Welcoming words by the International Association for Assyriology

By Piotr Michalowski, IAA President

The IAA is a young organization, but thanks to the work of dedicated organizers and members it is becoming stronger every year. Recent Rencontres have been a great success, with wonderful organization by local committees and ever increasing participation by new generations of scholars and students so that even in these hard times it seems that the future of our discipline looks bright indeed. We have implemented a number of new initiatives, including prizes and awards, and now we are bringing you a new way to keep in touch with various undertakings by the broader Assyriological community: the Newsletter. Continue reading Welcoming words by the International Association for Assyriology

By the Rivers of Babylon: New Perspectives on Second Temple Judaism from Cuneiform Texts

By Dr. Caroline Waerzeggers

Aim and team

This project, financed by the European Research Council, draws on recent advances in the study of cuneiform texts to illuminate the Babylonian environment of the Judean exile, the socio-historical context that gave rise to a transformative era in the history of Judaism known as the Second Temple period. Since September 2012, the project is hosted at Leiden University. The team consists of dr. Caroline Waerzeggers (PI), dr. Jonathan Stökl (post-doc), dr. Jason Silverman (post-doc), Tero Alstola (PhD student), Rieneke Sonnevelt (PhD student), Bastian Still (PhD student), Marlon van Wijk (student assistant). Continue reading By the Rivers of Babylon: New Perspectives on Second Temple Judaism from Cuneiform Texts

The NINO archeological project on the Rania Plain

By Jesper Eidem (Director, NINO)

In September-October 2012 The Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) initiated a new archaeological project in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, focussed on the Rania Plain in Sulaimanyia Province. In a first instance the aim was to conduct new investigations at the site of Tell Shemshara, briefly excavated by Danish and Iraqi archaeologists in 1957-59. The site was subsequently inundated when the Dokan Dam was completed and was until recently inaccessible most of the year. The previous excavations retrieved important prehistoric evidence from the Hassuna period, and in a Level V palace two archives of cuneiform tablets from the early 18th cent. BC (published in J. Eidem, The Shemshara Archives 2. The Administrative Texts. Copenhagen 1992, and J. Eidem and J. Læssøe, The Shemshara Archives 1. The Letters. Copenhagen 2001). Continue reading The NINO archeological project on the Rania Plain

IAA Initiatives

The IAA is committed to help young Assyriologists all over the world to strengthen their potential in their chosen profession. For instance, there are currently two awards that you are eligible to win! With these awards come nice prizes in the form of grants and publications, so do not hesitate to send in your work! The prizes will be awarded during a special ceremony at the RAI 2013 in Ghent. Continue reading IAA Initiatives

Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale 2012-2013

LEIDEN, July 2012. Ten years after the previous RAI in Leiden, the Rencontre 2012 turned out to be a successful revisit. Under the theme “Private and State in the Ancient Near East” we attended great lectures, met with old friends and enjoyed a warm ambiance. The only spoiler was the weather. It did rain for most of the week: Not unknown for the Netherlands but definitely overstaying its welcome. Still, we hope everyone enjoyed their visit!

On behalf of the organizing committee in Leiden: Thank you all for coming and participating!

Continue reading Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale 2012-2013

The Keilschriftbibliographie is online!

By Georg Neumann

The printed version of the Keilschriftbibliographie (Cuneiform Bibliography) has been published since 1940 in the journal Orientalia (since Nova Series issue 9) by the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. Up to now 68 issues have been published, and the 69th is already in press. The Keilschriftbibliographie has become an essential tool for the investigation, study and teaching of Ancient Near Eastern Studies.

The former main editors were (in alphabetical order): Richard Caplice, Karlheinz Deller, Cyrus H. Gordon, Horst Klengel, Alfred Pohl and Claudio Saporetti. Since 1999 (KeiBi 57), Hans Neumann (University of Muenster) has been in charge of the bibliography. In March 2012, 72 years after the publication of the first issue, the Keilschriftbibliographie went online! Continue reading The Keilschriftbibliographie is online!

In The Spotlight: Russia

Do you sometimes have the feeling, that although you know and have met people from all over the world, you miss really understanding how they live? To broaden the international aspects of the IAA and to bring understanding among the different continents, every issue the Mār Šiprim Newsletter will pay special attention to one specific location where the Near-East is being studied. The insight will be achieved by conducting an interview with both a student and a scholar from that specific country. For our first issue we have chosen a country which, though great in size and a major contributor to knowledge, remains somewhat incomprehensible to most of us: Russia. We are guided in unravelling its mystery by Ksenia Somova, a student at St. Petersburg  and by Dr. Leonid Kogan of the Russian State Humanitarian University. Continue reading In The Spotlight: Russia