39 Works

Terminology for Children in Sumerian Administrative Records

Vitali Bartash
Region: Southern Mesopotamia = Sumer.Period: Ca. 3200-2000 BC, i.e. Early Bronze Age.Sources: Administrative cuneiform texts from temple and palace archives.Subject: Children of low-rank social status in temple and palace households. Aims: 1) Systematize the terminology for children and offer an overview of its development.2) Identify what biological social characteristics of children are hiding behind these terms.3) Recognize the characteristic features in the terminology for children. Methods: Philological, historical, sociological (sex-age groups/classes). Key facts: 1) Children...

The never-ending Quest for the Elites:New Approaches to the Study of Cemeteries and Social Organization

Pınar Durgun
The Early Bronze Age (EBA) in Anatolia (3100/3000-2000 BCE.)[1] is considered a period of great transition when urban societies developed and when extramural cemeteries started to emerge. Western Anatolian sites like Troy and Külloba have yielded monumental walls, or architecturally distinct quarters. However none of these sites have yielded extramural cemeteries. Extramural cemeteries of the EBA are only associated with small-scale sites such as Karataş (southwest Anatolia) and Demircihöyük (northwest Anatolia) which have been referred...

Beauty beyond aesthetics: the abstract thought and the universal language of the natural world to the Sumerian/roman farmer’s eyes

Nelson Henrique Da Silva Ferreira
Signs of meaning - visual marks that identify individual characteristics of an image that can carry a crystalized meaning. For example, in a landscape described as having a lot of fruit trees, we have the sign of quantity and the sign of fertility, materialized by the fruits. A sign is neither positive neither negative. It just marks a specific characteristic that compounds the symbol. For each sign, we identify just one exact semantic value.Symbol -...

The Characterization of Animals in Sumerian Fables

Jill Marcum
Although classical education is waning and general historical knowledge is at its nadir, many ancient fables are still widely known and commonly cited in spoken language. For example, Aesop’s fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf has resulted in the phrase “crying wolf,” which—even today—is a cultural shorthand for expressing the idea of raising a false alarm. The successful communication of this idea, however, rests on culture: the shared understanding of the wolf as dangerous. If...

Mesopotamian cylinder seal from Lori Berd (Armenia): An object in an unusual location?

Ruben Davtyan
Archaeological Site: Lori Berd (Northern Armenia); cemetery, dating from Middle Bronze Age till Achaemenid period.Tomb No. 106: stone chamber. Ceramic and part of the finds date to Achaemenid period. Also a pinkish chalcedony cylinder seal with gold caps on gold pin. Iconography: standing figure, seizing two upstanding caprids surrounded by symbolic fillings.Dating: a Neo-Babylonian cylinder seal of late 8th till 7th century BC.Similar example: usage of Neo-Assyrian/Babylonian cylinder seal by Irtashduna (wife of Darius I)...

Syro-Hittite iconography and food in practice

Nicole Herzog
Figure 1. Map of Syro-Hittite kingdoms (Niehr, Herbert. The Aramaeans in ancient Syria. Leiden: Brill, 2014.)Alongside the rise of the independent Syro-Hittite kingdoms in the 1st millennium BC, a distinctive category of banquet scenes also developed in the northern Syria/southern Anatolia region. Iron Age Sam’al—modern Zincirli Höyük—was one such kingdom. This talk will explore how these scenes relate to the archaeology of food and identity by addressing the following concepts:Stylistic elements and local/regional identityLimitations of...

Ideology and Administration in Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon

Peerapat Ouysook
Kleber, K. 2008. Tempel und Palast: Die Beziehungen zwischen dem König und dem Eanna-Tempel imspätbabylonischen Uruk. AOAT 358. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag.Eanna Archive Chronology (pp.135–73) Regnal years 1 – 20 ++; Building projects: Etemenanki Ziqqurat; Location: BabylonRegnal years 2; Building projects: Esagil BabylonRegnal years 14 – 32; Building projects: miscellaneous; Location: Opis and SipparRegnal years 14/35 – 42; Building projects: - ; Location: Tyros/ṢuruRegnal years 15 – at least 20; Building projects: - ; Location: JādaquRegnal years...

Importing the law? Possible elements of the Mesopotamian legal tradition in New Kingdom Egypt (1549-1064BCE)

Alexandre Loktionov
Features of New Kingdom (1549-1064BCE[1]) justice not attested earlierOracle courts, as attested at Deir el-Medina[2] and elsewhere[3]Increase in severe corporal punishment: for example, mutilation of nose and ears becomes a standard element in oath formulae[4]Detailed protasis-apodosis legal decrees, such as the Karnak Decree of Horemheb[5] (1328-1298BCE) or the Nauri Decree of Seti I[6] (1296-1279). Why might this be connected to Mesopotamia/Semitic law?“Hyksos” period (1650-1549BCE) immediately prior to New KingdomAmarna letters/greater exposure to Akkadian in Egypt...

Provincial Administration in Babylonia: A Case of Kassite Nippur

Marina Redina-Thomas
The talk gives an overview of the system of provincial administration in Babylonia during the rule of the Kassite dynasty (ca. 1531-1155 BC). Since about 90% of all written sources from this period (almost 12000 cuneiform tablets) come from a single location – the city of Nippur, the religious center of the country – this study is based for the most part on the economic and administrative documents from that place. The available texts cover...

The motive of Hieros Gamos in Jesus’s Baptism in the Jordan River and in Jewish Kabballah

Ofir Jacobson
This paper suggests an alternative interpretation of Christ’ baptism, and more precisely, of the dove's role in it. One of the main rituals in the Ancient East was the 'sacred marriage' (Hieros Gamos), the purpose of which was to assure abundance, prosperity, and cosmic fertility, and to validate the status of the king. In many cases, the actual crowning, which followed the main ritual, was performed by a dove, one of the symbols of the...

Thoughts on the possible Iranian origins of the Jemdet Nasr painting style

Mouheyddine Ossman
Dates: ca. 3150-2900 B.C.E.Places: Western Iran and Central MesopotamiaMain argument: It is admitted that Iran had an influence on the southern Mesopotamian region during the Jemdet Nasr period, but the mechanisms of this influence are not clear. This talk would like to suggest some Iranian influence arrived in Central Mesopotamia during the collapse of the so-called "Uruk system", which coincides with the reappearance of painting on ware.

Political Metaphors in Hittite Diplomatic and Historiographic Texts

Marta Pallavidini
Research topic: In the Hittite historiographic and diplomatic texts some concepts are formulated metaphorically. In particular, we can find metaphors based on expressions of motion; involving body parts; recalling the comparison between a person and an animal; describing the concepts of life and death; concerning the lexicon of the family and relatives. Theoretical approach: These metaphors are to be considered as expressions of a system of thinking, i.e. as conceptual metaphors (Lakoff – Johnson 1980)....

The Treatment of Troublesome Regions

Boaz Stavi
It is quite clear that after the Old Hittite Kingdom had been established, the Hittites focused their attention on gaining control of Syria. At the same time, they also tried to expand to western Anatolia but soon learned that too great an involvement in the west left them vulnerable to attacks. From that time on, the kings of Hatti sought to keep their military involvement in western Anatolia to a minimum, while thwarting the emergence...

Garments and Shrouds of Egyptian and Nubian Pilgrims from Qasr el-Yahud, Ninth Century CE

Orit Shamir
Qasr el-Yahud, situated on the west bank of the Jordan River nearby Jericho, features the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, believed to be the traditional site of the Baptism of Jesus1 and has a centuries-long tradition of ‘washing of the lepers’. Byzantine and Medieval authors attributed the waters of the Jordan river a special power to heal lepers who bathed in them, especially at the spot where Jesus was baptized.After the site became sacred,...

Following the Collapse: Regeneration or Transformation of the Urban Societies?

Mohammed Alkhalid
In the field of Syrian and Mesopotamian studies we must deal with many changes affecting the urban complexity and the socio-political and economic systems. In Syria, two major regional changes have been identified: one is the collapse of the Uruk system and the beginning of the second urban revolution, the other is the end of the Early Bronze Age and the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age cultures during the late third/early second millennium B.C....

The ethnical history of Kizzuwatna: an onomastic approach

Vladimir Shelestin
The mixed nature of Kizzuwatna’s population is widely accepted by the scholars, considering the Hurrians and the Luwians its main components. Which of these peoples came to the Cilician plain earlier than another one, is the subject of the discussion between archaeologists and linguists. In the course of this discussion, the onomastic and toponymical data were underestimated and became the subject of my investigation.The onomastic data collected from the historical and ritual texts coming from...

Women in Neo-Assyrian Palaces: The case of the ekal mašarti in Nimrud/Kalḫu

Eva Schmalenberger
Ø Basic Facts on Nimrud:Left Bank of the Tigris, North of the Greater Zabcapital of the Neo-Assyrian empire since 878 B.C. under King Aššurnaṣirpal (883 - 859 B.C.)The city wall encloses an area of 380 haThe main architectural features are located on the northern and the south-eastern acropolis, including various palaces and temple buildingsØ The ekal mašarti:Built under King Šalmaneser III. (858 - 824 B.C.)completed 844 B.C.on the south-eastern acropolismainly used for military purposes (Areas...

Easy-Going: The Treatment of Written Records in the Ancient Syropalestine

Pavel Čech
Who invented the Proto-Sinaitic writing? Sophisticated scribes, or unlettered workers? Orly Goldwasser, the chief advocate of the second possibility, borrowed from economic sciences the term ‘disruptive innovation’ that “describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves ‘up market,’ eventually displacing established competitors.”[1] During the years spent with translations of Levantine texts for a Czech kind of „Context of...

A Review of Pottery Cultures in Central Anatolia during the Middle Iron Age, taking Yassıhöyük (Kırşehir) as a Case Study

Nurcan Küçükarslan
Middle Iron Age (MIA): 9th-8th c. BC in Central Anatolia.Yassıhöyük is a mound located 160 km southeast of Ankara (Turkey), 25 km north of Kırşehir and 30 km east of Kaman-Kalehöyük.Kaman-Kalehöyük is a mound located 100 km southeast of Ankara.Region 1 (Representative Site: Gordion)Gordion was the capital city of Phrygia, 100 km southwest of Ankara.Diagnostic pottery type: monochrome grey wares.Political Entity: PhrygiaRegion 2 (Representative Site: Boğazköy)Boğazköy is a slope settlement located 208 km northeast of...

Evidence for early sedentism at Körtik Tepe, southeastern Turkey, during the Younger Dryas

Kurt W. Alt, Kathleen Deckers, Marion Benz, Simone Riehl, Vecihi Özkaya & Corinna Rössner
Location: Körtik Tepe, Province Diyarbakır, Southeastern Turkey, at the confluence of the River Tigris and the Batman Creek. Period: Younger Dryas to Early Holocene (10400-9200 BCE) Focus: Archaeological evidence for permanent occupation of the site; conditions favouring early sedentism at the intersection of two ecological regimes: the riverine environments and the steppe/tree-steppe mountain ranges of the hinterland; ecological and socio-economic impact of sedentism and of climatic changes from the Younger Dryas to the Early Holocene;...

The visible dead: dolmens and the landscape in Early Bronze Age Jordan

James Fraser
Overview:Dolmens are usually described as part of a regional megalithic phenomenon that spanned the 5th-2nd millennia BC. However, this presentation assumes that most ‘dolmens’ are mis-identified. When strictly defined, dolmens better reflect a local funerary tradition of the 4th millennium BC.Definitions:The term dolmen includes a variety of features whose only similarity is their use of large stone slabs. This presentation defines a dolmen as a freestanding,rectangular chamber formed by two upright orthostats along each long...

Akkadian in context

Sara Manasterska
Contextual approaches to utterances (or other forms of texts) have been developed by scholars working within the pragmatic paradigm in linguistics. Defining and analysing different levels of context can be also of great use to an assyriologist, and it is my intention in this presentation to show how. Now that one has multiple editions of texts at our disposal, one can focus not only on a single type of context, such as historical, political or...

Purity without Borders: Material Culture and Jewish Diaspora in the Late Second Temple Period

Friederike Schöpf
Chalkstone vessels, interpreted as objects for certain Jewish purity concerns, found on Tall Zira’a, near Gadara (Northern Jordan), bring up the question how purity obligations were practiced in the early Jewish Diaspora during the Roman Period. In Israel they are mostly known in the region of Galilee and Iudaea, in Jewish religiously observant environments.Growing numbers of those finds in Jordan – also in small scale settlements - in general show a larger distribution of these...

Tiny House, Big Labor: Estimating the labor investment in Iron Age mobile dwellings

Thaddeus Nelson
Tents have an iconic place in anthropologists’ vision of Southwest Asia, largely through ethnographic analogy to the Bedouin black tent. Yet, tent nomadism and tent caravans emerged relatively recently during the Iron Age (c. 1200-568 BCE). Iconography, texts, and archaeology suggest that increased exploitation of tents as temporary or mobile housing would have required the use of large quantities of woven fabric. Yet, archaeologists have not considered the labor that members of the Iron Age...

Linking a rural sanctuary with ancient metallurgy at Kataliondas Kourvellos (Cyprus)

Patrizia Birchler Emery, Athos Agapiou, Dragos Constantin, Julien Beck, Vasiliki Lysandrou, Kyriakos Themistocleous & Bertrand Merminod
Kataliondas Kourvellos is located at the base of an unusual rock knob, in the lower Troodos foothills, about 20 kilometers south of Nicosia. Recent excavations by the University of Geneva revealed that the site was occupied both in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period, at the end of the 8th millennium BCE, and in the Cypro-Classical period, in the 4th century BCE.During the Cypro-Classical period, the site seems to have functioned as a rural sanctuary, but the...

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