Two statements from the IAA

The International Association of Assyriology has put out the following two statements, regarding the conflict and destruction in the Middle East, and regarding the order restricting entry to the United States.

For the full pdf-versions of the statements, including French, German, Arabic, Italian, and Turkish translations, see the IAA website.

Regarding the continuing conflict and destruction in the Middle East (as of December 2016):

“The growth of humanitarian crises in the Middle East continues to be a tragedy for the residents across the region. The IAA is particularly sensitive to this human tragedy since the ancient societies that we study all had their homes in the region, and our members have a long history of working with colleagues and communities there.

Alongside the danger to human life, these conflicts pose a grave threat to the rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Middle East. Damage to this heritage strikes at the identity and valued traditions of the peoples of the region. There is also a long history of the politicization of the surviving sites, monuments, and remains of the ancient communities of the region.

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Reminder: Deadlines for the 2017 Rencontre

The Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale will take place in Marburg this year, from the 24th through the 28th of July. This will be the 63rd Rencontre, and the 10th to take place in Germany. The organizing committee seems very well prepared, having put out their second circular already in November.

The theme will be ‘Dealing with Antiquity’, and it is split into three themes: relating to the past in ancient times, today, and in the future. The first theme addresses such issues as tradition and cultural memory in Ancient Near Eastern societies, while the second theme explores the present status of cultural heritage in the Middle East. Finally, the third theme will take a look at the future of the discipline, including new technological advances and methodologies, such as digital humanities.

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Call for applications: The IAA Prize, Fund, and Subsidies

The IAA seeks to support early career scholars within the field of Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archeology. Three funds are now open for applications, and early career scholars can apply for support for short research projects, for conference participation, and for a prize for the best first article written after a completed PhD. Remember that the deadline for all three applications is March 1st, and that all applicants must be members of the IAA. Besides these three, there is also the new IAA Dissertation Prize, for which already 23 dissertations are in competition! The winners will be announced at the General Meeting of the IAA.

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Changing the name of the IAA

At the General Meeting of the IAA in 2016, it was proposed by the Board that the Association should change its name to the ‘International Association of Assyriology and Mesopotamian Archeology’, or IAAMA for short. As stated by the Board of the IAA, Near Eastern Archaeology has always formed an integral part of the IAA’s remit, but this is not reflected in its name.

The Board sought to rectify this in 2016, but it quickly became clear that the issue had to be postponed until the next General Meeting, at the RAI in Marburg, in order to allow for proxy voting by those members who were unable to participate in person.

IMPORTANT: If you cannot attend the General Meeting in 2017, you can post your opinion on the official website, and / or submit a proxy vote!

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RAI 2016

We would like to thank the organizing committee of this year’s RAI, who toiled hard to make the 2016 Rencontre a success!

The Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale took place in Philadelphia this year, as a sort of distinguished prelude to the following week’s Democratic National Convention. We had our own share of challenges to deal with, as the city of Philadelphia was hit by both soaring temperatures and a breakdown in public transportation in the week ahead of the Rencontre. Undeterred, the organizers of this year’s Rencontre, Grant Frame, Josh Jeffers, Holly Pittman, Lauren Ristvet, Steve Tinney, and Richard Zettler, managed to turn it into the success we all expected it to be.

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Congratulations! The IAA Prize 2016

Courtesy of Giacomo Benati.It is our pleasure to congratulate the two winners of the IAA Prize, Dr. Giacomo Benati and Dr. Andrew Knapp!

The IAA Prize is awarded annually for the best first article written after the PhD in Assyriology or Mesopotamian archaeology. The first place winner receives a stipend of 1000€, while the runner-up winner receives one of 250€. The two winners are announced each year at the General Meeting of the IAA.

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A New Administrator

Some of you may have noticed that for a while now, a different person than before has been aswering your IAA related questions. The reason for this is that Karin Beumer, who has been the IAA administrator for the past four years, has resigned because of a busy schedule. As of January 2016, the new IAA administrator is Erwin Dijkstra, a master student from the University of Leiden. He has been working hard to take over all of the administrative tasks of the IAA, and if you have any questions, you are welcome to contact him!

About Philadelphia

Only a few days to go, and the 62nd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale will take place in Philadelphia, USA. From July 11th through July 15th, Philadelphia will be taken over by assyriologists from all over the world. The University of Pennsylvania and the University of  Pennsylvania Museum opf Archaeology and Anthropology will be our hosts this edition. This year’s theme will be ‘UR in the Twenty-First Century’, with a special sub-theme to address the ongoing disaster in Syria. The members of this years organizing committee are: Grant Frame, Joshua Jeffers, Holly Pittman, Lauren Ristvet, Steve Tinney, and Richard Zettler.

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IAA General Meeting

This year’s IAA General Meeting will take place on Thursday, July 14th at 04:30 in the afternoon. Because of important events happening in the Near East and within the IAA itself, it is important that members attend as there will be discussion on important issues and a couple of issues must be voted on. Also, the IAA will be saying goodbye to some of their board members and new board members will be welcomed.

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