scholars, theologians, and students of Ancient Near Eastern religions. This volume, based on nine different manuscripts (two of them new) and numerous new joins, offers the most complete edition of the text available so far. It is now possible to fully or partially recover 272 of the original 297 lines of the composition. The cuneiform text, sign list and glossary attached to the edition make it possible for the first time to read the entire composition in class. The volume also contains an up-to-date introduction to the text, a bibliography of previous studies, and a detailed philological commentary

Nergal and Ereškigal

Title: S. Ponchia and M. Luukko, The Standard Babylonian Myth of Nergal and Ereškigal. State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts 8. The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, Helsinki.

Keywords: text edition - myth - literature

Abstract: The Myth of Nergal and Ereškigal, preserved in two versions, a Middle-Babylonian one from Tell el-Amarna and a much longer Standard Babylonian one probably composed in Assyria in the early first millennium BC, tells the story of why and how Nergal, son of Ea, the god of wisdom, descended into the Netherworld by the “ladders of heaven,” fell in love with Ereškigal, queen of the Netherworld, and eventually deposed her and usurped her throne. Like all Mesopotamian myths, the story is replete with enigmatic details, puns and intertextual allusions making it a heavily encoded text with hidden levels of interpretation. In allegorical reading, the myth was a complement to the Descent of Ištar (SAACT 6), and the mission of Nergal could be associated with that of the king as a heavenly savior sent to the rescue of the sinners. This volume provides an in-depth analysis of the myth and the most complete reconstruction of the Standard Babylonian version yet presented. The reconstructed text is given both in cuneiform and in up-to-date transliteration and translation, complete with a critical apparatus, philological commentary, and a full glossary and sign list. The Introduction also contains an edition and discussion of the Amarna version and an extensive study of the god Nergal in Assyrian sources. Ideal both as a textbook for classroom use and as a resource for non-Assyriologists wishing to study the myth first-hand.

Thus Speaks Ishtar of Arbela

Title: R. P. Gordon and H. M. Barstad (eds) "Thus Speaks Ishtar of Arbela" Prophecy in Israel, Assyria, and Egypt in the Neo-Assyrian Period. Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake.

Keywords: religion - prophecy

Abstract: Thus Speaks Ishtar is a collection of essays about prophets and prophecy in the ancient Near East during the “Neo-Assyrian Period.” This was the time when some of Israel’s greatest prophets emerged, and we also have from the same general period a number of prophetic texts found on the site of the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh. The book examines the basic idea of prophecy and how this is shaped by the way we study the subject, and it then presents a number of fresh insights on a range of prophetic topics. These include the relationship between Israelite and other forms of prophecy in Assyria and Egypt and the relationship between what prophets said and the written forms in which their words were passed on. Other topics of contemporary interest include what these prophetic texts have to say about the environment, the place of intercession in Israelite and Assyrian religion, and whether the message of the trailblazing Israelite prophets of the eighth century was basically about judgment and community ruin or about hope and community well-being.

DBH 40

Title: D. Groddek, Hethitische Texte in Transkription KBo 49. Dresdner Beiträge zur Hethitologie 40, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2013.

Keywords: Hittite - editions - transliteration

Abstract: The volume offers transliterations to the Hittite texts published in volume 49 of Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazköi.

Proceedings of the 56th Rencontre

Title: L. Feliu, J. Llop, A. Millet Albà, and J. Sanmartín (eds) Time and History in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 56th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale at Barcelona, 26-30 July 2010, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, Indiana, 2013.

Keywords: history - literature - art - archaeology

Abstract: In July, 2010, the International Association for Assyriology met in Barcelona, Spain, for 5 days to deliver and listen to papers on the theme "Time and History in the Ancient Near East." This volume (Table of Contents), the proceedings of the conference, contains 70 of the papers read at the 56th annual Rencontre, including the papers from several workshop sessions on "architecture and archaeology," "early Akkadian and its Semitic context," " Hurrian language," "law in the ancient Near East," "Middle Assyrian texts and studies," and a variety of additional papers not directly related to the conference theme.

Keilschrifttexte aus Boghazköi

Title: J. Lorenz, and E. Rieken Texte aus dem Bezirk des Großen Tempels XIX, Gebr. Mann Verlag, Berlin, 2013.

Keywords: Hittite - religion - tablets

Abstract: Das Heft enthält 331 Autographien von Tontafelbruchstücken, darunter zahlreiche Fragmente von Festritualen, aber auch solche von Beschwörungsritualen, mythologischen Texten, Kultinventaren, Orakeln und Staatsverträgen.

The Hittite Dictionary Š

Title: H. G. Güterbock, H. A. Hoffner, and T. P. J. van den Hout The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago: Volume Š, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Chicago, 2013.

Keywords: Hittite - language - dictionary

Abstract: A volume of the Hittite Dictionary of the University of Chicago covering the letter Š.

Culture & History of the Ancient Near East 63

Title: A. Spalinger, and J. Armstrong (eds) Rituals of Triumph in the Mediterranean World, Brill, Leiden, 2013.

Keywords: cross-cultural - warfare - ritual - religion

Abstract: Societies, both ancient and modern, have frequently celebrated and proclaimed their military victories through overt public demonstrations. In the ancient world, however, the most famous examples of this come from a single culture and period - Rome in the final years of the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire - while those from other cultures - such as Egypt, Greece, Neo-Assyria, and indeed other periods of Roman history – are generally unexplored. The aim of this volume is to present a more complete study of this phenomenon and offer a series of cultural reactions to successful military actions by various peoples of the ancient Mediterranean world, illustrating points of similarity and diversity, and demonstrating the complex and multifaceted nature of this trans-cultural practice.

Ancient Near Eastern Studies Supp. 42

Title: K. Aslıhan Yener (ed) Across the Border: Late Bronze-Iron Age Relations Between Syria and Anatolia: Proceedings of a Symposium Held at the Research Center of Anatolian Studies, Koc University, Istanbul, May 31-June 1, 2010, Peeters, Leuven, 2013.

Keywords: archaeology - history - Anatolia - Syria

Abstract: One of the most intriguing issues facing archaeologists working in the second millennium BC is the collapse of Late Bronze Age palace economies and the rise of smaller principalities called the Iron Age kingdoms. Some of these kingdoms retain vestiges of the previous Hittite Empire while others represent an ethnic diversity of newly emerging centers of power. The decentralized kingdoms stretch from Cilicia to the Tigris River and are situated on both sides of the modern border of Syria and Turkey. Theories about this political transition have varied from environmental causes, internal dynastic squabbles in Hattusha, to marauding bands of mythical "Sea Peoples". Modern political realities across the border between Turkey and Syria have often minimized the flow of scholarly information about this important collapse. This book (Table of Contents) compares archaeological data from new as well as established excavations dating to the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. Special attention is given to significant new understandings of chronology that will contextualize the structural collapses at the end of the Late Bronze Age and will illuminate the rise of new Iron Age kingdoms and their imperial ambitions.

Cuneiform Monographs 45

Title: L. R. Siddal The Reign of Adad-nīrārī III: An Historical and Ideological Analysis of An Assyrian King and His Times, Brill, Leiden, 2013.

Keywords: Neo-Assyrian - kingship - history

Abstract: In The Reign of Adad-nīrārī III, Luis Siddall examines the evidence and edits new inscriptions from the king’s reign to investigate the chronology, campaigns, imperial administration and royal ideology of the period. While historians have typically viewed this period as one of turmoil, imperial recession, political weakness and decentralisation, Siddall shows that Adad-nīrārī’s reign marked a period of imperial stability, chiefly through changes to the administration. However, while politically successful, the imperial policy affected the king’s ideological expression, particularly in terms of the description of the campaigns in Adad-nīrārī's inscriptions and his limited use of royal titles.

Bound for Exile

Title: M. Cogan Bound for Exile: Israelites and Judeans Under Imperial Yoke, Documents from Assyria and Babylonia, Carta, Jerusalem, 2013.

Keywords: ancient Israel - history - warfare

Abstract: Bound for Exile, the companion volume of The Raging Torrent, presents a collection of cuneiform texts that relate to the Israelites and Judeans living under the yoke of the great Mesopotamian empires during the 8th-6th centuries BC.

Rituales Hititas

Title: J. M. González Salazar Rituales Hititas: Entre la magia y el culto, Akal, Madrid, 2013.

Keywords: Hittites - ritual - religion - magic

Abstract: This volume presents an examination of Hittite rituals with a translation and commentary on Hittite ritual texts.

Gorgias Ugaritic Series 1

Title: N. Wyatt Word of Tree and Whisper of Stone, and other papers on Ugaritian thought, Gorgias Press, Piscataway, New Jersey, 2013.

Keywords: Ugarit - religion - literature

Abstract: This volume is a collection of selected essays on specific themes in Ugaritic literature. Included are eight unique contributions to understanding the religious life and thought of Ugarit, including detailed studies and essays covering broader issues for grasping the worldview of ancient Syria.

Debates and Documents in Ancient History

Title: L. Llewellyn-Jones King and Court in Ancient Persia 559 to 331 BCE, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2013.

Keywords: Persia - royalty - Iran

Abstract: This book explores Achaemenid kingship and argues for the centrality of the royal court in elite Persian society. The first Persian Empire (559-331 BC) was the biggest land empire the world had seen, and seated at the heart of its vast dominions, in the south of modern-day Iran, was the person of the Great King. Hidden behind the walls of his vast palace, and surrounded by the complex rituals of court ceremonial, the Persian monarch was undisputed master of his realm, a god-like figure of awe, majesty, and mystery. Yet the court of the Great King was no simple platform for meaningless theatrical display; at court, presentation mattered: nobles vied for position and prestige, and the royal family attempted to keep a tight grip on dynastic power - in spite of succession struggles, murders, and usurpations, for the court was also the centre of political decision - making and the source of cultural expression. This book explores the representation of Persian monarchy and the court of the Achaemenid Great Kings from the point of view of the ancient Iranians themselves (as well as other Near Eastern peoples) and through the sometimes distorted prism of Classical and Biblical sources.

Eothen 19

Title: S. de Martino, and J. L. Miller (eds) New Results and New Question on the Reign of Suppiluliuma I, LoGisma, Firenze, 2013.

Keywords: Hittites - warfare - history - kingship

Abstract: This volume presents the papers of a two-day symposium held at the Ludwigs-Maximilians-Universität, München, on the 19th and 20th of September, 2011.


Title: K. Kaniuth, A. Löhnert, J. L. Miller, A. Otto, M. Roaf, and W. Sallaberger (eds) Tempel im Alten Orient: 7. Internationales Colloquium der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft, 11.-13. Oktober 2009, München, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2013.

Keywords: religion - history - temple - cult - ritual

Abstract: Tempel prägten die altorientalischen Kulturen in mehrfacher Weise entscheidend. Tempel bildeten das Zentrum der Städte in baulicher wie in sozialer Hinsicht, ihnen kam eine enorme wirtschaftliche Bedeutung zu. Zudem waren die Tempel den königlichen Bauherren und Stiftern eng verbunden und in ihnen konzentrierte sich das religiöse Leben. Der Sammelband Tempel im Alten Orient widmet sich dem komplexen Thema des altorientalischen Tempels in einer breiten Perspektive. Die Bandbreite umfasst dabei die Planungsschemata der Einzelgebäude und ihre räumliche Einbettung durch literarische Beschreibungen sowie zentrale kultische und religiöse Aspekte und wirtschaftliche und soziale Aufgaben der Tempelorganisation. Der Zeitraum reicht vom Neolithikum bis zu den Achämeniden, der geographische Rahmen umspannt den gesamten Vorderen Orient von Anatolien über die Levante bis nach Iran. Auf diese Weise bieten die archäologischen, historischen und philologischen Beiträge einen umfassenden Überblick über aktuelle Forschungsfragen zu diesem zentralen Thema und leisten einen fundierten Beitrag zur Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte, zur Religionsgeschichte sowie zu Architektur, Kunst- und Literaturgeschichte.

Oxford Handbook

Title: D. T. Potts (ed) The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013.

Keywords: Iran - history - archaeology - culture - writing - art - religion - Elam - Persia

Abstract: Iran's heritage is as varied as it is complex, and the archaeological, philological, and linguistic scholarship of the region has not been the focus of a comprehensive study for many decades. The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Iran (Table of Contents) provides up-to-date, authoritative essays on a wide range of topics extending from the earliest Paleolithic settlements in the Pleistocene era to the Arab conquest in the 7th century AD. The volume, authored by specialists based both inside and outside of Iran, is divided into sections covering prehistory, the Chalcolithic, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Achaemenid period, the Seleucid and Arsacid periods, the Sasanian period, and the Arab conquest. In addition, more specialized chapters are included which treat numismatics, religion, languages, political ideology, calendrics, the use of color, textiles, Sasanian silver and reliefs, and political relations with Rome and Byzantium. No other single volume covers as much of Iran's archaeology and history with the same degree of authority. Drawing on the results of the latest fieldwork in Iran and studies by scholars from around the world, this volume addresses a longstanding gap in the literature of the ancient Near East.

The Palace of Darius

Title: J. Perrot (ed) The Palace of Darius at Susa: The Great Royal Residence of Achaemenid Persia, I. B. Tauris, London, 2013.

Keywords: Persian - architecture - art - archaeology

Abstract: The palace complex of the Persian King Darius I, the Great (522-486 BC), provides unique evidence of the sophistication of Achaemenid architecture and construction. This palace, built 2500 years ago in western Iran, lay at the centre of the Persian Empire that stretched from the Nile and the Aegean to the Indus Valley. First rediscovered in 1851, the palace of Darius was partly excavated over the next century. But it was only field research between 1969 and 1979 by the noted French archaeologist Jean Perrot which revealed the site’s full dimension and complexity. Its bull-headed capitals, enamel friezes of richly-clad archers holding spears, figures of noble lions and winged monsters, introduced a new iconography into the ancient Persian world. The discovery and excavation of the palace, which this book records, thus casts a new light on the beginnings of the Achaemenid period. Edited by the distinguished scholar of ancient Persia, John Curtis, the lavishly illustrated volume is a work of seminal importance for the understanding of ancient Persia, likely to be radically altered by Perrot’s research and findings.

Linguistic Studies

Title: R. Holmstedt and A. Schade (eds) Linguistic Studies in Phoenician: In Memory of J. Brian Peckham, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, Indiana, 2013.

Keywords: semitic languages - Phoenician

Abstract: This volume honors the late Professor J. Brian Peckham, a scholar who has been instrumental in furthering the cause of Phoenician studies over the past decades. His passion made him an exceptional teacher, and his research on Phoenician studies resulted in his Phoenicia: Episodes and Anecdotes from the Ancient Mediterranean, which he finished just prior to his passing in September 2008, and is now in press (Eisenbrauns).

This collection of studies dedicated to his memory is aimed at advancing our understanding of the grammatical and historical features of the Phoenician language, a favorite topic that Professor Peckham rigorously studied and taught. The first set of studies concentrates on linguistic features of Phoenician qua Phoenician. They include investigations of phonology and morphology, as well as linguistic approaches to syntax and text-level pragmatics. The second set of studies seeks to situate aspects of the Phoenician language typologically or within comparative, etymological, and historical Semitics. The result is a group of studies covering topics ranging from case endings, negation, pronominal usage, and phonology to dialectology, etymologies, and text linguistics. Given the use of Phoenician throughout the Mediterranean littoral, this volume contains something of interest for numerous areas of investigation, including comparative Semitics, Anatolian, early Mediterranean, and even Hebrew and biblical studies.


Title: S. Mühl Siedlungsgeschichte im mittleren Osttigrisgebiet: Vom Neolithikum bis in die neuassyrische Zeit, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2013.

Keywords: archaeology - material culture - Iraq - Assyria

Abstract: Die Region zwischen den Flüssen Tigris, Großer Zab und Diyala und den Randhängen des Zagros-Gebirges zeichnet sich durch eine große landschaftliche und klimatische Diversität aus. Diese prägte vom 7. bis 1. Jahrtausend v.Chr. nicht nur nachhaltig menschliches Siedlungsverhalten, sondern auch die wirtschaftlichen, politischen und kulturellen Beziehungen zu benachbarten Regionen, so dass sich das Gebiet in vielfacher Hinsicht als Grenzregion fassen lässt. Simone Mühl geht in ihrer Untersuchung zur wechselseitigen Geschichte des mittleren Osttigrisgebiets von archäologischem Material aus Notgrabungen des irakischen Antikendienstes in der Umgebung von Assur, der ersten Hauptstadt des assyrischen Reiches, aus. Um Aspekte kultureller Unterschiede oder Gemeinsamkeiten der Kulturgruppen nördlich und südlich des Kleinen Zab näher zu beleuchten, werden die Funde und Befunde dieser Untersuchungen in einen regionalen und überregionalen Kontext eingebettet. Zudem wird die Analyse des archäologischen Materials mit der Fernerkundung der Region anhand von Satellitenbildaufnahmen kombiniert. Dabei wird die Landschaft auf anthropogen verursachte Veränderungen untersucht und es konnten beispielsweise 1672 Tell- und Flachsiedlungen lokalisiert sowie das antike Verkehrs- und Bewässerungsnetz in erhaltenen Teilen kartiert, rekonstruiert und kontextualisiert werden. Mühls Studie liefert nicht nur wichtige Einblicke in das Wechselspiel von Innovation und Kulturtransfer, sondern auch in die Abgrenzung von Kulturgruppen im mittleren Osttigrisgebiet und bildet so die Grundlage für ein neues Verständnis ökonomischer und soziokultureller Entwicklungen, die der Region am Tigris ihr noch heute sichtbares Gepräge gegeben haben (Table of Contents).


Title: C. Beuger Die Keramik der Älteren Ischtar-Tempel in Assur: Von der zweiten Hälfte des 3. bis zur Mitte des 2. Jahrtausends v. Chr., Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2013.

Keywords: archaeology - material culture - religion

Abstract: Die sogenannten Älteren Ischtar-Tempel gelten als der am besten dokumentierte Baukomplex in Assur, der Keimzelle des späteren assyrischen Reiches. Zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts wurden diese Befunde unter der Leitung von Walter Andrae bis auf den anstehenden Fels hinab ausgegraben und es konnten die vermutlich frühesten erhaltenen Kultbauten der Stadt freigelegt werden. Nachdem die Architektur und die wichtigsten Funde von dem Ausgräber selbst bereits in den 1920er Jahren vorgelegt wurden, hat sich Jürgen Bär im Rahmen des gut 70 Jahre später ins Leben gerufenen Assur-Projektes einer umfassenden Neubearbeitung der im Vorderasiatischen Museum zu Berlin einlagernden Dokumentation und Kleinfunde gewidmet. Zum gegenwärtigen Zeitpunkt verfügt Assur als einziger Fundort über eine vergleichsweise gut dokumentierte Keramiksequenz aus dem 3. bis 2. Jahrtausend v.Chr. Da Assur in einer Brückenregion zwischen dem südmesopotamischen und dem syro-anatolischen Raum liegt, erlaubt das von Claudia Beuger vorgestellte Material auch eine neue Diskussion und Definition der Grenzen und Gemeinsamkeiten der nord- und südmesopotamischen Keramikkulturen, insbesondere da heute intensivierte Feldforschungen unter internationaler Beteiligung im Nordirak wieder möglich sind. Mit ihrer Untersuchung leistet Beuger so einen wichtigen Beitrag zur Erforschung der Keramik der Älteren Ischtar-Tempel in Assur (Table of Contents).


Title: N. Crüsemann, M. van Ess, M. Hilgert, and B. Salje (eds) Uruk: 5000 Jahre Megacity: Begleitband zur Ausstellung "Uruk–5000 Jahre Megacity" im Pergamonmuseum–Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, in den Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen Mannheim, Michael Imhof Verlag, Petersburg, Germany, 2013.

Keywords: archaeology - religion - history - myth - material culture - writing

Abstract: Vor 100 Jahren begannen deutsche Archäologen in Uruk, dem heutigen Warka, die Frühzeit altorientalischer Kulturen zu untersuchen. Dank der Ergebnisse ist heute bekannt, dass die uns vertraute Lebensform, komplexes städtisches Leben, ihren Ursprung vor über 5000 Jahren in Uruk, im Süden Mesopotamiens, des heutigen Irak, hatte. Aber nicht nur die Entwicklung städtischer Lebensformen, sondern auch die Erfindung eines der ältesten Schriftsysteme der Welt, der Keilschrift, geht auf die erste Megacity zurück. Das Buch (Table of Contents) liefert anhand großzügig bebilderter Essays vielfältige Einblicke in eines der ältesten Kulturzentren Mesopotamiens und seine urbane, religiöse, gesellschaftliche und kulturelle Entwicklung.

AOAT 404

Title: O. Loretz, S. Ribichini, W. G. E. Watson, and J. Á. Zamora (eds) Ritual, Religion and Reason: Studies in the Ancient World in Honour of Paolo Xella, AOAT 404, Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2013.

Keywords: archaeology - religion - history - philology - art - historiography

Abstract: This festschrift (Table of Contents) in honour of Paolo Xella includes diverse studies in the fields of Near Eastern archaeology and epigraphy, texts and language, history and historiography.

Classica et Orientalia 5

Title: J. Haubold, G. B. Lanfranchi, R. Rollinger, J. Steele (eds) The World of Berossos: Proceedings of the 4th International Colloquium on "The Ancient Near East between Classical and Ancient Oriental Traditions", Hatfield College, Durham 7th - 9th July 2010, Classica et Orientalia 5, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2013.

Keywords: Babylon - literature - history

Abstract: This edited volume (Table of Contents), the first ever devoted to Berossos and his work, brings together leading scholars from a range of academic disciplines, including Classics, Assyriology, Iranology, Ancient History, Patristics, the History of Science and Renaissance Studies, to reassess the life, work and reception of one of the most fascinating and elusive figures in antiquity. The picture which emerges speaks powerfully of the enduring links between the classical world and the Ancient Near East; links which have profoundly shaped the development of European literature, culture and thought.

Cultures in Contact

Title: J. Aruz, S. B. Graff, and Y. Rakic (eds) Cultures in Contact: From Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean in the Second Millennium B.C., The Metropolitan Museum of Art Symposia, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2013.

Keywords: culture - trade - art - archaeology

Abstract: In conjunction with the 2008-9 exhibition Beyond Babylon: Art, Trade, and Diplomacy in the Second Millennium B.C. at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a series of lectures brought together major international scholars in a variety of fields concerned with the worlds of the Near East and the eastern Mediterranean in the middle and late Bronze Ages. Interconnections among these rich and complex civilizations extending from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean were developed in detail, ranging from reports of new archaeological discoveries and insightful art historical interpretations of material culture, to innovative investigations of literary, historical, and political aspects of interactions among these great powers. This symposium volume (Table of Contents), containing twenty-six essays, is an ideal companion to the exhibition catalogue, providing compelling overviews of the ancient Near Eastern and eastern Mediterranean cultures during this period that are both broad and deep in their range.

Luwian Identities

Title: A. Mouton, I. Rutherford, and I. Yakubovich (eds) Luwian Identities: Culture, Language and Religion Between Anatolia and the Aegean, Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 64, Brill, Leiden, 2013.

Keywords: culture - religion - Anatolia - Luwian - Hittite

Abstract: The Luwians inhabited Anatolia and Syria in late second through early first millennium BC. They are mainly known through their Indo-European language, preserved on cuneiform tablets and hieroglyphic stelae. However, where the Luwians lived or came from, how they coexisted with their Hittite and Greek neighbors, and the peculiarities of their religion and material culture, are all debatable matters. A conference convened in Reading in June 2011 in order to discuss the current state of the debate, summarize points of disagreement, and outline ways of addressing them in future research. The papers presented at this conference were collected in the present volume (Table of Contents), whose goal is to bring into being a new interdisciplinary field, Luwian Studies.

Archaeology, Artifacts and Antiquities

Title: O. White Muscarella Archaeology, Artifacts and Antiquities of the Ancient Near East, Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 62, Brill, Leiden, 2013.

Keywords: archaeology - material culture - art - Iran - Anatolia

Abstract: Archaeology, Artifacts and Antiquities of the Ancient Near East (Table of Contents) follows the evolution of the author’s scholarly work and interests and is divided into several categories of interrelated fields. The first part deals primarily with excavations and associated artifacts, issues in ancient geography and the identification of ancient sites in northwest Iran, the author’s research involving the culture and chronology of the Phrygian capital at Gordion in Anatolia, and the chronology and Iranian cultural relations of a site in the Emirate of Sharjah. Part two is wide-ranging and includes chapters on Aegean and ancient Near Eastern cultural and political interconnections, the role of fibulae in revealing cultural and chronological matters, and the gender-determined usage of parasols and their recognition in excavated contexts. There are also articles specifically concerned with “Plunder Culture” and the forgery of both objects and their alleged proveniences.

AOAT 395/1

Title: W. Mayer Assyrien und Urartu I: Der Achte Feldzug Sargons II. im Jahr 714 v. Chr., Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2013.

Keywords: military history - Neo-Assyria - imperialism- religion

Abstract: This volume (Table of Contents) includes a new transcription and German translation of Sargon's Letter to Ashur as well as an examination of the historical circumstances of the campaign and the significance of the text.

AOAT 395/2

Title: W. Mayer Assyrien und Urartu II: Die assyrisch-urartäischen Bilinguen, Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2013.

Keywords: military history - Neo-Assyria - imperialism- religion

Abstract: Walter Mayer’s second volume dedicated to the relationship of Assyria and Urartu during the 1st mill. BC presents the Assyro-Urartian bilingual texts of Urartian origin. Mostly found on stelae erected on exceptional places – regarding political and regional significance – the texts supplement and modify the historical information given in royal inscriptions. Additionally, they are of invaluable worth for analysing the Urartian lexicon. All texts are provided with independent translations of the Assyrian and the Urartian texts, philological commentaries and further background information. The volume is supplemented by an outline of the Neo-Assyrian of Urartu and extensive lists of all words and names, which enable further research.

Cambridge History, Ancient Religions

Title: M. R. Salzman and M. A. Sweeney (eds) The Cambridge History of Religions in the Ancient World, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013.

Keywords: religion - history - culture - Near East - Mediterranean

Abstract: The Cambridge History of Religion in the Ancient World (Table of Contents) provides a comprehensive examination of the history of the religions of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean world. The essays in these volumes have a broad reach, covering the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, and extending from the Bronze Age into the late Roman period. Its contributors, acknowledged experts in their fields, incorporate a wide spectrum of textual and material evidence into their analyses of their fields. The regional and historical orientations of the essays will enable readers to see how a religious tradition or movement assumed a distinctive local identity, as well as to understand how each tradition developed within its broader regional context. Supplemented with maps, illustrations, and detailed indexes, these volumes will be an excellent reference tool for scholars and students.

Assyrian Metalwork

Title: J. Curtis An Examination of Late Assyrian Metalwork: with special reference to Nimrud, Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2013.

Keywords: metallurgy - Nimrud - art - material culture

Abstract: Although the Assyrian kingdom that dominated the Ancient Near East between the ninth and seventh centuries BC had a rich material culture, attested particularly by the distinctive stone wall reliefs and colossal gateway figures, practically nothing is known about Assyrian metalwork. There has been no previous survey of this subject, largely because most of the material was not accessible. This volume makes available for the first time a vast amount of previously unpublished metalwork, much of it from the Assyrian capital city of Nimrud, excavated first by Sir Henry Layard between 1845 and 1851 and then by the British School of Archaeology in Iraq between 1949 and 1963. It emerges that Assyria had a thriving metalworking industry probably superior to any contemporary state in the region, and was producing large quantities of sophisticated bronze and ironwork, of high technical quality and sometimes elaborately decorated. This book will therefore be of interest to archaeologists, art historians and metallurgists. It is the publication of a PhD thesis that was successfully submitted in 1979. It is published here in its original form in order to make the large amount of primary data that it contains available to a wider circle of scholars.

Greece and Mesopotamia

Title: J. Haubold Greece and Mesopotamia: Dialogues in Literature, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013.

Keywords: Greece - Mesopotamia - comparative literature

Abstract: This book proposes a new approach to the study of ancient Greek and Mesopotamian literature. Ranging from Homer and Gilgamesh to Herodotus and the Babylonian-Greek author Berossos, it paints a picture of two literary cultures that, over the course of time, became profoundly entwined. Along the way, the book addresses many questions of crucial importance to the student of the ancient world: how did the literature of Greece relate to that of its eastern neighbours? What did ancient readers from different cultures think it meant to be human? Who invented the writing of universal history as we know it? How did the Greeks come to divide the world into Greeks and 'barbarians', and what happened when they came to live alongside those 'barbarians' after the conquests of Alexander the Great? In addressing these questions, the book draws on cutting-edge research in comparative literature, postcolonial studies and archive theory.


Title: Ö. Harmanşah Cities and the Shaping of Memory in the Ancient Near East, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2013.

Keywords: cities - memory - ideology - Iron Age - society - archaeology - architecture - environment

Abstract: This book investigates the founding and building of cities in the ancient Near East. The creation of new cities was imagined as an ideological project or a divine intervention in the political narratives and mythologies of Near Eastern cultures, often masking the complex processes behind the social production of urban space. During the Early Iron Age (ca.1200–850 BC), Assyrian and Syro-Hittite rulers developed a highly performative official discourse that revolved around constructing cities, cultivating landscapes, building watercourses, erecting monuments and initiating public festivals. This volume combs through archaeological, epigraphic, visual, architectural and environmental evidence to tell the story of a region from the perspective of its spatial practices, landscape history and architectural technologies. It argues that the cultural processes of the making of urban spaces shape collective memory and identity as well as sites of political performance and state spectacle.

Ancient Writing

Title: J. Englehardt (ed.) Agency in Ancient Writing, University Press of Colorado, Boulder, 2013.

Keywords: early writing - paleography - social archaeology - linguistics

Abstract: Individual agents are frequently evident in early writing and notational systems, yet these systems have rarely been subjected to the concept of agency as it is traceable in archaeology. This book addresses this oversight, allowing archaeologists to identify and discuss real, observable actors and actions in the archaeological record. Embracing myriad ways in which agency can be interpreted, ancient writing systems from Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Crete, China, and Greece are examined from a textual perspective as both archaeological objects and nascent historical documents. This allows for distinction among intentions, consequences, meanings, and motivations, increasing understanding and aiding interpretation of the subjectivity of social actors. Chapters focusing on acts of writing and public recitation overlap with those addressing the materiality of texts, interweaving archaeology, epigraphy, and the study of visual symbol systems. Agency in Ancient Writing, leads to a more thorough and meaningful discussion of agency as an archaeological concept and will be of interest to anyone interested in ancient texts, including archaeologists, historians, linguists, epigraphers, and art historians, as well as scholars studying agency and structuration theory.


Title: F. Pomponio, Testi amministrativi: Assegnazioni mensili di tessuti periodo di Arrugum (Archivio L. 2769), Parte II, Archivi Reali di Ebla Testi XV,2, Roma, 2013.

Keywords: Ebla - text publication - administrative texts - Arrugum

The Sumerian World

Title: H. Crawford (ed.) The Sumerian World, Routledge, London/New York, 2013.

Keywords: Sumer - geography - history - language - society - culture

Abstract: The Sumerian World (Table of Contents) explores the archaeology, history and art of southern Mesopotamia and its relationships with its neighbours from c.3,000 - 2,000BC. Including material hitherto unpublished from recent excavations, the articles are organised thematically using evidence from archaeology, texts and the natural sciences. This broad treatment will also make the volume of interest to students looking for comparative data in allied subjects such as ancient literature and early religions. Providing an authoritative, comprehensive and up to date overview of the Sumerian period written by some of the best qualified scholars in the field, The Sumerian World will satisfy students, researchers, academics, and the knowledgeable layperson wishing to understand the world of southern Mesopotamia in the third millennium.


Title: R. Hempelmann, Tell Chuēra, Kharab Sayyar und die Urbanisierung der westlichen Ğazīra (mit Beiträgen von Taos Babour und Matthias Hüls), Vorderasiatische Forschungen der Max Freiherr von Oppenheim-Stiftung 2, IV, Harrassowitz Verlag: Wiesbaden 2013.

Keywords: Tell Chuera - Kharab Sayyar - Djezira - Syria - urbanisation - material culture

Abstract: Excavations in Tell Chuera and near-by Kharab Sayyar between 1999 and 2007 yielded stratigraphical layers that date back to the beginning third millennium BC. They mostly date to a time before the "second urban revolution," when Tell Chuera developed "urban" characteristics with considerable size and the emergence of monumental architecture. These investigations provide important data on the prerequisites for urbanisation in the western Djezira. The author uses both stratigraphy and ceramics in order to create a periodisation and to discern to what extent the material culture can be taken to analyse changes in economy, society, and ideology.

Textile Production

Title: M.-L. Nosch, H. Koefoed & E. Andersson Strand (eds) Textile Production and Consumption in the Ancient Near East. Archaeology, epigraphy, iconography, Ancient Textiles Series 12, Oxbow Books: Oxford & Oakville 2013.

Keywords: textiles - production - consumption - documentation - archeology - epigraphy - iconography - case studies

Abstract: In the past, textile production was a key part of all ancient societies. The Ancient Near East stands out in this respect with the overwhelming amount of documentation both in terms of raw materials, line of production, and the distribution of finished products. The thirteen intriguing chapters (Table of Contents)) in Textile Production and Consumption in the Ancient Near East describe the developments and changes from household to standardised, industrialised and centralised productions which take place in the region. They discuss the economic, social and cultural impact of textiles on ancient society through the application of textile tool studies, experimental testing, context studies and epigraphical as well as iconographical sources. Together they demonstrate that the textile industries, production, technology, consumption and innovations are crucial to, and therefore provide an in-depth view of ancient societies during this period. Geographically the contributions cover Anatolia, the Levant, Syria, the Assyrian heartland, Sumer, and Egypt.

Oxford Handbook, State

Title: P. F. Bang & W. Scheidel (eds) The Oxford Handbook of the State in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean. Oxford 2013.

Keywords: state - polities - cross-cultural perspectives

Abstract: The Oxford Handbook of the State in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean (Table of Contents) offers a comprehensive survey of ancient state formation in western Eurasia and North Africa. Eighteen experts introduce readers to a wide variety of systems spanning 4,000 years, from the earliest known states in world history to the Roman Empire and its immediate successors. They seek to understand the inner workings of these states by focusing on key issues: political and military power, the impact of ideologies, the rise and fall of individual polities, and the mechanisms of cooperation, coercion, and exploitation. This shared emphasis on critical institutions and dynamics invites comparative and cross-cultural perspectives. A detailed introductory review of contemporary approaches to the study of the state puts the rich historical case studies in context. Transcending conventional boundaries between ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean history and between ancient and early medieval history, this volume will be of interest not only to historians but also anthropologists, archaeologists, sociologists, and political scientists. Its accessible style and up-to-date references will make it an invaluable resource for both students and scholars.

Semitic Languages

Title: G. Goldenberg, Semitic Languages. Features, Structures, Relations, Processes, Oxford 2013.

Keywords: Semitic languages

Abstract: This book offers a thorough, authoritative account of the branches of Semitic. These include some of the world's oldest attested languages, among them Akkadian, Aramaic, Hebrew, Arabic, and Ethiopic, as well as various modern languages. Gideon Goldenberg describes their history, geographical distribution, writing systems, and genetic classification. He examines their main features and distinctive characteristics, including their phonology, morphemes, derivational morphology, verbal systems, syntactic relationships, and their typological significance. He also discusses the pioneering work and achievements of medieval Arabic and Hebrew scholars in theoretical and descriptive aspects of grammar, lexicography, and philology. Professor Goldenberg's balanced, undogmatic account presents the fruits of a lifetime of original research: it will be widely welcomed by scholars and advanced students of the Semitic languages and linguistic typology.

MDP 58

Title: K. De Graef and J. Tavernier (eds) Susa and Elam. Archaeological, Philological, Historical and Geographical Perspectives. Proceedings of the International Congress held at Ghent University, December 14-17, 2009. Mémoires de la Délégation en Perse 58. Leiden & Boston, 2013.

Keywords: Susa - Elam - archaeology - philology - history - geography - proceedings

Abstract: In December 2009, an international congress was held at Ghent University in order to investigate, exactly 20 years after the 36th RAI “Mésopotamie et Elam”, the present state of our knowledge of the Elamite and Susean society from archaeological, philological, historical and geographical points of view. The multidisciplinary character of this congress illustrates the present state of research in the socio-economic, historical and political developments of the Suso-Elamite region from prehistoric times until the great Persian Empire. Because of its strategically important location between the Mesopotamian alluvial plain and the Iranian highlands and its particular interest as point of contact between civilizations, Susa and Elam were of utmost importance for the history of the ancient Near East in general (Table of Contents).

AJA 117/1 … Note on Ur

Title: N.F. Miller, "Symbols of Fertility and Abundance in the Royal Cemetery at Ur, Iraq," American Journal of Archaeology 117/1, 2013, 127-33 (see also AJA Homepage)

Keywords: fertility - abundance - Royal Cemetery - Ur - symbols

Abstract: Fertility and abundance are important themes of ancient Mesopotamian texts and images. The goddess Inanna and her consort Dumuzi personify these ideas in texts of the second millennium B.C.E. Excavated by Leonard Woolley in the 1920s, the Royal Cemetery at Ur dates to the mid third millennium B.C.E. Among the tombs, that of Queen Puabi yielded many ornaments of gold, carnelian, and lapis. Some of the pendants realistically depict identifiable animals. Others are more stylized depictions of clusters of apples, dates, and date inflorescences. Apples and dates are both associated with the goddess Inanna, who is associated with love and fertility. Twisted wire pendants in the same group of objects are not so readily identified. I propose here that the twisted wire pendants in the Puabi assemblage may literally represent rope, symbolically reference sheep, and narratively evoke the flocks of the shepherd Dumuzi. Pairing symbols of Inanna and Dumuzi evokes life in a place of death. This article considers and rejects the following identifications for the wire pendants: stylized palmette, pinnate leaf, grape (and implicitly any other fruit cluster), water, road, canal, and snake.

Siège néo-assyrien

Title: F. De Backer, L'art du siège néo-assyrien. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 61. Brill: Leiden & Boston 2013.

Keywords: military history - Neo-Assyrian - iconography - technology - siege

Abstract: The book investigates the military techniques used by the Neo-Assyrian armies on their military campaigns. These campaigns are depicted on the extensive reliefs. The author discusses their iconography and the different aspects of military tactics.

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