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.
Please remember that the Rencontre organizing committee has issued a special notice about US Visa Law. Please make sure to check their website and read about US travel restrictions. On the website, also the Rencontre Circulars 1, 2, and 3 can be found.
Besides it being the location of (the most?) important event in American History, the signing of the USA Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, Philadelphia is also set to be the stage of a massive future historic fact: the place where the first female presidential candidate will be announced. And this should be of importance to all of you Rencontre-visitors, as the National Democratic Convention, where the Democratic Nominee will be chosen, will take place the week after the Rencontre. So if you have not yet booked your flight or hotel: hurry up because they will be in great demand.
For those less interested in (modern day) politics, the following tourist attractions are worth a visit (not a complete list, of course):
Independence Hall, where both the United States Constitution (September 17, 1787) and the Declaration of Independence (July 4th, 1776) were signed. You can find Independence Hall in the Independence National Historical Park, where also the Liberty Bell (casted in 1752) is located. Because of its many interesting sites placed within relative short distance of each other, the park is sometimes referred to as ‘America’s most historic square mile’. So if you only have a small amount of time left in between lectures, the park is a good choise.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses over 227.000 objects, from first century Western cultures, and Asian art from the third millennium BC. No Egyptian, Roman or Near Eastern art though, because of its close connection with the University of Pennsylvania.
Other museums in Philelphia include the Rodin Museum, National Museum of American Jewish History, the Independence Seaport Museum, Mütter Museum (medical history), Eastern State Penitentiary (historic prison), the African American Museum in Philadelphia, Philadelphia History Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Memorial Hall and much, much more. The location as can be gathered is perfect for all of you history buffs!