Stylesheet style.css not found, please contact the developer of "arctic" template.

Recent Publications in Assyriology

A list of Recent Publications in Assyriology and related fields with key words and abstracts (as well as links to TOC's when available online) (this list is based primarily on new arrivals of books and journals in the Sackler Library at the University of Oxford, please send additions and corrections to Lynn-Salammbô Zimmermann).

Current List


Elamite Rock Reliefs

Title: Álvarez-Mon, J., The Monumental Reliefs of the Elamite Highlands: A Complete Inventory and Analysis (from the Seventeenth to the Sixth Century BC), University Park, Pennsylvania: Eisenbrauns, 2019.

Keywords: Elam - Elamite - highlands - monumental reliefs - ancient Iran - remote locations cultural heritage - Izeh - Malamir - Xong-e Azdhar - Shah Savar - Shekaft-e Salman - Kul-e Farah - Ghale Tol plain - Qal-e Tul - Mamasani Fahliya river - Kurangun - Marvdasht plain - Naqsh-e Rustam - archaeological context - ritual-religious - aesthetic-ecological phenomena

Abstract: The Monumental Reliefs of the Elamite Highlands documents and analyzes for the first time a corpus of eighteen monumental highland reliefs from the Elamite civilization in ancient Iran, which—hitherto preserved by their remote location and anonymous existence—have recently become imperiled by an influx of tourists and the development of the surrounding landscapes. With this book, Javier Álvarez-Mon aims to safeguard this important part of Iran’s cultural heritage. The eighteen reliefs presented in this volume are spread across the valley of Izeh/Malamir (Xong-e Azdhar, Shah Savar, Shekaft-e Salman, and Kul-e Farah), the Ghale Tol plain (Qal-e Tul), the Mamasani Fahliyan river region (Kurangun), and the Marvdasht plain (Naqsh-e Rustam). In his analysis of these reliefs, Álvarez-Mon draws from the complementary disciplines of art history and archaeology, giving equal weight to the archaeological context of these artifacts and traditional methods of artistic analysis in order to determine the nature and significance of each artifact’s form and theme. At the same time, the book’s dual emphases on ritual-religious and aesthetic-ecological phenomena respond to the contemporary challenges of the dissociation of human existence from nature and the commodification of the environment on an unsustainable scale, presenting the preservation of this remarkable corpus of monumental art as a matter of urgency.

Penn Museum Middle East Galleries

Title: Tinney, S., and K. Sonik, Journey to the city: a companion to the Middle East galleries at the Penn Museum, Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2019.

Keywords: Philadelphia - Penn Museum - research - archaeological excavations - ancient Middle East - Middle East Galleries - planning - galleries - concepts - museology - urbanisation - Mesopotamia - Persia - modern Philadelphia

Abstract: The Penn Museum has a long and storied history of research and archaeological exploration in the ancient Middle East. This book highlights this rich depth of knowledge while also serving as a companion volume to the Museum's signature Middle East Galleries opening in April 2018. This edited volume includes chapters and integrated short, focused pieces from Museum curators and staff actively involved in the detailed planning of the new galleries. In addition to highlighting the most remarkable and interesting objects in the Museum's extraordinary Middle East collections, this volume illuminates the primary themes within these galleries (make, settle, connect, organize, and believe) and provides a larger context within which to understand them.

The ancient Middle East is home to the first urban settlements in human history, dating to the fourth millennium BCE; therefore, tracing this move toward city life figures prominently in the book. The topic of urbanization, how it came about and how these early steps still impact our daily lives, is explored from regional and localized perspectives, bringing us from Mesopotamia (Ur, Uruk, and Nippur) to Islamic and Persianate cites (Rayy and Isfahan) and, finally, connecting back to life in modern Philadelphia. Through examination of topics such as landscape, resources, trade, religious belief and burial practices, daily life, and nomads, this very important human journey is investigated both broadly and with specific case studies.

Fs Freydank

Title: Neumann, H., and D. Prechel, Beiträge zur Kenntnis und Deutung altorientalischer Archivalien: Festschrift für Helmut Freydank zum 80. Geburtstag, Münster: Zaphon, 2019.

Keywords: Assyria - Middle Assyrian - Hittite - Dūr-Katlimmu - inhabutants - rituals - incantations - Assyrian pedestals - divine symbols - Symbolsockel - Tukultī-Ninurta I. - Babylon - legal documents - Adad-bēl-gabbe II - Ḫašip-apu - Šaḫlu-Teššup - assembly - Old Assyrian city state

Abstract: Two dozen articles are devoted to the Assyriologist Helmut Freydank. In accordance with his special field of research several focus on Assyrian, especially Middle Assyrian, and Hittite topics. Almost a monograph by itself, S. Salah offers a complete and annotated inventory of the inhabitants of Dūr-Katlimmu. Hittite and Babylonian rituals and incantations are dealt with by contributions of B. Böck, B. Christiansen and S.M. Maul. A. Schmitt provides the reader with an update on Assyrian pedestals with divine symbols (Symbolsockel). Juridical questions of Hittite, Old, Middle and Neo-Assyrian periods are debated by B. Faist, D. Prechel, D. Shibata and K.R. Veenhof. (table of content)

Elamite Burial Practices

Title: Wicks, Y., Profiling Death. Neo-Elamite Mortuary Practices, Afterlife Beliefs, and Entanglements with Ancestors, Leiden: Brill, 2019.

Keywords: Southwest Iran - Neo-Elamite period - 1st millennium BC - Persian Empire - mortuary record - mortuary practices - ritual - belief - social structures - identity - Elam - lowland - highland - inhabitants

Abstract: Recent scholarship has begun to unveil the culturally rich and dynamic landscape of southwest Iran during the first half of the first millennium BCE (aka the Neo-Elamite period) and its significance as the incubation ground for the Persian Empire. In Profiling Death. Neo-Elamite Mortuary Practices, Afterlife Beliefs, and Entanglements with Ancestors, Yasmina Wicks continues the investigation of this critical epoch from the perspective of the mortuary record, bringing forth fascinating clues as to the ritual practices, beliefs, social structures and individual identities of Elam's lowland and highland inhabitants. Enmeshed with its neighbours, yet in many ways culturally distinct, Elam receives its due treatment here as a core component of the ancient Near East. (table of content)

Divine Hate

Title: Riley, A. J., Divine and human hate in the ancient Near East: a lexical and contextual analysis, Piscataway, New Jersey: Gorgias Press LLC, 2019.

Keywords: divine emotions - QAncient Near East - feelings - human - love - anger - joy - divine realm - hate - Hebrew Bible - Yahweh - hateful - ancient deities - Canaanite gods - Ugarit - Akkadian ocuments - deities - gods

Abstract: Divine emotion is a ubiquitous feature of ancient Near Eastern documents. These texts regularly assign the same spectrum of feelings experienced by humans (e.g., love, anger, joy) to the divine realm. Divine and Human Hate in the Ancient Near East: A Lexical and Contextual Analysis is a comprehensive study of divine hate. On seventeen separate occasions, the Hebrew Bible describes Yahweh as hateful. But an ascription of hate extends to more ancient Near Eastern deities than Yahweh. Canaanite texts from Ugarit and Akkadian documents also characterize their gods as hateful. The fundamental question guiding this inquiry is, is Yahweh’s hate comparable to instances of divine hate from the greater ancient Near East or is his hate different?

Methodologically, Divine and Human Hate is a lexical study of Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Akkadian lexemes for hate originating in divine figures. But since the ancients expressed divine emotion with terms from their own experiences, human hate receives attention as well. Divine and Human Hate is also a contextual analysis of divine and human hate in biblical Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Akkadian. Therefore, the book’s focus is comparing and contrasting instances of divine and human hate in biblical and cognate writings. (table of content)

Ancient Near Eastern Diplomacy

Title: Charpin, D., "Tu es de mon sang": les alliances dans le Proche-Orient ancien, Paris: Collège de France: Les Belles Lettres, 2019.

Keywords: Amarna correspondence - discovery - Akhenaton - origins of diplomacy - Ancient Near East - Syria - Turkey - Iraq - alliances - third to first millennium - 3rd to 1st millennium BC - synthesis - diplomatic exchanges - oaths - kings - true treaties - generations - population - sustainability of alliances - personal commitment - writing - binding agreements - - law - religion - birth of the state - Bible

Abstract: Il y a 130 ans, des paysans égyptiens découvraient par hasard des lettres adressées au pharaon Akhenaton à la fin du XIVe siècle av. J.-C. Ces tablettes en écriture cunéiforme, envoyées par les rois des régions alentours, ont ouvert une perspective passionnante sur les origines de la diplomatie dans le Proche-Orient ancien. Dans la lignée de cette trouvaille déterminante, de nombreuses fouilles menées depuis la fin du XIXe siècle en Syrie, Turquie ou Irak, ont dévoilé l’incroyable diversité des alliances conclues entre le IIIe et le Ier millénaire. L’ouvrage de Dominique Charpin, issu de son enseignement au Collège de France, dresse une synthèse sans précédent sur la question des échanges diplomatiques au Proche-Orient ancien. D’abord serments prêtés entre les rois, où le geste se joint à la parole sous l’égide des dieux, les alliances deviennent de véritables traités qui courent jusqu’aux générations suivantes et s’étendent à toute la population. L’expansion et la pérennisation des alliances traduisent le passage d’un engagement personnel à un écrit qui lie toute une collectivité. Exemple fascinant de la façon dont droit et religion s’entremêlent dans le Proche-Orient ancien, les alliances sont essentielles pour comprendre la naissance de l’État ou encore la façon dont les auteurs de la Bible concevaient celle entre Dieu et son peuple. (table of content)

Red Sea & Gulf Trade

Title: de Falco, D. J, Manzo, A., and C. Zazzaro, Diana J. (Eds), Stories of Globalisation: The Red Sea and the Persian Gulf from the Late Prehistory to Early Modernity, Leiden: Brill, 2019.

Keywords: Red Sea - Gulf - Maritime Routes - Economy - Trade - Sea - Late Prehistory - interactions - cultural interactions - cultural contacts - Mediterranean - Indian Ocean - harbour - Egyptian Bronze Age Harbour - Rock Engravings - Boats of Sinai - Pharaonic Maritime Expeditions - Riverboats - Seagoing Ships - lexicographical analysis - nautical terms - Old Kingdom - Late Bronze Age - Egyptian Coast - Sorghum Paintings - Meroitic Cemetery - Berber - Dispersal of sorghum - ancient production - trade - copper - Oman - Obsidian - Ethiopia - timber-frame architecture - Early First Millennium BCE - German Archaeological Institute - South Arabia - Northern Ethiopia - Bronze Age Reed Boats - Magan - Magillum - Meluḫḫa - Cuneiform Literature- imports - exports - pottery - glass vessels - First Millennium CE - South Arabia - commercial - cultural contacts - Red Sea Trade Routes - Berenike - Egypt - Eastern Desert - “exotic” cults - Roman Berenike - temples - harbour temenos - bead trade - Roman ports - Marsa Nakari - Leuke Kome - Greeks - Arabian Coast - Nautical Archaeology - Jeddah - Red Sea Commerce - Christianisation - Adulis - Western Indian Ocean Interaction - from the Mediterranean to India - Periplus - Persian Gulf Route - supply - Myos Hormos - foreign iconographic elements - iconography - South Arabian Art - Indian Contribution

Abstract: This book contains a selection of papers presented at the Red Sea VII conference titled “The Red Sea and the Gulf: Two Maritime Alternative Routes in the Development of Global Economy, from Late Prehistory to Modern Times”. The Red Sea and the Gulf are similar geographically and environmentally, and complementary to each other, as well as being competitors in their economic and cultural interactions with the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean. The chapters of the volume are grouped in three sections, corresponding to the various historical periods. Each chapter of the book offers the reader the opportunity to travel across the regions of the Red Sea and the Gulf, and from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean from prehistory to the contemporary era.

With contributions by Ahmed Hussein Abdelrahman, Serena Autiero, Mahmoud S. Bashir, Kathryn A. Bard, Alemsege, Beldados, Ioana A. Dumitru, Serena Esposito, Rodolfo Fattovich, Luigi Gallo, Michal Gawlikowski, Caterina Giostra, Sunil Gupta, Michael Harrower, Martin Hense, Linda Huli, Sarah Japp, Serena Massa, Ralph K. Pedersen, Jacke S. Phillips, Patrice Pomey, Joanna K. Rądkowska, Mike Schnelle, Lucy Semaan, Steven E. Sidebotham, Shadia Taha, Husna Taha Elatta, Joanna Then-Obłuska and Iwona Zych (table of content)


Fs Dittmann

Title: Übergangszeiten: altorientalische Studien für Reinhard Dittmann anlässlich seines 65. Geburtstag, Münster: Zaphon, 2018.

Keywords: materiality - suffering - animals - Tepe Sohz - Neolithic - Jordanian arid zones - anthropomorphic figurine fragment - Prastio Mesorotsos - sedentism - Cyprus - society - change - late Neolithic period - early Bronze age - southern Levant - Uruk period - glyptic - violence - interpretation - silence - noise - archaeological understandings - early dynastic “kudurru“ FMB 27 - palaeography - dating - new Proto-Elamite seal impression - Tappeh Sofalin - Central Iranian Plateau - Akkadian-style seal impression - Ur - intimate relations - Mesopotamian Mistress of the Animals - Ἡ Πότνια Θηρῶν - Münster - cuneiform texts - Assur - Anatolia - Temenos - Ur - Third Dynasty - Kassite Period - Old Assyrian - Šarra-mātā/ēn - Šarru-mātim - scales - loops - Bronze Age - Kangurttut burial ground - death - dying - Sumerian - poem - Kirtu - love - love song - Ḥurriya - Tešub - bulls - Ḫattuša - glazed Iron Age pottery - Northern Mesopotamia - offerings - shining sun - Šamaš - Shamash - Teʾumman’s Last Supper - Ashurbanipal’s Garden Party - Assyrian narrative art - Neo-Assyrian scale armour - Ziyaret Tepe - high drawbar - Neoassyrian - chariot - Neo-Babylonian - Achaemenid - Beirut - Phoenician - Roman - history - profile - vines - wine - early Christianity - Assur - Khalifan-district - Kurdistan - Kelišin-stela - Sindh - Swat valley - Pakistan

Abstract: Dreißig Beiträge in deutscher und englischer Sprache sind dem Archäologen Reinhard Dittmann (Universität Münster) gewidmet. Sie bieten eine breitgefächerte Auswahl an Themen der Vorderasiatischen Archäologie und der Assyriologie, von neolithischen und chalkolithischen Zeiten bis zum frühen Christentum im nördlichen Iraq, von Zypern im Westen bis zum Iran im Osten. (table of content)

Alphabetic Writing in Babylonia

Title: Bloch, Y., Alphabet scribes in the land of cuneiform: Sēpiru professionals in Mesopotamia in the Neo-Babylonian and Achaemenid Periods, Piscataway, NJ, USA: Gorgias Press, 2018.

Keywords: Late Babylonian period - alphabet - scribes - scribalcy - sēpiru - specialists - alphabetic writing - cuneiform - Babylonian temples - state administration - private business - ethnic background -

Abstract: This book treats the alphabet scribes in Mesopotamia in the Late Babylonian period (6th-5th centuries BCE). Bloch defends the understanding of the term sēpiru as a designation of alphabet scribes, discusses the functions of sēpiru professionals in Babylonia, and discusses their ethnic origins, with special attention to the participation of Judeans in Babylonia in this profession. The monograph includes translations of over 100 Late Babylonian economic, legal, and administrative documents. (table of content)

Melammu Symposia 9

Title: Fink, S. and R. Rollinger, Conceptualizing past, present and future : proceedings of the ninth symposium of the Melammu Project Held in Helsinki / Tartu May 18-24, 2015, Münster: Ugarit Verlag, 2018.

Keywords: Narratives - Herodotus - “Liberalizing Persia” - Herodot - Babylon - interpretation - emotions - perceptions - visual images - quoted speech - conceptualisation of history - Neo-Assyrian Eponym Lists - Eponym Chronicles - Babylonian chronicles - historiographical texts - style - historical-ideological background - ideology - authorship - motivation - chronicle - past - present - history - politics - Adad-narari - Sumerian kingship - Sumer - stereotypes - Late Old-Babylonian period - Camillus - Concordia and the libri lintei - Rome - Late Republic - Early Principate - reconstruction - Classical Historography - genre - problem of genres - Achaemenid sources - author - audience - Sitz im Leben - reception - gemstones - Gilgamesh - Gilgameš - authors of king lists - King List - hero - villain - dynasties - narrative traditions - presocratics - Ancient Near Eastern Cosmology - cosmogony - Burkert - Homer - Babylonian cosmogony - Babylonian Creation Myths - Cosmogonic Monism - India - Greece - Mesopotamia - abstraction - Sumerian ontologies - Neo-Assyrian Empire - ethnicity - language - identities - asceticism - autism - Marduk - origins - beginnings - Gyges - Croesus - Lydian history - Lydia - Plato - flood -

Abstract: This book contains the proceedings of the 9th Melammu Symposium which took place in Helsinki and Tartu from May 18-24, 2015. The meeting was part of Robert Rollinger's "Finland Distinguished Professorship", a position he held from 2010-2015 at the Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki where he was Research Director of the project "Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East". One of the major tasks of this position was to revitalize the Melammu Project, thus encouraging international, transdisciplinary research in studies of the Ancient World. The 9th Melammu Symposium was a kind of final event of the "Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East" project which was conceptualized, planned, and organized by the two editors of this volume together with an international committee of renowned scholars who were in charge of the different thematic sessions of the meeting. The dense program of the conference consisted of 42 papers and 15 poster-presentations, which, in particular, enabled young scholars to present their research to an international audience of specialists in different fields. The main aim of this specific Melammu Symposium was to foster collaboration between Classicists and Assyriologists. Accordingly, we conceptualized eight thematic sessions, which were organized by two session organizers, one of them a classicist, the other an Assyriologist (or Hittitologist). In addition, a general session and a young researcher's workshop took place. The session organizers invited the participants for their sessions and discussed the topics with them. All the sessions were framed by a general introduction to the topic and a response to the papers by the session organizers. (table of content)

Mémoires de N.A.B.U. 19

Title: Chambon, G., Parution de Florilegium marianum XV.: Les archives d'Ilu-kân : gestion et comptabilité du grain dans le palais de Mari, Antony (France): Société pour l'étude du Proche-Orient ancien, 2018.

Keywords: Mari - Mari palace - accounting - accounting texts - 1850–1600 BC - Mari official - Ilu-kân - administration - administrative texts - receipt - deliveries - grain - administrative terms - terminology - transactions - accounting practices - measuring - recording - material culture - scribal culture - social context

Ancient Sealing Practices

Title: Marta Ameri, M., Kielt Costello, S., Jamison, G., and S. Jarmer Scott, Seals and sealing in the ancient world: Case Studies from the Near East, Egypt, the Aegean, and South Asia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018.

Keywords: Ancient Near East - Egypt - Ancient South Asia - Aegean - 4th-2nd millennium BC - seals - sealing practices - social systems - political systems - economy - ideology - ancient world - ancient societies - description - documentation - chronology - dynasty - history - administration - administrative function - iconography - style - context - production - use - identity - gender - social life - artisans -producers - seal cutters - cross-culturalism - interdisciplinary approach - material culture

Abstract: Studies of seals and sealing practices have traditionally investigated aspects of social, political, economic, and ideological systems in ancient societies throughout the Old World. Previously, scholarship has focused on description and documentation, chronology and dynastic histories, administrative function, iconography, and style. More recent studies have emphasized context, production and use, and increasingly, identity, gender, and the social lives of seals, their users, and the artisans who produced them. Using several methodological and theoretical perspectives, this volume presents up-to-date research on seals that is comparative in scope and focus. The cross-cultural and interdisciplinary approach advances our understanding of the significance of an important class of material culture of the ancient world. The volume will serve as an essential resource for scholars, students, and others interested in glyptic studies, seal production and use, and sealing practices in the Ancient Near East, Egypt, Ancient South Asia and the Aegean during the 4th-2nd Millennia BCE. (table of content)

Bronze Age Maritime Trade (in the Eastern Mediterranean)

Title: Knapp, B., Seafaring and Seafarers in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean, Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2018.

Keywords: seafaring - seafarer - seascapes - merchants - mariners - pirates - material aspects - mobility - connectivity - risk - journeys - knowledge - experience - navigation - travel - distance - access - exotic - identities - ideologies - shipwrecks - ports - harbours - maritime transport containers - ships’ representations - boat models - stone anchors - fishing - fishing equipment - travel - communication - Levant - Egypt - Cyprus - Anatolia - 3rd millennium BC - Aegean - Late Bronze Age - after 1700/1600 BC - eastern Mediterranean - economic epicentre - monopolies - thalassocracies - networks - economic exchange - social exchange - maritime trade

Abstract: Seafaring is a mode of travel, a way to traverse maritime space that enables not only the transport of goods and materials but also of people and ideas — communicating and sharing knowledge across the sea and between different lands. Seagoing ships under sail were operating between the Levant, Egypt, Cyprus and Anatolia by the mid-third millennium BC and within the Aegean by the end of that millennium. By the Late Bronze Age (after ca. 1700/1600 BC), seaborne trade in the eastern Mediterranean made the region an economic epicentre, one in which there was no place for Aegean, Canaanite or Egyptian trading monopolies, or ‘thalassocracies’. At that time, the world of eastern Mediterranean seafaring and seafarers became much more complex, involving a number of different peoples in multiple networks of economic and social exchange.

This much is known, or in many cases widely presumed. Is it possible to trace the origins and emergence of these early trade networks? Can we discuss at any reasonable level who was involved in these maritime ventures? Who built the early ships in which maritime trade was conducted, and who captained them? Who sailed them? Which ports and harbours were the most propitious for maritime trade? What other evidence exists for seafaring, fishing, the exploitation of marine resources and related maritime matters?

This study seeks to address such questions by examining a wide range of material, documentary and iconographic evidence, and re-examining a multiplicity of varying interpretations on Bronze Age seafaring and seafarers in the eastern Mediterranean, from Anatolia in the north to Egypt in the south and west to Cyprus. The Aegean world operated on the western boundaries of this region, but is referred to more in passing than in engagement. Because the social aspects of seafaring and transport, the relationship different peoples had with the sea, and the whole notion of ‘seascapes’ are seldom discussed in the literature of the eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age, this volume devotes significant attention to such factors, including: mobility, connectivity, the length and purpose as well as the risk of the journey, the knowledge and experience of navigation and travel, ‘working’ the sea, the impact of distance and access to the exotic upon peoples’ identities and ideologies, and much more. (table of content)

Mesopotamian Medicine

Title: Fales, F. M., and F. Minen, La medicina assiro-babilonese, Roma: Scienze e Lettere, 2018.

Keywords: introduction - introductory manual - medicine - Mesopotamia - medical texts - ancient medicine - Assyrian-Babylonian - late 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - Italy - popular - history - technologies - living conditions - antiquity - West - East traditional medicine

Abstract: Questo libro rappresenta un manuale introduttivo a più voci sulla medicina dell’antica Mesopotamia, basato sulla lettura e interpretazione di testi in grafia cuneiforme e in lingua assiro-babilonese del tardo II e soprattutto del I millennnio a.C. Il volume, che non ha alcun precedente o parallelo in Italia, è concepito ad uso di un pubblico di lettori abituali e a vasto raggio, soprattutto interessato alla storia, tecnologie e condizioni di vita nell’Antichità. Per la sua tematica vasta e articolata e per la molteplicità degli spunti storico-culturali, il presente volume è fruibile e di stimolo anche per cultori di fasi più recenti della storia della medicina, in Occidente come in Oriente, per esperti di quelle medicine tradizionali ed etniche tuttora praticate in molte aree del mondo e, infine, per specialisti di area medico-scientifica odierna. (table of content)

Urkesh in the Syrian War

Title: Buccellati, G., Ermidoro, S., and Y. Mahmoud, I millenni per l'oggi. L'archeologia contro la guerra: Urkesh di ieri nella Siria di oggi, Firenze : Società Editrice Fiorentina, 2018.

Keywords: archaeological site - Syria - war - Urkesh - Tell Mozan - prode - protection - preservation - activities - dynamics - communities - social groups - destruction - violence - intentional iconoclasm - iconoclastic movements - source of hope - populations vicinity - project - model - sensitivity - archeology - discipline - value of territory - tradition

Abstract: Il libro, come la mostra a cui si accompagna, presenta la sorte del tutto particolare di un sito archeologico in Siria durante i recenti sette anni di guerra. L'antica città di Urkesh, oggi Tell Mozan, nella Siria nord orientale, è diventata un focolaio di attività che sviluppano, attorno al sito archeologico, una forte e inaspettata sinergia fra una varietà di comunità e gruppi sociali. In forte contrasto con la violenza distruttrice della guerra e di intenzionali e perversi movimenti iconoclastici, Urkesh è emerso come una fonte di speranza e un motivo di orgoglio per le popolazioni che vi gravitano attorno. In questa prospettiva, il progetto è anche diventato un modello di quella nuova sensibilità che l'archeologia come disciplina sta sviluppando - la sensibilità, cioè, per il valore del territorio come elemento portante in comune fra gli antichi e chi oggi vi abita. (table of content)

The Archaeology of the Old-Assyrian Trade

Title: Palmisano, A., The Geography of Trade: Landscapes of competition and long-distance contacts in Mesopotamia and Anatolia in the Old Assyrian Colony Period, Oxford: Archaeopress Archaeology, 2018.

Keywords: Old Assyrian period - 1970 – 1700 BC - trading - colony - Kaneš - Kaniš - Kültepe - Upper Mesopotamia - Central Anatolia - social - economic - political dynamics - Bronze Age - pre-modern trade - networking - network - settlement - archaeology - material culture - comparison - spatial perspective - exchange - strategies - economy - economic - trade routes - circuits - political landscape

Abstract: From the mid-20th century onwards, consolidated study of the merchant archives from the Old Assyrian trading colony at Kaneš (Kültepe) has not only transformed our understanding of the social, economic and political dynamics of the Bronze Age Near East, but also overturned many preconceived notions of what constitutes pre-modern trade. Despite this disciplinary impact and archaeological investigations at Kültepe and elsewhere, our understanding of this phenomenon has remained largely text-based and therefore of limited analytical scope, both spatially and contextually. This book re-assesses the Old-Assyrian trade network in Upper Mesopotamia and Central Anatolia during the Middle Bronze Age (c. 1970 – 1700 BC) by combining in some analytical detail the archaeology (e.g. material culture, settlement data, etc.) of the region both on its own terms and via a range of spatial approaches. The author offers a comparative and spatial perspective on exchange networks and economic strategies, continuity and discontinuity of specific trade circuits and routes, and the evolution of political landscapes throughout the Near East in the Middle Bronze Age. (table of content)

Nebuchadnezzar I in the Collective Memory

Title: Nielsen, J. P., The reign of Nebuchadnezzar I in history and historical memory, London: Routledge, 2018.

Keywords: Nebuchadnezzar I - Isin II period - Babylonia - independence - cult sanctuaries - priesthood - military campaigns - Assyria - Elam - return of the statue of Marduk - stories - utilisation - scholarly tradition - historiography - tradition - collective memory - memory creation - Babylonian scholars - historical memory - collective identity - Marduk’s rise - primacy - pantheon - 1st millennium BC - urban elite - power - symbolism - symbol - effect

Abstract: Nebuchadnezzar I (r. 1125-1104) was one of the more significant and successful kings to rule Babylonia in the intervening period between the demise of the Kassite Dynasty in the 12th century at the end of the Late Bronze Age, and the emergence of a new, independent Babylonian monarchy in the last quarter of the 7th century. His dynamic reign saw Nebuchadnezzar active on both domestic and foreign fronts. He tended to the needs of the traditional cult sanctuaries and their associated priesthoods in the major cities throughout Babylonia and embarked on military campaigns against both Assyria in the north and Elam to the east. Yet later Babylonian tradition celebrated him for one achievement that was little noted in his own royal inscriptions: the return of the statue of Marduk, Babylon’s patron deity, from captivity in Elam.

The Reign of Nebuchadnezzar reconstructs the history of Nebuchadnezzar I’s rule and, drawing upon theoretical treatments of historical and collective memory, examines how stories of his reign were intentionally utilized by later generations of Babylonian scholars and priests to create an historical memory that projected their collective identity and reflected Marduk’s rise to the place of primacy within the Babylonian pantheon in the 1st millennium BCE. It also explores how this historical memory was employed by the urban elite in discourses of power. Nebuchadnezzar I remained a viable symbol, though with diminishing effect, until at least the 3rd century BCE, by which time his memory had almost entirely faded. This study is a valuable resource to students of the Ancient Near East and Nebuchadnezzar, but is also a fascinating exploration of memory creation and exploitation in the ancient world. (table of content)

Chronology of Late Bronze Age Northern Syria

Title: Otto, A. (ed.) From Pottery to Chronology: The Middle Euphrates Region in Late Bronze Age Syria. Proceedings of the International Workshop in Mainz Germany, May 5-7, 2012, Gladbeck: PeWe-Verlag, 2018.

Keywords: chronology - relative chronology - absolute chronology - chronological anchor points - Late Bronze Age - 15th-13th century BC - Northern Syria - Upper Syrian Euphrates area - Emar - Tall al-Qitar - Tall Munbaqa - Umm el-Marra - Tall Bazi - pottery - ceramics - stratification - stratified ceramic material - dating - methodology - pottery sequence - parallels - settlement - criteria - internal criteria - datable objects - written documents - inscriptions - seals - tools - weapons - imported pottery - radiocarbon analysis - comparison - consistencies - differences - reliability - Tablet Building - Hadidi

Abstract: This volume is the result of an "International Workshop on the Chronology of the Late Bronze Age (15th-13th Century BC) in Northern Syria (Upper Syrian Euphrates Area): Emar, Tall al-Qitar, Tall Munbaqa, Umm el-Marra and Tall Bazi." It took place on May 5-7, 2012 at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat Mainz. The need for the workshop was felt by the excavators of the mentioned sites, because a considerable number of LBA sites has been investigated in the Upper Euphrates area by now, but the relative and absolute chronology of most sites is still a matter of debate. The workshop in Mainz tried to tackle the problem of the dating of the Late Bronze Age of the Upper Syrian Euphrates region with the most simple and obvious method. The excavators and pottery specialists of the relevant sites were for the first time brought together. Each team was asked to present its stratified ceramic material and to explain their methods of dating: had the pottery sequence been dated by parallel with another settlement? If so, with which settlement? Or had the stratified material been dated by internal criteria, by written documents or by other well datable objects such as seals, tools and weapons, imported pottery or others? Or had it been dated by radiocarbon or other scientific analyses? The defined aim, which was circulated among the participants in advance, was "By putting together and by comparing the relevant stratified material, it should be possible to discern the consistencies and differences within the material and the reasons for them." It was hoped that the date of the relevant levels and of the various destructions would become evident, when the reliability of the dating of the 'Tablet Building' at Hadidi to the 15th century was questioned and when each mission laid open its own dating methods, thereby avoiding the circularity of assumptions that had hitherto prevailed. This was not only achieved, but it was also able to establish new chronological anchor points for the Upper Euphrates valley. (table of content)

The Combat between the Storm-God and the Sea in the Hebrew Bible

Title: Töyräänvuori, J., Sea and the combat myth: North West Semitic political mythology in the Hebrew Bible, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2018.

Keywords: North West Semitic - myth - mythology - iterations - transformation - transfer - longevity - historic reality - Sea - Storm God - Sargon - Sargonic Empire - Amorites - Amorite Kingdom period - Hebrew Bible - sources - antecedents - symbolism - symbolic combat - polytheism - polytheistic Pre-Exilic kingship - monarchic institutions - Iron Age - Palestine - Israelite kingship - crisis - monarchy - power - legitimacy - tradition - cultural sphere - democratisation

Abstract: Sea and the Combat Myth examines the political use of the ancient North West Semitic myth of divine combat between the Storm-God and the Sea. The myth originated with the rise of the Sargonic Empire and was disseminated across ancient Near Eastern polities during the Amorite Kingdom period. Vestiges of the myth have also been retained in the Hebrew Bible: a myth of symbolic combat between the Storm-God and the Sea was likely used as a foundational myth by the mostly polytheistic Pre-Exilic kingship in Palestine. The study demonstrates how the myth was used in ancient North West Semitic societies to resolve the crisis of monarchy through appeal to numinous legitimacy, and how reading a selection of Biblical texts in the framework of the tradition confirms the use of the myth in the same context in the emergent Palestinian kingdoms of the Iron Age.

Most of what is known of Israelite kingship and the monarchic institution is largely based on later and ideologically slanted material, making the comparison of Biblical texts to their antecedents necessary. The book discusses references to the myth in the Hebrew Bible in connection with the relevant witnesses from relevant ancient Near Eastern traditions. Different iterations of the combat myth witness to the continuation, longevity, malleability, and the capacity of the myth to transform to suit changing historical realities. In contrast to previous research, the study demonstrates three distinct sources for the Biblical traditions in addition to living local iterations of the myth. In addition to vestiges retained in the Hebrew Bible, based on the analogy of preceding, concurrent, and continuing traditions in the shared cultural sphere, the accumulation of mythic traditions suggests that it was used in the Palestinian kingdoms to resolve the crisis of monarchy and to legitimize sovereign political rule. After the end of the Jerusalem monarchy, the myth was democratized and reforged to legitimize the existence of the people of Israel. (table of content)

Fs Stefan Zawadzki

Title: Koliński, R., Prostko-Prostyński, J., and W. Tyborowski, Awīlum ša la mašê - man who cannot be forgotten : studies in honor of Prof. Stefan Zawadzki Presented on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday (Alter Orient Und Altes Testament), Münster: Ugarit Verlag, 2018.

Keywords: Festschrift - Stefan Zawadzki - - shrine - prophet Jonah - Nineveh - Assyrian diaspora - Israelites - Biblical studies - Assyriology / goddesses - royal inscriptions - kings - Isin - Larsa - epistolography - Late Babylonian trial letters - Stanislaw Staszic - Egyptology - knowledge - attendants - participants - Hittite king - king’s funeral - Post-Assyrian period - Eastern Assyria - NBC 4847 - growth - herd - cattle 4 years - marital questions - marriage - Emar - Abyssinia - Ethiopia - India - tablets - fragments - Kültepe - Athens - Jerusalem - Jewish - Greek - interculturality - interculturalism - C. Iulius Asper - Senator Probus - Syriac chronicle - Pseudo-Zachariah Rhetor

Abstract: (table of content)

Fs Samuel M. Paley: Archaeology in Cyprus, Israel, and Turkey

Title: Pedde, F. and N. Shelley, Assyromania and More: In Memory of Samuel M. Paley, Münster: Zaphon, 2018.

Keywords: Cyprus - Israel - Turkey - Bronze I Cyprus - Phlamoudhi-Vounari - Karpass Peninsula - Leucolla - children - bangles - Southern Levant - Tel el Ifshar - Ashurnasirpal II - Northwest Palace - Alisar Höyük - Çadır Höyük 1993-2008 - Second Millennium BC - Seyitömer - excavations - economy - power - Achaemenid influence - regional economies - Western Anatolia - Megaron 3 - Megaron III - 8th century BC - 7th Century BC - Phrygian kings - Gordion - localisation - localising - Mt. Puškurunuwa - Central Anatolian geography - Assyromania - Cyprus - earrings - connection - trade - contact - West - Tell Billa - bull pendant - Middle Assyrian Assur - depiction - representation - cities - Syro-Anatolia - Neo-Assyrian art - timing space - spacing time - narrative principles - Assurbanipal - hunting - scene - hunt reliefs - room C - North Palace - Nineveh - Assur Project - Berlin: - Missing Central Palace - Tiglathpileser III - Nimrud - reconstruction - recreation - museum exhibitions - 3D visualization - architecture - buildings - Seyitömer Höyük - Turkey - graphical computer techniques - technology - techniques - King/Man in a (War) Cart - interculturality - interculturalism - appropriation - image - Early Achaemenid period - monumental art - Pasargadae - Anatolia - Anatolian objects - Buffalo Museum of Science - Neo-Assyrian - cylinder seal - Halieis - Greece - Achaemenid seal - Phrygian inscription - Phrygia - seal inscription - Linear B - o-pi-ti-ni-ja-ta - Homeric ἐπιτιμήτωρ - Labiovelar Palatalization - memories of Dr. Samuel Paley - circumcision - epispasm - myth - Jewish Weight - modern reception - New Babylon - New York architecture - 1920s - 1930s - use - abuse - Ancient Near Eastern Art - architecture - modernity - contemporary culture - fake tradition - Gilgamesh - Modern Art - painter - Willi Baumeister - Ancient Near East - contemporary history - heritage - archaeology - protest - protection - S.A.F.E. Nimrud - CHNT - Samuel M. Paley - archaeological heritage - human rights - dreams - sound

Abstract: More than 30 contributions are devoted to the memory of the Near Eastern Archaeologist Samuel M. Paley (1941-2010). Studies are devoted to the archaeology of Cyprus, Israel, Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq as well as to archaeological methods and technologies. A special focus is given to seals and iconography and the modern reception of the Ancient Near East. (table of content)

Neolithic and Chalcolithic Stamp Seals

Title: Denham, S., Late Neolithic and early Chalcolithic glyphs and stamp seals in the British Museum, London: The British Museum Press, 2018.

Keywords: stamp seals - 7000 BC-5000 BC- Middle Eastern Late Neolithic seals - Early Chalcolithic seals - negative impression - provenance - interpretation - role of seals - prehistoric history - use - production - administrative object - Neolithic context - glyphs - protection - magic - amulets - unification

Abstract: Stamp seals were used in a similar way to modern signet rings: a negative object used to impress a design into another material, often clay. They appeared around 7000 BC and have remained in use in parts of the world continuously until the present day. This volume focuses on the British Museum’s collection of Middle Eastern Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic (7000–5000 BC) seals used in modern-day Syria, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. In addition to a catalogue that includes all provenanced examples of stamp seals from this period in the British Museum’s collection, the volume presents a new interpretation of these intriguing objects by discussing the role of seals in prehistoric society. It looks at how the seals were used and why they were made, emphasising that whereas previous studies have assessed stamp seals as largely administrative objects, they should be interpreted in their own, Neolithic, context. To this end stamp seals are rebranded glyphs as this study argues that sealing was just one of their potential uses, along with broader identifying, protective and magical uses that worked to unite people across the Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic. The result is a fresh approach to Middle Eastern prehistoric glyptic studies that complements the increasing archaeological and theoretical interest in this period.

The Origins of Hematite, Goethite and Magnetite in Mesopotamia

Title: Melein, M. M., Iron Oxide Rock Artefacts in Mesopotamia c. 2600-1200 BC: An interdisciplinary study of hematite, goethite and magnetite objects, Oxford: Archaeopress Archaeology, 2018.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - 2000 BC - import - iron oxide rock - hematite - goethite - magnetite - weight stones - weights - cylinder seals - seals - seal amulets - region of origin - Northern Syria - archaeometry - geology - archaeology - technology - demand - change - use - processing - texts - textual evidence - description - magnetism

Abstract: The flourishing civilisations of Mesopotamia, nowadays Iraq and Syria, imported all kinds of materials from the surrounding regions. Iron oxide rock (hematite, goethite and magnetite) was very popular for weight stones and cylinder seals around 2000 BC. This research aims to determine the region of origin for the raw material, what made people start using iron oxide rock, and what led them to stop using it. To answer these questions, a multidisciplinary approach was applied. Geology and archaeology were combined to identify Northern Syria as the region of origin. Archaeometric research of the production process showed that technological change concurred with the start and end of the use of iron oxide rock. Cuneiform texts yielded, among other information, the earliest description of magnetism known to mankind. Furthermore, element and mineral composition of 50 artefacts from three Dutch collections were determined with modern, non-destructive analysis techniques. (table of content)

Neo-Assyrian Textile Terminology

Title: Gaspa, S., Textiles in the Neo-Assyrian empire: a study of terminology, Boston: De Gruyter, 2018.

Keywords: Assyria - 1st millennium - Neo-Assyrian Empire - textiles - textile terminology - Assyrian dialect -Akkadian - grammar - lexicon - terms - terminology - material culture - wool - fibre - raw materials - textile production - use - garments - administrative texts - administration - archives

Abstract: This book brings together our present-day knowledge about textile terminology in the Akkadian language of the first-millennium BC. In fact, the progress in the study of the Assyrian dialect and its grammar and lexicon has shown the increasing importance of studying the language as well as cataloguing and analysing the terminology of material culture in the documentation of the first world empire. The book analyses the terms for raw materials, textile procedures, and textile end products consumed in first-millennium BC Assyria. In addition, a new edition of a number of written records from Neo-Assyrian administrative archives completes the work. The book also contains a number of tables, a glossary with all the discussed terms, and a catalogue of illustrations. In light of the recent development of textile research in ancient languages, the book is aimed at providing scholars of Ancient Near Eastern studies and ancient textile studies with a comprehensive work on the Assyrian textiles. (table of content)

Mémoires de NABU 21/ Florilegium marianum XVI

Title: Reculeau, H., L'agriculture irriguée au royaume de Mari: essai d'histoire des techniques (tome 1 et 2), Paris: SEPOA, 2018.

Keywords: Mari - letters - agriculture - irrigation - land management - technology - 18th century BC

Abstract: This two-volumes monograph offers the edition or reedition of 65 letters and documents from Mari (Tell Hariri) pertaining to irrigation agriculture and the management of agricultural land, together with a comprehensive study of irrigation technology in 18th c. BCE Mari. (table of content)

Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 274/ Studia Phoenicia 22

Title: Abou-Abdallah, M., L'histoire du royaume de Byblos à l'âge du fer 1080-333, Leuven: Peeters Publishers, 2018.

Keywords: Byblos - Egypt - Huelva - Spain - end of 2nd millennium BC - 4 phases - relations - privileges - independence - connections - 853-610 BC - Assyria - Assyrian conquests - vassal - vassal status - tributes - Neo-Babylonian period - Babylon - Persian Empire - Persia - province - Trans-Euphrates - satrapy - fleet - money

Abstract: Cet ouvrage présente une étude multidisciplinaire sur l’histoire de Byblos basée sur l’exploration et la confrontation de différentes sortes de sources. L’auteur divise l’histoire de Byblos en quatre périodes principales. Entre la fin du deuxième millénaire et le milieu du 9e siècle, Byblos qui continue à conserver ses liens privilégiés avec l’Égypte jouissait d’une certaine indépendance qui lui a permis de se développer et d’entretenir des relations avec les habitants de Huelva en Espagne. Cependant, entre 853 et 610, Byblos, et à cause des conquêtes assyriennes, n’a pas uniquement perdu son indépendance, mais elle était contrainte de prêter allégeance aux souverains assyriens en versant des tribus. Cette situation n’a pas changé durant l’époque babylonienne qui a duré moins qu’un siècle. Durant l’époque perse (539-333), Byblos qui faisait partie de la province de Transeuphratène, a reconstruit sa flotte, et a émis ses propres monnaies. Faute de document, Byblos n’a pas pu révéler encore tous ses secrets. (table of content)

The Archaeology of Old Assyrian Trade

Title: Palmisano, A., The Geography of Trade: Landscapes of competition and long-distance contacts in Mesopotamia and Anatolia in the Old Assyrian Colony Period, Oxford: Archaeopress Archaeology, 2018.

Keywords: Assyria - Old-Assyrian period - Anatolia - Central Anatolia - Kültepe - kārum Kaniš - Kaneš - Kanish - Upper Mesopotamia - Middle Bronze Age - trade - merchants - economy - pre-modern trade - archaeology - archaeological investigation - space - contextuality - material culture - settlements - spatial approaches - comparative apporach - exchange networks - economic strategies - political landscapes

Abstract: From the mid-20th century onwards, consolidated study of the merchant archives from the Old Assyrian trading colony at Kaneš (Kültepe) has not only transformed our understanding of the social, economic and political dynamics of the Bronze Age Near East, but also overturned many preconceived notions of what constitutes pre-modern trade. Despite this disciplinary impact and archaeological investigations at Kültepe and elsewhere, our understanding of this phenomenon has remained largely text-based and therefore of limited analytical scope, both spatially and contextually. This book re-assesses the Old-Assyrian trade network in Upper Mesopotamia and Central Anatolia during the Middle Bronze Age (c. 1970 – 1700 BC) by combining in some analytical detail the archaeology (e.g. material culture, settlement data, etc.) of the region both on its own terms and via a range of spatial approaches. The author offers a comparative and spatial perspective on exchange networks and economic strategies, continuity and discontinuity of specific trade circuits and routes, and the evolution of political landscapes throughout the Near East in the Middle Bronze Age. (table of content)

Anu Cult in late Babylonian Uruk

Title: Krul, J., The revival of the Anu cult and the nocturnal fire ceremony at late Babylonian Uruk, Leiden: Brill, 2018.

Keywords: Anu - sky god - Uruk - Bīt Rēš - Anu temple - rise - ascension - patron deity - Late Babylonian period - 480-100 BC - Anu cult - development - historical reconstruction - theology - rites - worship - daily rites - practice - yearly nocturnal fire ceremony - seasonal renewal festival - exorcism - exorcistic component - local hierarchical relationships - hierarchy - elite - Anu priesthood

Abstract: In The Revival of the Anu Cult and the Nocturnal Fire Ceremony at Late Babylonian Uruk, Julia Krul offers a comprehensive study of the rise of the sky god Anu as patron deity of Uruk in the Late Babylonian period (ca. 480-100 B.C.). She reconstructs the historical development of the Anu cult, its underlying theology, and its daily rites of worship, with a particular focus on the yearly nocturnal fire ceremony at the Anu temple, the Bīt Rēš.

Providing the first in-depth analysis of the ceremony, Julia Krul convincingly identifies it as a seasonal renewal festival with an important exorcistic component, but also as a reinforcement of local hierarchical relationships and the elite status of the Anu priesthood. (table of content)

States and Empires in the ANE

Title: Altaweel, M. and A. Squitieri, Revolutionizing a world: from small states to universalism in the pre-Islamic Near East, London: UCL Press, 2018.

Keywords: universalism - states - empires - social change - sociology - social classes - social fabric - institutions - migration - population - population movements - setlement patterns - urban structure - material culture - trae - governance - language spread - religion - 8th century BC - 7th century CE - Neo-Assyrian Emprire - Neo-Babylonian Empire - Sassanian Empire -

Abstract: This book investigates the long-term continuity of large-scale states and empires, and its effect on the Near East’s social fabric, including the fundamental changes that occurred to major social institutions. Its geographical coverage spans, from east to west, modern-day Libya and Egypt to Central Asia, and from north to south, Anatolia to southern Arabia, incorporating modern-day Oman and Yemen. Its temporal coverage spans from the late eighth century BCE to the seventh century CE during the rise of Islam and collapse of the Sasanian Empire.

The authors argue that the persistence of large states and empires starting in the eighth/seventh centuries BCE, which continued for many centuries, led to new socio-political structures and institutions emerging in the Near East. The primary processes that enabled this emergence were large-scale and long-distance movements, or population migrations. These patterns of social developments are analysed under different aspects: settlement patterns, urban structure, material culture, trade, governance, language spread and religion, all pointing at movement as the main catalyst for social change. This book’s argument is framed within a larger theoretical framework termed as ‘universalism’, a theory that explains many of the social transformations that happened to societies in the Near East, starting from the Neo-Assyrian period and continuing for centuries. (table of content/free pdf version)


Rituals and Prayers

Title: Meinhold, W., Ritualbeschreibungen und Gebete II, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz 2017.

Keywords: rituals - prayers - protection - evil - communication - gods - favour - luck - health - Babylonian-assyrian cuneiform texts - descriptions - therapies - eyes -ears - illness - sickness - amulets - magic - ban - rules - visit - palace - rites - enemy - borders - approach - Assyria - Assur - Neo-Assyrian - “Haus des Beschwörungspriesters” -Assur temple

Abstract: Rituale und Gebete dienten im Alten Orient als Mittel zur Abwehr von Unheil verschiedener Art. Mit ihrer Hilfe sollte ein gutes Einvernehmen mit den Göttern hergestellt werden, von denen man Glück, Gesundheit und Schutz vor dem Zugriff unheilvoller Machte erhoffte. Der Band stellt 65 babylonisch-assyrische Keilschrifttexte mit Beschreibungen solcher Rituale und Gebeten vor: Darunter finden sich Beschreibungen von Therapien, welche die Heilung von Augen- und Ohrenleiden sowie anderen Gebrechen in Aussicht stellen, Anweisungen für Liebeszauber, Verfahren zur Abwehr von drohendem Unheil und Schadenzauber, Regeln für einen Besucher des Palastes, um mit Amuletten und Zaubersprüchen den Erfolg seiner Anliegen zu befördern, Handlungsanleitungen für Riten, die dafur sorgen sollten, dass sich der Feind den Grenzen des Landes nicht näherte, die Beschreibung einer Liturgie, in deren sakramentalem Rahmen sich das von Menschen gemachte Götterbild in die Gottheit selbst verwandelte und vieles andere mehr. Alle hier in Bearbeitung und Kopie publizierten Tontafeln wurden wahrend der Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft in der assyrischen Hauptstadt Assur gefunden. Die genaue Fundstelle innerhalb der Stadt ist leider oft nicht mehr zu ermitteln. Viele der neuassyrischen Texte durften jedoch aus dem sogenannten "Haus des Beschwörungspriesters" stammen. Fur die Mehrzahl der mittel- und frühneuassyrischen Tafeln kann man eine Herkunft aus den Ruinen des Assur-Tempels vermuten.

Viticulture in Anatolia

Title: Thys-Senocak, L. (ed), Of Vines and Wines: The Production and Consumption of Wine in Anatolian Civilizations through the Ages, Leuven: Peeters, 2017.

Keywords: wine - wine production - wine consumption - viticulture - Anatolia - Thrace - Neolithic period - civilisation - archaeological remains - textual evidence - documents - texts - archival texts - historical texts - works of art - records - chroniclers - chronicles - ethnographic data - ethnography - migration - demography - demographic patterns - advertising - legislation - contemporaneity - legacy - cultural heritage

Abstract: This volume explores the long, rich traditions of viticulture and wine production in Anatolia and Thrace, from the Neolithic era to the present day. Chapters by ten contributing authors illustrate the important and varied roles that viticulture has played in the Anatolian region, and how the vine and wine have shaped the civilizations of Anatolian peoples for millennia. Examining archaeological remains, archival and historical texts, works of art, the records of chroniclers, ethnographic data, migration and demographic patterns, and contemporary legislation and advertising, the ten authors collectively reveal the importance of wine production and consumption in Anatolia's past, and demonstrate why its legacy of tangible and intangible cultural heritage should be valued in the present, and protected in the future. (table of content)

Warfare in the Ancient Near East

Title: Trimm, C., Fighting for the King and the Gods: A Survey of Warfare in the Ancient Near East, Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017.

Keywords: history - ideology - warfare - war - Ancient Near East - viewpoints - victors - victory - battles - hardship - suffering - Ramses II - Hittites - Qadesh

Abstract: Fighting for the King and the Gods provides an introduction to the topic of war and the variety of texts concerning many aspects of warfare in the ancient Near East. These texts illustrate various viewpoints of war and show how warfare was an integral part of life. Trimm examines not only the victors and the famous battles, but also the hardship that war brought to many. While several of these texts treated here are well known (i.e., Ramses II's battle against the Hittites at Qadesh), others are known only to specialists. This work will allow a broader audience to access and appreciate these important texts as they relate to the history and ideology of warfare. (table of content)

Rituals at Doors and Gates

Title: Patrick Maxime Michel, Rites aux portes, Bern: Peter Lang, 2017.

Keywords: Leviticus - ritual text - ritual practice - sanctuary - extra-sanctuary - slaughter - tombs - entrances - graves - grave-entrances - tomb - entrances - rituals at grave entrances - necropoles - Ancient Egyptian necropoles - Egypt - New Kingdom - nyny - gesture - relief - depitions - temples - temple reliefs - scenes - Cleopatra III - queen - door - Temple of Khonsu - Karnak - Karnak Khonsu temple - depiction - temple entrance - “epiclesis” - cultural practices - invocation - symbolism gate - gates - Assyrian-Babylonian - Mesopotamian rituals - gates - gods’ gates - divine gates - Šumma ālu - divination - blocking gates - blocked gates - town gate - city gate - bābiš ina ketrîm lušīl - tajjārat mārat Sîn tešemme zikrī - talḫīšī askuppaša lupezzir - defence - justice - identity - function of city gates - Aštata - Late Bronze Age - Syria - Northern Syria - gate rituals - Anatolia - 2nd millennium - cult - outside - inside - Temple of Jerusalem - Ezekiel 8

Abstract: Le colloque organisé les 2-3 mai 2014 à l’Université de Genève avait pour but de donner une vue d’ensemble des connaissances sur les rites liés aux portes ou la ritualisation des passages à travers les portes dans l’Antiquité, plus précisément en Egypte, en Mésopotamie, en Anatolie, en Grèce et dans le monde biblique. Conçu sur deux journées, le colloque donnait d’une part la parole aux jeunes chercheurs de l’Université de Genève, d’autres part à des spécialistes internationaux.

Qu’on les traverse, qu’on les construise, qu’on cherche à les protéger, il existe tout un ensemble de pratiques rituelles spécifiques aux portes que les différentes contributions du recueil vont aborder. Il offre donc diverses réflexions tant sur les génies des portes que sur les rites de passage qu’on traite des portes urbaines, des portes de temples ou des portes de tombes. (table of content)

Nimrud Ivories

Title: Herrmann, G., Ancient ivory: masterpieces of the Assyrian Empire, London: Thames and Hudson, 2017.

Keywords: ivory - early 1st millennium BC - Age of Ivory - Kalḫu - Nimrud - Assyria - Neo-Assyrian Empire - gift - tribute - booty - discovery - Austen Henry Layard - 19th century AD - excavations - palaces - temples - forts - Max Mallowan - 20th century - modern destruction - Iraq - Iraq Museum - cultural heritage

Abstract: Ivory is a wonderful material: tactile, beautiful, workable into many different forms and the strongest in the animal kingdom. Unfortunately for the elephant, it has been highly prized from the Palaeolithic to the present day, in part by virtue of its rarity and the difficulty of acquiring it. During the early first millennium bc – the ‘Age of Ivory’ – literally thousands of carved ivories found their way to the Assyrian capital city of Kalhu, or modern Nimrud, in northern Iraq. The majority were not made there, in the heart of ancient Assyria, but arrived as gift, tribute or booty gathered by the Assyrian kings from the small neighbouring states of the ancient Middle Eastern world. The ivories were first unearthed in the mid-19th century by renowned Victorian traveller and adventurer Austen Henry Layard, but it was not until the mid-20th century that the extent of the treasure was realized by Max Mallowan, the archaeologist husband of Agatha Christie. Thousands of extraordinary ivories have since been excavated from the ruins of the ancient city’s extravagant palaces, temples and forts. In recent years, many have been destroyed or remain at risk following the invasion of Iraq and the sacking of the Iraq Museum, as well as in the ongoing conflict and destruction of cultural heritage in the region. As a result, the ivories preserved in these pages form a unique and unparalleled record of the otherwise lost art of the Middle East.

Mesopotamian Art and Architecture

Title: Bahrani, Z., Mesopotamia: ancient art and architecture, London: Thames and Hudson, 2017.

Keywords: Art - architecture - Mesopotamia - 8000 BC - 636 CE - historical public monument - art history - narrative representation - aesthetic commentaries - images - monuments - collection - conservation - animating statues - architectural construction - Ur - Babylon - Nineveh - Hatra - Seleucia - Tigris

Abstract: This book is the first in ten years to present a comprehensive survey of art and architecture in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq, northeast Syria and southeast Turkey), from 8000 BCE to the arrival of Islam in 636 CE. The book is richly illustrated with c. 400 full-colour photographs, and maps and time charts that guide readers through the chronology and geography of this part of the ancient Near East. The book addresses such essential art historical themes as the origins of narrative representation, the first emergence of historical public monuments and the earliest aesthetic commentaries. It explains how images and monuments were made and how they were viewed. It also traces the ancient practices of collecting and conservation and rituals of animating statues and of architectural construction. Accessible to students and non-specialists, the book expands the scope of standard surveys to cover art and architecture from the prehistoric to the Roman era, including the legendary cities of Ur, Babylon, Nineveh, Hatra and Seleucia on the Tigris. In this fascinating and compelling book, Zainab Bahrani introduces readers to the spectacular images and monuments of this region of the Near East, covering modern Iraq, northeast Syria and southeast Turkey. As the narrative unfolds, readers will learn about the art of the legendary civilizations that flourished between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, and how it was made and received. She addresses the present-day situation in these lands and the violent destruction that continues to threaten the rich cultural heritage of Mesopotamia. Chapter-opening maps and overviews guide readers through the geography and chronology of Mesopotamia, visiting the ancient cities of Ur, Babylon, Nineveh, Hatra and Seleucia on the Tigris. The book includes a glossary that defines all art-historical and technical terminology. (table of content)

Sumerian Onomasticon from Lagaš

Title: Balke, T.E., Das altsumerische Onomastikon : Namengebung und Prosopografie nach den Quellen aus Lagaš, Münster: Zaphon, 2017.

Keywords: catalogue - Old Sumerian names - Old Sumerian administrative documents - legal documents - Lagaš - al-Hibā - Ĝirsu - Tellō - é-munus - é-ba-ba6 - votive inscriptions - onomasticon - propography - occupations - administrative ranks - classification - identification - differentiation - persons - individuals - hypocorisms

Abstract: Th. E. Balke bietet einen Katalog der altsumerischen Namen. Auch die prosopografischen Merkmale, vor allem die berufliche und die administrative Klassifizierung der Personen, sind einbezogen worden. Diese Klassifizierung erlaubt in der Regel die gesicherte Identifizierung und Unterscheidung von Personen gleichen Namens und eine Verknüpfung der zahlreichen Kurzformen mit den eigentlichen Vollformen der Namen. Die Grundlage des Namenkatalogs bilden die in den ca. 1.850 altsumerischen Verwaltungs- und Rechtsurkunden des 25.–24. Jh. v. Chr. aus Lagas (al-Hibā) und Ĝirsu (Tellō) verzeichneten Personennamen und die Einbindung der Personen in den Wirtschaftskomplex des é-mí „Haus(halt) der ‚Frau‘ (= Herrschergemahlin)“ und des é-Ba-Ú „Tempel von Ba’U“. Berücksichtigt worden sind neben den im Wirtschaftsarchiv dokumentierten Personennamen sowohl die Personennamen der präsargonischen Weihinschriften aus Lagas als auch die der ältesten Rechtsurkunden. (table of content)

Persepolis Glyptic

Title: Garrison, M. B., The ritual landscape at Persepolis : glyptic imagery from the Persepolis fortification and Treasury, Chicago, Illinois : The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2017.

Keywords: Achaemenid Persia - glyptic - impressions - seal impressions - administrative tablets - Persepolis Fortification archive - religions - glyptic imagery - religious iconography - original scenes - Zoroastrianism - sacred fire - fire temples - fire worship - fire altars - visual language - ritual traditions - Empire - religious organisation - institutions - Darius I.

Abstract: There are, perhaps, no more contentious issues within the study of Achaemenid Persia than those surrounding its religion(s) and religious iconography. Owing to the role that fire plays in Zoroastrian beliefs in later periods in Iran, almost any discussion of the subject of Achaemenid religion will eventually turn to the identification of sacred fire, fire temples, fire worship, and fire altars in the archaeological, epigraphic, and literary records.

The focus of this book is a corpus of glyptic imagery preserved as impressions on two large archives of administrative tablets from Persepolis, the Persepolis Fortification archive (509–493 BC) and the Persepolis Treasury archive (492–457 BC). The glyptic imagery here published concerns representations of what have been traditionally termed “fire altars” and/or “fire temples.” Most of this glyptic evidence has never been published; many of the structures and the scenes in which they occur are strikingly original.

The goals of this study are to introduce a new corpus of visual imagery concerning religious ritual in the Achaemenid period and to explore the significance of this visual language for our understanding of ritual traditions emerging within the heart of the empire at its most critical formative period, the reign of Darius I. This study seeks also to use the Persepolitan glyptic evidence as a springboard to re-visit the most famous “fire altar” depicted in Achaemenid art, that on the tomb relief of Darius I at Naqš-e Rostam. The glyptic images assembled in this study are the most numerous, the most visually complex, and the best dated and contextualized evidence that currently exists for the study of fire in ritual, and religious ritual more broadly, in early Achaemenid Iran. This study is also an initial step in the development of a religious topography for the zone encompassing Persepolis and Naqš-e Rostam, a topography that includes both images and the built environment. (table of content)

Introduction to Mesopotamia

Title: Verderame, L., Introduzione alle culture dell'antica Mesopotamia, Firenze: Le Monnier Università, 2017.

Keywords: forgotten civilization - oldest written documents - rediscovery of Mesopotamian cultures - astrology - tower of Babel - Eden - organic synthesis - fundamental concepts - terrestrial geography - celestial geography - perception of time - calculation of time - physical aspects of the person - metaphysical aspects of the person - political events - military events - historical evolution - great topics - material culture - society - religion - daily life - food - sex - personal hygiene - clothing - perception of evil - fear of death

Abstract: Una civiltà dimenticata da millenni emerge dalla decifrazione dei più antichi documenti scritti. Questo volume guida il lettore alla riscoperta delle culture della Mesopotamia in tutta la loro ricca complessità. Gli elementi che appartengono all'immaginario comune quando si pensa alla Mesopotamia, come l'astrologia, la torre di Babele, l'Eden, sono qui presentati in una sintesi organica. L'autore passa in rassegna concetti fondamentali, come la geografia terrestre e celeste, la percezione e il computo del tempo, gli aspetti fisici e metafisici della persona, le vicende politiche e militari che hanno segnato l'evoluzione storica dell'area. Le pagine di questo volume dischiudono i grandi argomenti, come la cultura materiale, la società e la religione, ma anche quelli che sono gli aspetti più rilevanti della vita quotidiana, nel passato come nel presente, quali il cibo e il sesso, la cura della persona e il vestiario, la percezione del male e il timore della morte. (table of content)

The Revenge of an Old Assyrian Merchant

Title: Stratford, E., A Year of Vengeance: Time, Narrative, and the Old Assyrian Trade, Boston, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2017.

Keywords: Old Assyrian commercial time - Old Assyrian trade - Old Assyrian archives - regime of time - merchant - commercial activities - personal activities - recapturing time - narratives - Paul Ricouer - relationship between time and narrative - case study - Šalim-aḫum - case - revenge - historical interpretation - undated documents - 1 year - narrative - case of vengeance - trade disruptions - illnesses - commerce

Abstract: Despite significant advances in annual chronology, the Old Assyrian trade fundamentally lacked a regime of time at the level of the merchant’s commercial and personal activities. In this book, Stratford sets out to recapture time through narrative, drawing on the relationship between the two described by the philosopher Paul Ricouer. Investigating a possible case of revenge leads to weaving together more than a hundred mostly undated documents to form a narrative within the course of a single year of vengeance, including trade disruptions, illnesses, and commerce. This process demonstrates relationships between document and material context, and time and narrative. Along the way, Old Assyrian commercial time and its tempos become more clear, leading to descriptions of the scale of the trade and the nature of Old Assyrian archives as they have survived. Ultimately, the Assyrians involved appear as the earliest historical individuals in world history. The treatment of Šalim-aḫum’s apparent revenge comprises a practicuum in historical interpretation in the ancient world of interest to practitioners and theoreticians of both the ancient world and world history. (table of content)

Late Third Millennium Chronology

Title: Höflmayer, F., The Late Third Millennium in the Ancient Near East: Chronology, C14, and Climate Change, Chicago, Illinois: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2017.

Keywords: 2200 BC - societal collaps - Early Bronze Age - mid-late third millennium BC - Middle Bronze Age - transition - Ancient Near East - chronology - C14 - climate change - radiocarbon dating - urbanism - demise - southern Levant - central Levant - northern Levant - collapse of the Akkad Empire - end of the Egyptian Old Kingdom - absolute calendrical date s- Egyptian texts - Egyptian toponyms - radiocarbon chronology for Early Bronze Age Levant - late 3rd millennium - Eastern Mediterranean

Abstract:This volume contains the papers of the tenth annual University of Chicago Oriental Institute Postdoc Seminar on “The Early/Middle Bronze Age Transition in the Ancient Near East: Chronology, C14, and Climate Change. The seminar brought together specialists from various fields, including Egyptology, Near Eastern archaeology, radiocarbon dating and Assyriology. The articles in this volume discuss the complex interconnection between the rapid climate change around 2200 BC and societal collapses throughout the ancient Near East in the mid-late third millennium BC. A reassessment of this crucial period in Near Eastern history became necessary as radiocarbon dating projects conclusively showed that the Early Bronze Age chronology has to be raised considerably. Part I raises questions of urbanism and its demise in the Early Bronze Age southern, central, and northern Levant. Part II discusses issues of the collapse of the Akkad empire and how it might be connected to the rapid climate change around 2200 BC. Part III (Egypt) focuses on the end of the Egyptian Old Kingdom, and questions of absolute calendrical dates, but also presents a reassessment of Egyptian texts and toponyms based on the new radiocarbon chronology for the Early Bronze Age Levant. Part IV sets the topic into the wider context of the late third millennium Eastern Mediterranean. It is hoped that the present volume will serve as a concise reference for this crucial period in the coming years.

1. The Late Third Millennium B.C. in the Ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean: A Time of Collapse and Transformation. Felix Höflmayer

2. No Collapse: Transmutations of Early Bronze Age Urbanism in the Southern Levant. Raphael Greenberg

3. Economic and Political Implications of Raising the Date for the Disappearance of Walled Towns in the Early Bronze Age Southern Levant. J. David Schloen

4. The Transition from the Third to the Second Millennium B.C. in the Coastal Plain of Lebanon: Continuity or Break? Hermann Genz

5. Western Syria and the Third- to Second-Millennium B.C. Transition. Glenn M. Schwartz

6. “Seventeen Kings Who Lived in Tents”. Harvey Weiss

7. Ḫabur Ware and Social Continuity: The Chronology of the Early to Middle Bronze Age Transition in the Syrian Jezireh. Peter Pfälzner

8. Bioclimatic and Agroecological Properties of Crop Taxa: A Survey of the Cuneiform Evidence Concerning Climatic Change and the Early/Middle Bronze Age Transition. Aron Dornauer

9. Regional Environments and Human Perception: The Two Most Important Variables in Adaptation to Climate Change. Simone Riehl

10. Amorites, Climate Change, and the Negotiation of Identity at the End of the Third Millennium B.C. Aaron A. Burke

11. “What Is the Past but a Once Material Existence Now Silenced?”: The First Intermediate Period from an Epistemological Perspective. Thomas Schneider

12. Absolutely Dating Climatic Evidence and the Decline of Old Kingdom Egypt. Michael W. Dee

13. The Significance of Foreign Toponyms and Ethnonyms in Old Kingdom Text Sources. Roman Gundacker

14. A Gap in the Early Bronze Age Pottery Sequence at Troy Dating to the Time of the 4.2 ka cal. b.p. Event. Bernhard Weninger and Donald Easton

15. Comments on Climate, Intra-regional Variations, Chronology, the 2200 B.C. Horizon of Change in the East Mediterranean Region, and Socio-political Change on Crete. Sturt W. Manning

16. Egypt and the Levant in the Early to Middle Bronze Age Transition. Matthew J. Adams

(table of content/free pdf version)

Fs Emmanuel Laroche

Title: Mouton, A., L'Hittitologie aujourd'hui: Études sur l'Anatolie hittite et néo-hittite à l'occasion du centenaire de la naissance d'Emmanuel Laroche / Hittitology Today: Studies on Hittite and Neo-Hittite Anatolia in Honor of Emmanuel Laroche's 100th Birthday, Istanbul: Institut Francais d'Etudes Anatoliennes, 2017.

Keywords: Hittitology - Hittite - Luwian - Hurrian - syntax - Hittite “supine” construction - agreement patterns - collective nouns - YAYINLANMAMIŞ BAZI B - Luwian - title - Great King - Hieroglyphic Luwian - Epigraph - Urfa Külafli Tepe - Lycian Inscriptions - Tlos - Hittite Expressions - Šāra ar- - Sandas in Translation - individual - body - Kubaba in the Hittite Empire - expansion to Western Anatolia - Purušḫanda - Hurrian in Anatolia - late Bronze Age - Arzawa - localisation - Fasillar survey - Tabal - northern border - Alalakh - cult - ritual - Alalakh under Hittite administration - Alaca Höyük - Zeyve-Höyük-Porsuk - fortification - defence systems - Laroche - seals - Meskene-Emar - research in the Hurrian language - understanding - Lykian studies

Abstract: 100 years ago, Emmanuel Laroche was born. As a scholar who was fascinated both by Indo-European Linguistics and Ancient Near Eastern and Classical Studies, he had a durable impact on Hittitology through his numerous contributions. His publications dealt with History of Near Eastern Religions, Cuneiform Philology, and Hittite, Luwian, and Hurrian grammar, among many other topics. This conference was organized in honor of his 100th birthday. Its aim was to discuss the recent developments in Hittitology, the ones to whom Emmanuel Laroche contributed and the ones which occurred after his time. The following themes are dealt with in this volume: Anatolian Linguistics, Cuneiform and Hieroglyphic Philology and Epigraphy, Religions of Bronze and Early Iron Age Anatolia, History and Historical Geography of Asia Minor, but also Near Eastern Archaeology, as Emmanuel Laroche was also very close to this discipline. Let us add to those fields Historiography which illustrates, among other things, the impact of Emmanuel Laroche's work on today's Hittitology. (table of content)

Fs Hannes Galter/ AOAT 434

Title: Gießauf, J., Zwischen Karawane und Orientexpress: Streifzüge durch Jahrtausende orientalischer Geschichte und Kultur, Festschrift für Hannes Galter (Alter Orient und Altes Testament), Münster: Ugarit Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: redundancy - function of redundancy - Neo-Assyrian society - Ancient Persia - horses - horse breeds - Persian-Armenian areas - Inanna - war - battle - war cry - Sumer - Assur - Niniveh - Assyria in the Bible - trauma - traumatisation - 6th century - court documents - Uruk - Scythia Eurasian steppe - cartography of the Middle Ages - Hittite - Hittite kings - representation - iconography - Hittite kingship - sleeping gods - wakeful gods - Tibet - Soul Mountains - Soul Lakes - sacred landscape - Tibet - myths - “phantom” styli - Assur - Assyrian - religion - - North Syria - sacral spaces - outside - non-settlements - open landscape - temples - stelae - graveyards - religion of convenience - Islam - reception - Europe - mythological narratives - Inana’s Descent to the Netherworld (ID) - king and lion - predators - predator metaphors - OCR - Optical Cuneiform Recognition - North Mesopotamia - toponyms - 2nd millennium BC

Abstract: Wenn sich im vorliegenden Band international renommierte Forscher und Forscherinnen unterschied- lichster geographischer wie fachlicher Provenienz mit wissenschaftlichen Beiträgen einstellen, so tun sie dies unter der eini- genden Klammer inhaltlicher, persönlicher und vielfach freundschaftlicher Verbundenheit mit dem 1954 in Graz geborenen Jubilar. Einige AutorInnen widmen dabei ihre Artikel dem Assyriologen, andere dem Altorientalisten, eine dritte Gruppe dem Nahostexperten und wieder andere dem Volksbildner Hannes Galter. Alle diese Dedikationen sind zweifelsfrei ebenso zutreffend wie berechtigt – und im selben Moment doch viel zu kurz gegriffen. (table of content)

Fs Gregory E. Areshian

Title: Avetisyan, P.S. and Y.H. Grekyan, Bridging Times and Spaces: Papers in Ancient Near Eastern, Mediterranean and Armenian Studies: Honouring Gregory E. Areshian on the occasion of his sixty-fifth birthday edited by Pavel S. Avetisyan and Yervand H. Grekyan, Oxford: Archaeopress, 2017.

Keywords: Asia Minor - Nominal Compounds - Archaic Indo-European - Anatolian - Anatolian names - Old Assyrian - Carthage - political economy - Carthaginian constitution - reconstruction - archaeology - historical texts - epigraphy - Hittite toponymy - Pittiyariga - Anatolian loanwords in Armenian - Proto-Iliad - Indo-European Mythology - Greek - Anatolian - parallels - palatalization - Cyrus the Great - face - representation

Abstract: Bridging Times and Spaces is composed of papers written by colleagues of Professor Gregory E. Areshian on the occasion his 65th birthday reflecting the breadth and diversity of his scholarly contributions. The range of presented papers covers topics in Near Eastern, Mediterranean and Armenian archaeology, theory of interpretation in archaeology and art history, interdisciplinary history, historical linguistics, art history, and comparative mythology. The volume opens with an extensive interview given by Gregory Areshian, in which Gregory outlines the pathways of his academic career, archaeological discoveries, different intellectual quests, and the organic connections between research questions that he explored across different social sciences and the humanities, stressing the importance of periodizations in interdisciplinary history as well as his views on holism and interdisciplinary studies. (table of content)

Connections Between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley

Title: Laursen, S. and P. Steinkeller, Babylonia, the Gulf Region, and the Indus: Archaeological and Textual Evidence for Contact in the Third and Early Second Millennia B.C., Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2017.

Keywords: 3rd millenium BC - early 2nd millenium BC - Early Dynastic period - Sargonic period - Ur III dynasty - early Old Babylonian period - Miditerranean - Persian Gulf - Indus Valley - commercial network - cultural contacts - commercial contacts - archaeological data - textual sources - interactions - Tilum - Bahrain - Amorites - Meluhha - Meluhhan commercial outposts - Babylonia - Gu’abba - seaport - Gulf region - southeastern Iran

Abstract: During the third millennium BC, the huge geographical area stretching between the Mediterranean in the west and the Indus Valley in the east witnessed the rise of a commercial network of unmatched proportions and intensity, within which the Persian Gulf for long periods functioned as a central node. In this book, Laursen and Steinkeller examine the nature of cultural and commercial contacts between Babylonia, the Gulf region, and Indus Civilization. Focusing on the third and early second millennia BC, and using both archaeological data and the evidence of ancient written sources, their study offers an up-to-date synthetic picture of the history of interactions across this vast region. In addition to giving detailed characterizations and evaluations of contacts in various periods, the book also treats a number of important related issues, such as the presence of Amorites in the Gulf (in particular, their role in the rise of the Tilmun center on Bahrain Island); the alleged existence of Meluhhan commercial outposts in Babylonia; and the role that the seaport of Gu’abba played in Babylonia’s interactions with the Gulf region and southeastern Iran (table of content).

Institutional Economics in Achaemenid/Seleucid Babylonia

Title: Pirngruber, R., The Economy of Late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

Keywords: Late Achaemenid Babylonia - Seleucid Babylonia - statistical methods - regression analysis - modern economic theory - New Institutional Economics - contextualisation - prices - price data - Babylonian Astronomical Diaries - price history of Babylonia - land - labour - capital -factors of production - Babylonian scholarly accounts - Greek scholarly accounts - imperial politics - “exogenous shocks” - influence on price and demand - price volatility - storage - money - circulation

Abstract: In this book Reinhard Pirngruber provides a full reassessment of the economic structures and market performance in Late Achaemenid and Seleucid Babylonia. His approach is informed by the theoretical insights of New Institutional Economics and draws heavily on archival cuneiform documents as well as providing the first exhaustive contextualisation of the price data contained in the Babylonian Astronomical Diaries. Historical information gleaned from the accounts of both Babylonian scholars and Greek authors shows the impact of imperial politics on prices in form of exogenous shocks affecting supply and demand. Attention is also paid to the amount of money in circulation. Moreover, the use of regression analysis in modelling historical events breaks new ground in Ancient Near Eastern Studies and gives new impetus to the use of modern economic theory. The book explains the theoretical and statistical methods used so that it is accessible to the full range of historians (table of content).

Scientific Reasoning and Text Interpretation behind Old Babylonian Omen Collections

Title: Winitzer, A., Early Mesopotamian Divination Literature: Its Organisational Framework and Generative and Paradigmatic Characteristics, Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2017.

Keywords: Old Babylonian period - omens - omen collection - extispicy - divination - organisational structure - development - concepts - framework - literature - expression - scientific reasoning - conception of knowledge - textual interpretation - text-based interpretation - inter-omen organisation - spatial organisation - colour schemes - language - visual images

Abstract: In Early Mesopotamian Divination Literature: Its Organizational Framework and Generative and Paradigmatic Characteristics, Abraham Winitzer provides a detailed study of the Akkadian Old Babylonian (ca. 2000-1600 BC) omen collections stemming from extispicy, the most significant Mesopotamian divination technique for most of that civilization’s history. Paying close attention to these texts’ organizational structure, Winitzer details the mechanics responsible for their origins and development, and highlights key characteristics of a conceptual framework that helped reconfigure Mesopotamian divination into a literature in line with significant, new forms of literary expression from the same time. This literature, Winitzer concludes, represents an early form of scientific reasoning that began to appreciate the centrality of texts and textual interpretation in this civilization’s production, organization, and conception of knowledge (table of content).

Imperial Assyria

Title: Liverani, M., Assyria: The Imperial Mission, Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2017.

Keywords: Assyria - Assyrian empire - depotism - imperial mission - divine mandate - imperialism -ideology - god’s will - just war - holy war - battels - sieges - conquests - public display - image - celebration - reality - steles - marking territory - inscriptions - royal titulature - titles - justification - self-defense - oaths - transgression - taboo - punishment - forgiveness - destruction - reconstruction - Assur - city - centre of the world - core - periphery - provinces - governors - tributaries - deportees - communication network - technology - religion - language - prototype empire - imperialism

Abstract: In ancient traditions, Assyria was the first world empire in a series that continued with Persia, Macedonia, and Rome. After Rome, we imagine the series bifurcating into a Western trajectory (from Charlemagne to Napoleon and the Third Reich) and an Oriental trajectory (from the Parthians and Sasanians to the Abbasids until the modern Caliphate). Assyria, often overlooked or slighted by modern studies of empire, still maintains our interest because it provides an example of the simple form of empire and imperialism, before subsequent developments resulted in structures of greater complexity.

Most important among basic features of empire is the imperial mission the mandate given by the gods or God to the emperor to extend, through conquest or persuasion, annexation or hegemony, the only legitimate power of the central state to the entire (known) world. This accomplishment can only be ideological, since in practice no empire, ancient or modern, could actually conquer the world. Nonetheless, ancient empires could come closer to the target, because their known world, the mental map of their oikoumene, was limited to their close surroundings. Assyria, by bringing the most populated and civilized countries of its time (surrounded by mountains, seas, deserts) into submission came close to fulfilling its mission. In our modern, Western perspective, however, the term empire is usually applied to alien and despotic (mainly Oriental) polities, while we in the West prefer to belong to more democratic alliances.

Nevertheless, ancient Assyria still retains its value as a prototype of the empire of evil against which democracy fights and must resist. This book outlines the basic features of Assyrian imperialism within the framework of the general development of the imperial idea, all the while insisting on noting comparative material.

The intent is twofold: (1) to better understand Assyria through comparison with later empires, and (2) to underscore the relevance of the Assyrian model and its influence on later history. Although the first intention profits ancient historians, the second goal is addressed to modern and contemporary historians, who too often ignore (or at least disregard) the long historical background lying behind more recent developments. The world in general, in the present climate of globalization, deserves to be better informed about pre-modern and non-Western trajectories of world history (table of content).

The Reign of Sargon II.

Title: Elayi, J., Sargon II, King of Assyria, Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017.

Keywords: Sargon II - reign - inauguration - ascent to the throne - heir - position - relations - throne ascension - portrait - conquest - west - Palestine - Syria - Phoenicia - Cyprus - Egypt - northwest - Mushki - Phrygia - Que - Hilakku - Sama - Tabal - Bit-Purutash - Gurgum - Kummuhu - Kammanu - Melid - wars - north - Shubria - Amidi - Tushhan - Ukku - Kumme - Mashennu province - Rab-Shaqe province - Mannea - Urartu - Hubushkia - Musasir - east - central Zagros - Media - Ellipi - Elam - south - Arameans - Chaldeans - Babylonia - Dilmun - Arabian tribes - Khorsabad - Dûr-Sharrukîn - death - “sin” - chronology - assessment

Abstract: Josette Elayi’s book is the only existing biography of Sargon II, the famous Assyrian king, who was a megalomaniac and a warlord. Elayi addresses such important questions, including what was his precise role in the disappearance of the kingdom of Israel; how did Sargon II succeed in enlarging the borders of the Assyrian Empire by several successful campaigns; how did he organize his empire (administration, trade, agriculture, libraries), and what was the so-called sin of Sargon? Features: Interpretations of decisive events during the life and reign of the Assyrian king, an evaluation of Sargon II’s reig, maps and tables (full text and table of content).

Festschrift Postgate: Volume I

Title: Heffron, Y., Stone, A. and M. Worthington, At the Dawn of History: Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Honour of J.N. Postgate, Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2017.

Keywords: Festschrift - Postgate - Umma - gardens - Assyrian orchards - Šu-Suen year 9 - sa2-du11 ku5-ra2 - flour - Puzriš-Dagan - religion - economy - Old Babylonian - Nippur - earliest horoscopy - ceramic assemblage - early literate period - “international” relations - Babylonia - Assyria - seal inscription - Šagarakti-Šuriaš - Tukulti-Ninurta I. Sennacherib - population density - spatial dynamics - cities - number of inhabitants per hectare - settlement size - rubbish - urbanism - “Early Mesopotamia” - arches - vaults - domes - ethnicity - Assyria - Arameans - tribes - tribalists - instructions of Tukultī-Ninurta I - province - provincial governor - early Hittite state - gods - temples - cult - ending of the Çineköy inscription - New Palatial Ware - imitation of Egyptian Pottery - Brownish Red Slip (BRS) - Qatna - Northern Levantine ceramic tradition - Gertrude Bell - Karada - lexicon - Neo-Aramaic - slavery - freedom - army - Salmānu - Dūr-Katlimmu - Nergal - Hubšalum - Nergal-ereš - Middle Assyrian delivery notes - governors - Halzi-atbari - Neo-Assyrian period - Göksu Valley - Abu Salabikh tablets - Abu Salabikh - palace -

Abstract: Nearly 50 students, colleagues, and friends of Nicholas Postgate join in tribute to an Assyriologist and Archaeologist who has had a profound influence on both disciplines. His work and scholarship are strongly felt in Iraq, where he was the Director of the British School of Archaeology, in the United Kingdom, where he is Emeritus Professor of Assyriology in the University of Cambridge, and in the subject internationally. He has fostered close collaboration with colleagues in Turkey and Iraq, where he has been involved in archaeological investigation, always seeking to meld the study of texts with that of material remains.

The essays embrace the full range of Postgate’s interests, including government and administration, art history, population studies, the economy, religion and divination, foodstuffs, ceramics, and Akkadian and Sumerian language—in a word, all of ancient Mesopotamian civilisation. (table of content)

The Assur Temple in Assur (WVDOG 149)

Title: Gries, H., Der Assur-Tempel in Assur: Das assyrische Hauptheiligtum im Wandel der Zeit (Teil 1: Text und Katalog), Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: Ashur - Aššur - Assur - Assyria - world power - great power - god Assur - city - country - influence - Assur temple - central role - concept - legitimation of power - kingship - royal legitimisation - sanctuary - shrine - temple - building history - complete evaluation of excavation reports - architecture - catalogue of findings - usage of temple - rooms - function - inventory

Abstract: Nach dem Aufstieg Assyriens zur Großmacht in der 2. Hälfte des 2. Jahrtausends v.Chr. wurde der Gott Assur nicht nur für das Wohl der gleichnamigen Stadt verantwortlich, sondern auch für das ganze Land. Damit einhergehend nahm der Assur-Tempel eine zentrale Rolle in der Konzeption des gesamten Reiches ein und wurde Assyriens Ort der Herrschaftslegitimation. Zugleich war er das größte und wichtigste Heiligtum der Stadt Assur. Der Assur-Tempel zeichnet sich durch eine sehr lange Baugeschichte aus. Die frühesten Hinweise auf ein Heiligtum in diesem Gebiet stammen aus dem 3. Jahrtausend v.Chr., sein Ende fand er erst im Jahr 614 v.Chr. bei der Zerstörung der Stadt.

Der Band umfasst die erste vollständige Auswertung der gesamten Grabungsdokumentation. Enthalten ist neben der Neubearbeitung des Architekturbefundes auch ein Katalog aller Funde aus dem Assur-Tempel. Auf dieser Grundlage bietet die Arbeit neue Erkenntnisse über den Aufbau des Tempels und die Nutzungsdauer des Heiligtums sowie eine funktionale Analyse der Tempelräume und ihres Inventars.

Dieser Band beschließt die Reihe zu den monumentalen Gebäuden aus Assur, die im Rahmen des Assur-Projekts der Freien Universität Berlin, der Deutschen Orientgesellschaft und des Vorderasiatischen Museums Berlin bearbeitet wurden. (table of content)

Early Pottery in Western Asia

Title: Campbell, S., Nieuwenhuyse, O. and A. Tsuneki, The Emergence of Pottery in West Asia, Oxford: Oxbow, 2017.

Keywords: West Asia - Ancient Near East - Mesopotamia - pottery - Pre-Pottery Neolithic Period - Aceramic Neolithic Period - Ceramic Neolithic period - pottery adoption - Neolithic peoples - ceramic technology - cultural milieu - social milieu

Abstract: Over the past fifty years or so early pottery complexes in the wider region of West Asia have hardly ever been investigated in their own right. Early ceramics have often been unexpected by-products of projects focusing upon much earlier aceramic or later prehistoric periods. In recent years, however, there has been a tremendous increase in research in various parts of West Asia focusing explicitly on this theme. It has generally become accepted that the adoption of pottery in West Asia happened relatively late in the history of ceramics. Several regions are now believed to have developed pottery significantly earlier. Thus, pottery occurs in Eastern Russia, in China and Japan by 16,500 cal. BC and in north Africa it is known in the 10th millennium cal. BC.However, while the East Asian examples in particular do mark chronologically earlier instances, the picture in West Asia is actually rather more complex, in part because of the tyranny of the Aceramic/Ceramic Neolithic chronological divide. For the first time, The Emergence of Pottery in West Asia examines in detail the when, where, how and why of the arrival of the first pottery in the region. A key insight that emerges is that we must not confuse the reasons for pottery adoption with the long-term consequences. Neolithic peoples in West Asia did not adopt pottery because of the many uses and functions it would gain many centuries later and the development of ceramic technology needs to be examined in the context of its original cultural and social milieu. (table of content)

Neo-Assyrian Rituals and Prayers from Assur

Title: Meinhold, W., Ritualbeschreibungen und Gebete II: Keilschrifttexte aus Assur literarischen Inhalts 7, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: Assur - Neo-Assyrian period - Middle Assyrian period - exorcist’s house - Assur temple - rituals - prayers - anti-witchcraft - impending doom - curses - protection - gods - goodwill of the gods - luck - health - therapies - eye sickness - ear sickness - lovespells - rules - palace visits - enemies - resistance - defence

Abstract: Rituale und Gebete dienten im Alten Orient als Mittel zur Abwehr von Unheil verschiedener Art. Mit ihrer Hilfe sollte ein gutes Einvernehmen mit den Göttern hergestellt werden, von denen man Glück, Gesundheit und Schutz vor dem Zugriff unheilvoller Mächte erhoffte. Der Band stellt 65 babylonisch-assyrische Keilschrifttexte mit Beschreibungen solcher Rituale und Gebeten vor: Darunter finden sich Beschreibungen von Therapien, welche die Heilung von Augen- und Ohrenleiden sowie anderen Gebrechen in Aussicht stellen, Anweisungen für Liebeszauber, Verfahren zur Abwehr von drohendem Unheil und Schadenzauber, Regeln für einen Besucher des Palastes, um mit Amuletten und Zaubersprüchen den Erfolg seiner Anliegen zu befördern, Handlungsanleitungen für Riten, die dafür sorgen sollten, dass sich der Feind den Grenzen des Landes nicht näherte, die Beschreibung einer Liturgie, in deren sakramentalem Rahmen sich das von Menschen gemachte Götterbild in die Gottheit selbst verwandelte und vieles andere mehr. Alle hier in Bearbeitung und Kopie publizierten Tontafeln wurden während der Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft in der assyrischen Hauptstadt Assur gefunden. Die genaue Fundstelle innerhalb der Stadt ist leider oft nicht mehr zu ermitteln. Viele der neuassyrischen Texte dürften jedoch aus dem sogenannten „Haus des Beschwörungspriesters“ stammen. Für die Mehrzahl der mittel- und frühneuassyrischen Tafeln kann man eine Herkunft aus den Ruinen des Assur-Tempels vermuten. (table of content)


Title: Schwemer, D., The Anti-Witchcraft Ritual Maqlû: The Cuneiform Sources of a Magic Ceremony from Ancient Mesopotamia, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: rituals - step-by-step - witchcraft - magic - ant-witchcraft - Maqlû - ceremonies - Mesopotamia - incantations - exorcists - Babylonian literature - text reconstruction - manuscripts - provenance - historical context - variation - textual transmission

Abstract: This book examines the epigraphy and history of transmission of the cuneiform sources of the Maqlû anti-witchcraft ritual, one of the major compositions of ancient Mesopotamian exorcistic lore and a masterpiece of Babylonian literature. The performance of Maqlû, ‘Burning’, stretched over a whole night and included the recitation of almost a hundred incantations. In the course of the ritual, the victim of witchcraft is transferred from a state of imminent death back to life; he is purified and his bound state undone. The witches are assigned the fate they had intended for their victim by sending the witchcraft back to them. The book consists of three parts: First, an introduction to the Maqlû ceremony as a Babylonian anti-witchcraft ritual is provided; it includes an attempt at giving a step-by-step reconstruction of the ritual drama of Maqlû based on the instructions for its performance and the texts of its recitations. Next, a set of more specialized studies is devoted to various aspects of the cuneiform transmission of Maqlû: the history of the text’s reconstruction; the types of manuscripts; their specific provenance and historical context; variation in the textual transmission as well as spelling conventions and linguistic characteristics. Finally, the manuscripts are presented in ‘hand-copies’ (technical drawings) on the plates in the second half of the book. (table of content)

The Ur III Administration in Puzriš-Dagan

Title: Liu, C., Organization, Administrative Practices and Written Documentation in Mesopotamia during the Ur III Period (c. 2112-2004 BC): A Case Study of Puzris-Dagan in the Reign of Amar-Suen, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: Ur III period - Third Dynasty of Ur - Neo-Sumerian period - administration - Puzriš-Dagan - organisation - bookkeeping - bureaus - central bureau - subordinate bureaus - statistical analysis - prosopographical study - animal transactions

Abstract: This book aims to clarify the way that the Puzriš-Dagan organization functioned, by providing a comprehensive study of its organizational structures, administrative practices, and the written documentation dating to the reign of Amar-Suen, the third king of the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2112–2004 BC). This study depends on abundant Neo-Sumerian textual data (c. 6000 published and unpublished texts), which constitutes a promising source for Assyriological studies of the political, socio-economic, and religious history of the ancient Near East. In content, this book covers the organizational structures and administrative practices of functionaries in the Puzriš-Dagan organization, which consisted of one "central" bureau and various subordinate bureaus. Through a statistical analysis of text formulary and written documentation, it also contributes to the understanding of ancient Mesopotamian bookkeeping. Further, a prosopographical study of the enormous quantity of animal transactions undertaken by the Puzriš-Dagan organization sheds more light on the relationship between the Ur III court and its peripheries and vassal states, which represents an important chapter in the history of ancient Near Eastern diplomacy.

Royal Legitimization in the Ancient Near East

Title: Levin, C. and R. Müller, Herrschaftslegitimation in vorderorientalischen Reichen der Eisenzeit, Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2017.

Keywords: royal legitimacy - royal legitimization - Ancient Near East - Iron Age - Egypt - Levante - Babylon - Assur - Phoenician kingdoms - Kinalua - Tell Tayinat - Bukān - Tell Fekheriye - Sfīre - Balu'a - Yarih-'ezer - Askalon - Israel - Juda - Moab -iconography - archaeology - texts - textual sources - specific measurements of legitimization

Abstract: Der Sammelband behandelt Formen und Strategien von Herrschaftslegitimation, die in eisenzeitlichen Königtümern der Levante sowie in Mesopotamien und Ägypten ausgeprägt wurden. Anhand von ikonographischen, textlichen und archäologischen Zeugnissen werden die Grundmuster herausgearbeitet, mit denen in diesen Reichen königliche Herrschaft legitimiert wurde. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit gilt den kulturellen Wechselwirkungen, die zwischen den Regionen bestanden, sowie den Eigenheiten der einzelnen Königtümer. Schwerpunkte liegen auf Babylon und Assur, den phönizischen Königtümern, Kinalua/Tell Tayinat, den Inschriften von Bukān, Tell Fekheriye und Sfīre, den Bildwerken von Balu'a, Yarih-'ezer und Askalon, den Königtümern Israel, Juda und Moab, ägyptischen Einflüssen auf die levantinischen Reiche sowie der Königsmotivik im Hohenlied.


Joachim Friedrich Quack: Ägyptische Einflüsse auf nordwestsemitische Königspräsentationen? – Claus Ambos: Rituale der Herrschaftslegitimation babylonischer und assyrischer Könige – Karen Radner: Assur's »Second Temple Period«. The restoration of the cult of Aššur, c. 538 BC – Paolo Xella: Self-depiction and Legitimation: Aspects of Phoenician Royal Ideology- William Morrow: Famine as the Curse of Kings: Royal Ideology in Old Aramaic Futility Curse Series – Bob Becking: A Voice from Across the Jordan: Royal Ideology as Implied in the Moabite Stela – Angelika Berlejung: Dimensionen der Herrschaftslegitimität: Ikonographische Aspekte königlicher Selbstdarstellung in den Kulturen der südlichen Levante der Eisenzeit anhand der Bildwerke von Balu'a, Yarih-'ezer und Askalon – Reinhard Müller: Herrschaftslegitimation im israelitisch-judäischen Königtum. Eine Spurensuche im Alten Testament – Christoph Levin: Das Königsritual in Israel und Juda – Udo Rüterswörden: Das Königtum im Hohenlied – Timothy Harrison: Royal self-depiction and legitimation of authority in the Levantine monarchies of the Iron Age in light of newly excavated royal sculptures at Tell Tayinat.

Seals in the Collection Tono Eitel

Title: Neumann, G., Altorientalische Siegel und Keilschriftdokumente im Archäologischen Museum der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster. Die Stiftung der Sammlung Tono Eitel , Münster:Ugarit Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: Tono Eitel collection - Münster - cylinder seals - stamp seals - style - iconography - typology - motives - cuneiform documents - seal inscriptions - Egyptian seal inscription - Coptic seal inscription

Abstract: Der 20. Band der im Ugarit-Verlag Münster erscheinenden Serie „Altertumskunde des Vorderen Orients“ (AVO) enthält die wissenschaftliche Bearbeitung von 209 altorientalischen Roll- und Stempelsiegeln sowie von zwei altmesopotamischen Tontafeln und einer gesiegelten Tonbulle der dem Archäologischen Museum der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität Münster gestifteten Sammlung Tono Eitel. Die Siegel werden von dem Autor Georg Neumann, einem Absolventen der Universität Münster (jetzt Freie Universität Berlin), jeweils ikonografisch und stilistisch detailliert beschrieben und sowohl zeitlich als auch räumlich eingeordnet. Dem Siegelkatalog vorangestellt sind kurze einleitende Kapitel zur Siegelpraxis sowie zur Stil- und Motiventwicklung. Die Bearbeitung der Keilschriftdokumente sowie der sumerischen und akkadischen Siegellegenden erfolgte durch Hans Neumann vom Institut für Altorientalische Philologie und Vorderasiatische Altertumskunde der WWU. Annik Wüthrich vom hiesigen Institut für Ägyptologie und Koptologie übersetzte eine ägyptische und Ingo Kottsieper (Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen) eine aramäische Siegelinschrift.


Title: D'Agostino, F., Gilgameš : il re, l'uomo, lo scriba, Rome: L'Asino d'Oro, 2017.

Keywords: Gilgameš - Gilgamesh - Uruk - tradition - Babylonian literature - world view - spread - versions - death - representations

Abstract: Il volume intende introdurre il lettore a uno dei più straordinari testi della Mesopotamia antica, il Poema di Gilgames, re di Uruk. L’epopea è stata tramandata nella tradizione sumero-babilonese per oltre duemila anni, e la figura del suo eroe principale è stata continuamente rielaborata dalle culture che in corso di tempo hanno avuto il potere sulla Babilonia e si sono identificate nella sua visione del mondo (Sumeri, Babilonesi, Assiri, Cassiti, Caldei e altri ancora). La figura del re di Uruk ha superato i confini della Mesopotamia per entrare nelle letterature di popoli come gli Hittiti, gli Elamit e gli Aramei. Per ognuna di queste civiltà Uruk ha incarnato il simbolo per eccellenza di ciò che essi consideravano fondante della loro realtà: il re, che difende e rappresenta il suo popolo, lo scriba, che acquisisce la perfetta conoscenza di ogni cosa, e l’uomo, che sa soffrire e piangere per l’amico morto e fugge terrorizzato all’idea della morte stessa.

Wagons and Chariots in Mesopotamia and Ancient India

Title: Eder, C., Nagel, W., and E. Strommenger, Archaische Wagen in Vorderasien und Indien: Bauweise und Nutzung, Berlin: Reimer Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: wheels - chariots - transportation - carriage - construction - Mesopotamia - India - geographical distribution - cultural context - chariot types - tools - materials - draught animal - horse - donkey - cattle - function - use - cultic functions - early stages - early history - prehistory - philology - textual sources - technology - zoology

Abstract: Räderfahrzeuge zur Beförderung von Lasten gehören seit ihrer Erfindung im 4. Jahrtausend v. Chr. zu den bemerkenswertesten Schöpfungen der Zivilisation. Die Autoren dokumentieren die ersten Wagenkonstruktionen und deren geografisches und kulturelles Umfeld. Dabei betrachten sie unterschiedliche Fahrzeugtypen (Hakenwagen, Deichselbockwagen u. a.), die Werkstoffe und Fertigungsprozesse, aber auch die Zugtiere wie Pferd, Esel und Rind. Die Funktion der Wagen im Alltagsleben wird dargestellt, insbesondere der Gebrauch in kultischen Handlungen. So berühren die Verfasser ganz unterschiedliche Bereiche: die Vor- und Frühgeschichte mit ihren Ausgrabungen und kunstgeschichtlichen wie philologischen Bereichen, zudem die Technik- und Materialforschung sowie die Zoologie. Damit bieten sie einen Überblick über die Kulturgeschichte Vorderasiens und Indiens in archaischer Zeit. (table of content)

Anatolia and the International Trade 1500-1200 BC

Title: Kozal, E., Fremdes in Anatolien: Importgüter aus dem Ostmittelmeerraum und Mesopotamien als Indikator für spätbronzezeitliche Handels- und Kulturkontakte, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: Anatolia - late Bronze Age - 1500-1200 BC - West Asia - Ancient Near East - East Mediterranean - exchange - trade - goods - first “globalisation” - Babylonia - Egypt - Mycenaean Greece - Mycenaean civilization - Hittite kingdom - Levante - Cyprus - Aegean region - foreign goods - materials - object groups - vessels - figurines - reliefs - jewellery - weights - furniture - seals - game boards - typology - findspot - context - foreign relations - intensity - duration - meaning - neighbouring regions - cultural contact

Abstract: Während der Spätbronzezeit (ca. 1500-1200 v. Chr.) entwickelte sich in Vorderasien und dem Ostmittelmeerraum ein intensiver Güteraustausch, der vielfältiger Natur war und zu einer ersten „Globalisierung“ führte. Er wurde maßgeblich getragen von den Palästen der verschiedenen Großreiche von Babylonien über Ägypten bis zum mykenischen Griechenland sowie deren Vasallen in der Levante und auf Zypern. Der größte Teil Anatoliens wurde in dieser Zeit vom Hethitischen Reich beherrscht. In der vorliegenden Studie werden alle bekannten, aus dem Ostmittelmeerraum (Ägäis, Zypern, Ägypten, Levante) und Mesopotamien stammenden Fremdgüter behandelt, die in spätbronzezeitlichen Kontexten in Anatolien gefunden wurden. Es handelt sich dabei um Gegenstände aus unterschiedlichen Materialien, die sich verschiedenen Objektgruppen zuordnen lassen, u.a. Gefäßen, Figurinen, Reliefs, Schmuck, Gewichten, Möbelteilen, Siegeln, Spielbrettern. Alle Objekte werden typologisiert und hinsichtlich ihrer zeitlichen Stellung und ihrer Herkunft eingeordnet. Weiterhin werden die Fundkontexte ausgewertet, um ihre funktionale Bedeutung bestimmen zu können. Anhand dieser Fremdgüter lässt sich zeigen, welcher Art und Intensität die Beziehungen Anatoliens zu den verschiedenen Nachbarregionen waren, wobei genau zwischen den verschiedenen Gebieten innerhalb Anatoliens differenziert werden muss. Auf diese Weise wird Anatolien erstmals grundlegend in die Diskussion um das Austauschnetz der spätbronzezeitlichen Welt einbezogen. (table of content)


Title: Strommernger, E., Die Kleinfunde von Habuba Kabira-Tall IV, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: chattels - movables - furniture - pottery - forms - décor - decoration - marks - labels - figurines - gods - statuettes - divine figurines - house model - chariot models - animal figurines - furniture models - cult - cult practice - stone objects - mills - grinders - moulds - toolmaking - needles - pearls - production - potter - workshop - kiln - Habuba Kabira - south - early Sumerian settlement - surface - survey - north - 3rd millenium BC - tall - mount - houses - city wall - early 2nd millenium

Abstract: Im Gelände von Habuba Kabira-Süd fanden sich an der Oberfläche außerhalb der frühsumerischen Stadt „Habuba-Süd“ vereinzelte, etwa gleichzeitige Siedlungsspuren. Auch das Gelände weiter nördlich der alten Stadt war stellenweise bewohnt. Im Verlauf des 3. Jahrtausends v.Chr. entstand dort später der Siedlungshügel Habuba Kabira-Tall, dessen Bebauung mit meist einfachen Häusern und einer Befestigungsmauer bis in das frühe 2. Jahrtausend v.Chr. zu verfolgen ist. Wegen eines modernen Friedhofs mussten sich die Grabungen vorwiegend auf den Südosten des Siedlungshügels beschränken. Dort wurde schließlich die älteste Nutzung zur Zeit der Stadt Habuba-Süd und unter ihr der gewachsene Boden erreicht. In diesem Band wird das bewegliche Inventar der langlebigen Siedlung von Habuba Kabira-Tall vollständig publiziert. Besonders wegen der langen Besiedlungsdauer dürfte sich das hier vorgelegte Material bei der Interpretation mancher vereinzelter Befunde aus anderen Orten des Stauseegebietes als hilfreich erweisen. Sehr reich belegt ist natürlich die allgegenwärtige Keramik, deren Formen und Dekore im Laufe der Zeit mehrere Zäsuren erkennen lassen. Vertreten ist auch ein umfangreiches Inventar an Gefäßmarken. Zahlreiche kleine Götterfiguren aus gebranntem Ton sind ebenso wie Tierfiguren, Wagen-, Möbel- und Hausmodelle dem religiösen Bereich zuzuordnen. Steinerne Funde wie Getreidemühlen, Gussformen zur Herstellung von Geräten und Nadeln sowie Arbeitsplatten zur Perlenfabrikation deuten auf Produktionsprozesse hin. Ein Töpferofen und wiederholt beobachtete Fehlbrände verweisen auf eine gelegentliche Gefäßproduktion. Schriftzeugnisse fehlen und die Siegelglyptik ist nur sehr spärlich vertreten. (table of content)

Late Neolithic Ceramics

Title: Cruells, W.; Mateiciucová, I.; Nieuwenhuyse, O., Painting pots - painting people : late Neolithic ceramics in ancient Mesopotamia, Oxford : Oxbow Books, 2017.

Keywords: Neolithic ceramics - pottery - early ceramic traditions - 7000–5000 BC - late Neolithic pottery - production - evolution - distribution - technology - paint - painting - raw materials - decoration - social significance - Sitz im Leben - social context - networks

Abstract: Archaeologists have recently made tremendous advances in understanding the early ceramic traditions of the prehistoric Near East. Over the past decade there has been a huge increase in research focusing on various aspects of ceramic production, its origins and evolution, distribution and consumption in the Late Neolithic (ca. 7000–5000 cal. BC). Fieldwork brings new and exciting finds every year while laboratory studies change our perspectives regarding ceramic technology. Near Eastern ceramic specialists actively engage with, and contribute to, current trends in theoretical archaeology. For the first time, the 19 papers presented here bring together specialists discussing Neolithic ceramics from the Near East in the broadest sense. There is a general focus on decorated pottery traditions. What raw materials and ceramic technologies did Late Neolithic peoples employ? How did they paint their designs? How may we analyze decorated ceramics to explore social networks and identities? What did these decorated pottery traditions mean socially? Essential reading to Near Eastern prehistorians, these collected papers provide new insights for anyone interested in the development of early pottery traditions and the social significance of ceramics in Neolithic societies.

Akkadica 138

Title: de Meyer, L., Tanret, M., Homes-Fredericq, D., Fondation Assyriologique Georges Dossin, Akkadica, vol. 138, Bruxelles: Fondation assyriologique Georges Dossin, 2017.

Keywords: Sippar - Old Babylonian period - Ur-Utu archive - mail - incomin - outgoing - copies - letters - gender - women - Ancient Near Eastern studies - divine epiphanies

Abstract: Janssen, C., Incoming Mail, Outgoing Mail and Copies of Letters in the Ur-Utu Archive, 1-36; Garcia-Ventura, A., Zisa, G., Gender and Women in Ancient Near Eastern Studies: Bibliography 2002-2016, 37-68; Battini, L., L’épiphanie divine en Mésopotamie à travers les terres cuites, 69-106;

JMC 29

Title: Attia, A., Buisson, G., Worthington, M., Le journal des médecines cunéiformes, vol. 29, Saint-Germain-en-Laye: Azugal, 2017.

Keywords: medical texts - Uruanna III - AŠ - pain - stinging pain - equine boat - remedies - Sm. 460

Abstract: Rumor, M., The ‘AŠ section’ of Uruanna III in Partitur, 1-34; Salin, S., “Stinging Pain” in Assyro-Babylonian Medical Texts: Some Considerations, 35-48; Watson, W.G.E., A Remedy for Equine Bloat?, 49-53; Stadhouders, H., Addendum to Sm. 460, 54-55;

Orientalische Literaturzeitung 112

Title: Neumann, H., Orientalische Literaturzeitung, vol. 112, Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter, 2017.

Keywords: reviews - end of 2nd millenium BC - royal administrator - palace administrator - royal records - Urartu - Assyria - astronomical diaries - ritual prayers - hnd lifting - šuilla - Tell Chuēra - Kharab Sayyar - Ğazīra - Indo-European studies - Mallory - Semitic - classification - genealogy - classical Arabic literature

Abstract: The Assyriological and Semitistic Reviews are the following: Jacob, S., Urkunden der königlichen Palastverwalter vom Ende des 2. Jt. v. Chr. (Prechel, D., Freydank, H.), 119-121; Manieri, F., Assyrien und Urarṭu I (Mayer, W.), 122-127; Gehlken, E., Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia Vol. VII (Hunger, H.), 127-130; Zomer, E., Mesopotamian Ritual-prayers of „Hand-lifting“ (Akkadian Šuillas) (Frechette, C.G.) 130-131; Martin, L., Tell Chuēra, Kharab Sayyar und die Urbanisierung der westlichen Ğazīra (Hempelmann, R.), 131-134; Meyer, J.W., Otto, A., Stories of Long Ago (Baker, H.D., Kaniuth, K.), 134-136; Janda, M., Archaeology and Language: Indo-European Studies presented to James P. Mallory (Huld, M.E., Jones-Bley, K., Miller, D.), 136-139; Pat El, N., Genealogical Classification of Semitic (Kogan, L.), 153-156; Papoutsakis, N., Anton Spitaler: Erste Halbverse in der klassischarabischen Literatur (Müller, K.), 156-158; (table of content)

Overview: Babylonia under the Kassites

Title: Bartelmus, A. and K. Sternitzke, Karduniaš : Babylonia under the Kassites ; the proceedings of the symposium held in Münich 30 June to 2 July 2011, Boston, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2017.

Keywords: Middle Babylonian period - Kassites - Kassite period - Kaššû - cultural identity - Karduniaš - Babylonia - Dūr-Kurigalzu - excavation reports - Early Kassite period - Amarna letters - international communication - contacts - diplomacy - trade - gold - international relations - international marriages - Zagros - Elam - Elamite kings - servile population - workers - labourers - free - unfree population - standardisation - literature - extispicy - omens - kudurrus - legal aspects - gods - architecture - temples - art - funerary practices - tombs

Abstract: Karduniaš, as the kingdom of the Kassites in Babylonia was called in ancient times, was the neighbor and rival of great powers such as Egypt, the Hittites, and Assyria. But while our knowledge of the latter kingdoms has made huge progress in the last decades, the Kassites have until recently been largely ignored by modern scholarship. Recently a number of scholars have embarked on research into different aspects of Late Bronze Age Babylonia. The desire to share the results of these new investigations resulted in an international conference, which was held at Munich University in July 2011. The presentations given at this meeting have been revised for publication in the current volume. This book gives an overview of current research on the Kassites and is the first larger survey of their culture ever. An invaluable introduction by Kassite expert Professor John A. Brinkman is followed by seventeen specialist contributions investigating different aspects of the Kassites. These include detailed historical, social, cultural, archaeological, and art historical studies concerning the Kassites from their first arrival in Mesopotamia, during the period when a Kassite Dynasty ruled Babylonia (c. 1595-1155 BC), and in the subsequent aftermath. Concentrating on southern Mesopotamia the contributions also discuss Kassite relations and presence in neighboring regions. The book is completed by a substantial bibliography and a detailed index (table of content volume 1) (table of content volume 2).

SAA 20

Title: Parpola, S., Assyrian Royal Rituals and Cultic Texts, Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 2017.

Keywords: Assyria - Neo-Assyrian empire - Neo-Assyrian kingship - royal rituals - cult - cultic texts - public image - representative of god - vassals - enemies - Ištar - Aššur - New Year - New Year’s festival - audience - dignitaries - common people - foreigners - foreign dignitaries - coronation - battle - victory - daily liturgy

Abstract: The internal stability and cohesion of the Neo-Assyrian Empire to a very considerable degree rested on the public image of the King as an omnipotent earthly representative of God. Many elaborate rituals were designed and performed in order to promote this image and firmly implant it in the minds of the king's subjects, vassals and enemies. The corpus of royal rituals known to us includes a long series of ritual acts to be performed by the king in the temples of Aššur, Ištar and other gods; rituals performed during the New Year's festival and other seasonal festivals in front of audiences consisting of domestic and foreign dignitaries as well as common people; coronation, battle and victory rituals; rituals designed to secure the continuity of the royal line; a protocol for the royal dinner; directions for performing the daily liturgy in Assyrian temples, and so on. The present volume is a critical edition of all currently known Assyrian royal rituals and related cultic texts written in the Neo-Assyrian language. Many of these texts are previously unpublished or inadequately edited, and very few of them have been previously translated into English. They constitute an extremely important source for the study of Assyrian religion, cult and royal ideology and ancient Near Eastern religion and cult in general.

Subartu 39

Title: Kulakoğlu, F., Barjamovic, G., Proceedings of the 2nd Kültepe International Meeting. Kültepe, 26-30 July 2015. Studies Dedicated to Klaas Veenhof (Kültepe International Meetings 2), Turnhout: Brepols, 2017.

Keywords: Old Assyrian period - trade - business - diplomacy - diplomatic repercussions - complex business transactions - commercial interactions - Northern Syria - Ebla - Kültepe - archives - Alaku - Ennam-Anum - Aššur-Malik - grinding - burning - trading - archaeobotanical research - economy - economc differences - Anatolia - settlements - Middle Bronze Age - trade routes - caravans - upper Mesopotamia - Central Anatolia - slavery - immigrants - locals - natives - marriage - human teeth - analysis - strontium isotope analysis - bull altar - glyptic - god - Assur - early monumental structures - textiles - textile imprints - bullae - beeswax - Ur III period - metals - tin - experimental archaeology - smelting - Senir Sirti - Hisarcik - Kayseri - Kayseri province - Chalcolithic period - Acemhöyük - sealing - alternative sealing media

Abstract: This second volume of the Kültepe International Meetings collects sixteen papers on the Anatolian and Syrian Bronze Age under the headings "Movement, Resources, Interaction". This second volume in a series of publications of the Kültepe International Meetings collects sixteen papers on the Anatolian and Syrian Bronze Age read at the Second Kültepe International Meeting in July of 2015. It anchors the site in the dimensions of time and space by bringing together specialists to present studies on the effects of commercial and cultural interaction in a broad chronological and geographical perspective. Focus is on the period 2500-1600 BCE when Central Anatolia was divided into dozens of densely populated microstates, each centred on an individual urban and palatial institution, but connected through a shared linguistic, material and religious horizon. Tying together this competitive system of peer polities was also a complex network of commercial exchange operated by local and foreign merchants working in and beyond the region. The site of Kültepe provides the best documentation for this international network through a unique convergence of textual, physical and scientific data. This allows volume authors to extrapolate beyond the confines of the site itself to explore some of the foundational technological, commercial, cultural and biological connections that spanned the Eurasian landmass in the Bronze Age under the headings ‘Movement, Resources, Interaction’.

Movement: Murat Çayır, The 1997 Kültepe Texts: The Archives of Alaku and Ennam-Anum and his Son Aššur-Malik; Andrew Fairbairn & Nathan Wright, Grinding, Burning and Trading at Kültepe: Archaeobotanical Evidence for Economic Differences between Settlements in Anatolia's Middle Bronze Age; Alessio Palmisano, Drawing Pathways from the Past: the Trade Routes of the Old Assyrian Caravans Across Upper Mesopotamia and Central Anatolia; Jacob Jan de Ridder, Slavery in Old Assyrian Documents; Bike Yazıcıoğlu-Stantamaria, Locals, Immigrants, and Marriage Ties at Kültepe: Results of Strontium Isotope Analysis on Human Teeth from Lower Town Graves;

Resources: Eva Andersson Strand, Catherine Breniquet, Cécile Michel, Textile Imprints on bullae from Kültepe; Jan Gerrit Dercksen, New Evidence for Beeswax during the Old Assyrian Colony Period and the Ur III Period; Michael A. Johnson, Fikri Kulakoğlu, K. Aslıhan Yener, Gonca Dardeniz, Evren Yazgan, Experimental Smelting of Tin from Senir Sırtı and Hısarcık near Kayseri: Mostly Heartbreak, Some Elation; Melissa Ricetti, Sealing without a Seal: Alternative Sealing Media at Kültepe during the Old Assyrian Period;

Interaction: Alfonso Archi, Metals In Third Millennium B.C.: Standpoint Ebla; Mogens Trolle Larsen, A Complex Business Transaction with Diplomatic Repercussions. The Conflict with Ušinalam; Agnete Wisti Lassen, The ‘Bull-Altar’ in Old Assyrian Glyptic: A Representation of the God Assur?; Luca Peyronel, From Ebla to Kanesh and Vice Versa. Reflections on Commercial Interactions and Exchanges between Northern Syria and Anatolia during the Middle Bronze Age; Fikri Kulakoğlu, Early Bronze Age Monumental Structures at Kültepe; Hiroshi Sudo, Yuji Yamaguchi and Ryoichi Kontani, An Archaeological Assessment of the Kayseri Province during the Chalcolithic Period: New Evidence from the Archaeological Survey Project in Kayseri, Turkey (KAYAP); Klaas R. Veenhof, Acemhöyük: Seals, Chronology and History; (website)

The Archives of Princess Iltani (Tell al-Rimah)

Title: Langlois, A.-I., Les archives de la princesse Iltani découvertes à Tell al-Rimah (XIIIe siècle avant J.-C.) et l'histoire du royaume de Karana/Qaṭṭara, 2 volumes, Paris: SEPOA, 2017.

Keywords: Old Babylonian period - Karanâ - archive - princes - Iltani - daughter - Sâmû-Addu's - sister - Aqur-Addu - 150 documents - economic documents - husband - Haqba-Hammû - palace - Hadnû-rabi - Qattarâ - Mari - Mari palace - destruction - 18th century BC - woman - Šubat-Enlil - Šehnâ

Abstract: This work is based on a woman''s archive, which is worthy of interest and quite unparalleled in the cuneiform documentation available so far. This archive, consisting of a hundred and fifty economic texts, belonged to a princess, Iltani, Sâmû-Addu's daughter and sister of Aqur-Addu, king of Karanâ. She married Haqba-Hammû, a diviner, and lived in the old palace of Hadnû-rabi; king of Qattarâ. Iltani archive, dated to some years after the destruction of the Mari palace, is the major epigraphic source for the period and the region; it gives some - admittedly local - information about a period for which the documentation was lacking. The aim of this PhD was thus not only to study Iltani's archive tablets anew but also to bring out important details about the lifestyle of a woman living in an 18th century BC ancient capital, with the help of the corpuses of neighbouring sites such as Šubat-Enlil/Šehnâ, which was recently published, and Mari. A new edition of Iltani's archive was made possible thanks to my photographies of Iltani's tablets. They are the base of this thesis which highlights the characteristic features of this documentation. This thesis gives us a better knowledge of Iltani and her entourage, clarifies some aspects of their life and of the history of the kingdom they were living in. Another interest of this study is the description of the daily life of a high rank woman from Upper Mesopotamia during the Old Babylonian period, which helps to improve our understanding of the place of women in that society.

Archaeology in the Caucasus

Title: Rova, E., Tonussi, M., At the northern frontier of Near Eastern archaeology : recent research on Caucasia and Anatolia in the Bronze age = An der Nordgrenze der vorderasiatischen Archäologie : neue Forschung über Kaukasien und Anatolien in der Bronzezeit : (Publications of the Georgian-Italian Shida Kartli Archaeological Project, 2) : (Proceedings of the international Humboldt-Kolleg Venice, January 9th-January 12th, 2013), Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2017.

Keywords: Caucasus - Anatolia - archaeology - relations - Ancient Near East - 5th millenium BC - 1st millenium BC Eurasian steppes - surveys - chronology - economy - social organisation - technology - trade - long-distance trade - raw materials - artefacts - archaeometallurgy - landscape archaeology

Abstract: 35 papers, originally presented by an international group of researchers at a conference held in Venice in January 2013, present the results of the last 20 years of archaeological research about the pre-classical cultures of the Caucasus and Anatolia, and analyse the latter in the wider framework of their changing relations with those of the Ancient Near East and of the Eurasian steppes. The volume covers a wide chronological span - from the late 5th to the early 1st millennium BC, and includes contributions about a wide range of topics (reports of archaeological excavations and surveys, chronology, economy, social organisation of the ancient populations, technology, long-distance exchange of raw materials and artefacts, archaeometallurgy, landscape archaeology, etc.). According to the most recent developments of research, these are investigated in a remarkably interdisciplinary perspective. The participation to the conference of well-recognised experts working not only in different countries of the Southern Caucasus and in Anatolia (in present-day Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey) but also in the North-Caucasian republics of the present-day Russian Federation offered a rare opportunity to compare and discuss recent trends of archaeological research in these different regions. Therefore, this volume represents a fundamental contribution to both Near Eastern and Caucasian Archaeology.

The Urartian Kingdom

Title: Çifçi, A., The socio-economic organisation of the Urartian Kingdom, Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2017.

Keywords: Urartu - Urartian kingdom - kingship - king’s role - administration - organisation - economy - highland communities - 9th - 6th century BC - Anatolia - Armenia - North-West-Iran - archaeology - texts - textual evidence - ressources - commodities - good - agriculture - animal husbandry - metals - metallurgy - trade

Abstract: In The Socio-economic Organisation of the Urartian Kingdom, Ali Çifçi presents a detailed study of the life of the highland communities of eastern Anatolia, Armenia and north-west Iran between the 9th and 6th centuries BC. In doing so, the author uses archaeological excavations, surveys, and textual evidence from both Urartian and Assyrian sources, as well as original ethnographic observations, within the context of the geographical setting of the Urartu Kingdom. This book investigates various aspects of the Urartian Kingdom from its economic resources and the movement of commodities (agriculture, animal husbandry, metallurgy, trade, etc.) to the management of those resources and the administrative organisation of the state. This includes the Urartian concept of kingship and the king’s role in administration, construction, the division of the kingdom, as well as the income generated by warfare. (table of content)

Fs Wiggermann

Title: Kertai, D., Nieuwenhuyse, O., Wiggermann, F.A.M., From the four corners of the earth : studies in iconography and cultures of the ancient Near East in honour of F.A.M. Wiggermann, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: ŠU.ÍL.LA - Šuilla - Nergal - Old Babylonian period - whirlwinds - Sippar cooking - dunnu - pottery - cauldron - kitchen - grand vizier - Ili-pada - Middle Assyrian period - Tell Sabi Abyad - maps - fermenting vat - childbirth - Dreckapotheke - school incantatory - medical tablets - victory - iconography - Late Assyrian period - crown prince - drinking - alcohol - seals - second seal - Kabti-ilī-Marduk - Suhaya - Egibi - land sale contract - dog - black dogs - Anzû myth - natural power - doom - nature - cows - women - wombs - texts - images - Sebettu - early history - 7 demons - Anatolian hieroglyphs - Hittite - clay tablets - earliest Indo-Europeans - Indo-Europeans - Anatolia

Abstract: Sixteen contributions on cultural history, archaeological and textual remains of the Ancient Near East are devoted to the Assyriologist F.A.M. Wiggermann from Amsterdam. Dining and drinking in ritual, ceremonial and everyday contexts are considered. Black dogs and Seven demons are given attention, as well as Babylonian whirlwinds, Assyrian crown princes and the origin of maps. (table of content)

Hittite Dictionary V

Title: Friedrich, J., Kammenhuber, A., Hethitisches Wörterbuch 2., völlig neubearb. Aufl. auf der Grundlage der edierten hethitischen Texte, vol. 5, K, Lieferung 26, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter, 2017.

Keywords: Hittite - dicitonary - vocabulary

Abstract: Bd. 1 und Bd. 2 mit der Verf.-Ang.: Johannes Friedrich; Annelies Kammenhuber. - Bd. 3,1 mit der Verf.-Ang.: Johannes Friedrich; Annelies Kammenhuber; Inge Hoffmann. - Bd. 3,2 mit der Ang.: Johannes Friedrich; Annelies Kammenhuber. Hrsg. von Paola Cotticelli-Kurras, Federico Giusfredi (ab Lfg. 21), Albertine Hagenbuchner-Dresel, Joost Hazenbos, Inge Hoffmann, Walther Sallaberger. - Bd. 4,1 mit der Ang.: Johannes Friedrich; Annelies Kammenhuber. Hrsg. von Albertine Hagenbuchner-Dresel; Joost Hazenbos; Federico Giusfredi mit Paola Cotticelli-Kurras, Walther Sallaberger.

Disputation Poems

Title: Jiménez, E., The Babylonian disputation poems: with editions of the Series of the Poplar, Palm and Vine, the Series of the Spider, and the Story of the Poor, Forlorn Wren, Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2017.

Keywords: literary disputation - disputation poems - wisdom literature - discussions - animals - trees - poems - parodies - intertextuality

Abstract: The Babylonian Disputation Poems Enrique Jiménez studies a group of ancient Babylonian poems that feature discussions between animals and trees. Using intertextual parallels and comparison with similar works in other literatures, he espouses a new classification of the Babylonian disputation poems as parodies. After examining neighbouring traditions of literary disputation, he argues that the Babylonian poems influenced them, and that some may have been translated from Akkadian to Aramaic, from Aramaic and Syriac to Arabic. In addition, The Babylonian Disputation Poems provides editions of several previously unpublished Babylonian disputations, such as Palm and Vine and the Series of the Spider. It also offers the first edition of the latest known Babylonian fable, The Story of the Poor, Forlorn Wren. (table of content)

The Effect of Sunlight on Mesopotamian Architecture

Title: Shepperson, M., Sunlight and shade in the first cities: a sensory archaeology of early Iraq, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2017.

Keywords: sunlight - shade - urbanism - buildings - formation - architecture - affects on life - Mesopotamia - Iraq - climate - scoiety- culrue - timing - cuneiform sources - objects

Abstract: The emergence of urbanism in Iraq occurred under the distinctive climatic conditions of the Mesopotamian plain; rainy winters and extremely hot summers profoundly affected the formation and development of these early cities. Sunlight and Shade in the First Cities explores the relationship between society, culture and lived experience through the way in which sunlight was manipulated in the urban built environment. Light is approached as both a physical phenomenon, which affects comfort and the practical usability of space, and as a symbol rich in social and religious meaning. Through the reconstruction of ancient urban light environments, to the extent possible from the archaeological remains, the location, the timing, and meaning of activities within early Mesopotamian cities become accessible. Sunlight is shown to have influenced the formation and symbolism of urban architecture and shaped the sensory experience of urban life. From cities as part of the sunlit landscape, this work progresses to consider city forms as a whole and then to the examination of architectural types; residential, sacred and palatial. Architectural analysis is complemented by analysis of contemporary textual sources, along with iconographic and artefactual evidence. The cities under detailed examination are limited to those on the Mesopotamian plain, focusing on the Early Dynastic periods up to the end of the second millennium BC. This volume demonstrates the utility of light as a tool with which to analyze, not just ancient Mesopotamian settlements, but the built environment of any past society, especially where provision of, or protection from sunlight critically affects life. The active influence of sunlight is demonstrated within Mesopotamian cities at every scale of analysis. (table of content)

Gertrude Bell

Title: Collins, P., Tripp, C, Gertrude Bell and Iraq: a life and legacy, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Keywords: 1922 - Antiquities Law - Iraq Museum - Gertrude Lowthian Bell - Gertrude Bell - 19th century AD - Iraq - British imperium - British imperial policy - administration of the Middle East - Middle East - Iraqi monarchy - Iraqi state - Ottoman Empire

Abstract: This is a major re-evaluation of the life and legacy of Gertrude Lowthian Bell (1868-1926), the renowned scholar, explorer, writer, archaeologist, and British civil servant. The book examines Gertrude Bell's role in shaping British policy in the Middle East in the first part of the 20th century, her views of the cultures and peoples of the region, and her unusual position as a woman occupying a senior position in the British imperial administration. It focuses particularly on her involvement in Iraq and the part she played in the establishment of the Iraqi monarchy and the Iraqi state. In addition, the book examines her interests in Iraq's ancient past. She was instrumental in drawing up Iraq's first Antiquities Law in 1922 and in the foundation of the Iraq Museum in 1923. Gertrude Bell refused to be constrained by the expectations of the day, and was able to succeed in a man's world of high politics and diplomacy. She remains a controversial figure, however, especially in the context of the founding of the modern state of Iraq. Does she represent a more innocent age when the country was born out of the remnants of the Ottoman Empire, or does she personify the attitudes and decisions that have created today's divided Middle East? The volume's authors bring new insights to these questions. (table of content)

Relationship between Text and Material

Title: Hilgert, M., Understanding Material Text Cultures: A Multidisciplinary View, Berlin, Boston: Walter de Gruyter, GmbH, 2017.

Keywords: multiple academic disciplines - multidisciplinary approach - non-typographic society - material - text culture - 3rd millenium BC - 20th century AD - image - inscription - records - Sumerian workforce - Pyramid Texts - voice - papyrus - wall - pyramids - Old Kingdom - family - family cult - Hellenistic Age - Didyma Inscription - Qur’anic board

Abstract: The present volume comprises 6 highly original studies on material text cultures in different nontypographic societies stretching from the 3rd millennium cuneiform textual record of Ancient Mesopotamia to 20th century Qur'anic boards of northern and central African provenience. It provides a multidisciplinary approach to material text cultures complementary to the interdisciplinary, strongly theory-grounded research scheme of the CRC 933. Six research fellowships were awarded to outstanding young researchers for innovative, high-risk research proposals pertinent to the CRC 933's overall research scheme. Their studies contained in this volume add multidisciplinary dimension to material text culture research, satisfy the curiosity as to the applicability of the theoretical premises and methodology developed and tested by the CRC 933 to research on inscribed artefacts carried out on an international level and in different research environments and contribute to anchoring material text culture research as proposed by the CRC 933 within the tradition and broader context of other research strategies devoted to the material dimension of writing, such as the filologia materiale. (table of content)

Judeans in Babylonia

Title: Alstola, T., Judean Merchants in Babylonia and Their Participation in Long-Distance Trade, in: WdO 47, 2017.

Keywords: Judean merchants - Judah - Babylonia - social networks - business activities - 6th century BC - Babylonian society - integration - long-distance trade - travelling - distances - Iran - transport - connections

Abstract: This article focuses on Judean merchants in Babylonia, their social networks, and their business activities in the sixth century BCE. I argue that these people were integrated into the commercial sphere of Babylonian society and that they had native Babylonian merchants as well as traders of foreign origin among their acquaintances. Judeans participated in Babylonian long-distance trade, and documented evidence shows that some of them travelled as far as Iran for the purpose of trading. Furthermore, because travelling and the transportation of goods are an integral part of commercial activity, merchants provide an example of people who could have maintained connections between Judeans living in Judah and Babylonia.

JCS 69

Title: Michalowski, P. et al., Journal of Cuneiform Studies, vol 69, Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research, 2017.

Keywords: Archaic Ur - non-administrative texts - ED I-II - administrative texts - Me’annedu - Sumerian discourse markers - Iltani - DUMU.MUNUS LUGAL - Mesopotamia and Ḫatti - Hittite - sumerograms - KUR - logogram - determinative - teratomancy - Tigunānum - omen - lunar calendar - Middle Assyrian - Esarhaddon’s Prayer - mīs pî ritual - abstract terms - invisible - ṣalmu - tamšīlu - uṣurtu - Enūma Eliš - MUL.APIN

Abstract: Benati, G., Lecompte, C. Nonadministrative Documents from Archaic Ur and from Early Dynastic I–II Mesopotamia: A New Textual and Archaeological Analysis, 3-31; Bramanti, A., Three Administrative Texts from the Time of Me’annedu, by Armando Bramant, 33-47; Crisostomo, C.J., The Sumerian Discourse Markers u4-ba and u4-bi-a, by C. Jay Crisostomo, 49-66; Richardson, S., Goodbye, Princess: Iltani and the DUMU.MUNUS LUGAL, 67-108; Peled, I., Cultural Transformations from Mesopotamia to Hatti? The Case of the GALA, 109-116; Kudrinski, M., The Sumerogram KUR: Logogram or Determinative?, 117-124; De Zorzi, N., Teratomancy at Tigunānum: Structure, Hermeneutics, and Weltanschauung of a Northern Mesopotamian Omen Corpus, 125-150; Jeffers, J., The Nonintercalated Lunar Calendar of the Middle Assyrian Period, 151-191; Cajnko, M., The Case Marking of Sumerograms in Hittite, 193-202; Baruchi-Unna, A., Esarhaddon’s Prayer in the Inscription AsBbA as Related to the mīs pî Ritual, 203-212; Glassner, J.-J., Comment Presentifier l’Invisible? Reflexions autour des termes ṣalmu, tamšīlu et uṣurtu, 213-220; Haubold, J., From Text to Reading in Enūma Eliš, 221-246; Fincke, J.C., Additional MUL.APIN Fragments in the British Museum, 247-260; (table of content and abstracts) (complete volume on JSTOR)

Al-Rāfidān: Journal of Western Asiatic Studies XXXVIII

Title: Institute for Cultural Studies of Ancient Iraq, Al-Rāfidān: Journal of Western Asiatic Studies, vol. XXXVIII, Japan: Letterpress Co., Ltd, 2017.

Keywords: PPNB - flint - Bisheri - Syria - Wadi al-Hajana - Neolithic period - blades - blade producer - burial - early Bronze Age - Tell Ghanem al-Ali - Tell Ul Eth-Thlathat - urbanism - material culture - Middle Euphrates - Middle Bronze Age - occupation



Title: Università Ca’Foscari Venezia, KASKAL: Rivista di storia, ambienti e culture del Vicino Oriente Antico, vol. 13, Firenze: LoGisma editore, 2017.

Keywords: Presargonic Period - Lagash - overseers - textile production - Nuzi - kingship - parades - processions - Emar - legal documents - land grants - Ḫattuša - itkalzi-ritual - Enūma Anu Enlil - gold - Arabian gold - Babylon - irrigation - hydraulic landscape - geography - Late Babylonian - scribal school exercise - Nazi-Maruttaš - Medians - Ekbatana - Eeiokes - Nabopolassar - destruction of Assyria - historiography - mythology

Abstract: Karahashi, F., Garcia-Ventura, A., Overseers of Textile Workers in Presargonic Lagash, 1-20; Zaccagnini, C., The Last Parades of the King of Nuzi, 21-56; Cohen, Y., Viano, M., A Land-grant Document from Emar, A (Re-)edition and Discussion of LN-104 (aka Gs-Kutscher 6), 57-72; Dijkstra, M., The itkalzi-Ritual: New Joins and Duplicates from Ḫattuša, 73-88; Fincke, J.C., Additions to Already Edited Enūma Anu Enlil (EAE) Tablets, Part IV: the Lunar Eclipse Omens from Tablets 15-19 Published by Rochberg-Halton in AfO Beih 22, 89-120; Kleber, K., Arabian Gold in Babylon, 121-134; Ermidoro, S., New Data in the Babylonian Hydraulic Landscape: An Update to the Répertoire Géographique des Textes Cunéiformes Vol. 8, 135-174; Frazer, M., An Elementary Late Babylonian Scribal Exercise Featuring Nazi-Maruttaš, 175-184; Gufler, B., Deiokes, Ekbatana und das Land der Meder, 185-207; Forum: Rocío DaRiva, Il re Nabopolassar, la storiografia classica e la legenda sulla distruzione dell’Assiria, 209-218;

Old Babylonian law: forgery

Title: Badamchi, H., Fraud and Forgery in Old Babylonian Law, in: ZAR 22, 1-28, 2017.

Keywords: Old Babylonian period - Old Babylonian Law - fraud - forgery - property law

Abstract: A recent comprehensive survey of the ancient Near Eastern law, edited by the late Raymond Westbrook (2003), immediately shows the richness of cuneiform legal sources. It also brings into attention the areas that are yet to be studied. The present study will attempt to study fraud and forgery (i.e., fraud facilitated by forgery) in Old Babylonian law, a much neglected subject that can shed light on the subtleties of crimes against property in the ancient Near East and the (mis-)use of documents. Fraud when it is not accompanied by forgery will be studied in a second paper. (article on

The History of Research on a Middle Assyrian Family Archive

Title: Maul, S.M., Ein assyrisches Familienarchiv aus dem 14. Jh. v. Chr. und die über 100jährige Geschichte seiner Erforschung, in: ZAR 22, 29-45, 2017.

Keywords: Assur - Middle Assyrian period - 14th century - family archive - history of research

Abstract: (table of content)

Emar: Caring Contract

Title: Yamada, M., RE 6 as a Unique Contract of Caring in Emar, in: ZAR 22, 47-58, 2017.

Keywords: Emar - caring contracts

Abstract: (table of content)

BBVO 25: The Notes of Henry Fox Talbot

Title: Diekmann, N., Talbot's tools : Notizbücher als Denklabor eines viktorianischen Keilschriftforschers, Gladbeck: PeWe-Verlag, 2017.

Keywords: Henry Fox Talbot - Talbot collection - notebooks - scientific notebooks - theoretical approach - characters - England in the 19th century - cuneiform - deciphering - 19th century - 1846-1852 - Victorian period - method - methodological deciphering - unknown signs - 1920s - rise of Assyriology - Talbot’s research - Talbot’s interest - romantic reception - “Persepolitan writing”

Abstract: Viel ist bereits über die Entzifferung antiker Schriftsysteme im 19. Jahrhundert, beispielsweise der ägyptischen Hieroglyphen oder der assyrisch-babylonischen Keilschrift geschrieben worden. Nur selten erfährt man jedoch mehr über die Details des methodischen Vorgehens der Forscher, die sich bemühten, eine Gleichung mit vielen Unbekannten zu lösen. Wie genau gingen sie vor, um Stück für Stück Struktur und Lesung der unbekannten Zeichen zu verstehen? Und welche Instrumente standen ihnen zu Verfügung, um solche komplexen intellektuellen Rätsel zu lösen? Die Publikation widmet sich genau dieser Frage. Am Beispiel des viktorianischen Gelehrten William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) wird beleuchtet, welche Rolle im Forschungsprozess den zahlreichen Notizbüchern zukommt, die Talbot der Nachwelt hinterlassen hat. An ihnen lässt sich nachvollziehen, wie Denken und Schreiben zu einander ergänzenden Prozessen werden und auf den Seiten Ergebnisse produzieren, die allein „im Kopf“ nicht möglich gewesen wären. In seinen Notizbüchern kategorisiert, ordnet, experimentiert und korrigiert Talbot und die Publikation macht es sich zur Aufgabe, diese sich teilweise überlagernden Prozesse zu analysieren und anhand zahlreicher Beispiele darzustellen. Über Fragen der Schriftforschung hinaus enthält der Band einen detaillierten Überblick über die Geschichte der frühen Keilschriftforschung, die von den ersten Berichten von Orientreisenden über die Entzifferungserfolge von Henry Rawlinson (1810-1895) und Edward Hincks (1792-1866) bis hin zur Macht- und Informationspolitik in den gelehrten Kreisen der viktorianischen Gesellschaft reicht. Damit ist die Untersuchung zwischen verschiedenen Disziplinen angesiedelt und beantwortet Fragen der Schrifttheorie, der Wissenschaftsgeschichte und der Altorientalistik in gleichem Maße. (table of content)

Destruction and Preservation of Syrian Monuments

Title: Greenhalgh, M., Syria's Monuments: Their Survival and Destruction, Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2017.

Keywords: Syria - civil war - monuments - destruction - neglect - re-use - earthquakes - resurrection - desertification - Lebanon - Jordan - Palestine - Late Antiquity - early 20th century - travellers’ reports - 17th-19th century

Abstract: Syria's Monuments: their Survival and Destruction examines the fate of the various monuments in Syria (including present-day Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine/Israel) from Late Antiquity to the fall of the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century. It examines travellers’ accounts, mainly from the 17th to 19th centuries, which describe religious buildings and housing in numbers and quality unknown elsewhere. The book charts the reasons why monuments lived or died, varying from earthquakes and desertification to neglect and re-use, and sets the political and social context for the Empire’s transformation toward a modern state, provoked by Western trade and example. An epilogue assesses the impact of the recent civil war on the state of the monuments, and strategies for their resurrection, with plentiful references and web links. (table of content)

Overview of Western Asians Civilisations 10th-1st Millenium BC

Title: Tsuneki, A., Yamada, Sh. and K. Hisada, Ancient West Asian civilization : geoenvironment and society in the pre-Islamic Middle East, Singapore: Springer, 2017.

Keywords: Clash of Civilizations - Europe - Asia - West Asia - 10th millenium BC - 1st millenium BC - West Asian Civilisations - Middle East - Eurocentric - agriculture - metallurgy - archaeology - philology - climate - geology - wheat cultivation - animal domestication - metallurgy - urbanisation - writing - religious traditions - cultural heritage - common background

Abstract: This book explores aspects of the ancient civilization in West Asia, which has had a great impact on modern human society—agriculture, metallurgy, cities, writing, regional states, and monotheism, all of which appeared first in West Asia during the tenth to first millennia BC.The editors specifically use the term "West Asia" since the "Middle East" is seen as an Eurocentric term. By using this term, the book hopes to mitigate potential bias (i.e. historical and Western) by using a pure geographical term. However, the "West Asia" region is identical to that of the narrower "Middle East," which encompasses modern Iran and Turkey from east to west and Turkey and the Arabian Peninsula from north to south.This volume assembles research from different disciplines, such as the natural sciences, archaeology and philology/linguistics, in order to tackle the question of which circumstances and processes these significant cultural phenomena occurred in West Asia. Scrutinizing subjects such as the relations between climate, geology and human activities, the origins of wheat cultivation and animal domestication, the development of metallurgy, the birth of urbanization and writing, ancient religious traditions, as well as the treatment of cultural heritage, the book undertakes a comprehensive analysis of West Asian Civilization that provided the common background to cultures in various areas of the globe, including Europe and Asia.These contributions will attempt to demonstrate a fresh vision which emphasizes the common cultural origin between Europe and West Asia, standing in opposition to the global antagonism symbolized by the theory of "Clash of Civilizations."(table of content on the Springer website)

The Persians

Title: Parker, G. and B. Parker, The Persians: lost civilizations, London: Reaktion Books, 2017.

Keywords: Aryans - migration - nomads - Persians - Iranians - Achaemenid empire - war - urbanisation - roads - irrigation - technology

Abstract: During the first and second millennia BC large numbers of nomadic people known as the Aryans migrated outwards into the Eurasian periphery from Central Asia. One particular branch of these Aryans moved south of the Caspian Sea and became known to history as the Persians or Iranians. Their first dwellings were in an unpromisingly arid area, but from there these early settlers would go on to form one of the most powerful empires in history. The Persians tells the captivating story of this beguiling ancient civilization. Drawing on the region’s subsequent history, it traces the unique features of Persian life and unravels their influence throughout the centuries. The book describes the difficulties early Persians encountered and how these contributed to their unique character and the establishment of the Achaemenid Empire. It recounts the keenly fought conflicts with the Greeks for mastery of the Eastern Mediterranean, a contest which was to dominate the geopolitics of the ancient world, and it paints a vivid picture of the many great Persian cities and their spectacular achievements: an efficient road system that linked an empire together; respect for their subject peoples; and advances in irrigation techniques which created a ‘paradise’ envied by their neighbours. Providing an entertaining insight into the influence, traditions and history of ancient Persia, the book shows how the uniqueness of modern Iran in the Islamic world owes much to its ancient civilization.


Sargon II.

Title: Melville, C., The Campaigns of Sargon II, King of Assyria 721-705 B.C., University of Oklahoma Press: Norman, Oklahoma, 2016.

Keywords: Sargon II. - Neo-Assyrian kingdom - conqueror - conquests - campaigns - military - security measures - chariotry - cavalry - infantry - economy - motivation - agenda

Abstract: Backed by an unparalleled military force, Sargon II outwitted and outfought powerful competitors to extend Assyrian territory and secure his throne. As Sarah C. Melville shows through a detailed analysis of each of his campaigns, the king used his army not just to conquer but also to ensure regional security, manage his empire’s resources, and support his political agenda. Under his leadership, skilled chariotry, cavalry, and infantry excelled in all types of terrain against an array of culturally diverse enemies. This book represents the first in-depth military study of the great Assyrian king. Drawing extensively from original sources, including cuneiform inscriptions, the letters of Sargon and his officials, archival documents, and monumental art, Melville presents Sargon’s achievements as king, diplomat, and conqueror. Contrary to the stereotype of the brutal Assyrian despot, Sargon applied force selectively, with deliberate economy, and as only one of several possible ways to deal with external threat or to exploit opportunity. The Campaigns of Sargon II demonstrates how Sargon changed the geopolitical dynamics in the Near East, inspired a period of cultural florescence, established long-lasting Assyrian supremacy, and became one of the most influential kings of the ancient world. (table of content)


Title: Miglus, P.A., Radner, K., and F.M. Stepniowski, Ausgrabungen in Assur: Wohnquartiere in der Weststadt, Teil I. Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft, Bd. 152, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2016.

Keywords: Assur - excavation -campaigns - 1990 - 2000 - 2001 - history - W-1 - living quarter - residential area - small objects - 7th century BC - Parthian period- architecture - graves - tombs - skeletons - grave architecture - Parthian graves - late Assyrian cuneiform archives - domestic houses - cuneiform - tablets - Neo Assyrian clay amulets - photographies - urban maps

Abstract: In der vorliegenden Arbeit wird der Abschnitt W-1 vorgestellt. Darin wurde ein zusammenhängender Teil eines Wohnquartiers freigelegt, der als typisch für Assur gelten kann. Die Kleinfunde und die Tontafeln stammen aus dem 7. Jahrhundert v. Chr., wobei manche Objekte eindeutig älter sind. Darüber lagen parthische Reste, zumeist Bestattungen oder Einzelfunde aus dem Schutt dicht unter der Oberfläche. Die Publikation beginnt mit einer detaillierten Beschreibung der Architekturbefunde, Installationen und Artefakte aus den Kampagnen 1990, 2000 und 2001 (Kap. II), dabei sind die einzelnen Räume in Gruppen zusammengefasst, die als Baueinheiten interpretiert werden können. Die Beschreibung der Baueinheiten erfolgt von Norden nach Süden. Es folgt eine zusammenfassende Beschreibung des Wohnquartiers und seiner Funde (Kap. III). An dieses Kapitel schließt sich eine Beschreibung von Gräbern und Grabbauten an, wobei die meisten Bestattungen parthisch sind (Kap. IV). Einen weiteren Teil stellt die Veröffentlichung zweier privater spätassyrischer Keilschriftarchive aus zwei benachbarten Privathäusern dar (Kap. V). Die meisten Dokumente kamen 1990 zutage, manche stammen jedoch auch aus den beiden jüngeren Kampagnen. Zusätzliche Informationen zu Schriftfunden liefert der Beitrag über die im Jahr 2000 gefundenen neuassyrischen Tonamulette (Kap. VI). Die anthropologische Auswertung beinhaltet Analysen menschlicher Skelettreste aus den Grabungsabschnitten 1–3, die in den Jahren 2000 und 2001 ausgegraben wurden (Kap. VII). Der Tafelteil umfasst Pläne und Gesamtaufnahmen (Taf. 1–4), Fotoaufnahmen von Baubefunden (Taf. 5–25), Zeichnungen von Kleinfunden und Keramik (Taf. 26–59), Zeichnungen und Fotos von Bestattungen und Grabinventaren (Taf. 60–71), Fotoaufnahmen von Kleinfunden (Taf. 72–92), Kopien und Fotos von Keilschrifttafeln und anderen beschrifteten Objekten (Taf. 93–107) sowie Aufnahmen von Fragmenten menschlicher Skelette (Taf. 108 –107). Die auf den Tafeln in Umzeichnungen abgebildeten Kleinfunde (Taf. 26–59) sind nach Räumen zusammengestellt. Die Auswahl von Fotoaufnahmen (72–92) ist hingegen nach verschiedenen Fundgruppen geordnet. Die Keilschrifttexte werden als Kopien veröffentlicht; den gesiegelten Dokumenten sind Fotos beigefügt. (table of content)

Hirbemerdon Tepe

Title: Laneri, N., Hirbemerdon Tepe Archaeological Project 2003-2013 Final Report : chronology and material culture, Bologna: BraDypUS, 2016.

Keywords: Tigris - upper Tigris region - Anatolia - Mesopotamia - Hirbemerdon Tepe - archaeological phases - settlement - from the 4th millenium BC -material culture - history - sociocultural landscape - inhabitants - population - social structure - social groups

Abstract: The Hirbemerdon Tepe Archaeological Project was initiated in 2003 as part of a broader cultural heritage rescue project associated with the construction of the Ilısu Dam and planned as part of a scientific collaboration between the University of Catania, the Istituto per l’Africa e l’Oriente and the Archaeological Museum of Dıyarbakir. The site is located on the western bank of the Tigris river about 100 km southeast of the modern city of Dıyarbakir. During the 10 years of archaeological work performed at the site 11 archaeological phases were recorded starting from the fourth millennium BC until the XIXth century AD. This volume represents the final report on the studies of the material culture belonging to this long chronological sequence that was unearthed during the excavations and aims at allowing the interested scholars at reconstructing the history of the settlement as well as a broader sociocultural landscape that involved other social groups inhabiting the upper Tigris region as well as other Anatolian and Mesopotamian regions. (table of content)

Iraq 78

Title: Robson, E. et al., Iraq - British School of Archaeology in Iraq, vol. 78, London: British School of Archaeology in Iraq, 2016.

Keywords: Jeffery John Orchard - livestock - accounting - Sealand I. - Sealand dynasty - Excerpta Latina Barbari - Nebuchadnezzar - Alexander the Great - Seleucid-Parthian figurines - Babylon - misattribution - re-evaluation - Nippur-Collection - numismatics - Adiabene - sculptures - statues - Tell Begum - prehistory - Shahrizor Plain - Kurdistan - Tepe Marani - new excavations - Baghdad - reconstructions - architecture - historic reconstruction - 7th century BC - Assyria - dry phase - Ninivite-5-pottery - Tell Arbid - morphology - technology - diachronic analysis - pottery - Lagash - court - court women - depiction - statuettes - 2nd millenium BC - wisdom texts - wisdom literature - wolves - kings


Old Babylonian Topography

Title: Ziegler, N., Les toponymes des textes paléo-babyloniens de la Haute-Mespotamie, Antony, France : SEPOA, 2016.

Keywords: Old Babylonian period - topography

Abstract: MTT I/1 provides the attestations, a selected bibliography, and short-notes on the localization and historica importance for almost 700 toponyms in Upper-Mesopotamia, cross-referenced with the Middle Assyrian toponyms and archeological sites presented in MTT I/2 and MTT I/3.

Findspots and Topography

Title: Fink, C., Fundorte und Karten, Antony, France: SEPOA, 2016.

Keywords: historic geography - toponyms - North Mesopotamia - 2nd millenium BC - texts - sources - findspots - methodology - choice - criteria - 1050 settlements - Middle Bronze Age - Late Bronze Age

Abstract: Der erste Band der Reihe Materialien zu Toponymie und Topographie (MTT) präsentiert Forschungsergebnisse der französisch-deutschen Kooperation zur Historischen Geographie Obermesopotamiens im 2. Jt. v.Chr. Die drei Teilbände versammeln Basisdaten zu Textquellen und archäologischen Befunden als Grundlage für Forschungen zur soziopolitischen Geschichte der Region. Eine Papierversion der drei Bände ist vom Verlag SEPOA herausgegeben worden und kann direkt dort bestellt werden. Der vorliegende Band I/3 enthält eine kurze Einleitung, in der die Auswahlkriterien und die Methodik der Datenaufnahme umrissen werden. Im sich anschließenden Gazetteer werden die wichtigsten Informationen zu den 1050 altorientalischen Siedlungen der Mittel- und Spätbronzezeit präsentiert. Weitergehende Informationen zu den Fundorten finden sich in der zukünftigen Web-Präsentation der Datenbank.

Middle Assyrian Toponyms

Title: Cancik-Kirschbaum, E., Hess, C.W., Toponyme der mittelassyrischen Texte : der Westen des mittelassyrischen Reiches, Antony, France: SEPOA, 2016.

Keywords: Middle Assyrian - geography - toponyms - 2nd millenium BC - historical geography

Abstract: Der vorliegende Band entstand im Rahmen eines deutsch-französischen interdisziplinären Kooperationsprojektes, das sich mit Fragen der historischen Geographie Obermesopotamiens im 2. Jahrtausend v. Chr. beschäftigt.1 Ziel dieser Zusammenarbeit ist es, durch den systematischen Vergleich der strukturellen Raumnutzung während zweier unterschiedlicher historischer Phasen neue Perspektiven für das Verständnis der Geschichte des Raumes zwischen Euphrat und Tigris im 2. Jahrtausend zu gewinnen. Dabei werden die Textquellen der altbabylonischen und der mittelassyrischen Periode zueinander und zu den archäologischen Befunden der Mittel- und Spätbronzezeit in Beziehung gesetzt. Mithilfe von elektronischer Datenverarbeitung werden die verschiedenen Datengruppen vernetzt und neue Formen der geoinformatischen und semantischen Modellierung erprobt. Das binationale Kooperationsprojekt verfügt über eine philologische Komponente (in Berlin und in Paris)2, eine archäologische Komponente (in München, in Paris und in Nanterre)3 und eine IT-Komponente (in Mainz und in Dijon)4, die disziplinen- und länderübergreifend zusammenarbeiten. 2Für eine historisch-geographische Auswertung von Textinformationen und archäologischen Fundsituationen im Sinne der einleitend genannten Zielsetzung sind möglichst zuverlässige Aussagen zur historischen Topographie erforderlich. Doch noch immer sind in Alt-Vorderasien eine erhebliche Anzahl der Fundorte namenlos, und vielen antiken Namen lässt sich höchstens ein ungefährer Platz auf der Landkarte zuweisen. Die Schriftzeugnisse überliefern Toponyme, Regionyme und Hydronyme, die in ihrer Korrelation durch die in den Texten übermittelten Inhalte eine Art relatives Koordinatennetz bilden. Die durch Surveys und Ausgrabungstätigkeit festgestellten Fundorte wiederum stellen in gewisser Weise das räumlich ‘absolute’ Gegenstück dazu dar. Die Identifikation von Geländestrukturen und Siedlungsresten mit den überlieferten antiken Namen ist in der Altertumskunde Vorderasiens ein wichtiger Aspekt der Forschungen zur historischen Geographie. Mit den hier vorgelegten Materialsammlungen möchten wir einen vorläufigen Sachstand vorlegen, der sich auf Obermesopotamien im engeren Sinne bezieht. 3Unter Obermesopotamien fassen wir das Gebiet zwischen Euphrat und Tigris nördlich von Ramadi und Samarra bis hin zum Oberlauf der beiden Ströme. Für dieses Gebiet stehen im 2. Jahrtausend v.Chr. mit den nordmesopotamischen Archiven der altbabylonischen Periode und den Schriftquellen der mittelassyrischen Periode zwei umfangreiche und einander überlagernde Dokumentationen zur Verfügung. Diese beiden großen Textgruppen liefern derzeit den überwiegenden Anteil an konkreten Informationen zur Toponymie und Topographie des beschriebenen Raumes im 2. Jahrtausend. Sie sind jedoch nicht nur Quellen für antike Toponyme, vielmehr bilden sich in ihnen Relationen der historischen Orte zueinander ab: sie beschreiben mithin eine relative historisch-politische Geographie dieses Raumes im 2. Jahrtausend. Komplementär dazu steht die physische Geographie Obermesopotamiens, die in ihrer antiken Realität durch die archäologische Forschung erschlossen wird. Die Aufgabe einer integrativen historischen Geographie besteht darin, die Aussagen der Texte und die archäologisch erarbeiteten Informationen –zum Beispiel im Bereich der Toponymie– zueinander in Beziehung zu setzen. 4Mit der Reihe der Répertoire(s) Géographique(s) des Textes Cunéiformes hat der Tübinger Atlas zum Vorderen Orient Pionierarbeit geleistet und ein unerlässliches Orientierungsinstrument geschaffen, mit dessen Hilfe ein Überblick über den Sachstand gewonnen werden kann. Wegen des raschen Anwachsens der schriftlichen und archäologischen Quellen gerade in den vergangenen Jahrzehnten muss diese Grundlagenarbeit systematisch weitergeführt werden. So hat sich im konkreten Fall seit dem Erscheinen der Bände zur altbabylonischen und zur mittelassyrischen Periode zu Beginn der 1980er Jahre die Datenmenge durch Neufunde und kontinuierliche Ausgrabungs- und Editionsarbeit vervielfacht.5 Eine wichtige Aufgabe unseres Projekts bestand daher in einer auf RGTC aufbauenden Erfassung der Toponyme in den jeweiligen Schriftquellen und parallel dazu eine Erfassung der archäologisch dokumentierten Fundplätze der beiden Zeitschichten. Diese Datensammlungen bilden zugleich die Grundlage jener digitalen Repositorien, die im Rahmen von HIGEOMES und dem Folgeprojekt TEXTELSEM in ein dynamisches digitales System integriert werden. Zwischenzeitlich legen wir einen Auszug aus diesen Arbeiten mit diesem ersten Band als Materialien zu Toponymie und Topographie (MTT) vor. 5MTT I besteht aus drei Teilen, die aufeinander Bezug nehmen. Zunächst werden die Ortsnamen der Schriftquellen, in MTT I/1 für die altbabylonische Periode und in MTT I/2 für die mittelassyrische Periode, jeweils in alphabetischer Reihenfolge aufgeführt. Komplementärdokumentationen wie z.B. die altassyrischen oder die hethitischen Quellen sind ansatzweise in den Kommentaren erfasst. In MTT I/3 finden sich die in der Forschungsliteratur durch Surveys, Ausgrabungen oder Reiseberichte bekannt gewordenen Fundorte Obermesopotamiens des 2. Jt. einschließlich ihrer Georeferenzierung. (table of content)

Luwian Hieroglyphs in Karkemish

Title: Peker, H., Texts from Karkemish I : Luwian hieroglyphic inscriptions from the 2011-2015 excavations, Bologna: Ante Quem, 2016.

Keywords: Luwian - Hieroglyphs - Karkemish


Mining in Anatolia

Title: Yalçin, Ü., Prähistorische Kupfergewinnung in Derekutuğun, Anatolien. Band I, Montanarchäologische Forschungen in den Jahren 2009-2011 : ein Vorbericht, Rahden/Westf.: VML Verlag Marie Leidorf GmbH on behalf of Deutsches Bergbau-Museum, 2016.

Keywords: mining - Anatolia - metallurgy - storage - prehistoric mining - antique mining - lead isotopes - origins - copper storage - Derekutuğun - tin storage - Hisarcık - geology - ceramics - organic traces

Abstract: Im Rahmen des DFG-Projektes “Früher Bergbau und Metallurgie in Anatolien” wurden 2009-2011 Geländearbeiten mit dem Ziel der Beprobung und Charakterisierung von Lagerstätten sowie Erfassung prähistorischen bis antiken Bergbaus durchgeführt. Dabei sollten Spurenelemente und Bleiisotope die Basis für die Lösung von Herkunftsfragen bilden. Neben dieser Grundlagenforschung wurden die Kupferlager von Derekutuğun und die Zinnlager bei Hisarcık untersucht. Frühe Bergbaubefunde in Derekutuğun seit der 1. Hälfte des 3. Jts. v.Chr. rechtfertigten größere montanarchäologische Grabungen in den Bergwerken von 2010-2011, deren 2012-2014 ausgewertete Ergebnisse hiermit vorgelegt werden. Sie gliedern sich in Abschnitte zu Provinzgeschichte und Forschungsgeschichte, Geographie, Geologie und Vererzung, dem Bergbau mit seinen Kleinfunden [Keramik, Leuchtspäne, Holzgezähe, Steingeräte], Waren, Formen, Verzierung und Funktion der Gefäßkeramik, der Datierung anhand organischer Reste [FBZ II: 2900-2550 v.Chr., bes. 2850-2700] sowie dem gediegen oder als Erz vorliegenden Kupfer mit hohem Anteil der Elemente Ag, Au und V. 2015 wurden die Grabungen wieder aufgenommen. (table of content on

Crime and Punishment

Title: Nowicki, S., "They Called Me to Destroy the Wicked and the Evil”: Selected Essays on Crime and Punishment in Antiquity, Münster: Ugarit, 2016.

Keywords: fetters - whips - punishing gods - crime - punishment - Amarna letters - Ancient Rome - penalty - Roman parade equipment - public water - inequality - Hittite law - Ancient Egyptian law - criminal law - motif - Hellenistic sculpture - Classical Greek Rhetoric -actors - trials - senator Libo - Tacitus - Cassius Dio - written defamation - Roman Classical Law - Attic tragedy - House of Atreus - Plautus’ comedies - Roman Egypt - offences - irrigation system - Roman sources - Papyri - piracy - death penalty - methoday - Ancient Near East - gymnasium - funerary epigram - Arkesine - Amorgos - Old Arabic Civilization

Abstract: In diesem Buch, das in der von Angelika Lohwasser, Hans Neumann und Kai Ruffing herausgegebenen Reihe KEF erschienen ist, wird das Thema des Verbrechens und der Bestrafung in der Antike in einem weiten zeitlichen und geografischen Rahmen untersucht. So sollen die in diesem Band vorgestellten Untersuchungen das Verständnis für das kulturübergreifende Phänomen von Verhalten erweitern, das als heimtückisch, bösartig und gefährlich für die Gesellschaft oder zersetzend für die staatliche Gewalt angesehen wird. Ebenso werden die verschiedenen Weisen der Bestrafung dieser Taten sowie deren Platz in dem komplizierten Gefüge der menschlichen Gesellschaft, ihrer Kultur und Traditionen betrachtet. Eine Reihe von Aufsätzen widmet sich diesen beiden Seiten der antiken Justiz im Alten Orient, Griechenland und Rom. Die Essays in diesem Buch stammen von Historikern, Kunsthistorikern, Rechtswissenschaftlern und Philologen. Sie diskutieren die unterschiedlichen Aspekte von Verbrechen in den antiken Kulturen Ägyptens, des Orients, Griechenlands und Roms. Alle Autoren zeigen dabei ein besonderes Interesse für die soziale und kulturelle Rolle des Verbrechens und die Bestrafung der unterschiedlichen Verbrechen. Eine besondere Aufmerksamkeit wird dabei auf die verschiedenen Strafen und deren Ausführung gelegt. (table of content)

Middle Assyrian Texts from Istanbul

Title: Donbaz, V., Middle Assyrian Texts from Assur at the Eski Şark Eserleri Müzesi in Istanbul, Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016.

Keywords: Middle Assyrian - Assur - administrative documents - high officials - royal palace - administration - Istanbul - Eski Şark Museum - Enlil-nērārī - Adad-nērārī - Salmanassar I - Tukultī-Ninurta I - Aššur-rēšī-iši - Tiglat-Pileser - geographical names - gods’ names - personal names - annual eponyms - Samnuḫa-ašarēd - Aplīja - abarakku rabi’u

Abstract: The volume contains autographs of 131 Middle Assyrian documents dating from the time of Enlil-nērārī (1327-1318), Adad-nērārī (1305-1274), Salmanassar I (1273-1244), Tukultī-Ninurta I (1243-1207), Aššur-rēšī-iši (1132-1115 BC), and Tiglat-Pileser (1114-1076). They are presented together with an extensive catalog on the content of the texts and indexes of geographical names, names of gods and persons, as well as a list of the annual eponyms mentioned in the documents. The texts are mainly administrative documents related to the palace. They concern deliveries of and to the palace or contracts for work and services. As responsible officials, Aplīja, major domus (abarakku rabi’u) of the royal palace in Assur, and Samnuḫa-ašarēd, also major domus, played an essential role. Aplīja, Samnuḫa-ašarēd and other high officials are mentioned in other archives as well. Therefore, the documents published here complete our information on the royal palace administration. (table of content)

The Akkadian Verb in the Cuneiform Periphery

Title: Baranowski, K.J., The verb in the Amarna letters from Canaan, Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2016.

Keywords: cuneiform periphery - Amarna letters - Canaan - grammar - Levant - 14th century BC - Semitic languages - verb - verbal forms - verbal morphology - semantics second-language acquisition - conjugation patterns - morphemes

Abstract: The Amarna letters from Canaan offer us a unique glimpse of the historical and linguistic panorama of the Levant in the middle of the fourteenth century BCE. Their evidence regarding verbs is crucial for the historical and comparative study of the Semitic languages. Proper evaluation of this evidence requires an understanding of its scribal origin and nature. For this reason, The Verb in the Amarna Letters from Canaan addresses the historical circumstances in which the linguistic code of the letters was born and the unique characteristics of this system. The author adduces second-language acquisition as a proper framework for understanding the development of this language by scribes who were educated in centers on the cuneiform periphery. In this way, the book advances a novel interpretation: the letters testify to a scribal interlanguage that was born of the local use of cuneiform and was affected by the fossilization and transfer processes taking place in these language learners. This vision of the linguistic system of the letters as the learners' interlanguage informs the main part of the book, which is devoted to verbal morphology and semantics. The chapter on morphology offers an overview of conjugation patterns and morphemes in terms of paradigms. Employing a variationist approach, it also analyzes the bases on which the verbal forms were constructed. Next, the individual uses of each form are illustrated by numerous examples that provide readers with a basis for discovering alternative interpretations. The systemic view of each form and the various insights that permeate this book provide invaluable data for the historical and comparative study of the West Semitic verbal system, particularly of ancient Hebrew, Ugaritic, and Arabic. (table of content)

Love Literature

Title: Wasserman, N., Akkadian love literature of the third and second millennium BCE, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016.

Keywords: Akkadian - love literature - amatory corpus - 3rd millenium BC - 2nd millenium BC - love - sex - Ancient Near East - translation - edition philological commentary - hymns - love incantations - refusing lover - sexual power - metaphors - lovemaking - sexual climax - anatomy - sexual organs

Abstract: Akkadian Love Literature of the Third and Second Millennium BCE is the first systematic treatment of the corpus of Akkadian compositions related to love and sex in Ancient Near Eastern Studies. More than 30 cuneiform texts (including two hitherto unpublished compositions) are carefully edited and translated, accompanied by a thorough philological commentary: monologues and dialogues of hymnal character, incantations to overcome a refusing lover or gaining sexual power, and ancient catalogues counting the names of (mostly lost) love-related hymns. The style of the Akkadian amatory corpus and its key-metaphors and images are discussed, the way Akkadian describes lovemaking, copulation and sexual climax is presented, and the terms used in Akkadian literature for sexual organs are outlined. Parallels to other literary bodies of ancient love lyrics can also be found. (table of content)

Babylonian Grammar

Title: D'Agostino, F., Spada, G., Cingolo, M.S., Monaco, S.F., La lingua di Babilonia, Milano: Editore Ulrico Hoepli, 2016.

Keywords: Akkadian - Babylonian - grammar - Italian

Abstract: Basato su una solida impostazione scientifica e una consolidata esperienza di insegnamento, questo volume presenta per la prima volta in Italia a un pubblico vasto la grammatica di una lingua orientale ormai estinta da millenni: la lingua babilonese. Con una ricchissima letteratura, il babilonese fu usato nella Mesopotamia (odierno Iraq meridionale) e nelle aree limitrofe come lingua colta e come linguaggio della quotidianità per oltre due millenni (dal XX secolo a.C. fino all'inizio dell'era cristiana).

The Evil Eye

Title: Elliott, J.H., Beware the evil eye: the evil eye in the Bible and the ancient world, Eugene, Oregon: Cascade Books, 2016.

Keywords: Old Testament - Israel - evil eye - Septuagint - Bible - Dead Sea Scrolls - Philo - Josephus - Paul - rabbinic writings - Christianity

Abstract: The Evil Eye is mentioned repeatedly throughout the Old Testament, Israel's parabiblical writings, and New Testament, with a variety of terms and expressions. The Old Testament (Greek Septuagint) contains no less than fourteen text segments involving some twenty explicit references to the Evil Eye (Deut 15:9; 28:54, 56; Prov 23:6; 28:22; Tob 4:7, 16; Sir 14:3, 6, 8, 9, 10; 18:18; 31:13; 37:11; Wis 4:12; 4 Macc 1:26; 2:15; Ep Jer 69/70). At least three further texts are also likely implied references to an Evil Eye (1 Sam 2:29, 32; 18:9), with some other texts as more distant possibilities. The Evil Eye is mentioned also in the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the writings of Philo and Josephus-all of which are discussed in the following pages. Evil Eye belief and practice continued in the early Jesus movement. Jesus mentions the Evil Eye on more than one occasion (Matt 6:22-23; Luke 11:33-36; Mark 7:22). Paul makes explicit and implicit mention of the Evil Eye in his letter to the Galatians (3:1; 4:12-20). Possible implicit references to the Evil Eye are also examined. Both the common and the distinctive features of biblical Evil Eye belief are identified, along with its operation on multiple levels (biological/physiological, psychological, economic, social, and moral) and its serving a variety of purposes. The numerous references to the Evil Eye in Israel's rabbinic writings and those of postbiblical Christianity (second-sixth centuries CE), together with the material evidence from this period, are examined in volume 4. (table of content (look inside))

Babel und Bibel 9

Title: Kogan, L.E., Kozlova, N. V., Lëzov, S.V., Tishchenko, S.V., Arkhipov, I. S., Babel und Bibel 9: proceedings of the 6th Biennial Meeting of the International Association for Comparative Semitics and other studies, Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2016.

Keywords: Old Testament - Bible - biblical studies - Assyriology - Semitics - Proto-Semitic - Proto-Indo-European - root incompatibility - Ugaritic - Ugaritic poetry - semantics - infinitive - 2nd person non-negated Jussive - morphology - Turoyo - Amorite - animal names - Neo-Semitic - verbs - verb forms - Neo-Aramaic - Urmi - roots - stems - tamkāru - etymology - meaning - term - merchants - Biblical Hebrew - Sabaic - Cohortative - Subjunctive - Energic - Ethiosemitic - Chadic - “fat"

Abstract: This is the ninth volume of Babel und Bibel, an annual of ancient Near Eastern, Old Testament, and Semitic studies. The principal goal of the annual is to reveal the inherent relationship between Assyriology, Semitics, and biblical studies—a relationship that our predecessors comprehended and fruitfully explored but that is often neglected today. The title Babel und Bibel is intended to point to the possibility of fruitful collaboration among the three disciplines, in an effort to explore the various civilizations of the ancient Near East. This volume includes as a major portion of its contents selected papers from the 6th Biannual Meeting of the International Association for Comparative Semitics. (table of content)

MDOG 148

Title: Deutsche Orient Gesellschaft e.V. Berlin, Mitteilungen der deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin, Berlin: Benedict Press, 2016.

Keywords: excavations - Hittite kingdom - Anatolia - Nerik - Oymaağaç - Sheikh Sa‛ad - basalt lion - Neo-Assyria - Neo-Assyrian provinces - Qarnina - jewellery - earrings - sphinx - Vezirköprü-Samsun - Old Babylonian period - archives - context - façade - temple - Karaindaš - Bagdad

Abstract: Czichon, R.M. et al., Archäologische Forschungen am Oymaağaç Höyük/Nerik 2011–2015, 5 - 141; Aro, S., Der Basaltlöwe von Sheikh Sa‛ad und die neuassyrische Provinz Qarnina, 143 - 164; Temür, A., Ein Ohrring mit Sphingenmotiv aus Vezirköprü-Samsun (Nordtürkei), 165 - 177; Sternitzke, K., Der Kontext der altbabylonischen Archive aus Babylon, 179 - 197; Strommenger, E., Zur Rekonstruktion der Tempelfassade des Karaindaš in Bagdad und Berlin, 199 - 215; Bericht des Vorstands über das Vereinsjahr 2015/16, 217 - 220;

Orientalia 85/2

Title: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, Orientalia 85/2, 149-179, 1*-133*, 2016.

Keywords: Neo-Assyrian - grammar - prepositions - issu - isse - Ḫattuša - babilili-ritual

Abstract: Commentationes: Vinnichenko, O.I., On the prepositions issu and isse in Neo-Assyrian, 149-175; Recensiones: Beckmann, G.M., The babilili-Ritual from Hattusa (CTH 718) (A. Mouton); Libri ad Directionem missi, 178-179; Bibliographiae: Neumann, H., Keilschriftbibliographie, 74, 2015 (mit Nachträgen aus früheren Jahren), 1*-133*;

Orientalia 85/3

Title: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum, Orientalia 85/3, 181-321, 2016.

Keywords: Akkadian - vocabulary A-L - corrections - additions - Amarna - grammar - findspots - Petrie - excavations - Sayce - offerings - business - reviews - animal husbandry - Šuruppak - sheep - goat - breeding - Uruk - Hittite blessings - Hittite curses

Abstract: Commentationes: Mayer, W.R., Zum akkadischen Wörterbuch: A-L, 181-235; Animadversiones: Eaton-Krauss, M., Some Amarna Anomalies, 236-241; Vidal, J., The findspot of Ashm. 1893-1-41 (408) (=EA 43), 242-252; Zaccagnini, C., Offerings and Business (Tab. IV), 253-256; Res Bibliographicae: Bauer, J., Alte und neue Urkunden zur Viehhaltung in Šuruppak, 257-299; Tarasewicz, R., Sheep and goat breeding in Uruk, 300-311; Dardano, P., Benedizioni, maledizioni e giuramenti nell’Anatolia ittita: a proposito di una nuova pubblicazione, 312-321;


Title: Reade, J., The Gates of Niniveh, in: SAAB XXII, 39-93, 2016.

Keywords: Niniveh - Sennacherib - defenses - gates - city wall - roads

Abstract: Sennacherib, soon after becoming king in 704 BC, moved the administrative capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire to Niniveh. He commenced a gigantic project of enlarging the city and remodelling the defenses, environs and surrounding countryside. As a result his new city-wall, while diminished by natural processes of erosion and human activity, remained conspicuous into the twenty-first century AD. […] A few details that seem to have escaped general attention resolve some of the longstanding uncertainties. The relationships between the gates and the roads through them become clearer, and it is easier to integrate the remains of urban Niniveh with the geomorphological evidence now available for the Assyrian landscape (e.g.Altaweel 2008).


Title: Ponchia, S., Describing the Empire: Some Notes on Tiglath-pileser III’s Inscriptions, in: SAAB XXII, 1-37, 2016.

Keywords: Tiglath-pileser III - inscriptions - communication - iconography - impact

Abstract: The unfortunately highly fragmentary state of the inscriptions of Tiglath-pileser III, which have been recently re-edited in RINAP 1, leaves a number of unanswered, and so far unanswerable questions on this crucial phase of the Neo-Assyrian history. The present article, developed from a review of the RINAP volume, simply attempts to figure out how the message of the inscriptions can be framed in the communicative context of the time. The present author is well aware of the difficulty, or even the impossibility of solving various questions; she, however, hopes that this work can contribute to an appropriate evaluation of the innovative impact of Tiglath-pileser’s reign.

Shrine of Sn in Sumhuram

Title: Degli Esposti, M. and A. Pavan, The Urban Shrine in Quarter a at Sumhuram: Stratigraphy, Architecture, Material Culture, Rome: L'Erma di Bretschneider, 2016.

Keywords: Sumhuram - shrine - Sn - Oman - Arabian Peninsula - Dhofar - residential quarter - architecture - South Arabian culture - indigenous culture - incense burners

Abstract: After 20 years of research and excavation conducted by the Italian Mission to Oman, the ancient South Arabian port of Sumhuram, located along the southern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in the Omani Governorate of Dhofar, is known in many of its aspects. The impressive surrounding walls encircle a town that included market places, stores, dwelling quarters, monumental buildings and temples. This book presents the precise report of the excavation of a small shrine located in the centre of the town, inside the residential quarter, and discusses its diachronic evolution which suggests a phasing that mirrors all the different periods of the city life. The artifacts discovered during the excavation are illustrated, both in relation with their stratigraphic context and in a separated catalogue. A fruitful interaction between the South Arabian tradition and an indigenous substratum is reflected in these items, as well as in several architectural features. Among them, a few incense burners deserve special mention by virtue of their complex decoration and their uniqueness. The shrine, likely dedicated to the moon god Sn, was undoubtedly a relevant place for the community life throughout the more than seven hundred years of its existence, as witnessed by the great effort invested in its reconstruction. As such, the shrine was chosen as the subject of the first new publication about Sumhuram to cover the more recent, as yet unpublished, work of the Italian Mission to Oman. (table of content on The Bible and the reception of Ancient Near Eastern mythology

Title: Saporetti, C., Genesi: Dalla luce all'arca, Acireale: Gruppo Editoriale Bonnano, 2016.

Keywords: Bible - reception - Ancient Near Eastern culture - mythology - deluge - flood - tower of Babel - paradise - Eden - Noah - ark

Abstract: Vorrei partire dal principio e il principio di Genesi, lo sappiamo, riguarda la creazione del mondo. Segue la storia del "Paradiso Terrestre", il peccato originale, il diluvio, e le generazioni che partono dai figli di Noè, con l'intermezzo della torre di Babele. Ho messo accanto al testo, allora, degli excursus su argomenti che richiedono una trattazione particolare, ed alla fine, un po' per completare un po' per abbellire, una piccola scelta di "fonti" per chi voglia consultarle. È da tempo che penso e dico che il "giardino dell'Eden" non era né un giardino né un Eden e che, sopra il conto, non c'erano serpenti. Per chi mi ha ascoltato in qualche peregrina conferenza, e non ne è uscito convinto, ha qui l'occasione di approfondire e, se ancora continua a non essere convinto, di dissentire con tutti i dati per farlo.

Tell es-Sawwan

Title: Helwing, B., Reconsidering the Neolithic graveyard at Tell es-Sawwan, Iraq, in: Paléorient vol. 42.1, 123-136, 2016.

Keywords: Tell es-Sawwan- Neolithic Revolution - Mesopotamia - graves - graveyard

Abstract: This article presents arguments to date the Neolithic graveyard at Tell es-Sawwan to the “Initial Pottery Neolithic” (ca the middle of the 7th millennium cal. BC). Stratigraphy and burial customs as well as material culture allow to draw comparisons with sites of this period. They additionally indicate a strong cultural continuity with the PPNB period. This new understanding of the graveyard together with its earlier date necessitates furthermore a discussion of the southern extension of the region where the sedentary PPNB hunter-gatherers flourished. (article on

Tell es-Sawwan

Title: Breniquet, C., Tell es-Sawwan, Iraq. Essai de synthèse et de prospective sur la néolithisation de la plaine mésopotamienne, in: Paléorient vol. 42.1, 137-149, 2016.

Keywords: Tell es-Sawwan - Neolithic Revolution - Mesopotamia

Abstract: The publication in the current issue of the journal Paléorient of a paper about the revision of the date of the most ancient levels at Tell es-Sawwan offers the opportunity to restart a complex debate. The investigations on the site were stopped by the international crisis of the 1990s. On the basis of the last excavations conducted on the site by a French team, we discuss here this chronological attribution. The issue remains hard to solve because of the nature of the documentation. However, an early date (beginning of the Pottery Neolithic) appears to be the only possibility for opening a wider debate on the neolithization of the Mesopotamian alluvial plain. Scattered elements are collected here in order to suggest the possibility of a local phenomenon. (article on

4th millenium urbanism: problems with the rubbish disposal

Title: McMahon, A., The Encultured Vulture: Late Chalcolithic sealing images and the challenges of urbanism in 4th millenium Mesopotamia, in: Paléorient vol. 42.1, 169-183, 2016.

Keywords: Tell Brak - Northeast Syria - seals - sealings - glyptic - vulture - symbolism - rubbish disposal - problems - early urbanism - waste-eating - Chalcolithic Age - urbanism - 4th millenium - Mesopotamia

Abstract: The early 4th millenium BC in Northern Mesopotamia witnessed the first urbanism in the region, during the Late Chalcolithic (LC) 2-3 Periods (ca. 4200-3600 BC). This major demographic, social and economic change was accompanied by an explosion of artistic creativity, expressed as greater diversity and complexity of glyptic arts. LC 2-3 container sealings recently excavated from Tell Brak in Northeast Syria include a significant number of images incorporating vultures. This article explores the use of the vulture motif in the region during the 4th millenium urban expansion and asks why a bird with such strong potential for negative perceptions was presented as an elegant and widely embraced symbol. Within the context of early urban growth and its challenges to sanitation and rubbish disposal, the vulture’s carrion- and waste-eating habits may have been viewed positively.

Hittite music, dance and sports

Title: Ünal, A., Hititlerde ve eski Anadolu toplumlarında din, devlet, halk ve eğlence : müzik, dans, spor, akrobasi, sirk ve gladyatör oyunları, Ankara: Bilgin Kültür Sanat Yayınları, 2016.

Keywords: Hittites - music- dance - sport - acrobatics

Copies of Hittite Rituals

Title: Akdoğan, R., Hethitische Texte : Bo 4658-Bo 5000, Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016.

Keywords: Boğazköy - Hattuša - 170 tablets - cuneiform copies - rituals - festival rituals - instructions of Tudḫalija IV. for princes - lords - great ones - Vorderasiatische Museum Berlin

Abstract: Rukiye Akdoğan setzt mit diesem Doppelband ihre Transkriptionen der Keilschriftentafeln, die Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts zu Tausenden bei Grabungen in Boğazköy gefunden wurden, fort. In Band 32 der Reihe Dresdner Beiträge zur Hethitologie hatte sie zunächst 390 der bis dahin unveröffentlichten Tafeltexte publiziert. Die dort beschriebene Sammlung kam in jüngerer Zeit durch Spenden oder Ankäufe in den Bestand des Museums für anatolische Zivilisationen in Ankara. Nun legt sie 170 weitere, unveröffentlichte Boğazköy-Tafeln mit den Grabungsnummern Bo 4658–Bo 5000 vor. Sie entstammen der umfangreichen Sammlung, die im Ersten Weltkrieg an das Vorderasiatische Museum in Berlin verliehen und 1987 an die Türkei zurückgegeben wurde. Anlage und Zielsetzung des Textbandes orientieren sich an den Transkriptionsbänden, die Detlev Groddek in den letzten Jahren in dieser Reihe publiziert hat. Als Besonderheit dieses Bandes werden die Transkriptionen um ein Beiheft im größeren Format ergänzt, das die Autografien der Tafeln präsentiert. (table of content part 1) and (table of content part 2)

Mathematical Texts

Title: Al-Rawi, F.N.H. and J. Friberg, New Mathematical Cuneiform Texts, Cham: Springer, 2016.

Keywords: Early Dynastic period - Old Akkadian period - Old Babylonian period - Late Babylonian period - Babylonian mathematical texts - Umma - Babylon - Uruk - Sippar - mathematics - arithmetics - metro-mathematics - numerical algorithms - mathematical exercises - oldest mathematical exercises - metric algebra problems - exercises - calculation - triangle - rectangle - square - reciprocals - lists - tables - labyrinth

Abstract: This monograph presents in great detail a large number of both unpublished and previously published Babylonian mathematical texts in the cuneiform script. It is a continuation of the work A Remarkable Collection of Babylonian Mathematical Texts (Springer 2007) written by Jöran Friberg, the leading expert on Babylonian mathematics. Focussing on the big picture, Friberg explores in this book several Late Babylonian arithmetical and metro-mathematical table texts from the sites of Babylon, Uruk and Sippar, collections of mathematical exercises from four Old Babylonian sites, as well as a new text from Early Dynastic/Early Sargonic Umma, which is the oldest known collection of mathematical exercises. A table of reciprocals from the end of the third millennium BC, differing radically from well-documented but younger tables of reciprocals from the Neo-Sumerian and Old-Babylonian periods, as well as a fragment of a Neo-Sumerian clay tablet showing a new type of a labyrinth are also discussed. The material is presented in the form of photos, hand copies, transliterations and translations, accompanied by exhaustive explanations. The previously unpublished mathematical cuneiform texts presented in this book were discovered by Farouk Al-Rawi, who also made numerous beautiful hand copies of most of the clay tablets. (table of content)

Seals from Seleucid Babylonia

Title: Wallenfels, R., Hellenistic seal impressions in the Yale Babylonian collection: ring-bullae and other clay sealings, Bethesda, Maryland: CDL Press, 2016.

Keywords: Seleucid Babylonia - Hellenistic seals - Hellenistic period - seals - sealing practices - motifs - glyptic - iconography - ring-bullae - Mesopotamia - clay sealings - photographies - drawings

Abstract: Catalogue of the Babylonian Collections at Yale, col. 5. Drawings, photographs and analysis of hundreds of clay sealings from the Hellenistic period from Seleucid Babylonian. Includes a discussion of archival and sealing practices as well as motifs of the sealings on ring-bullae and other media.

Greek influence on Persepolis

Title: Stierlin, H., Persépolis : chef-d'œuvre des Grecs en Iran, Paris: Éditions Picard, 2016.

Keywords: Persepolis - Persian empire - Ionia - Ionian satrapy - deportation - architecture - Greek sculpture - statues - maps - plans - illustrations - Darius I - throne room - Apadana - tribute bearers - Gate of All Nations - comparison - Athenian culture - Acropolis of Athens - Panathenaic Games - Athenian democracy - Persian authoritarianism - photography - restorations

Abstract: Historien de l’art et des civilisations, Henri Stierlin scrute depuis de longues années les arts de la Grèce et de la Perse. Fasciné par Persépolis, il a confronté les vestiges des monuments grecs d’Ionie, datant du VIe siècle avant notre ère, aux ruines des palais perses bâtis vingt ans plus tard dans l’Empire perse. L’Ionie s’étendait à l’ouest de l’Asie mineure, entre Phocée et Milet. Contrairement aux idées reçues, Henri Stierlin soutient qu’une intense coopération s’était établie entre les Grecs d’Ionie et les Perses, après les invasions de ces derniers en Grèce et la déportation des populations grecques en Perse. Son œil de photographe et d’esthète lui permet d’affirmer que le palais royal de Persépolis construit par Darius Ier, l’apadana ou salle du trône et sa célèbre frise des Tributaires, furent construits et décorés par des architectes et des sculpteurs grecs. Il démontre, photographies et textes à l’appui, l’utilisation de techniques grecques sur le site le plus célèbre d’Iran. L’ouvrage met ainsi à l’honneur et l’architecture et la sculpture de Persépolis, à travers une théorie stimulante sur les relations entre Grecs et Perses. Henri Stierlin offre ainsi une lecture nouvelle de la célèbre frise des Panathénées qui ornait le Parthénon sur l’acropole d’Athènes. Elle apparaît comme une réponse de la démocratie athénienne à l’autoritarisme persan. À la multitude ordonnée des représentants de toutes les nations de l’Empire apportant leur tribut, elle oppose la cavalcade joyeuse des citoyens d’Athènes. Cet ouvrage est servi par une magnifique iconographie, en partie tirée des clichés et archives de l’auteur et pour partie réalisée par le photographe Adrien Buchet. La préface est signée de Manolis Korres, l’architecte qui a mené les restaurations du Parthénon à Athènes.

Overview of Mesopotamian history on the basis of the collection in the Louvre

Title: Thomas, A., La Mésopotamie au Louvre: De Sumer à Babylone, Paris : Somogy Editions, 2016.

Keywords: Louvre - Louvre collection - overview - Mesopotamian history - pottery - irrigation - statues - seals - development of script - urbanisation - kingdoms - cities

Abstract: Dans une vision passionnante et dynamique, cet ouvrage raconte l'histoire plurimillénaire de la Mésopotamie, berceau des premières villes et de l'écriture, par laquelle on connaît les plus anciens rois et empires de l'histoire, ainsi que leurs premières lois. Son auteur, Ariane Thomas, conservatrice chargée des collections mésopotamiennes du Louvre et docteur en archéologie, s'attache à dévoiler toutes les facettes d'une fabuleuse civilisation aujourd'hui disparue mais qui conserve à juste titre une place privilégiée dans notre imaginaire collectif. Dans ce pays « entre les deux fleuves » Tigre et Euphrate apparaissent les premiers témoignages d'inventions aussi fondamentales que l'irrigation, la charrue, la céramique ou le tour de potier et bien des avancées en mathématiques ou en astronomie - dont nous avons notamment hérité le découpage du temps. Une illustration très riche permet ainsi de découvrir au fil des pages comment vivaient les Mésopotamiens, d'Uruk à Babylone, en passant par Ur, Assur ou Ninive. Leurs villes colossales construites en argile et leurs décors témoignent de la grandeur de l'ancienne Mésopotamie, tout comme leurs splendides statues, vases, bijoux et sceaux. Quant aux innombrables textes mésopotamiens, ils nous parlent directement de la société et de ses croyances. Ce livre d'art autant que d'histoire est également l'occasion de s'émerveiller devant les exceptionnelles collections du Louvre qui abritent ces chefs-d'œuvre universels que sont le Code de Hammurabi, la Stèle des vautours ou les vestiges monumentaux du palais de Khorsabad.

Migration and Refugees

Title: Sánchez, V. M., Migraciones, refugiados y amnistía en el derecho internacional del Antiguo Oriente Medio, II milenio A.C., Madrid: Tecnos, 2016.

Keywords: 2nd millenium BC - refugees - immigrants - bilateral contracts - contracts between kingdoms - letters - annals - contracts with the Hittite kingdom - Egypt

Abstract: Este estudio sobre refugiados, emigrantes y amnistía en el derecho internacional del II milenio a. C. combina técnicas de derecho internacional, historia de las ideas e historiografía para investigar con rigor los primeros desarrollos del derecho que regula las relaciones entre estados soberanos territoriales en estos ámbitos. El libro examina las fuentes originales -tratados hititas, cartas diplomáticas, anales, plegarias y otros textos religiosos, etc..- y los desarrollos doctrinales en esta materia procedentes en lo esencial de estudios arqueológicos, paleográficos humanísticos y bíblicos, así las escasas publicaciones de historia del derecho internacional público o de las relaciones internacionales de este período remoto. El autor ofrece, de un lado, los principios generales y las normas particulares contenidas en los primeros regímenes bilaterales que regulaban internacionalmente los fenómenos migratorios y de refugiados, en lo esencial, los tratados bilaterales cerrados por el Reino Hitita con los Estados y semi-Estados del Antiguo Oriente Medio (circa 1700 a 1200 a. C.) que cubre un espacio geográfico perteneciente a tres continentes, el europeo, asiático y africano. Y de otro, la conexión de la cuestión de los refugiados políticos con la primera amnistía internacional de la Historia contenida en uno de esos tratados internacionales, el famoso Tratado de Qadesh (1259 a. C.) entre Hattusil III Rey Hitita, y Ramsés II, Faraón de Egipto del que se han conservado sus dos versiones, la depositada en los archivos del Reino Hitita y la propia de Egipto. Esta monografía identifica además otras pautas más generales del Derecho internacional y de las Relaciones internacionales de aquella época y provee así un recuento histórico-normativo fascinante al mismo tiempo para investigadores, estudiantes y académicos del Derecho, la Historia y las Humanidades. (table of content)

Transfer of Mesopotamian culture into the 1st millenium CE

Title: Svärd, S., Cross-cultural studies in Near Eastern history and literature, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 2016.

Keywords: disability - intercultural transfer - Assyria - royal food - sweetening agents - condiments - 1st millenium CE - translation - transmission - Ancient North Arabia - Early Islam - Arabic Graffiti - Early Arabic Poetry - Šumma ālu ina mēlê šakin - coloured animals - Antiochos the Great - Robe of Nebuchadnezzar - Orientalism - Hellenocentrism - Arrian - Xerxes - statues - Harmodios - Aristogeiton

Abstract: Die Beiträge zu diesem Band gehen zurück auf Zusammenkünfte des Projekts “Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East” (IHANE) an der Universität von Helsinki in den Jahren 2010–2015. Ziel von IHANE war und ist die Untersuchung kultureller, linguistischer und literarischer Bezüge zwischen dem Nahen Osten und dem Westen und der Interaktion zwischen dem Nahen Osten und dem Antiken Griechenland im Besonderen. Zahlreiche Workshops und Konferenzen sind organisiert worden. Die Beiträge bringen die engen Disziplinen Assyriologie, Ägyptologie, Alte Geschichte, Altarabistik und Islam-Studien zusammen. (table of content)

The Reception of Babylon in Western Culture

Title: Scheil, A., Babylon under western eyes : a study of allusion and myth, Toronto ; Buffalo ; London: University of Toronto Press, 2016.

Keywords: Babylon - Bible - metaphor - political metaphor - classical reception - medieval reception - medieval Christianity - modern reception - adaption - apocalyptic fiction - influence of biblical paradigms

Abstract: Babylon under Western Eyes examines the mythic legacy of ancient Babylon, the Near Eastern city which has served western culture as a metaphor for power, luxury, and exotic magnificence for more than two thousand years. Sifting through the many references to Babylon in biblical, classical, medieval, and modern texts, Andrew Scheil uses Babylon’s remarkable literary ubiquity as the foundation for a thorough analysis of the dynamics of adaptation and allusion in western literature. Touching on everything from Old English poetry to the contemporary apocalyptic fiction of the “Left Behind” series, Scheil outlines how medieval Christian society and its cultural successors have adopted Babylon as a political metaphor, a degenerate archetype, and a place associated with the sublime. Combining remarkable erudition with a clear and accessible style, Babylon under Western Eyes is the first comprehensive examination of Babylon’s significance within the pantheon of western literature and a testimonial to the continuing influence of biblical, classical, and medieval paradigms in modern culture. (table of content)

Social Theory and Near Eastern Archaeology

Title: Milevski, I. and T. E. Levy, Framing archaeology in the Near East : the application of social theory to fieldwork, Sheffield, UK ; Bristol, CT : Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2016.

Keywords: archaeology - social theory - fieldwork - Middle Eastern archaeology - archaeological interpretation - anthropology - positivism - hisotical paradigms - ‘processual’ archaeology - Marxist archaeology - ‘post-processual’ archaeology - evolutionist archaeology - cognitive achaeology - symbolic archaeology - cyber-archaeology

Abstract: This volume presents a series of studies by scholars working in Middle Eastern archaeology who actively apply social theory to interpret their fieldwork. It aims to highlight the value of using social theory in the interpretation of field work in a region where, traditionally, such approaches have not played a major role. There are a number of factors that account for why social theory is often under-exploited by archaeologists in this part of the world. In many countries, where large numbers of the foreign archaeologists are involved, a division between those doing fieldwork and those undertaking archaeological interpretation can easily arise. Or, the lack of interest in social theory may stem from a legacy of positivism that overrides other approaches. There is also the fact that archaeology and anthropology often belong to separate academic departments and are considered two separate disciplines disconnected from each other. In some cases the centrality of historical paradigms has precluded the use of social theory. There are also divisions between universities and other research institutions, such as departments of antiquities, which is not conductive to interdisciplinary cooperation. This factor is especially debilitating in contexts of rapid destruction of sites and the exponential growth of salvage excavations and emergency surveys. The papers integrate a wide range of perspectives including ‘New’ or ‘Processual’ archaeology, Marxist, ‘Post-Processual’, evolutionist, cognitive, symbolic, and Cyber- archaeologies and touch on many topics including 3D representation, GIS, mapping and social theory, semiotics and linguistics, gender and bioarchaeology, social and technical identities, and modern historical modellingy and social practices in Middle Eastern archaeology. (table of content)

Hittite Miscellaneous Texts in Translation (Rituals, Letters etc.)

Title: Tischler, J., Hethitische Texte in Transkription KUB 56 und KUB 57, Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016.

Keywords: Hittite texts - translations - dream reports - vows - rituals - descriptions of festivals - letters

Abstract: Der vorliegende Doppelband aus der Reihe Dresdner Beiträge zur Hethitologie präsentiert die Transkriptionen der Keilschriftenautografien Hethitische Gelübde und Traumtexte sowie Rituale und Festbeschreibungen von Horst Klengel (1986) und Hethitische Briefe und Texte verschiedenen Inhalts von Alfonso Archi (1987). Anlage und Zielsetzung des Bandes orientieren sich an denjenigen der zahlreichen Transkriptionsbände, die Detlev Groddek in den letzten Jahren in dieser Reihe veröffentlicht hat.(table of content)

Materiality of Cuneiform Tablets

Title: Balke, T. E. and C. Tsouparopoulou, Materiality of writing in early Mesopotamia, Berlin: De Gruyter, 2016.

Keywords: script-bearing artefact - tablets - materiality - material presence - spatial contexts - function - receptions - literacy

Abstract: Die Relation zwischen schrifttragendem Artefakt und dessen materieller Natur sowie dem meist herrschaftsdiskursiven Inhalt der verschrifteten Texte hat bislang kaum im Fokus der altorientalischen Forschung gestanden. Der Band möchte hierzu rezente kulturwissenschaftliche Forschungsansätze zur Relevanz der Materialität und Präsenz des Geschriebenen unter Berücksichtigung sozial-ontologischer Gesichtspunkte vorstellen und dadurch den Forschungsraum des alten Vorderasiens vom 4. Jtsd. v. Chr. bis zum 2. Jtsd. v. Chr. in seiner ganzen materiellen Bandbreite präsentieren. Untersucht werden Artefakte wie Tontafeln, Weihplatten, Stelen, Schalen, Siegel, Kegel, Nägel, Statuen, Vasen, Perlen usw. Gefragt wird dabei nach dem besonderen Zusammenwirken von Text, Schriftmedium und Stofflichkeit innerhalb eines damit assoziierten Umfelds. Wie verändern etwa gewähltes Material und Verwendungszweck eines Artefakts dessen Rezeption und Wahrnehmung und welche möglichen Hinweise auf den Grad der Lesefähigkeit in der Bevölkerung lassen sich daraus entnehmen. (corrigenda) (table of content) (open access)


Title: Palmiro N. and G. Visicato, Early Dynastic and Early Sargonic administrative texts : mainly from the Umma Region in the Cornell University cuneiform collections (CUSAS 33), Bethesda, Maryland: CDL Press, 2016.

Keywords: Umma - Umma region - city-rulers of Umma - chief administrators - temple of Inanna - Zabalam - ED IIIb - Early Sargonic texts - sheep - livestock - hides - fodder - ghee cheese - lard - wool - garments - vegetables - fruit - flax - fish - timber - tools - weapons - fields - personnel - sale documents - legal texts - metals - barley - flour - bread - beer - school texts - Adab

Abstract: Photos, transliteration, translation, and commentary of economic cuneiform texts from mid-third millennium Umma.

Achaemenid cosmology

Title: Bashiri, I., Ancient Iran: cosmology, mythology, history, San Diego, CA : Cognella, 2016.

Keywords: Achaemenid empire - religion - myths - heros - saints - monarchs - rulership - hierarchy - Ahura-Mazda - cosmology - Ahuric order - Zoroaster - Egypt - Parthians - Sassanids

Abstract: Ancient Iran: Cosmology, Mythology, History presents Iran's pre-Islamic history within the context of both its complex cosmology and rich mythology. The book uses the concept of farr to show how authority, finding guidance in the cosmic realm, organized the lives of Iran's hero-saints in the mythic realm. It also discusses how historical monarchs organized their hierarchical societies according to the dictates of Ahura Mazda. The book is divided into three parts. The first part examines cosmology, concentrating on Ahura Mazda. and the Ahuric order that emanates from him. The next section addresses mythology and describes how the rulership of hero-saints promoted the farr, culminating in the unique creed of Zoroaster. The final section tells the history of pre-Islamic Iran. It begins with a study of life on the plateau, moves on to the stages of empire, and focuses on the interactions thus far neglected between the early Achaemenids and ancient Egypt. It concludes with the rule of the Parthians and Sassanids. Additionally, through a new interpretation of Firdowsi's Shahname, the volume shows how the prophet Zoroaster reorganized Mazdian cosmology to fit the ethical, philosophical, and sociological dynamics of Achaemenid and Sassanid Iran. The addition of a comprehensive account of the lives of the characters of the Shahname enhances the narrative. (table of content)

Neo-Assyrian borders in Iran

Title: Radner, K.; Kreppner, F. J. and A. Squitieri, Exploring the Neo-Assyrian frontier with western Iran : the 2015 season at Gird-i Bazar and Qalat-i Dinka, Gladbeck: PeWe-Verlag, 2016.

Keywords: 8th-7th century BC - Neo-Assyrian period - Neo-Assyrian kingdom - borders - settlements - Gird-i Bazar - Qalat-i Dinka - Lower Zab - elites - West Iran - pottery production

Abstract: Der erste Band der Reihe Peshdar Plain Project Publications legt die Ergebnisse der ersten Feldkampagne 2015 vor. Die Forschungen konzentrierten sich auf zwei Fundstätten, die in neuassyrischer Zeit Teil eines Siedlungskomplexes darstellen: das winzige Gird-i Bazar ist in der Ebene gelegen, während Qalat-i Dinka eindrucksvoll auf einem Felssporn über dem Unteren Zab liegt. An beiden Orten wurden geophysikalische Prospektionen vorgenommen, bevor in Gird-i Bazar mit der Ausgrabung begonnen wurde. Die einphasige Siedlung aus einfachen Einraumhäusern, die hier zutage tritt, bietet nicht nur die vergleichsweise seltene Gelegenheit, einen nicht der Elite gewidmeten Lebensraum neuassyrischer Zeitstellung zu erforschen, sondern wegen ihrer Grenzlage auch die hochwillkommene Chance, die Keramikkulturen Westirans (Hasanlu, Godin Tepe, Nush-i Jan und Baba Jan), mit der assyrischen Produktion des 8. und 7. Jahrhunderts zu synchronisieren. C14-Daten von Holzkohlefunden sichern die Datierung ab. (open access)

Persian Religious Policies

Title: Vikander Edelman, D., Religion in the Achaemenid Persian empire: emerging Judaisms and trends, Tübingen, Germany: Mohr Siebeck.

Keywords: dialectical tensions -religion - Persian empire - Yehud - Bible - monotheism - cults of Yehud - Persian period - Ethnicity - Southern Transjordan - Josiah - Jews - Judaism - incense burners - Assyrian religious policies - Persian religious policies – Achaemenid kingship - mythology - imperial religious policy – Achaemenid mutilation practices – double-shekel - Sidonian coinage - Persian Navy – Egyptian Gods - Egyptian cults - 27th dynasty - seals - glyptic - Phryia

Abstract: Lange Zeit meinte man, dass die Herrscher des Achämenidenreichs eine Politik der religiösen Toleranz innerhalb ihrer weitläufigen Provinzen und in ihren Kolonien vertraten. Die vierzehn Beiträge dieses Sammelbandes untersuchen verschiedene Aspekte der dynamischen Interaktion zwischen kaiserlichen und kommunalen Ebenen, die hauptsächlich auf regionale religiöse Praktiken Einfluss hatten. Einige der Beiträge befassen sich mit den aufkommenden Formen des Judentums unter achämenidischer Vorherrschaft, andere mit achämenidischer Religion, königlicher Ideologie und politischer Taktik bezüglich der Religion. Manche behandeln Aspekte der phönizischen Religion und dem Wandel hin zu ägyptischen religiösen Bräuchen. Ein weiterer Beitrag spricht die Ausübung verschiedener Religionen in Phrygien an, auf die Abbildungen auf Siegeln hinweisen. Gemeinsam zeigen die Beiträge, dass Toleranz mehr Teil politischer Zweckmäßigkeit war als eine allgemeingültige Strategie, die aus religiöser Überzeugung entstanden war. (table of content)

An Introduction to Archaeology

Title: Shafer-Elliott, C., The five-minute archaeologist in the southern Levant, Sheffield, UK: Equinox Publishing Ltd, 2016.

Keywords: introduction - archaeology - basic questions - Southern Levant - surveys - archaeological concepts - techniques - excavations - locations - tells - sites

Abstract: The Five-Minute Archaeologist in the Southern Levant is a user-friendly exploration of basic concepts within archaeology and the techniques and methods used by archaeologists in the field. It is intended for students and lay readers alike, such as those participating in community archaeology for the first time, and would be an excellent reader for introductory level courses on the archaeology of the Southern Levant. Topics range from basic questions such as ‘how do archaeologists chose where to dig?’ to surveys of archaeological concepts and types of archaeology, written by specialists in those particular fields. Chapters are informal and relaxed – more like a chat or discussion that will help to answer some of the basic questions that archaeologists are often asked. (table of content)

Seals in the British Museum IV

Title: Wiseman, D. J., Collon, and E. Porada, Catalogue of the Western Asiatic seals in the British Museum: Cylinder Seals IV, London: Trustees of the British Museum, 2016.

Keywords: cylinder seals - second millenium - 2nd millenium - Babylonia - regional glyptic styles - seal-cutting - Kassite cylinder seals - Mitannian seals - Middle Assyrian style - Iranian seals - Cypriot seals - materials - stones

Abstract: Where the Egyptians have wall paintings, the ancient Near East has cylinder seals as the main source of illustrative material, covering a range of subject matter and periods not covered by relief sculptures. The seals are particularly attractive, and the inscriptions are rare examples of personal prayer from the ancient world. This volume continues the story of the cylinder seal styles of the second millennium BC beyond Babylonia in this internationally recognized series documenting the British Museum’s cylinder seals collection. The Isin/Larsa and Old Babylonian Periods of the early 2nd millennium BC merited a whole volume (Volume III), as did the succeeding Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian periods of the 1st millennium BC (Volume V) and the Pre-Achaemenid and Achaemenid periods of the 1st millennia BC-AD in Iran (Volume VI). However, between 2000 and 1000 BC whole series of regional glyptic styles were developed in various autonomous kingdoms and city states. Each of these has merited its own chapter or section within this current volume, with its own selection of photographs and catalogue entries. As the seals featured in this volume came from a number of different sites, they reflect a greater variety of styles than is the case with the single-period or single-origin groups of seals treated in the previous catalogues. There was also a greater exchange of seal-cutting expertise between the various kingdoms, and it is possible to make tentative suggestions as to seals possibly cut by the same craftsman.

Collections Management Practice in the Near East

Title: Fitzpatrick, D., Managing archaeological collections in Middle Eastern countries : a good practice guide, Oxford: Archaeopress Archaeology, 2016.

Keywords: collections - management - preserving cultural heritage - preserving collections - preservation problems - Middle East - Middle Eastern archaeological collections - conservation

Abstract: Collections management practice is an often ignored aspect of archaeological research and salvage activities in many Middle Eastern countries, yet literally thousands of artefacts are recovered every year with no real strategies for managing them sustainably into the future. In this guide, archaeologist Dianne Fitzpatrick sees archaeological collections management not in terms of a last-ditch effort to solve on-site storage crises and preservation problems at the end of a project, but as a means of integrating achievable good-practice strategies into research designs and site management plans from the start, or for that matter, at any time that assist project directors and local Antiquities Directorates. Strategies designed to protect and preserve ensure the cultural significance and research potential of artefacts is maintained throughout the archaeological process and encourages those creating, managing and preserving archaeological collections to work toward the same goals. Merging together conservation-led principles with current on-site practice in a practical manner, Managing Archaeological Collections in Middle Eastern Countries aims to be a good practice standard or checklist. (table of content)

BiOr. 73 3/4

Title: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, Bibliotheca orientalis, 2016.

Keywords: Hittite - Luwian - Hittite-Luwian parallels - stele - soul - Ugaritic - Ugaritic studies - textual base - Ṣa'dah - Tarīm - Ḥaḍramawt - Muslim grave stelas - book reviews - Pharaonic Egypt - Roman-Greek-Egypt - Assyriology - Semitistic Epigraphy - Hittitology - Judaica - Islam


GIUSFREDI, Federico: 'Soul' and 'Stele' in Hittite and Luwian

HARTLIEB, Jörg: Towards a Solid and Supportive Textual Base for Ugaritic Studies A (More) Comprehensive Review of KTU

SCHNEIDER, Madeleine: Quatre stèles funéraires musulmanes inédites Trois de Ṣa'dah (Yémen) et une de Tarīm (Ḥaḍramawt)

Literary reviews

JANER 16/2

Title: Winitzer, A. et al., Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 16/2, 2016.

Keywords: Pithos A - standing figure - YHWH - Asherah - sexual dualism - Bes - iconography - Khirbet Beit Lei - refugees - refugee hypothesis - tomb - Iron Age - Judah

Content: Thomas, R.: The Identity of the Standing Figures on Pithos A from Kuntillet ʿAjrud: A Reassessment

Mandell, A. and J. D. Smoak: Reconsidering the Function of Tomb Inscriptions in Iron Age Judah: Khirbet Beit Lei as a Test Case


Title: American Schools of Oriental Research, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, 10/2016.

Keywords: Tel Dor - Iron Age IIA - gazelles - Chalcolithic ritual - Marj Rabba - Bar Kokhba - refuge caves - glass vessels - Judaea - Amman citadel - inscription - Aila - Red Sea - port - agricultural economy - hinterland production - Kassite seals - gender - eunuchs - Kassite glyptic - Late Roman - Beit Nattif figurines - Thmuis - Tell el-Timai - Hellenisitic ceramic assemblage

Content: The current issue of BASOR includes articles: Tel Dor and Iron Age IIA Chronology, Gazelles, Liminality, and Chalcolithic Ritual: A Case Study from Marj Rabba, Israel; Glass Vessel Use in Time of Conflict: The Evidence from the Bar Kokhba Refuge Caves in Judaea, Israel; Line Five of the Amman Citadel Inscription: History of Interpretation and a New Proposal; Debating Ancient Synagogue Dating: The Implications of Deteriorating Data; A Diachronic Look at the Agricultural Economy at the Red Sea Port of Aila: An Archaeobotanical Case for Hinterland Production in Arid Environments; and more. (table of content)

Suicide in the Ancient Near East

Title: Dietrich, J., Der Tod von eigener Hand : Studien zum Suizid im Alten Testament, Alten Ägypten und Alten Orient, Tübingen : Mohr Siebeck, 2016.

Keywords: suicide - honour - failure - social status - family honour - death - Gilgamesh - Israel - blame - guilt - suicide as an escape from war - Naram-Sîn - Assurbanipal - Dialogue of Pessimism - suicide threads - Old Babylonian letters - suicide as sacrifice - royal cemetary at Ur - Neo Assyrian suicide of courtiers

Abstract: Viele Fragen zur Selbsttötung und zum gesellschaftlichen Umgang mit Selbsttötung werden aktuell in der Öffentlichkeit und auf verschiedenen Forschungsfeldern diskutiert. Eine umfassende Behandlung des Themas mit Blick auf das Alte Testament und die Kulturen des Alten Orients, einschließlich des Alten Ägypten, stand bislang jedoch aus. Mit dem vorliegenden Band schließt Jan Dietrich diese Forschungslücke. Er grenzt Suizid und Suizidgedanken vom allgemeinen Sterbens- und Todeswunsch ab und wählt einen kulturgeschichtlichen und soziologischen Zugriff auf die Quellen. Die Selbsttötung wird dabei aus der Perspektive des Suizidanten und aus der Perspektive der Kulturen des Altertums verständlich gemacht und es wird gezeigt, dass sie fernab von dem Stigma Krankheit oder Sünde ihren Platz in der Wiege unserer Kultur hatte. Entsprechend wird die Selbsttötung als »Sinngeschichte«, als ein mit Sinn besetzter Versuch zur Lösung eines lebensrelevanten Problems begriffen. Der Autor unterscheidet zwischen eskapistischen Formen des Suizids in unterschiedlichen Kontexten sowie zwischen aggressiven und oblativen Formen und macht die Selbsttötung besonders vor dem Hintergrund vorherrschender Ehr- und Schamvorstellungen verständlich.

Political Thought in Mesopotamia

Title: Black, A., A World History of Ancient Political Thought, Oxford, United Kingdom : Oxford University Press, 2016.

Keywords: political thought – kingship – justice – law – society

Abstract: This revised and expanded edition of A World History of Ancient Political Thought examines the political thought of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, Iran, India, China, Greece, Rome and early Christianity, from prehistory to c.300 CE. The book explores the earliest texts of literate societies, beginning with the first written records of political thought in Egypt and Mesopotamia and ending with the collapse of the Han dynasty and the Western Roman Empire. In most cultures, sacred monarchy was the norm, but this ranged from absolute to conditional authority. 'The people' were recipients of royal (and divine) beneficence. Justice, the rule of law and meritocracy were generally regarded as fundamental. In Greece and Rome, democracy and liberty were born, while in Israel the polity was based on covenant and the law. Confucius taught humaneness, Mozi and Christianity taught universal love; Kautilya and the Chinese 'Legalists' believed in realpolitik and an authoritarian state. The conflict between might and right was resolved in many different ways. Chinese, Greek and Indian thinkers reflected on the origin and purposes of the state. Status and class were embedded in Indian and Chinese thought, the nation in Israelite thought. The Stoics and Cicero, on the other hand, saw humanity as a single unit. Political philosophy, using logic, evidence and dialectic, was invented in China and Greece, statecraft in China and India, political science in Greece. Plato and Aristotle, followed by Polybius and Cicero, started 'western' political philosophy. This book covers political philosophy, religious ideology, constitutional theory, social ethics, official and popular political culture. (table of content)

Hittite dictionary

Title: Tischler, J., Vocabulaire hittite: y compris louvite, palaïte, akkadien et sumérien, Leuven: Peeters, 2016.

Keywords: Hittite dictionary – enclitic particles – suffixes – idiomatic expressions

Abstract: Ce Vocabulaire hittite présente, en français, une nouvelle édition, augmentée et revue du Hethitisches Handwörterbuch de J. Tischler. De nombreux exemples, incluant expressions idiomatiques et chaînes enclitiques, accompagnent les traductions. L'objectif de cet ouvrage est de proposer un dictionnaire aisément accessible au monde académique et scientifique francophone et de contribuer ainsi au développement des études concernant le hittite et les langues voisines.(table of content)

Hittite sentence connectives

Title: Inglese, G., Subordination and sentence connectives in Old Hittite : a corpus-based study of clause linkage strategies in Hittite, München : LINCOM GmbH, 2016.

Keywords: Old Hittite – sentence connectives – subordinate clauses – Hittite grammar – syntax

Abstract: This monograph offers a new investigation of the Old Hittite sentence connectives nu, šu, and ta, with a focus on their occurrence after subordinate clauses. Although this phenomenon is well known to Hittitologists, a comprehensive account of the synchronic function and the origin of this peculiar construction is still missing. This work aims at partly fulfilling this gap. Based on a detailed corpus analysis of original Old Hittite texts, the occurrence of connectives after subordinate clauses is synchronically investigated in order to assess its syntactic, semantics, or pragmatic motivations. Both quantitative and qualitative data are taken into account, and the discussion is framed within current trends in general and typological linguistics. This study also takes a closer look at the origin of this syntactic pattern, and discusses how the occurrence of connectives in different syntactic environments can be diachronically motivated, taking into consideration the diachronic typology of clause linkage strategies. Building on evidence collected throughout the work, it is argued that a correct understanding of the occurrence of connectives after subordinate clauses in Old Hittite leads to useful insights explaining post-Old Hittite developments in clause linkage, notably the expansion of nu and the eventual disappearance of šu and ta. (table of content)

Seleukid kings

Title: Chrubasik, B., The men who would be king: kings and usurpers in the Seleukid Empire, Oxford: Thesis (D.Phil.) University of Oxford, 2016.

Keywords: Seleukid period – Seleukid empire – kingship – usurpers – kings – rebels – literature – numismatology – politics – rulers – Seleukid state

Abstract: Kings and Usurpers in the Seleukid Empire: The Men who would be King focuses on ideas of kingship and power in the Seleukid empire, the largest of the successor states of Alexander the Great. Exploring the question of how a man becomes a king, it specifically examines the role of usurpers in this particular kingdom - those who attempted to become king, and who were labelled as rebels by ancient authors after their demise - by placing these individuals in their appropriate historical contexts through careful analysis of the literary, numismatic, and epigraphic material. By writing about kings and rebels, literary accounts make a clear statement about who had the right to rule and who did not, and the Seleukid kings actively fostered their own images of this right throughout the third and second centuries BCE. However, what emerges from the documentary evidence is a revelatory picture of a political landscape in which kings and those who would be kings were in constant competition to persuade whole cities and armies that they were the only plausible monarch, and of a right to rule that, advanced and refuted on so many sides, simply did not exist. Through careful analysis, this volume advances a new political history of the Seleukid empire that is predicated on social power, redefining the role of the king as only one of several players within the social world and offering new approaches to the interpretation of the relationship between these individuals themselves and with the empire they sought to rule. In doing so, it both questions the current consensus on the Seleukid state, arguing instead that despite its many strong rulers the empire was structurally weak, and offers a new approach to writing political history of the ancient world. (table of content)

Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods in Upper Mesopotamia

Title: Iamoni, M., Trajectories of complexity : Socio-economic dynamics in Upper Mesopotamia in the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016.

Kewords: Neolothic period – Chalcolithic period – socio-economic complexity – North Mesopotamia – Upper Mesopotamia - 6th millennium BC – 5th millennium BC – 4th millenium BC – Syria – Turkey – settlement patterns – pottery

Abstract: This volume is the result of a workshop that was organised by Salam Al-Quntar and the editor of the present proceedings on June 11, 2014 during the 9th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (ICAANE) in Basel, Switzerland. The workshop’s aim was to stimulate colleagues studying the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods in Mesopotamia to present papers investigating the development of human societies during the 6th - 4th millennia BC in Upper Mesopotamia. Of specific interest was the analysis of the “socio-economic complexity” phenomenon, seen as part of dynamics that cross the usual chronological boundaries (and thus not only as the result of typical 5th and 4th millennium BC processes). The ten contributions that compose the volume propose conclusions that go beyond such rigid subdivisions; moreover, many of them present the most recent data from key research projects currently ongoing in Upper Mesopotamia (north-eastern Syria, south-eastern Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan). Therefore this volume offers an updated - and to some extent alternative - view of the crucial changes (such as different types of settlement pattern, variations in ceramic traditions, the use of new production technologies and emergence of early forms of urbanism) that characterised the region throughout the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods. (table of content)

Habur and Middle Euphrates in the 2nd Millenium

Title: Yamada, Sh. and D. Shibata, Cultures and societies in the Middle Euphrates and Habur areas in the second millennium BC, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016.

Kewords: School Texts – Syria - Habur – Middle Euphrates – Old Babylonian - School Curriculum - 2nd Millenium – Education – Scribal Tradition – School Texts – Old Babylonian - School Curriculum - Middle Babylonian - Hana – Emar – Ekalte – Hittite Scribal Culture

Abstract: The excavations of various archaeological sites along the Habur and the Middle Euphrates region since the 1970s have supplied us with a great amount of inscriptional sources that shed new light on the scribal culture, society, and history of those areas and their relations to their surroundings. Particularly in order to reach a comprehensive understanding of the scribal education and traditions in the region, the conference “Cultures and Societies in the Middle Euphrates and Habur Areas in the Second Millennium BC: Scribal Education and Scribal Traditions” was held in Tsukuba, Japan, in December 2013. This volume includes ten papers by assyriologists who participated in the conference. Next to various analyses of local and regional scribal traditions from fresh philological and archaeological viewpoints, new texts are published and studied. Dealing with the scribal education and traditions examined in the written sources from Mari, Terqa, Tabatum/Tabetu (Tell Taban), Emar, Ugarit, Hattusa, and southern Babylonian cities, the volume makes a significant contribution to the understanding of the aspects of transmission, diffusion, and interaction of local and regional scribal cultures in Mesopotamia, Syria, and Anatolia during the second Millennium BC. (table of content)

Ziqqurats in Strasbourg

Title: Quenet, Ph., Ana Ziqquratim - Sur la piste de Babel, Presse universitaires de Strasbourg, 2016.


Abstract: Catalog for exhibition with same title. (website of exhibition, table of content).

Mesopotamian Sounds

Title: Rendu Loisel, A.-C., Les chants du monde : le paysage sonore de l'ancienne Mésopotamie, Presses Universitaires du Mirail, 2016.


Abstract: (in French)

FS Liverani

Title: Bartolini, G and Big, M.G. (ads.), Not only history : proceedings of the Conference in Honor of Mario Liverani held in Sapienza-Universita di Roma, Dipartimento di scienze dell'antichita, 20-21 April 2009, Winona Lake, Indiana : Eisenbrauns, 2016.


Abstract: In 2009, Mario Liverani celebrated his 70th birthday and retired from teaching at Sapienza–Università di Roma, although his book Antico Oriente: Storia, società, economia remains in wide use and is still foundational for anyone studying the ancient Near East. The Dipartimento di Scienze Storiche, Archeologiche e Antropologiche dell'Antichità, where Mario Liverani was a leading specialist since the department's inception, celebrated Liverani's milestone birthday and retirement with a conference held in his honor, and this book publishes the papers that were read at the conference on April 20-21, 2009.
The title chosen for the conference was "Not Only History/Non solo storia," which alludes to Liverani's multiple interests and forays into the field of the ancient Near East and Egypt. A select group of scholars and colleagues was chosen to represent Prof. Liverani's fields of interests, because it was impossible to include all of the Italian and international colleagues who could have been invited. Even so, the list of eminent contributors in the fields of ancient Near Eastern history, art, linguistics, and archaeology is more than adequate to recommend acquisition of this fine collection: John Baines (Oxford), Dominique Charpin (Collège de France), Joaquín María Córdoba (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Jerrold Cooper (Johns Hopkins), Jean-Marie Durand (Collège de France), Peter Machinist (Harvard), David Mattingly (University of Leicester), Piotr Michalowski (University of Michigan), Nadav Na'man (Tel Aviv University), Nicholas Postgate (Cambridge), Johannes Renger (Free University of Berlin), Marc Van de Mieroop (Columbia University), Irene Winters (Harvard), and Norman Yoffee (University of Michigan). (Table of content).

Anti-witchcraft part II

Title: Abusch, I. T., and Schwemer, D., Corpus of Mesopotamian anti-witchcraft rituals, volume 2, Brill, 2016.


Abstract: Among the most important sources for understanding the cultures and systems of thought of ancient Mesopotamia is a large body of magical and medical texts written in the Sumerian and Akkadian languages. An especially significant branch of this literature centres upon witchcraft. Mesopotamian anti-witchcraft rituals and incantations attribute ill-health and misfortune to the magic machinations of witches and prescribe ceremonies, devices, and treatments for dispelling witchcraft, destroying the witch, and protecting and curing the patient. The Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals aims to present a reconstruction of this body of texts; it provides critical editions of the relevant rituals and prescriptions based on the study of the cuneiform tablets and fragments recovered from the libraries of ancient Mesopotamia. (table of content).

Pictures of War

Title: Battini, L. (ed.), Making Pictures of War: Realia et Imaginaria in the Iconology of the Ancient Near East, Archaeopress Archaeology, 2016.


Abstract: This book brings together the main discussions that took place at an international conference on the iconology of war in the ancient Near East, a subject never addressed at an international meeting before. The articles span the 3rd to the 1st millennium, with a special stress on the Neo-Assyrian period. They try to respond to many questions about representations of war: what is ‘warrior’ iconography and on what basis it can be defined? Did the war scenes follow a specific directory whereby they adopted the most varied forms? Can we determine the most usual conditions for the creation of pictures of wartime (such as periods of great change)? Were the war scenes referring to specific historical events or were they generic representations? What can a society accept from the representations of war? What did war images silence and why? What is a ‘just’ punishment for enemies and thus the ‘just’ representation of it? Who has control of the representation and therefore also the memory of war? Who is the real subject of war representations? What emerges from all the articles published here is the relevance of textual data in any analysis of iconological material. And this is not only true for iconology, but for all the archaeological material discovered at historical sites. (Table of content).

Neo-Assyrian Shield

Title: Backer, F. De and Dehenin, E. The Neo-Assyrian shield : evolution, heraldry, and associated tactics, University of Exeter Press 2016.


Abstract: This handbook analyses the different types of shields used by soldiers in the Neo-Assyrian army and their opponents. Written, visual, and material sources are analysed to illustrate practical aspects of defensive weaponry in the ancient Near East in the first millennium B.C. The origins, use, evolution, and manufacture of shields are considered in presenting a typology of these objects. The first study of its kind, this work will appeal to advanced scholars, graduate students, general non-specialists, and re-enactors alike. (Table of content).

Mesopotamia at Montserrat

Title: Márquez Rowe, I., La colección mesopotámica del Museo de Montserrat.


Abstract: (Youtube presentation of book)

Cuneiform Palaeography

Title: Devecchi, E., Müller, G. G.W. and Mynářová, J. (ads), Current research in cuneiform palaeography : proceedings of the workshop organised at the 60th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Warsaw 2014, PeWe-Verlag 2015.


Abstract: (table of content)

Italian work in the Baghdad Museum

Title: Lippolis, C., de Martino, S., Parapetti, R. , and G. Capri, L'Iraq Museum di Baghdad. Gli interventi italiani per la riqualificazione di un patrimonio dell'umanità, apice libri, Firenze 2016.


Abstract: (table of content)

Fundamentals of economics

Title: Warburton, D., The fundamentals of economics : lessons from the Bronze Age Near East, Neuchâtel : Recherches et Publications, 2016.


Abstract: The Fundamental of Economics builds on the author’s earlier work demonstrating political and economic interaction in the third and second millennia BC. The fundamental premise is that there are laws of economics and that the data from Early Antiquity offer a deep time perspective on economic development, which is the only means of identifying the overriding laws of economics in urban civilized societies. The central argument is that in Early Antiquity (effectively the Bronze Age Near East, ca. 3000-1200 BC), demand was created by the requirements of the core states, and that this enabled and pushed the emergence of market forces. The economies of Antiquity were dominated by profound structural unemployment combined with low wages for unskilled labour – wages unrelated to the market value of the goods produced. Demand pushed technological development in peripheral regions offering products sought by the textile producing core powers exploiting cheap labour. This trend continued until recently, and the economies of the Pre-Industrial world were thus market economies from ca. 2000 BC. Throughout history, elite sponsored demand and money have played decisive roles in pushing growth while the distributive and regulatory mechanisms of the markets restricted wage growth, enhancing inequality and profits from finance and commerce blossomed. The changes of recent centuries in the West (i.e., after 1800 AD) are not due to science & technology or the liberation of markets & banks so much as the use of fiat money combined with low interest rates. A Financial Revolution transformed economics and society, partly because of investment possibilities and partly because of rising wages in fiat money. Money circulated freely through the economy, facilitating the emergence of new forms of business – and diminishing poverty through rising real wages. Money-wealth pushed science & technology, temporarily guaranteeing Western dominance. Due to market forces and diffusion, this Western transformation can only have a limited lifetime; economies are changing again as a result of recent developments; globalisation will resurrect earlier patterns, eroding the Western advantages and reducing living standards. This interpretation of history thus not only rejects the evolutionary paradigms of Marx and Polanyi, but also throws doubt on the theoretical validity of both the Neoclassical Synthesis and most varieties of Keynesianism which currently dominate economic thought.

Schippmann and Iran

Title: Farridnejad, S., Gyselen, R. & Joisten-Pruschke, A. (des.), Faszination Iran : Beiträge zur Religion, Geschichte und Kunst des Alten Iran : Gedenkschrift für Klaus Schippmann, Harrassowitz Verlag, 2015.


Abstract: This memorial volume is dedicated to one of the most prolific and renowned scholars in the field of Ancient Iranian Archaeology and History, the late Professor Klaus Schippmann (1924-2010), who held the chair of “Near Eastern Archaeology with special reference to Iran” at Georg-August-Universität of Göttingen until his retirement in 1990. The volume consists of eleven papers written by some of the foremost scholars in the field of Iranian Studies as well as some of his lifetime friends and colleagues. The articles are essentially concerned with different aspects of Ancient Iranian Art, Archaeology, History, Numismatics and Religion, reflecting Klaus Schippmann’s scholarly interests. The volume also presents parts of his unpublished private diary (1959) from his Nachlass, reflecting his ideas, visions and memories of his excavations as well as a report of his last trip to his favourable archaeological site of taḫt-e soleymān (Iran), written by his personal tour leader. The book is illustrated by numerous plates.(table of content)

Hitite to Homer

Title: Bachvarova, Mary R., From Hittite to Homer : the Anatolian background of ancient Greek epic, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2016.


Abstract: This book provides a groundbreaking reassessment of the prehistory of Homeric epic. It argues that in the Early Iron Age bilingual poets transmitted to the Greeks a set of narrative traditions closely related to the one found at Bronze Age Hattusa, the Hittite capital. Key drivers for Near Eastern influence on the developing Homeric trad- ition were the shared practices of supralocal festivals and venerating divinized ancestors, and a shared interest in creating narratives about a legendary past using a few specific storylines: theogonies, geneal- ogies connecting local polities, long-distance travel, destruction of a famous city because it refuses to release captives, and trying to overcome death when confronted with the loss of a dear companion. Professor Bachvarova concludes by providing a fresh explanation of the origins and significance of the Greco-Anatolian legend of Troy, thereby offering a new solution to the long-debated question of the historicity of the Trojan War. (Table of content)


Hurrian Texts from Emar

Title: Salvini, M., Les textes hourrites de Meskéné/Emar, Roma: Gregorian & Biblical Press, 2015.

Keywords: cuneiform texts - Hurrian - Emar - divination - divinatory texts

Abstract: L'ouvrage, en deux volumes, constitue l'editio princeps des textes cuneiforms en langue hourrite (XIII siecle av. J.C.) provenant des fouilles francaises dirigees par Jean-Claude Margueron a Meskene, l'ancienne Emar, sur l'Euphrate syrien, au cours des campagnes des annees 1972-1975. Les tablettes sont conservees au Musee d'Alep, avec les documents ecrits en akkadien publies par Daniel Arnaud. Leur contenu, essentiellement divinatoire, comporte de nombreuses abreviations cryptees qui en rendent l'interpretation difficile. Le style, le vocabulaire et la grammaire de ces textes appartenant a une langue non semitique et non indoeuropeenne, presentent de grandes differences avec les autres archives hourrites connues, notamment celles provenant de Bogazkoy et la "letter du Mittanni". Un lexique comparatif avec la documentation hourrite attestee et propose.

Sea Peoples’ Pottery

Title: Janeway, B., Sea Peoples of the Northern Levant? : Aegean-Style Pottery from Early Iron Age Tell Tayinat, Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2015.

Keywords: Sea Peoples - collapse - Late Bronze Age - Levant - Philistia - pottery - decorative features - Hittite Empire - excavations - Amuq Valley - Tell Taynat - Early Iron Age - texts - Hieroglyphic Luwin - Aegeanizing - painted pottery - Late Helladic IIIC - Aegean-style - amphorae - bowls - kraters - contact - indigenous culture - parallels - Greek Mainland - Cyprus

Abstract: Did an invasion of the Sea Peoples cause the collapse of the Late Bronze Age palace-based economies of the Levant, as well as of the Hittite Empire? Renewed excavations at Tell Tayinat in southeast Turkey are shedding new light on the critical transitional phase of the Late Bronze/Early Iron Age (ca. 1200–1000 B.C.), a period that in the Northern Levant has until recently been considered a “Dark Age,” due in large part to the few extant textual sources relating to its history. However, recently discovered epigraphic data from both the site and the surrounding region suggest the formation of an Early Iron Age kingdom that fused Hieroglyphic Luwian monumental script with a strong component of Aegeanizing cultural elements. The capital of this putative/erstwhile kingdom appears to have been located at Tell Tayinat in the Amuq Valley. More specifically, this formal stylistic analysis examines a distinctive painted pottery known as Late Helladic IIIC found at the site of Tayinat during several seasons of excavation. The assemblage includes examples of Aegean-style bowls, kraters, and amphorae bearing an array of distinctive decorative features. A key objective of the study distinguishes Aegean stylistic characteristics both in form and in painted motifs from those inspired by the indigenous culture. Drawing on a wide range of parallels from Philistia through the Levant, Anatolia, the Aegean Sea, the Greek Mainland, and Cyprus, this research begins to fill a longstanding lacuna in the Amuq Valley and attempts to correlate with major historical and cultural trends in the Northern Levant and beyond.

Neo-Hittite Seals

Title: Kubala, A., Iconography of 'Neo-Hittite' seals, Warsaw : Creator Publishing House, 2015.

Keywords: Neo-Hittite period - glyptic - seals - Neo-Hittite icoography - Southern Anatolia - Northern Syria - 10th-8th century - motifs

Abstract: The presented book is the first comprehensive study of seals that originated in the territory of southern Anatolia and northern Syria in the time span from the 10th to the 8th century B.C., commonly referred to as Neo-Hittite. The objects discussed in the publication are currently housed at sixteen museums and private collections. The aim of the book is to define the phenomenon called "Neo-Hittite glyptic" based primarily on iconographic, but also stylistic analysis of whole scenes as well as separate motifs decorating seals included in this category. It will help to answer the basic question if we are justified in using the term Neo-Hittite to determine seals to which such a label was applied by modern scholars. (table of content)

Death in the Ancient Near East (Bible)

Title: Hays, C. B., A covenant with death : death in the Iron Age II and its rhetorical uses in proto-Isaiah, Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2015.

Keywords: Iron Age II - funerary practices - Mesopotamia - Egypt - Syria - Palestine - 1st Isaiah - First Isaiah - I. Isaiah - death - Isaiah 5-38 - believes about death

Abstract: The book shows how ancient Near Eastern attitudes toward death illumine the Hebrew Bible. Death is one of the major themes of First Isaiah, although it has not generally been recognized as such. In this work Christopher Hays offers fresh interpretations of more than a dozen passages in Isaiah 5-38 in light of ancient beliefs about death. What especially distinguishes Hays's study is its holistic approach, as he brilliantly synthesizes both literary and archaeological evidence, resulting in new insights. Hays first summarizes what is known about death in the ancient Near East during the Second Iron Age, covering beliefs and practices in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria-Palestine, and Judah/Israel. He then shows how select passages in the first part of Isaiah employ the rhetorical imagery of death that was part of their cultural context; further, he identifies ways in which these texts break new creative ground. (table of content in Google Preview)

Legal Proceedings in the Ancient Near East

Title: Barta, H., Lang, M. and R. Rollinger, Prozessrecht und Eid : Recht und Rechtsfindung in antiken Kulturen: Innsbrucker Tagung "Lebend(ig)e Rechtsgeschichte" (6th : 2011 : Innsbruck, Austria), Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz Verlag, 2015.

Keywords: ordeal – oath – law– history of law - procedural law – kudurru inscriptions – Middle Babylonian – Kassite period – collective debt – liability – evidence – cuneiform law – Biblical law – Israel – witnesses – Deuteronomy – judicial texts – assertory oath – court – Neo Babylonian period – Middle Assyrian – Hittite

Abstract: Seit 2004 findet in Innsbruck die Tagung „Lebend(ig)e Rechtsgeschichte“ statt, deren Referate veröffentlicht werden. Dieser Band enthält die Vorträge des ersten Teils der 6. Tagung vom Dezember 2011 zum Thema „Prozessrecht und Eid: Recht und Rechtsfindung in antiken Kulturen“. Inhaltlich bietet der Band nach einer Einleitung zum „Verfahrensrecht als frühes Zivilisierungsprojekt - Zur Teleologie rechtlicher Verfahren“ von Heinz Barta diese Beiträge: Kurt Kotrschal, Biologie oder Moral?; Betina Faist, Der Eid im neuassyrischen Gerichtsverfahren; Eckart Otto, Prozessrecht und Beweiseid im Keilschriftrecht und im biblischen Recht. Ein rechtstypologischer Vergleich; Simone Paganini, Gerichtsorganisation und Prozessverfahren im Alten Israel. Beobachtungen zu Zentralgericht, Richter- und Zeugengesetz im Deuteronomium; Kristin Kleber, Des Frommen Zuflucht, des Übeltäters Verderben. Der assertorische Eid im Gerichtsprozess der spätbabylonischen Zeit; Gerhard Thür, Prozesseide im Gesetz Drakons und ihr Nachleben im klassischen Athen; Walther Sallaberger, Sumerische und altbabylonische Eidesformeln in lexikalischer und kulturhistorischer Perspektive; Guido Pfeifer, Klageverzichtsklauseln in altbabylonischen Vertrags- und Prozessurkunden als Instrumentarien der Konfliktvermeidung bzw. Konfliktlösung; Susanne Paulus, Ordal statt Eid - Das Beweisverfahren in mittelbabylonischer Zeit; Elena Devecchi, Die Rolle des Eides im hethitischen Prozessverfahren. Neben den Tagungsreferaten enthält der Band auch die Reden der Preisträger des erstmals verliehenen Preises für ‚Antike Rechtsgeschichte‘, Susanne Paulus (Münster) und Jan Dietrich (Leipzig). (table of content)

Societies in Transition

Title: Janssen, U., Gesellschaften im Wandel: Funerärer Aufwand und soziale Wirklichkeit im frühstaatlichen Mespotamien und Ägypten anhand von Grabbefunden aus Ur und Kafr Tarkhan, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2015.

Kewords: Mesopotamia - Egypt - comparative history - Early Dynastic - social history - funerary practices

Abstract: Dieser Band zieht einen qualitativen Vergleich der Darstellung sozialer Stratifizierung innerhalb der Bestattungssitten im frühdynastischen Südmesopotamien und im frühdynastischen Ägypten am Übergang vom 4. zum 3. Jahrtausend v.Chr. Eine Gegenüberstellung der beiden Regionen bietet sich wegen ihrer offenkundigen Gemeinsamkeiten und in mehrfacher Hinsicht beträchtlichen Unterschiede an.

Als Materialgrundlage dienen die Gräberfelder von Ur in Südmesopotamien und Tarkhan in Mittelägypten, die jeweils in ihrer Region die größten bekannten Gräberfelder ihrer Zeit darstellen. Die funeräre Symbolwelt bezieht sich in beiden Gesellschaften in verschiedener Weise auf die tatsächlichen sozialen Strukturen. Die beobachteten Differenzen lassen sich durch Unterschiede der Gesellschaften in Stadtstaat und Flächenstaat und die - zumindest zum Teil damit verbundenen - unterschiedlichen Jenseitsvorstellungen als kontrastierende bzw. bestätigende Sinnwelten im Sinne des sozialen Konstruktionismus erklären.

Rural Archaeology in Mesopotamia

Title: Schwartz, G.M. (ed.), Rural Archaeology in Early Urban Northern Mesopotamia: Excavations at Tell al-Raqa'i, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, Los Angeles, 2015.

Keywords: archaeology - urbanisation - Mesopotamia - Tell Al-Raqa'i

Abstract: This book presents a new perspective on the emergence of urban societies in Mesopotamia, focusing attention on life in a rural village and helping to correct the traditional bias by archaeologists toward the urban and the elite. Reporting on the extensive excavations at Tell al-Raqa’i (early-middle 3rd millennium BC) in upper Mesopotamia/Syria, the authors offer detailed studies on architecture, pottery, animal bones, plant remains, and other varieties of artifacts and ecofacts. These data provide a wealth of information on the nature of life in a small community during the transition to urbanism. Spatial and social organization, household economics, and the significance of enigmatic structures such as the Round Building and a small “temple” are among the issues discussed. ArtifactThe excavations at Raqa’i, with their exposure of a broad segment of an ancient village, reveal important new insights on the nature of rural life in upper Mesopotamia and on the role of villages in early urban societies in general. (Table of Contents)

Ancient Kanesh

Title: Trolle, M.T., Ancient Kanesh : a merchant colony in Bronze Age Anatolia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2015.

Keywords: Kanesh - economic history - Anatolia - Bronze Age - Assyria

Abstract: The ancient Anatolian city of Kanesh (present-day Kültepe, Turkey) was a continuously inhabited site from the early Bronze Age through Roman times. The city flourished c.2000–1750 BC as an Old Assyrian trade outpost and the earliest attested commercial society in world history. More than 23,000 elaborate clay tablets from private merchant houses provide a detailed description of a system of long-distance trade that reached from central Asia to the Black Sea region and the Aegean. The texts record common activities such as trade between Kanesh and the city state of Assur and between Assyrian merchants and local people. The tablets tell us about the economy as well as culture, language, religion, and private lives of individuals we can identify by name, occupation, and sometimes even personality. This book presents an in-depth account of this vibrant Bronze Age Anatolian society, revealing the daily lives of its inhabitants. (Table of Contents)

Ancient Near East in the 19th Century

Title: Levy, T. L., Schneider, T., and W.H.C. Propp (eds.), Israel's Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective : text, archaeology, culture, and geoscience, Springer, 2015.

Keywords: archaeology - Old Testament - religion - ancient Near East - Egypt - history - interdisciplinary

Abstract: The Bible's grand narrative about Israel's Exodus from Egypt is central to Biblical religion, Jewish, Christian, and Muslim identity and the formation of the academic disciplines studying the ancient Near East. It has also been a pervasive theme in artistic and popular imagination. Israel's Exodus in Transdisciplinary Perspective is a pioneering work surveying this tradition in unprecedented breadth, combining archaeological discovery, quantitative methodology and close literary reading. Archaeologists, Egyptologists, Biblical Scholars, Computer Scientists, Geoscientists and other experts contribute their diverse approaches in a novel, transdisciplinary consideration of ancient topography, Egyptian and Near Eastern parallels to the Exodus story, the historicity of the Exodus, the interface of the Exodus question with archaeological fieldwork on emergent Israel, the formation of biblical literature, and the cultural memory of the Exodus in ancient Israel and beyond.

This edited volume contains research presented at the groundbreaking symposium "Out of Egypt: Israel’s Exodus Between Text and Memory, History and Imagination" held in 2013 at the Qualcomm Institute of the University of California, San Diego. The combination of 44 contributions by an international group of scholars from diverse disciplines makes this the first such transdisciplinary study of ancient text and history. In the original conference and with this new volume, revolutionary media, such as a 3D immersive virtual reality environment, impart innovative, Exodus-based research to a wider audience. Out of archaeology, ancient texts, science and technology emerge an up-to-date picture of the Exodus for the 21st Century and a new standard for collaborative research. (Table of Contents)

Tell Nebi Mend

Title: Peter J. Parr (ed.), Excavations at Tell Nebi Mend, Syria, Volume I, Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - Syria - archaeology - history - prehistory

Abstract: The archaeological site of Tell Nebi Mend, a tell on the Homs plain in present-day Syria, is universally recognised as the location, first, of Qadesh (or Kadesh), where, in c. 1286 BC, the armies of Ramesses II of Egypt and Muwatalli II of Great Hatti fought the most famous battle of pre-classical antiquity, and, second, of Laodicea ad Libanum, founded most probably in the 3rd century BC as the capital of a district of the Seleucid empire.

Collaborative excavations undertaken over 12 seasons aimed to fill a major gap in archaeological knowledge between the northern and southern Levant and to develop an understanding of the archaeology and early history of the Levantine Corridor independent of, and supplementing, that based on Palestinian and Biblical research. The primary aim was to obtain as complete a sequence as possible of cultural and environmental data, sampling all periods of the site’s occupation, which included Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Hellenistic/Roman deposits, enclosures and defenses spanning the 7th millennium BC to the mid-1st millennium AD. A definitive classification of all types of Syrian pottery over two millennia was established, together with a much longer sequence of pottery, stone, metal and bone implements, terracottas and other cultural remains, accompanied by a wealth of environmental data and a series of radiometric dates.

The earliest settlement so far discovered at Tell Nebi Mend dates to the first half of the 7th millennium BC and is the subject of this volume. Five phases of occupation were recognised with architectural features including, at different times, house structures and remains of larger, probably communal, buildings, along with remains of plaster, floor surfaces, fire and rubbish pits and burials, followed by large-scale abandonment. More than 2000 sherds of Neolithic pottery and 1400 flint and obsidian artefacts were recovered.

Ancient Near East in the 19th Century

Title: Kevin M. McGeough, The Ancient Near East in the Nineteenth Century: Appreciations and Appropriations, Vols. I-III, 3 vols., Sheffield Phoenix Press, Sheffield, 2015.

Keywords: ancient Near East - historiography - Orientalism - contemporary history - literature - art - politics

Abstract: At the beginning of the nineteenth century, little was known of the ancient Near East except for what was preserved in the Bible and Classical literature. By the end of that century, an amazing transformation had occurred: the basic outline of ancient Near Eastern history was now understood and the material culture of the region was recognizable to the general public. This three-volume study explores the various ways by which non-specialists would have encountered ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Holy Land and how they derived and constructed meaning from those discoveries. McGeough challenges the simplistic view that the experience of the ancient Near East was solely a matter of ‘othering’ and shows how different people claimed the Near East as their own space and how connections were drawn between the ancient and contemporary worlds.

Volume I (Claiming and Conquering) traces how the study of the ancient Near East developed into a professional discipline and how interpretative frameworks were gradually standardized throughout the nineteenth century. Some of the best-sellers of the period were accounts of the early explorers of the region and, beginning with the Napoleonic expedition, the book examines how ancient Near Eastern discoveries were communicated to the public. It looks at how archaeological reporting was shaped in this period and how the study of the ancient Near East was employed to understand issues of progress and decline and was referenced in the political and social satire of the period. It also documents the growth of middle-class tourism to the region and considers how the changing experiences of travel impacted Near Eastern studies. Throughout, the book observes how the ancient Near East mirrored and subverted British society and played a role in European and North American thinking about their places in a larger global and historical perspective.

Volume II (Collecting, Constructing, and Curating) (Table of Contents) examines the different ways that non-specialists encountered the materiality of the ancient Near East over the course of the nineteenth century. During this time, people collected artifacts while traveling in the region or paid to see the collections that others brought back. The public experienced the ancient world in museum exhibits that privileged ‘real’ artifacts in a new context or in hyper-real displays (like the Crystal Palace) where whole buildings from the ancient Near East were reconstructed. Men and women dressed as biblical characters in travelling fairs or spent an evening unwrapping a mummy. Individuals bought Assyriological souvenirs and employed Egyptian styles in their design, first in higher quality designer products and later in novelty items. Egyptian temples provided the architectural inspiration for buildings in London and the ancient use of colour was a strong argument for reimagining Victorian style. The adoption of Egypt, especially, in the world’s-fair phenomenon linked the ancient Near East with a global future in which change was naturalized and consumers were taught not to be afraid of the transformations brought by the industrial age.

Volume III (Fantasy and Alternative Histories) (Table of Contents) argues that fiction and fantasy play an important role in establishing expectations about the past. Changing sensitivities towards realism in art meant that imaginary visions were charged with an archaeological aesthetic. Orientalist painting offered seemingly realistic glimpses of ancient life. Stage plays and opera used the ancient Near East for performances that explored contemporary issues. Mummy stories evolved from humorous time-travel tales into horror fiction rooted in fears of materialism, and adventure novels ruminated on the obligations and dangers of empire.

Alongside these explicitly fictional modes of thinking about the past, the nineteenth century saw a rise in popularity of esoteric thinking. People offered alternative versions of ancient history, imagining that ancient religious practices continued into the present, through secret societies like the Freemasons and the Rosicrucians or in the new movements of Mormonism and Theosophy. Volume III ends by examining the interpretations of the Near East offered by Sigmund Freud and H.P. Lovecraft, showing how these two figures influenced later popular experiences of the ancient Near East.

History of Science

Title: Klaus-Dietrich Fischer and Brooke Holmes (eds.), The Frontiers of Ancient Science: Essays in Honor of Heinrich von Staden, De Gruyter, Berlin, 2015.

Keywords: history of science - medicine - mathematics - science - lists - ancient history

Abstract: Our understanding of science, mathematics, and medicine today can be deeply enriched by studying the historical roots of these areas of inquiry in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. The fields of ancient science and mathematics have in recent years witnessed remarkable growth. The present volume brings together contributions from more than thirty of the most important scholars working in these fields in the United States and Europe in honor of the eminent historian of ancient science and medicine Heinrich von Staden, Professor Emeritus of Classics and History of Science at the Institute of Advanced Study and William Lampson Professor Emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at Yale University. The papers range widely from Mesopotamia to Ancient Greece and Rome, from the first millennium B.C. to the early medieval period, and from mathematics to philosophy, mechanics to medicine, representing both a wide diversity of national traditions and the cutting edge of the international scholarly community.

Text, Textual Acts, and History of Science

Title: Karine Chemla and Jacques Virbel (eds.), Texts, Textual Acts and the History of Science, Springer, 2015.

Keywords: history - mathematics - linguistics - lists

Abstract: The book presents the outcomes of an innovative research programme in the history of science and implements a Text Act Theory which extends Speech Act Theory, in order to illustrate a new approach to texts and textual communicative acts. It examines assertives (absolute or conditional statements, forecasts, insurance, etc.), directives, declarations and enumerations, as well as different types of textual units allowing authors to perform these acts: algorithms, recipes, prescriptions, lexical templates for terminological studies and enumerative structures. The book relies on the study of a broad range of documents of the past dealing with various domains: mathematics, zoology, medicine, lexicography. The documents examined come from scholarly sources from different parts of the world, such as China, Europe, India, Mesopotamia and are written in a variety of European languages as well as Chinese, Cuneiform and Sanskrit. This approach proves fruitful in both history of science and Text Act Theory.

Tradition and Innovation

Title: A. Archi (ed.), Tradition and Innovation in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 57th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale at Rome, 4-8 July 2011, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - ancient Near East - history - social history - religion - language - economic history - political history - art

Abstract: In July, 2011, the International Association for Assyriology met in Rome, Italy, for 5 days to deliver and listen to papers on the theme "Tradition and Innovation in the Ancient Near East." This volume, the proceedings of the conference, contains more than 40 of the papers read at the 57th annual Rencontre, including 3 plenary lectures/papers, many papers directly connected with the theme, as well as a workshop on parents and children. The papers covered every period of Mesopotamian history, from the third millennium through the end of the first millennium B.C.E. The attendees were warmly hosted by faculty and students from the Università di Roma "La Sapienza." (Table of Contents)

Mesopotamian Divination Texts

Title: Ulla Susanne Koch, Mesopotamian Divination Texts: Conversing with the Gods, Sources from the First Millennium BCE, Guides to the Mesopotamian Textual Record 7, Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - divination - omens - magic - scribes and scholars - history of science - text editions

Abstract: Divination is one of the best documented intellectual and religious endeavours of Ancient Mesopotamia. Texts pertaining to divination appear already at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC and the tradition continued up until the very end of cuneiform culture. But the lifespan of Mesopotamian divination is much longer than two millennia. It gestated in the 3rd millennium and remnants live on to this day in astrology and astronomy. This volume is dedicated to the sources from the 1st millennium. They are rich and varied, consisting of technical and theoretical works, explanatory texts, commentaries as well as ephemeral sources for the practical use of divination in the life of king and commoner. From being the preserves of a very few specialists, divination has become an important topic of study with new text editions and studies appearing every year, this book provides a survey of the sources, as well as an introduction to the history, theory and practice of the various divination genres.

Male and Female in the Gilgamesh Epic

Title: Tzvi Abusch, Male and Female in the Epic of Gilgamesh: Encounters, Literary History, and Interpretation, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - Akkadian - literature - textual history - textual criticism - gender - literary history

Abstract: The deeds and struggles of Gilgamesh, legendary king of the city-state Uruk in the land of Sumer, have fascinated readers for millennia. They are preserved primarily in the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the most well-known pieces of Mesopotamian literature. Studying the text draws us into an orbit that is engaging and thrilling, for it is a work of fantasy and legend that addresses some of the very existential issues with which contemporary readers still grapple. We experience the excitement of trying to penetrate the mind-set of another civilization, an ancient one—in this instance, a civilization that ultimately gave rise to our own.

The studies gathered here all demonstrate Tzvi Abusch's approach to ancient literature: to make use of the tools of literary, structural, and critical analysis in service of exploring the personal and psychological dimensions of the narration. The author focuses especially on the encounters between males and females in the story. The essays are not only instructive for understanding the Epic of Gilgamesh, they also serve as exemplary studies of ancient literature with a view to investigating streams of commonality between ancient times and ours. (Table of Contents)

Textiles and Dress

Title: Mary Harlow, Cécile Michel, and Marie-Louise Nosch (eds.), Prehistoric, Ancient Near Eastern & Aegean Textiles and Dress: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2015.

Keywords: ancient Near East - Aegean - textile production - archaeology - administration - gender - interdisciplinary

Abstract: Textile and dress production, from raw materials to finished items, has had a significant impact on society from its earliest history. The essays in this volume offer a fresh insight into the emerging interdisciplinary research field of textile and dress studies by discussing archaeological, iconographical and textual evidence within a broad geographical and chronological spectrum. The thirteen chapters explore issues, such as the analysis of textile tools, especially spindle whorls, and textile imprints for reconstructing textile production in contexts as different as Neolithic Transylvania, the Early Bronze Age North Aegean and the Early Iron Age Eastern Mediterranean; the importance of cuneiform clay tablets as a documentary source for both drawing a detailed picture of the administration of a textile industry and for addressing gender issues, such as the construction of masculinity in the Sumerian kingdoms of the 3rd millennium BC; and discussions of royal and priestly costumes and clothing ornaments in the Mesopotamian kingdom of Mari and in Mycenaean culture. Textile terms testify to intensive exchanges between Semitic and Indo-European languages, especially within the terminology of trade goods. The production and consumption of textiles and garments are demonstrated in 2nd millennium Hittite Anatolia; from 1st millennium BC Assyria, a cross-disciplinary approach combines texts, realia and iconography to produce a systematic study of golden dress decorations; and finally, the important discussion of fibres, flax and wool, in written and archaeological sources is evidence for delineating the economy of linen and the strong symbolic value of fibre types in 1st millennium Babylonia and the Southern Levant. The volume is part of a pair together with Greek and Roman Textiles and Dress: An Interdisciplinary Anthology edited by Mary Harlow and Marie-Louise Nosch.


Title: Peeter Espak, The God Enki in Sumerian Royal Ideology and Mythology, Harrassowitz Verlag, Weisbaden, 2015.

Keywords: Sumerian - mythology - comparative mythology - royal inscriptions - religion - kingship

Abstract: This study analyzes the divine concept of the Sumero-Akkadian deity Enki in its literary and mythological development through different periods of Mesopotamian history. Sumerian myths and theology related to the god Enki are influential throughout the history of the Ancient Near East. Several mythological motives from the Sumerian cultural area later reach the creation stories of the Old Testament and beyond. Through the Biblical narratives the ancient Sumerian mythology of Enki reaches the later Christian world, and therefore this mythology has become a part of the collective memory and culture of the present day world. Seven chapters give a diachronical overview of the relevant source materials (royal inscriptions, hymns, etc.) related to the god Enki and other close divine figures and religious phenomena from the period of about 2500-1700 BC. The last two chapters concentrate on the aspects of comparative mythology and archaic Sumerian religion. The relations of Enki and the Mother Goddess in the Mesopotamian religion and YHWH and Eve in the Old Testament are briefly analyzed. Some aspects about the decline of the cult of the Mother Goddess and several details of the political history of the Ancient Near East reflected in the relevant texts are discussed in the book. It is claimed that there is no direct conflict between the theologies of Nippur and Eridu (Enlil and Enki), at least when analyzing the available source material.


Title: Richard Stoneman, Xerxes : A Persian life, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2015

Keywords: biography - Xerxes - Persia - historiography

Abstract: Xerxes, Great King of the Persian Empire from 486–465 B.C., has gone down in history as an angry tyrant full of insane ambition. The stand of Leonidas and the 300 against his army at Thermopylae is a byword for courage, while the failure of Xerxes’ expedition has overshadowed all the other achievements of his twenty-two-year reign.   In this lively and comprehensive new biography, Richard Stoneman shows how Xerxes, despite sympathetic treatment by the contemporary Greek writers Aeschylus and Herodotus, had his reputation destroyed by later Greek writers and by the propaganda of Alexander the Great. Stoneman draws on the latest research in Achaemenid studies and archaeology to present the ruler from the Persian perspective. This illuminating volume does not whitewash Xerxes’ failings but sets against them such triumphs as the architectural splendor of Persepolis and a consideration of Xerxes’ religious commitments. What emerges is a nuanced portrait of a man who ruled a vast and multicultural empire which the Greek communities of the West saw as the antithesis of their own values.

ASOR Archaeological Reports 22: Tell er-Rumeith

Title: Nancy Lapp and Tristan J. Barako (eds.), Tell er-Rumeith: The Excavations of Paul W. Lapp, 1962 and 1967, American Schools of Oriental Research, Boston, 2015.

Keywords: Syria - archaeology - Iron Age

Abstract: Tell er-Rumeith lies at the eastern edge of the Irbid plain in northern Jordan not far from the Syria border and the present town of Ramtha. The publication presents the most complete corpus of Iron Age pottery for this area and its occupation reflects the Biblical traditions of the region. Tristan Barako and the other authors have used the field notes, reports, and photographs of Paul Lapp¹s excavations in the 1960s to bring together this final report. In Part I of the volume, Barako presents the basic stratigraphy of the site and the corpus of Iron Age pottery that represents its main period of occupation. Part II presents studies of artifacts by a variety of authors, including the post-Iron age pottery, noteworthy presentations of the community health (the human skeleton evidence) and textile production at the site, as well as fascinating collections of figurines, groundstone, and other small finds.

Qatna and Bronze Age Globalism

Title: Peter Pfälzner and Michel Al-Maqdissi, Qaṭna and the Networks of Bronze Age Globalism: Proceedings of an International Conference in Stuttgart and Tübingen in October 2009, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2015.

Keywords: archaeology - Syria - Qatna - Bronze Age - economic history - trade - internationalism

Abstract: In October 2009, the exhibition Treasures of Ancient Syria was opened in the Landesmuseum Württemburg in Stuttgart. The focal point of the exhibition was the newly discovered ancient city of Qatna, center of a 2nd millennium BC kingdom of the same name located in present day Syria. The inauguration of the exhibition served as an occasion to invite this field of study’s large international academic community to a conference entitled Qatna and the Networks of Bronze Age Globalism. Hence, from 17th to 20th October 2009, the newest research findings on Qatna, Syria, and the neighboring regions in the 2nd millennium BC were presented and discussed in Stuttgart and Tübingen.

The papers published within this book are organized into various thematic categories: Section I, Qatna and the International World of the Bronze Age; Section II, Qatna and Its Syrian Neighbours: Historical Relations and Cultural Contacts; Section III, Materials from Qatna and International Exchange; Section IV, Archaeological and Scientific Investigations at Tell Mishrife/Qatna in a Diachronic Perspective; in Section V, the closing discussions of the conference are published. The proceedings of the conference published within this volume provide a truly unique insight into the world of the ancient Near East in the Middle and Late Bronze Age. (Table of Contents)

Gods, Kings, and Merchants

Title: D. Charpin, Gods, Kings, and Merchants in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia, Peeters, Leuven, 2015.

Keywords: Old Babylonian - social history - economic history - political history - legal history - religion - merchants - kingship - Mari

Abstract: Gods, kings and merchants, a way of designating religion, politics and the economy: three spheres which in the modern world are quite distinct, even if they do interact constantly. The aim of this book is to show that their boundaries were far more fluid in the Mesopotamian civilisation: gods could act as money lenders, kings could invoke divine will to refuse extradiction, the dead could serve as a reference for how the living should behave, and wealthy merchants could live in residences modelled on those of kings… This civilisation preceded the "Greek miracle" which Jean-Pierre Vernant has quite correctly defined as a "process of change which led to the emergence, as distinct areas, of the blueprints for the economy, politics, law, art, science, ethics, and philosophy". In a direct continuation of his earlier book published in 2010, Writing, Law, and Kingship in Old Babylonian Mesopotamia, D. Charpin here examines in greater depth the situation which existed in Mesopotamia in the first half of the second millennium BC, using texts discovered in numerous archives throughout the entire Near East, especially those found at Mari eighty years ago. (Table of Contents)


Title: U. Finkbeiner, M. Novak, F. Sakal, and P. Sconzo (eds.), Associated Regional Chronologies for the Ancient Near East and the Eastern Mediterranean: Middle Euphrates, Brepols Publishers, Turnhout, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - Middle Euphrates - Anatolia - Syria - archaeology - chronology - urbanism - history

Abstract: The Middle Euphrates region extends between Jezirah and Northern Levant; it follows the course of the Euphrates from the south flanks of the Taurus mountains in Turkey almost to the modern border with Iraq. The settlement area drawn out between steppes in the east and in the west owes its particular character to just that life line with its rich soil but also to the trade routes meeting at the Euphrates Bend and connecting Anatolia to Mesopotamia, and the Syrian east to the Levant. Especially for the 3rdmillennium, finds and findings from the area under consideration show great cultural variety and demonstrate the different influences by the neighbouring regions that meet here at the Euphrates river. The international rescue excavations in the wake of dam projects in Turkey as well as in Syria yielded abundant material. The present study takes into account the results of more than forty sites. In agreement with the principles of ARCANE the richly illustrated account is divided along find groups and written by experts who supplemented their specific chronological findings thus arriving at a new periodization and terminology for the 3rd millennium. (Table of Contents)

Near Eastern Influences on Greek and Roman Law

Title: Raymond Westbrook, Ex Oriente Lex : Near Eastern influences on ancient Greek and Roman law, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2015.

Keywords: ancient Near East - ancient Greece - ancient Rome - history of law - interdisciplinary

Abstract: Throughout the twelve essays that appear in Ex Oriente Lex, Raymond Westbrook convincingly argues that the influence of Mesopotamian legal traditions and thought did not stop at the shores of the Mediterranean, but rather had a profound impact on the early laws and legal developments of Greece and Rome as well. He presents readers with tantalizing fragments of early Greek or archaic Roman law which, when placed in the context of the broader Near Eastern tradition, suddenly acquire unexpected new meanings.

Before his untimely death in July 2009, Westbrook was regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on ancient legal history. Although his main field was ancient Near Eastern law, he also made important contributions to the study of early Greek and Roman law. In his examination of the relationship between ancient Near Eastern and pre-classical Greek and Roman law, Westbrook sought to demonstrate that the connection between the two legal spheres was not merely theoretical but also concrete. The Near Eastern legal heritage had practical consequences that help us understand puzzling individual cases in the Greek and Roman traditions. His essays provide rich material for further reflection and interdisciplinary discussion about compelling similarities between legal cultures and the continuity of legal traditions over several millennia.

Aimed at classicists and ancient historians, as well as biblicists, Egyptologists, Assyriologists, and legal historians, this volume gathers many of Westbrook’s most important essays on the legal aspects of Near Eastern cultural influences on the Greco-Roman world, including one new, never-before-published piece. A preface by editors Deborah Lyons and Kurt Raaflaub details the importance of Westbrook’s work for the field of classics, while Sophie Démare-Lafont’s incisive introduction places Westbrook’s ideas within the wider context of ancient law.

Ancient Assyria

Title: Karen Radner, Ancient Assyria : A very short introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2015.

Keywords: Assyria - introduction - history

Abstract: Assyria was one of the most influential kingdoms of the Ancient Near East. Ancient Assyria: A Very Short Introduction sketches the history of Assyria from city state to empire, from the early 2nd millennium BC to the end of the 7th century BC. Since the archaeological rediscovery of Assyria in the mid-19th century, its cities have been excavated extensively in present-day Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Israel, with further sites in Iran, Lebanon, and Jordan providing important information. The Assyrian Empire was one of the most geographically vast, socially diverse, multicultural, and multi-ethnic states of the early first millennium BC.

Hegemonic Practices in Assyria

Title: Bleda S. Düring (ed.), Understanding Hegemonic Practices of the Early Assyrian Empire: Essays dedicated to Frans Wiggerman, NINO, Leiden, 2015.

Keywords: Assyria - Old Assyrian - Middle Assyrian - empire - political history - archaeology - agriculture - administration - Mittani

Abstract: Understanding Hegemonic Practices of the Early Assyrian Empire is a thematic volume that addresses the issue of how the Middle Assyrian State achieved and maintained its hold over conquered territories. The central question is whether this state had particular hegemonic practices that might explain its remarkable successes. Contributions were written by established and up and coming archaeologists and Assyriologists.

Particular themes addressed in this volume include; first, the relation between the Middle Assyrian state and that of the Mittani: to what degree the Assyria was a successor state and how it transformed its Mittanian heritage; second, what the effects of the Middle Assyrian Empire were on settlement patterns and landscapes in occupied territories; third, what the strategies of the Middle Assyrian Empire were in its westernmost peripheries; fourth, what the agricultural policies of the Middle Assyrian state were; fifth, what the administrative techniques of the Middle Assyrian state were and how they differed from those of other states; and sixth, how we can best understand the success of the (Middle) Assyrian Empire from a comparative perspective.

AOAT 406

Title: Juan-Pablo Vita, Canaanite Scribes in the Amarna Letters, AOAT 406, Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - Syria - Amarna letters - Canaan - language - history - Akkadian - Canaano-Akkadian - scribes

Abstract:`The Syro-Palestinian Amarna letters have a multiple linguistic interest. The language used in the 14th century B. C. in the letters from the Syro-Palestinian vassals from Egypt, known as Canaano-Akkadian, seems to be Akkadian based on an Old Babylonian dialect. But they were the work of autochthonous Syro-Palestinian scribes, whose mother tongue was a North-West Semitic language which frequently seeped into the Akkadian language, regarding morphology, syntax and lexicon. Throughout the last four decades there has been increasing evidence that the language used in the Amarna Palestinian letters is not uniform, which has led to focusing on the study of local corpora or subcorpora. The direct and thorough analysis of these texts revealed, through the palaeography of the letters, that one single scribe could write documents for two or more kings simultaneously. The book contains two main parts. The first one intends to individualize the hands of the scribes who wrote the letters from the small kingdoms of Syria-Palestine. The various corpora are presented and the analysis of the correspondence from each corpora is structured according to the following pattern: historical corpus, linguistic corpus, identified scribes, and general com­ment. The purpose of the second part is to show the usefulness of the method­ology of palaeographic identification of the hands of the scribe as a tool for future philological, linguistic and historical investigations of the Canaanite Amarna letters. The volume is supplemented by many detail photographs of the cuneiform tablets under discussion. (Table of Contents)


Title: Saana Svärd, Women and Power in Neo-Assyrian Palaces, State Archives of Assyrian Studies 23, Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, Helsinki, 2015.

Keywords: Assyria - gender - women - power structures - social history - political history - palaces

Abstract: Power in general and women’s power in particular has been understood mostly in a hierarchical way in earlier research on Mesopotamian women. Hierarchical power structures were important in Mesopotamia, but other kinds of power structures existed as well. This study, which focuses on women in the palaces of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (c. 930-610 BC), draws attention to heterarchical power relations in which women were engaged in Neo-Assyrian palace milieu. Heterarchical power relations include power relations such as reciprocal power, resistance and persuasion. Although earlier research has certainly been aware of women’s influence in the palaces, this study makes explicit the power concepts employed in previous research and further develops them using the concept of heterarchy. The study is based on primary cuneiform sources and presents a detailed description of of women in Neo-Assyrian palaces. However, it additionally shows that by applying modern theories of power to the study of the ancient texts, one can gain important new insights into the dynamics of ancient society.

NISABA 27: Umma Messenger Texts

Title: Noemi Borrelli, The Umma Messenger Texts from the Harvard Semitic Museum and the Yale Babylonian Collection, Part 1, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - Ur III - Neo-Sumerian - text editions - administrative texts - messengers - economic history

Abstract: In this volume, Noemi Borrelli publishes 240 Messenger Texts from the city of Umma, texts that are currently housed in the collections of the Yale Babylonian Collection and the Harvard Semitic Museum. Earlier volumes of Nisaba published nearly 900 similar Messenger Texts that are in the collections of the British Museum.

The texts published here range in date from the fifth month of Amar-Suen 3 to the twelfth month of Ibbi-Sîn. These administrative records provide data on the allotment of rations and disbursement of goods and thus form a basis for further study of the sociology and economics of Neo-Sumerian times in and around the city of Umma.


Title: Tzvi Abusch, The Witchcraft Series Maqlû, SBL Press, Atlanta, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - text edition - magic - witchcraft - Akkadian - history - textual history - literature

Abstract: The Akkadian series Maqlû, "Burning," is one of the most significant and interesting magical texts from the Ancient Near East. While containing almost 100 incantations and accompanying rituals directed against witches and witchcraft, it actually represents a single complex ceremony. The ceremony was performed during a single night and into the following morning at the end of the month Abu (July/August), a time when spirits were thought to move back and forth between the netherworld and the world of the living. This edition of the text contains a detailed introduction as well as an annotated transcription and translation of the text.

AOAT 403: Traditions of Written Knowledge

Title: Daliah Bawanypeck and Annette Imhausen (eds.), Traditions of Written Knowledge in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia: Proceedings of Two Workshops Held at Goethe-University, Frankfurt/Main in December 2011 and May 2012, AOAT 403, Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - Egypt - history of science - scribal scholarship - knowledge - astronomy - magic - medicine - mathematics - history of law

Abstract: This volume is addressed to historians of science, Egyptologists and Assyriologists dealing with the history of early science. It presents the proceedings of two workshops held at the Goethe-University Frankfurt/Main, focusing on traditions of systematic knowledge in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Assuming that written knowledge was preserved and transmitted intentionally in both cultures, paradigms of knowledge can be reflected by the texts. Although the available source material is subject to their find spots and the vagaries of preservation, by asking specific questions the sources can provide insights into the work of the ancient scholars. The text corpora presented in this volume come from the fields of medicine, magic and ritual, astronomy, mathematics and law. The authors use the sources to provide overviews of the discussed knowledge areas and to discuss certain aspects of the traditions in more detail.

Old Babylonian Alalah

Title: Jacob Lauinger, Following the Man of Yamhad : settlement and territory at Old Babylonian Alalah, Brill, Leiden, 2015.

Keywords: Old Babylonian - Alalah - settlement - legal history - socio-economic history - administrative texts - text editions - history - Bronze Age

Abstract: Legal texts recording the purchase or exchange of entire settlements are among the most important cuneiform tablets discovered at Old Babylonian/Middle Bronze Age (Level VII) Alalah. Following the Man of Yamhad is the first book-length study of these legal texts and the socio-economic practice that they document. The author explores the nature of the alienated settlements, the rights enjoyed by their owners, the underlying system of land tenure, and the larger political context in which the transactions occurred. The study is supported by extensive collations and up-to-date editions of relevant legal and administrative texts. Its conclusions will be of interest to anyone working on the history, society, and economy of the Bronze Age Near East. (Table of Contents)

LANE 5: Mood and Modality in Hurrian

Title: Dennis R.M. Campbell, Mood and modality in Hurrian, Languages of the Ancient Near East 5, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, 2015.

Keywords: Hurrian - language - grammar - ergativity - modality - philology - linguistics

Abstract:In a long dead language isolate such as Hurrian, grammatical studies are replete with difficulties. The paucity of material and our inability to compare it to modern, well-documented languages typically results in more questions than answers. Many posited answers to these questions lead inevitably to dead ends. Studies in languages such as Hurrian run the risk of either stagnating due to an adherence to the status quo by scholars or fragmenting when no two scholars can (or will) agree on any point. In this book, Campbell has in many ways broken with tradition in an attempt to go beneath the surface and reveal further complexities in Hurrian grammar. This work, the first English language monograph on Hurrian since 1941, is not a dogmatic treatise meant to counter the status quo but an exploration of the complexities of the Hurrian language from a new perspective. His conclusions may challenge present perceptions, but the hope is that they will in turn inspire challenges, for it is only in this way that our understanding of this wonderful language and the people who spoke it can be furthered.

Mood and Modality in Hurrian provides a formal and functional analysis of the Hurrian modal morphemes. Unlike the better-known Semitic and Indo-European languages of the ancient Near East, Hurrian has a rich complement of modal endings. This at-times bewildering variety in form and function of modal morphemes in Hurrian has been a largely unstudied topic. Although it has been touched upon in a number of studies, it has not received a detailed treatment until now. The present work will be seen by some as a potentially radical departure from standard understandings of the way these endings work, but this is not the intent. No systematic treatment of these morphemes has been attempted, and because of this, certain thoughts (and assumptions) on form and function have grown from tentative postulations to grammatical “certainties” over the years. And although some of these suppositions have borne the test of time, many others were in need of major revision. Campbell’s conclusions represent a major shift in the way that we understand these modal forms and make his work important reading for Semitists and Indo-Europeanists alike.

Beyond a philological treatment of a dead language, Campbell also adds to the accumulated knowledge of ergativity. Hurrian is a highly ergative language, and this book explores the interplay between ergativity and modality in the language. Issues such as split-ergativity are explored in detail. Furthermore, Campbell explores the issue of voice in Hurrian and its relation to modality, documenting for the first time the differentiation in Hurrian between agent-focusing and patient-focusing (but not truly passive) voices. (Table of Contents)

Early Greek and Mesopotamian Religious Poetry

Title: Christopher Metcalf, The Gods Rich in Praise : Early Greek and Mesopotamian religious poetry, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2015.

Keywords: Sumerian - Akkadian - Hittite - Greek - Homer - Hesiod - Greece - Mesopotamia - Near East - religion - poetry - hymns - prayers

Abstract: This book contributes to the current academic debate on the relationship between early Greek poetry and the ancient Near East, especially Mesopotamia. It is the first extensive study to be based on a detailed analysis of the ancient texts, consisting in this case of a selection of religious poems mainly in Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, and Greek. The first part of the book (Chapters 1–3) presents the core groups of sources from the ancient Near East, describing the main features of style and content of Sumerian and Akkadian religious poetry and showing how certain compositions were translated and adapted beyond Mesopotamia (such as in Hittite). Chapter 4 introduces the early Greek sources and makes some initial comparative observations. The study then proceeds to compare selected elements of form and content: hymnic openings (Chapter 5), negative predication (Chapter 6), the birth of Aphrodite in the Theogony of Hesiod (Chapter 7), and the origins and development of a phrase in Hittite prayers and the Iliad of Homer (Chapter 8). The first conclusion is that, in terms of form and style, early Greek religious poetry was probably not indebted to ancient Near Eastern models. This contradicts some current thinking in Classical scholarship, according to which Near Eastern influence was pervasive in early Greek poetry in general. But this book also argues that such influence may nevertheless be perceived in certain closely defined instances, particularly where supplementary evidence from other ancient sources is available, and where the sources permit a reconstruction of the process of translation and adaptation.

The Hurrian Ritual Itkalzi

Title: Stefano de Martino and Aygül Suel, The Third Tablet of the Ritual Itkalzi: Essays on the Hurrian Šapinuwa Tablets, Volume I, LoGisma Editore, Florence, 2015.

Keywords: Hurrian - text editions - religion - ritual - Šapinuwa

Abstract: This study is part of the project directed by Aygül Süel and devoted to the publication of the Hurrian texts from Ortaköy/Šapinuwa. As is well known, about 650 Hurrian tablets have been found in the excavations of this city (Süel 1998; Süel 2013; Süel – Süel 2013). A. Süel has promoted the study and the publication of these documents.

KBo 46: Hittite Texts in Transcription

Title: Detlev Groddek, Hethitische Texte in Transkription, KBo 46, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2015.

Keywords: Hittite - text editions - religion - historical texts - oracular texts - Buyukkale, Turkey

Abstract: In ""KBo 46"" H. Otten, C. Ruster and Wilhelm present a total of 329 text-fragments with a common place of origin in Buyukkale, Turkey. The contents include a broad range of texts, though in a broad sense the largest number of texts is religious in nature, such as incantations and celebratory rituals, but oracular and historical texts are also found in this collection. The material, typically augmented with similar and duplicate information, is presented here in accordance with the current state of research in transcription that was available at the time of publication, with the result that nearly two thirds of the texts have been collated into photographic tables. This volume concludes with full indices of the material related to names, the congruent and duplicate/parallel texts, as well as a contrasting index of CTH (from the series Catalogue des Textes Hittites) numbers.

Broadening Horizons

Title: Giorgio Affanni, Cristina Baccarin, Laura Cordera, Angelo Di Michele, and Katia Gavagnin (eds.), Broadening Horizons 4: A Conference of young researchers working in the Ancient Near East, Egypt and Central Asia, University of Torino, October 2011, British Archaeological Reports, Oxford, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - ancient Near East - Egypt - Central Asia - history - culture - economic history - archaeology

Abstract: Broadening Horizons is an international congress dedicated to postgraduate students and early-stage researchers working with disciplines in the area of Ancient Near East and Eastern Mediterranean studies (Table of Contents). With Broadening Horizons 4 the thematic areas were broadened, opening the congress up to the Central Asia studies. The conference was hosted at Università degli Studi di Torino, from the 25th to the 28th of October 2011. Broadening Horizons 4 was a huge success. A total of seventy-four participants from fifteen countries attended the congress, making it the most successful edition. This volume includes most of papers presented at the congress and the key lecture by St John Simpson. The volume has been arranged according to the sessions: settlement patterns and exchange networks; socio-economic reconstruction of ancient societies based on archaeological, historical or environmental records; application of new technologies in archaeological research; impact of human dynamics on landscape evolution; exploitation of the natural environment and sustenance strategies; and posters. Anyone with an interest in the Ancient Near East, Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia studies will find much to enjoy and appreciate in this volume.

OBO 271: Prophecy and Covenant from Mari to the Bible

Title: Jean-Georges Heintz, Prophétisme et alliance : des archives royales de Mari à la Bible hébraïque, Academic Press Fribourg, 2015.

Keywords: Old Babylonian - Amorite - Old Testament - Bible - prophecy - prophetic literature - covenant - theology - Akkadian - Hebrew

Abstract: This volume contains 19 articles by Jean-Georges Heintz, professor emeritus for Old Testament studies at the University of Strasbourg. The contributions deal with the origins, forms and functions of prophecy and prophetic literature in the West Semitic area and their relations to the theology of covenant and divine sovereignty. These fields are studied on the basis of Old Babylonian/Amorite texts from Mari and Syro-Palestinian literature, especially the Hebrew Bible, in order to comprehend the evolution of institutions and traditions. A special interest is granted to the relations ancient Near Eastern iconography and the figurative language of the Hebrew Bible.

Policies of Exchange Title: Barbara Horejs (ed.), Policies of Exchange. Political Systems and Modes of Interaction in the Aegean and the Near East in the 2nd Millennium B.C.E.: Proceedings of the International Symposium at the University of Freiburg, Institute for Archaeological Studies, 30th May-2nd June 2012, Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, Vienna, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - Mediterranean - Egypt - trade and exchange - economic history - political history - gift exchange - diplomacy - Amarna

Abstract: The Late Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean belongs to the most captivating chapters in the history of the Ancient World: Various cuneiform documents and archaeological sources illustrate the numerous contacts between different polities in the 2nd millennium BC. Reciprocal gift exchange within the framework of diplomatic contacts and redistributive mobility of goods in asymmetric political relations shaped regional and supra-regional communication in different ways. Following the detailed discussions about modes of culture contacts and exchanges in previous research the contributions in the present volume address questions of the specific mechanisms and routes of exchange.

How and by which means did material commodities and knowledge circulate among the Great Powers, lesser independent states and vassal kingdoms of the Aegean, Anatolia, Syria, the Levant, Mesopotamia and Egypt? Where did the different raw materials and finished products come from, and under which conditions and by whom were they negotiated? Is it possible to determine regions of production and direct and indirect channels of distribution? Which rules were applied in the supra-regional exchange? Which possibilities and which obligations did the vassal kingdoms of the Levant have towards the Great Powers of the Hittites, Assyrians and Egyptians? Which role did the Mycenaean palaces of the Aegean play within the “international” network of exchanges? Can we develop a model of political and economic interaction?

During the symposium at Freiburg University archaeologists, philologists and historians discussed these issues on the basis of the current evaluation of the archaeological and written evidence within an interdisciplinary framework and developed perspectives on the specific forms of exchange (re)considering the interaction of political and economic forces.

Historiography of the Early Dynastic Period(s)

Title: Reinhard Dittman and Gebhard Selz (eds.), It's a Long Way to a Historiography of the Early Dynastic period(s), Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - Babylonia - historiography - history - chronology - Early Dynastic - archaeology

Abstract: This volume comprises the contributions presented at a colloquium, which developed from a workshop concerning “The Early Dynastic Period in Babylonia” on the occasion of the 75th birthday of Hans Nissen. At the workshop the lack of a survey of the present status quaestionis was apparent, as was the absence of considerations regarding avenues for future research of this formative epoch in the development of ancient Mesopotamian cultures. The colloquium in Vienna in November 2011 whose findings are presented here sought to address these shortcomings. The assembled contributions cover a wide-ranging archaeological and philological field by discussing old approaches and presenting new interpretations. A total of 17 papers in German and English provide fresh impetus for research and offer new perspectives for further investigation.

God in the Bible and Hittite Mythology

Title: Hélène Nutkowicz and Mazoyer Michel, La disparition du dieu dans la Bible et la mythologie hittite: Essai anthropologique, L'Harmattan, 2015.

Abstract: Hittite - Biblical studies - religion - anthropology - mythology

Abstract: Drames et tragédies se succèdent qui voient les destructions de la nature, de l'homme et du cosmos dans les royaumes tant hatti que judéen, témoins de la rupture entre le monde terrestre et le monde divin. Quelles explications les peuples touchés par ces situations de crises apportent-ils ? Quels sont les points partagés et les divergences développées par ces deux peuples?

Mesopotamia in the Ancient World

Title: Robert Rollinger and Erik van Dongen, Mesopotamia in the Ancient World: Impact, continuities, parallels, Proceedings of the Seventh Symposium of the Melammu Project held in Obergurgl, Austria, November 4-8, 2013, Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - history - culture - literature - politics - religion - influence

Abstract: The Melammu Project, founded in 1998, organized five successive conferences and a sixth in 2008. Melammu Symposia 7 now represents a new dawn for the project publishing the contributions of the meeting in Obergurgl in November 2013. This time it will not be an isolated event: Further conferences have already taken place and been planned (Kiel 2014, Helsinki and Tartu 2015, Kassel 2016, and Beirut 2017), the project board has been renewed, reinvigorated and rejuvenated, and plans are underway for a thorough reworking and updating of the project database. Its focus (now slightly reworded to be somewhat wider) is to investigate “the continuity, transformation and diffusion of Mesopotamian and Ancient Near Eastern culture from the third millennium BC through the ancient world until Islamic times” (quoted from the Melammu Project website). Of course, Mesopotamia was not the source of all culture; but it was an important area in ancient history, that without doubt deserves such a project, dedicated to the study of its cultural impact and heritage. This volume assembles 42 contributions devoted to the topics “Prayers and Incantations”, “Foreign Reception of Mesopotamian Objects”, “The Use of Literary Figures of Speech”, “Mesopotamia and the World”, “The World of Politics”, “Iran and Early Islam”, and “Representations of Power”.

Labor in the Ancient World

Title: Piotr Steinkeller and Michael Hudson (eds.), Labor in the Ancient World: A colloquium held at Hirschbach (Saxony), April 2005, Islet, 2015.

Keywords: economic and social history - labor - ancient world - slavery

Abstract: The fifth volume in this series sponsored by the International Scholars Conference on Ancient Near Eastern Economies (ISCANEE) and the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends (ISLET) offers case studies on how labor was mobilized and remunerated in the early Near East and Mediterranean world. The initially voluntary character of labor on public building projects evolved into corvée as the primary way of obtaining labor. Among other characteristics are the minor significance of slave labor; the role of large building projects as a tool of social and political integration; the use of hired workers as a way of dealing with the systemic shortage of labor, and the practice of compensating the employees of “large organizations” with salaries in food and/or land allotments. By late Neolithic times the obligation to supply corvée labor services became the basis for assigning land tenure. The historical data demonstrate that the corvée labor tax became the basis for assigning property rights, not a later intrusion on these rights.

Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Glyptic

Title: Anja Fügert, Die neuassyrische und spätbabylonische Glyptik aus Tall Šēḫ Ḥamad, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - archaeology - Syria - glyptic - Dur Katlimmu - first millennium

Abstract: Die Ausgrabungen in der Unterstadt des nordostsyrischen Fundortes Tall Šēḫ Ḥamad erbrachten zwischen 1978 und 2008 über 1500 glyptische Funde (Siegel, gesiegelte Texte und Tonverschlüsse) mit über 500 verschiedenen Siegelbildern. Die Objekte konnten aufgrund der stratigrafischen Auswertungen der Erdbefunde in die durchlaufende stratigrafische Sequenz der Unterstadt eingeordnet werden, die von der frühen neuassyrischen Zeit (10./ 9. Jahrhundert v.Chr.) über den Fall des Neuassyrischen Reiches bis in die achämenidische Zeit des 5. Jahrhunderts v.Chr. reicht.

Anja Fügert verortet zunächst die glyptischen Funde in ihren Ablagerungskontexten und wertet das Material auf dieser Basis funktional und chronologisch aus, untersucht Bildthemen und Einzelmotive und führt die Ergebnisse in einer Synthese zusammen, die neue Aussagen zur Ökonomie und Verwaltung der Unterstadtresidenzen beinhaltet. Erstaunliches Ergebnis ist, dass die politische Zäsur mit dem Zusammenbruch des Neuassyrischen Reiches und dem Wechsel zum Spätbabylonischen Reich einer Kontinuität im Glyptikkorpus gegenübersteht. Das glyptische Material erlaubt jedoch die Identifikation sozioökonomischer Veränderungen. Die Auswertung des größten eisenzeitlichen Materialkorpus eines nordmesopotamischen Fundortes stellt die wichtige - bisher unbekannte - Rolle heraus, die Siegel in der Administration der gehobenen privaten Gesellschaftskreise spielten. Durch die stratigrafische Verortung der Glyptik gelang es zudem, die „Wiedereinführung“ des Stempelsiegels in Mesopotamien im späten 9. Jahrhundert v.Chr. anzusetzen - und damit etwa ein Jahrhundert früher als bisher angenommen.

Old Babylonian Textbook

Title: Michael P. Streck, Altbabylonisches Lehrbuch, Harrasowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden, 2015.

Keywords: Old Babylonian - Akkadian - language - text edition - glossary - teaching Akkadian

Abstract: Das "Altbabylonische Lehrbuch" von Michael P. Streck führt anhand des altbabylonischen Dialektes in das Akkadische ein, die nach Umfang, geographischer Breite und chronologischer Länge der Bezeugung bedeutendste altorientalische Sprache und eine der wichtigsten semitischen Sprachen überhaupt. Zugleich bietet es eine Einführung in die Keilschrift, das wichtigste Schriftsystem des Alten Orients. Das Lehrbuch enthält eine kurzgefasste Grammatik auf dem neuesten Stand der Forschung, 15 Lektionen, in denen die Grammatik, das Vokabular, die Keilschriftzeichen und die Technik von Transkription und Transliteration eingeübt werden sowie Lesestücke, die in den neuassyrischen Duktus sowie in die altbabylonische Kursive umgesetzt und kommentiert sind. Zudem bieten ein Glossar, ein nach Wortklassen und Bedeutungsgruppen gegliederter akkadischer Grundwortschatz, ein Zeichenindex, der Lösungsschlüssel für die Übungen in den Lektionen und die Lesestücke sowie ein Glossar der grammatischen Terminologie zusätzliche Hilfestellung beim Studium des Altbabylonischen. (Table of Contents)

Defining the Sacred

Title: Nicola Laneri (ed.), Defining the Sacred : Approaches to the archaeology of religion in the Near East, Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - religion - archaeology - ritual - prehistory - history

Abstract: Religion is a phenomenon that is inseparable from human society. It brings about a set of emotional, ideological and practical elements that are pervasive in the social fabric of any society and characterizable by a number of features. These include the establishment of intermediaries in the relationship between humans and the divine; the construction of ceremonial places for worshipping the gods and practicing ritual performances; and the creation ritual paraphernalia. Investigating the religious dimensions of ancient societies encounters problems in defining such elements, especially with regard to societies that lack textual evidences and has tended to lead towards the identification of differentiation between the mental dimension, related to religious beliefs, and the material one associated with religious practices, resulting in a separation between scholars able to investigate, and possibly reconstruct, ritual practices (i.e., archaeologists), and those interested in defining the realm of ancient beliefs (i.e., philologists and religious historians).

The aim of this collection of papers is to attempt to bridge these two dimensions by breaking down existing boundaries in order to form a more comprehensive vision of religion among ancient Near Eastern societies. This approach requires that a higher consideration be given to those elements (either artificial – buildings, objects, texts, etc. – or natural – landscapes, animals, trees, etc.) that are created through a materialization of religious beliefs and practices enacted by members of communities. These issues are addressed in a series of specific case-studies covering a broad chronological framework that from the Pre-pottery Neolithic to the Iron Age. (Table of Contents)

Old Babylonian Letters from Mari

Title: Jack M. Sasson, From the Mari Archives : An anthology of Old Babylonian letters, Eisenbrauns, Winona Lake, 2015.

Keywords: Syria - Mari - Old Babylonian - letters - kingship - religion - Amorites

Abstract: A selection of translations of the hundreds of letters from ancient Mari (Tell Hariri) on the Euphrates River, categorizing them by type of letter, contents, and with commentary on the ways in which the letters provide access into our understanding of ancient Mesopotamian society, in the 2nd millennium B.C.E.

The Reigns of Tudhaliya II and Supiluliuma I and the Amarna Age

Title: Boaz Stavi, The reign of Tudhaliya II and Šuppiluliuma I : The contribution of the Hittite documentation to a reconstruction of the Amarna Age, Winter Verlag, Heidelberg, 2015.

Keywords: Hittite - Hatti - Egypt - Amarna - chronology and history

Abstract: In the mid-fourteenth century BC, two kings ruled in Hatti – Tudhaliya II and Šuppiluliuma I. During this period, Hatti was fraught with political turmoil and instability. It began with the destruction of Hattuša, and ended with a glorious military campaign, in which a large part of Syria was conquered, and the foundation laid for a strong and prosperous kingdom. Many studies have dealt with this epoch, since it parallels the el-Amarna period, however, its Hittite aspect has been comparatively overlooked. That, coupled with the discovery of several new sources for this period, provided the impetus for my research on this era.

This volume sets out to identify important historical events that occurred during the protagonists’ reign, to verify them and examine their details, and then offers a synchronization of the Egyptian and Hittite chronologies. (Table of Contents)

History of the Ancient Near East

Title: Marc Van De Mieroop, A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 BC, 3rd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2015.

Keywords: history - Mesopotamia - Near East - archaeology - teaching

Abstract: Incorporating the latest scholarly research, the third edition of A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000–323 BC presents a comprehensive overview of the multicultural civilizations of the ancient Near East. The new edition integrates the most up-to-date research, and includes a richer selection of supplementary materials, and addresses the wide variety of political, social, and cultural developments in the ancient Near East. Updated features include new “Key Debate” boxes at the end of each chapter to engage students with various perspectives on a range of critical issues; a comprehensive timeline of events; and 46 new illustrations, including 12 color photos. The new edition also features a new chapter addressing governance and continuity in the region during the Persian Empire, as well as offers in-depth, accessible discussions of key texts and sources, including the Bible and the Epic of Gilgamesh.

19th and 20th Century Travelers in the Near East

Title: Rachel Mairs and Maya Muratov, Archaeologists, Tourists, Interpreters : Exploring Egypt and the Near East in the late 19th-early 20th centuries, Bloomsbury, London, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - Egypt - early travellers - exploration - archaeology - politics

Abstract: In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, growing numbers of tourists and scholars from Europe and America, fascinated by new discoveries, visited the Near East and Egypt – attracted by the riches and mysteries of the Land of the Bible. Almost all such visitors, no matter how esoteric or academic their pursuits, had to deal with the local authorities and the native workforce for their archaeological excavations. The vast majority of these visitors had to rely on interpreters, dragomans, translators and local guides.

This study, based on published and unpublished travel memoirs, guidebooks, personal papers and archaeological reports of the British and American archaeologists, deals with the socio-political status and multi-faceted role of interpreters at the time. Those bi- or multi-lingual individuals frequently took on (or were forced to take on) much more than just interpreting. They often played the role of go-betweens, servants, bodyguards, pimps, diplomats, spies, messengers, managers and overseers, and had to mediate, scheme and often improvise, whether in an official or unofficial capacity.

For the most part denied due credit and recognition, these interpreters are finally here given a new voice. An engrossing story emerges of how through their many and varied actions and roles, they had a crucial part to play in the introduction to Britain and America of these mysterious past cultures and civilizations.

Neo-Assyrian Imperial Landscape

Title: Alice M.W. Hunt, Palace ware across the neo-Assyrian imperial landscape : social value and semiotic meaning, Brill, Leiden, 2015.

Keywords: Neo-Assyrian - archaeology - semiotics - imperialism

Abstract: In Palace Ware Across the Neo-Assyrian Imperial Landscape, Alice Hunt investigates the social and symbolic meaning of Palace Ware by its cultural audience in the Neo-Assyrian central and annexed provinces, and the unincorporated territories, including buffer zones and vassal states (Table of Contents). Traditionally, Palace Ware has been equated with imperial identity. By understanding these vessels as a vehicle through which interregional and intercultural relationships were negotiated and maintained she reveals their complexity gaining a more nuanced view of imperial dynamics.

Palace Ware Across the Neo-Assyrian Imperial Landscape is the first work of its kind; providing in-depth analysis of the formal and fabric characteristic, production technology, and raw material provenance of Palace Ware, and locating these data within the larger narratives of power, presentation, symbol and meaning that shaped the Neo-Assyrian imperial landscape.

Sumerian Dialogue

Title: J.C. Johnson and M.J. Geller, The Class Reunion : An Annotated Translation and Commentary on the Sumerian Dialogue Two Scribes, Brill, Leiden, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - Sumerian - language - scribal scholarship - text editions - Old Babylonian

Abstract: In The Class Reunion—An Annotated Translation and Commentary on the Sumerian Dialogue Two Scribes, J. Cale Johnson and Markham J. Geller present a critical edition, translation and commentary on the Sumerian scholastic dialogue otherwise known as Two Scribes, Streit zweier Schulabsolventen or Dialogue 1 (Table of Contents). The two protagonists, the Professor and the Bureaucrat, each ridicule their opponent in alternating speeches, while at the same time scoring points based on their detailed knowledge of Sumerian lexical and literary traditions. But they also represent the two social roles into which nearly all graduates of the Old Babylonian Tablet House typically gained entrance. So the dialogue also reflects on larger themes such as professional identity and the nature of scholastic activity in Mesopotamia in the Old Babylonian period (ca. 1800–1600 BC).

Ancient Mesopotamian Religion

Title: Hrůša, Ivan, Ancient Mesopotamian religion : a descriptive introduction, Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2015.

Keywords: Mesopotamia - religion - divination - ritual - magic

Abstract: The aim of this publication is to provide an overview of the religious world and practice of the inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia, as it is transmitted to us by the archaeological and, primarily, written Mesopotamian sources. The book provides a practical description base on ancient sources and illustrated continuously with passages from Mesopotamian texts. The history of ancient Mesopotamia covers roughly three thousand years and its territory is a vast area which was inhabited by many nations of different cultures, and where states and nations replaced one another. The Mesopotamian religion cannot be conceived as a unitary or even a uniform system. It should not come as a surprise that these traditions may vary with or contradict one another. The chapters are devoted to the principal Mesopotamian divinities, temple and temple cult, prayers, rituals and the various forms of divination, all of which are supplemented by up-to-date bibliographical references.

Late Assyrian Royal Palaces

Title: D. Kertai, The Architecture of Late Assyrian Royal Palaces, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2015.

Keywords: royal architecture - archaeology - Neo-Assyria

Abstract: The Late Assyrian Empire (c. 900 - 612 BC) was the first state to rule over the major centres of the Middle East, and the Late Assyrian court inhabited some of the most monumental palaces of its time. The Architecture of Late Assyrian Royal Palaces is the first volume to provide an in-depth analysis of Late Assyrian palatial architecture, offering a general introduction to all key royal palaces in the major centres of the empire: Assur, Kalḫu, Dur-Sharruken, and Nineveh.

Where previous research has often focused on the duality between public and private realms, this volume redefines the cultural principles governing these palaces and proposes a new historical framework, analysing the spatial organization of the palace community which placed the king front and centre. It brings together the architecture of such palaces as currently understood within the broader framework of textual and art-historical sources, and argues that architectural changes were guided by a need to accommodate ever larger groups as the empire grew in size.

Ex Oriente Lex

Title: R. Westbrook (D. Lyons and K. Raaflaub, eds), Ex Oriente Lex: Near Eastern Influences on Ancient Greek and Roman Law, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2015.

Keywords: legal history - Mesopotamia - Greece - Rome

Abstract: Throughout the twelve essays that appear in Ex Oriente Lex, Raymond Westbrook convincingly argues that the influence of Mesopotamian legal traditions and thought did not stop at the shores of the Mediterranean, but rather had a profound impact on the early laws and legal developments of Greece and Rome as well. He presents readers with tantalizing fragments of early Greek or archaic Roman law which, when placed in the context of the broader Near Eastern tradition, suddenly acquire unexpected new meanings.

Aimed at classicists and ancient historians, as well as biblicists, Egyptologists, Assyriologists, and legal historians, this volume gathers many of Westbrook’s most important essays on the legal aspects of Near Eastern cultural influences on the Greco-Roman world, including one new, never-before-published piece. A preface by editors Deborah Lyons and Kurt Raaflaub details the importance of Westbrook’s work for the field of classics, while Sophie Démare-Lafont’s incisive introduction places Westbrook’s ideas within the wider context of ancient law.


Title: K. Focke, Der Garten in neusumerischer Zeit, Ugarit-Verlag, Münster, 2015.

Keywords: Sumerian - text editions - food history

Abstract: A wealth of original text material from the Ur III period provides insight into kitchen gardens in ancient Mesopotamia (Table of Contents). These gardens played a vital role in Mesopotamian society, as they were a major component in the supply of food. The complexity involved in cultivating such gardens is demonstrated in particular by texts on date palm cultivation that hail primarily from Umma. The relevant texts cover diverse subjects and therefore also shed light on planting methods, the selection of botanic species, and the usage of the produce. Besides fruit, vegetables, and herbs, there is also evidence that wood was harvested in such gardens, which would have been of great importance in Southern Mesopotamia as the region is poor in wood. The personnel that worked such gardens are differentiated, but the sources also demonstrate that they were always strongly dependent on the ubiquitous public administration represented by palace and temples.


Title: I. Finkel and J. Taylor, Cuneiform, British Museum Press, London, 2015.

Keywords: writing - Sumerian - Akkadian - language - decipherment

Abstract: Cuneiform script on tablets of clay is, as far as we know, the oldest form of writing in the world. The choice of clay as writing medium in ancient Mesopotamia meant that records of all kinds could survive down to modern times, preserving fascinating documents from ancient civilization, written by a variety of people and societies. From reading these tablets we can understand not only the history and economics of the time but also the beliefs, ideas and superstitions. This new book will bring the world in which the cuneiform was written to life for the non-expert reader, revealing how ancient inscriptions can lead to a new way of thinking about the past. It will explain how this pre-alphabetic writing really worked and how it was possible to use cuneiform signs to record so many different languages so long ago. Richly illustrated with a wealth of fresh examples ranging from elementary school exercises to revealing private letters or beautifully calligraphic literature for the royal library, we will meet people that aren't so very different from ourselves. We will read the work of many scribes from mundane record keepers to state fortune tellers, using tricks from puns to cryptography. For the first time cuneiform tablets and their messages are not remote and inaccessible, but wonderfully human documents that resonate today.

Old lists

recent_publications.txt · Last modified: 2019/11/04 12:48 by lynn
CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International
Driven by DokuWiki Recent changes RSS feed Valid CSS Valid XHTML 1.0