What is Assyriology
Unlike the cultures of ancient Rome, Greece, or Egypt, the ancient Near East has left few standing archaeological monuments that are capable of exciting the imagination of modern visitors. Apart from the remarkable reliefs from the Assyrian palaces, the majority of the artefacts from ancient Mesopotamia are modest in size and seemingly unimpressive. Inspired by the BBC's "A History of the World in 100 Objects" we list the one hundred most iconic inscribed objects from the Ancient Near East, objects that we think define the field.
In comparison with other ancient civilizations those of the Ancient Near East have left a very large textual record, comprising of primarily, but far from exclusively, everyday documents of both private and bureaucratic nature. The cdli:wiki keeps a tally of the cuneiform collections across the globe, and the number of documents, that is estimated to be in the range of 1/2 million or more.
Cuneiform tablets are archaeological objects, with not only a modern location (current collection), but also an archaeological provenience and a date of origin. The cdli:wiki provides lists of the most important find-spots of cuneiform tablets and an overview of dating methods and extensive chronological tools.
History of Assyriology
As part of its bibliographical tools cdli:wiki maintains a list of Who's Who in Cuneiform Studies, with brief biographies of deceased Assyriologists.