50 Works

Loom weights as a research tool

Jeannette Boertien
The function of loom weights was to stretch and space the warp threads on a vertical loom. The loom weight is often the only preserved remnant of a loom used in antiquity. Because of their ubiquity, loom weights are the main key to the study of textile production in the Iron Age in the Levant.During excavations loom weights are easy to recognize if they are made of metal, stone or ceramics. Within burnt layers, unfired...

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,...

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;...

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 Babylonian Extispicy Rituals: Theory and Practice

Netanel Anor
This presentation will focus on a series of manuals containing instructions regarding the oracle process. These sources, usually referred to as The Extispicy Rituals, also elaborate about different theoretical and practical aspects of extispicy as a scholarly discipline. But their main objective is to offer descriptions of the sequences of sacrificial offerings and the purification acts performed during the ritual. The first part of the presentation will be dedicated to the content of this group...

Sacked and Cursed? New data on the transition from the city-state to the Hittite capital Hattuša

Néhémie Strupler
When: Karum Period: First centuries of the 2nd millennium B.C. when Assyrian and Anatolian merchants took part in large-scale commercial exchanges between Aššur and central Anatolia. Most of the epigraphic finds come from the 19th century BC, and the 18th century is less known. We don’t know how the commercial exchanges came to an end. Until the establishment of the administration at the Hittite capital Hattuša/Boğazköy (1650), there is a hiatus in the epigraphical records...

Gone with the wind? Research on abandonment processes as part of Neolithic ways of life in Göbekli Tepe

Julia Schönicke
While most archaeological research is focused on the reasons for starting cultural activities (such as building a house, setting up a settlement, starting to produce a groundstone), my PhD project “Neolithic ways of life” is concerned with the end of settlements. Within the framework of the study fields Landscape Archaeology and Archaeology of Abandonment, I analyse the processes of abandonment at the PPN A+B hill site Göbekli Tepe in southeastern Anatolia. With the slow advent...

The Past in the Present of Syria

Ahmed Fatima Kzzo
Key Facts:Syria: Under the Ottoman Domination (1516-1918); Arab Government (1918-1920); French Mandate (1920-1946).Hussein-McMahon Correspondence in 1915 and 1916 to recognize the independent of Arabs in Asian part by Great Britain in aim that Hussein, Sharif Mecca declares revolt against Ottomans.Sykes-Picot Agreement in 1916 to divide the Middle East between France and Britain.The Syrian National Day is “Evacuation Day”, the evacuation of the last French soldier in 17 April 1946.Mohammad Kurd Ali, the first director of...

The Nature of Geographical Knowledge in Hittite Anatolia in the 18th to 12th Centuries BCE in the Light of Cuneiform Sources

Adam Kryszeń
The talk will discuss a new, three-year project that is about to start at the University of Warsaw. It's aim is to investigate selected aspects of the –broadly speaking – Hittite perception of the world on the basis of the original Hittite cuneiform texts. It is organized into five subsequent partial (sub)investigations: Understanding Hittite space and place. Distribution and function of Hittite geographical determinatives. The structure and function of borders and border descriptions. Itineraries and...

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....

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 –...

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...

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...

The Iron Age I in the Northern Levant: New perspectives from Lebanon

Hanan Charaf
The beginning of the Iron Age in the Levant has been for the past three decades the focus of intense studies and debates. The main reason that had triggered this interest is the turmoil characterizing the end of the Late Bronze Age coupled with the migration of newcomers dubbed the “Sea People” to the coastal Levant. This phenomenon has been studied to a length in the southern Levant where evidence of destructions followed by a...

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...

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...

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...

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 -...

Clay Figurines from Sirkeli Höyük

Moira Looney
Sirkeli Höyük is a settlement mound in the cilician plain near Adana, Turkey. It was first excavated in the 1930s by John Garstang. Work there was resumed in the 1990s by Barthel Hrouda and Horst Ehringhaus, and then again from 2006 until the present day; initially by the Universities of Tübingen and Çanakkale and subsequently (2011 onwards) by the Universities of Bern and Çanakkale. My Master’s thesis focused on the terracotta figurines unearthed during the...

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...

Silk and Horses: Trade and Tribute between the Qing Dynasty and the Kazakh Khanate

Xiaojun Chai
This paper seeks to analyze the ways in which the exchange of silk for horses impacted trade regulations along the Silk Road, thus leading to a rupture in Chinese economic policy. Exchanges between the Qing Dynasty and the Kazakh Khanate were carried between 1759 and 1796, having begun after the Qianlong Emperor vanquished the Dzungar Khanate, which determined the khan of the Kazakhs to swear allegiance to the Emperor. As the Qing Dynasty had up...

Identifying Intentional Ambiguity

Nephtali Meshel
Identifying Intentional Ambiguity It is widely acknowledged that certain genres in ancient Near Eastern literature including the Hebrew Bible are characterized by intense ambiguity. In particular, divination, Wisdom literature and erotic poetry thrive on a special type of ambiguity—“double-edged words”—in which a single graphic or phonetic sequence is employed to convey a message and its precise opposite, at one and the same time. However, it is often difficult to demonstrate that a specific case of...

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...

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...

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.

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