64 Works

Detecting word endings in an unknown script

Michael Mäder
Date: Around 2200 BC.Location: Western, southern and eastern Iran.Type: Syllabic Script.Text Corpus: 22 (known a long time), plus 15 (known since 2015).Sign Corpus: 110 sign type, 1340 sign tokens.Status: Principally undeciphered, except the sound values for in, šu, uš, ši, na, and k, drawn from the divine name Inšušinak found in the only bilingual inscription. Several further sound values were proposed. In our paper, some of them are being corroborated, and a new one is...

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...

Visualizing the Provenance of Sumerian Literary Texts

Sebastian Borkowski
1) DatingOld Babylonian (ca. 1800–1500 B.C.)2) Place namesAbu Salabikh, Babylon, Ḫattuša, Isin, Kiš, Lagas, Larsa, Mari, Me-Turan, Nippur, black market, Sippar, Susa, Tutub, Uruk, Ur3) Text corporaThe Decad: a group of ten literary texts presumably taught at the beginning of the advanced phase of the Old Babylonian scribal curriculum.Sumerian disputation literature: a corpus of 24 Sumerian literary texts classified as debate poems, dialogues, edubba’a-texts, and diatribes.4) Further termsCollective tablet: cuneiform tablet with two or more...

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...

Some new Linear Elamite inscriptions

Michael Mäder
The Linear Elamite writing system was used in the late 3rd millennium in ancient Iran.The underlying language is supposed to be Elamite – an isolate language otherwise known from cuneiform sources. 40 to 60% of the Elamite words and morphemes are decoded.In early 2016, about ten new inscriptions and fragments were presented at the University of Hamedan, Iran. They are now in the Mahboubian Gallery. Some of these new texts are the longest ones ever...

The Bay of Kiladha Project (Argolid, Greece): Bridging East and West

Despina Koutsoumba, Patrizia Birchler Emery, Ioanna Kraounaki, Julien Beck, Julien Beck, Ioanna Kraounaki & Despina Koutsoumba
The project, a joint research program between the University of Geneva, under the aegis of the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece, and the Greek Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities, aims at finding traces of prehistoric human activity in a small bay of the southern Argolid, near the Franchthi Cave, a major prehistoric site used from 40,000 years ago to 5,000 years ago. For most of these 35,000 years, because of global sea-level change in prehistory,...

Polymorphic iconography common influences or individual features in the Near Eastern perspective

Grzegorz First
Topic: polymorphic iconography in Egyptian religious iconography - special and separate types of mixed, theriomorphic and combined images / icons / forms, always with animal heads, double pairs of wings, phallus, and other magical symbols. Archaeological evidence: images appear on small size flat amulets, papyri fragments (also serving as amulets), bronze statuettes and magical healing statues. Textual evidence: lack of distinctive proper names Place: Egypt, without special area of provenance Date: Late Period (7th –...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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)...

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...

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...

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