Archaeology and texts of the Ancient Near East
This essay explores Maimonides’ explanation of the Bible’s rationale behind the ritual sacrifices, namely to help wean the Jews away from idolatrous rites. After clearly elucidating Maimonides’ stance on the topic, this essay examines his view from different angles with various possible precedents in earlier rabbinic literature for such an under…[Read more]
This book collects papers by many eminent scholars and young researchers on the topic of confrontation and historical, cultural, and economic relationships between East and West, particularly focusing on how the Orient was experienced and interpreted by Western travellers, historians, and scholars (of past and present times) in the light of E.…[Read more]
Julia Rhyder deposited “Space and Memory in the Book of Leviticus,” Pages 83-96 in Scripture as Social Discourse: Social-Scientific Perspectives on Early Jewish and Christian Writings, ed. T. Klutz, C. Strine and J. M. Keady. London: T&T Clark, 2018 in the group Ancient Near East on Humanities Commons 3 weeks, 3 days ago
In this paper I employ social scientific theories that conceptualize space as existing in physical, mental and symbolic fields simultaneously, and combine them with memory studies, in order to offer a new reading of how the authors of Leviticus construed Israel’s cultic origins and what aims they were pursuing with this composition.
This paper aims to disambiguate the proper name “Seth” and its cognates or homonyms – perfect or imperfect – in texts from ancient Egypt, the Near East and the Mediterranean. It considers: (1) the Suteans, West Semitic Amorite/Aramean nomads who feature negatively in Mesopotamian records; (2) S(h)eth in the Hebrew bible, in which a dispara…[Read more]
This paper publishes a ceramic bowl in the Metropolitan Museum of Art depicting a Parthian shot. Although it lacks archaeological provenance, the bowl can be dated to the 4th to 2nd centuries BCE, and probably comes from northwestern Iran. It is, therefore, one of the few possible instances of a Parthian shot from the Arsacid Empire.
Demons and monsters are inherently moveable creatures: from the late second millennium BCE onwards a number of demons and monsters migrate from their native Mesopotamian contexts, moving westward. Of course, these figures do not remain static throughout their journey, instead acquiring the characteristics of the different cultural contexts wherein…[Read more]
A short essay on the different forms of money used in the Achaemenid Persian Empire. Translated into German by Julia Linke.
An overview of taxation in ancient states.
The paper proposes that the Egyptian-style design on a 5-6th century CE magical amulet discovered at Nea Paphos in Cyprus (Inv. no. PAP/FR 44/2011) draws upon an apotropaic design against the Evil Eye known as the “All-Suffering Eye,” which dates back to the time of the early Roman Empire and is common on Byzantine “Holy Rider” medallions. [No…[Read more]
This article publishes a new join in SAA 18 100, a letter providing crucial historical detail about the assassination of Sennacherib in 681 BC. Published in Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires no. 2 (June 2019): 88-90.
This note examines the use of the term “daric” in 1 Chr 29:7 for its ideological purposes, concluding that the anachronism was deployed purposely to signal resistance to imperial rule.
Kingship has been a political mainstay in human history, even when peoples have lacked monarchic rulers. This essay examines the book of Samuel as a source for the cultural history of ancient Judah, focusing on the question of how Samuel’s representations of monarchy would function for its readers in the early Second Temple era. In this era, w…[Read more]
This chapter focuses on Ezekiel as a text, i.e., a collection of writings meant to be read again and again. As a text, it presents a range of ideas in dialogue with one another—and sometimes in tension—thus providing ample space for continual discussion and reinterpretation of its ideas among its original communities of readers in antiquity. Eze…[Read more]
Pamela Barmash deposited Blood Feud and State Control: Differing Legal Institutions for the Remedy of Homicide During the Second and First Millennia B.C.E. in the group Ancient Near East on Humanities Commons 9 months, 2 weeks ago
Since the discovery of the Laws of Hammurapi in December 1901–January 1902,1
the dependence of biblical law upon Mesopotamian law has been hotly debated. Among
the most contentious issues is the abjudication of homicide, and the discussion has focused
on particular odd cases in biblical law, such as an ox that gored or assault on a p…[Read more]
Ancient Near Eastern Law. The oldest documented law comes from the ancient Near East. The earliest legal texts come from about 2600 B.C.E., a few hundred years after the invention of writing, and they predate by millennia the documentation for law from the other early civilizations of China and India.
Amnesty and Reform Texts. Edicts of amnesty and reform decreed by a king intervened in economy and society, invalidating loans, pledges and sales, cancelling debts, and issuing behavioral instructions to government officials. They were dated to a specific time at which their provisions would come into effect.
The paper discusses how the natural environmental conditions of the Phoenician litoral in the eastern Mediterranean had shaped their culture from a very early age.
Lloyd Graham deposited Similarities between North Mesopotamian (Late Halaf), Egyptian (Naqada) and Nubian (A-Group) female figurines of the 6-4th millennia BCE in the group Ancient Near East on Humanities Commons 10 months, 2 weeks ago
Late Halaf female figurines of clay/pottery from northeastern Syria (Type LH.1A; 6th millennium BCE) have close parallels in predynastic Egyptian figurines (4th millennium BCE) in the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. The lack of provenance for the Egyptian statuettes – all of which were purchased – has long inhibited any comparison with the…[Read more]
Destruction is an element of human behaviour that is universally present throughout our history. But what are the driving forces behind these violent acts? Can an underlying motivation be recognised in the archaeological record? This article focuses on the destruction and mutilation of monumental architecture and figurative works, and puts them…[Read more]
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