From 29 May to 1 June, the Persia & Babylonia project is organising an interactive Onomastics Training Week in Venice, Italy. During this week, participating graduate students (MA/PhD) will learn from experts about the many-faceted name material in Neo-Babylonian and Late Babylonian sources. This includes names in other languages such as Egyptian, Anatolian, Greek, Old Persian and Elamite. Each topic will be explored in a lecture, followed by a workshop allowing students to deal with concrete examples.
Dr. David Kertai is an expert on the Assyrian Empire and the architecture of Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). He is currently affiliated with the Martin Buber Society in Jerusalem, and he is conducting research on the architecture of ancient Babylonian palaces. David recently visited Leiden for a conference on Nineveh at the National Museum of Antiquities. Persia and Babylonia met with him there to discuss his work, the (im)possibility of excavating in Iraq, and how he ended up in the discipline of Near Eastern Archaeology in the first place.
Until 6 May 2018 the National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) in Leiden is hosting the exhibition Fascination with Persepolis. This exhibition is inspired by the work of photo-historian Dr. Corien Vuurman whose doctoral dissertation was published in 2015. Although relatively small, the exhibition takes full advantage of its limited space to convene a coherent and compelling narrative of the men and women who contributed to unveiling Persepolis anew. Not included in this iconographic exhibition for obvious reasons (there isn’t a single image that depicts him), is the Portuguese priest Fryer António de Gouveia (1575-1628), who was one of those rediscoverers.
In mid-November 2017, when the sky over Leiden was grey and draped with clouds, I was given the opportunity to cross the big pond for a three week work and study trip. I visited some major cities on the east coast of the United States, which all had been founded in the early 17th century by European immigrants.
On 25 January 2018, the Persia & Babylonia project is organising the annual Orientalists Day at Leiden University. This symposium about the Ancient Near East is meant for students, scholars and interested people. There will be lectures in both Dutch and English.
Five travel grants are made available for PhD or (research) MA students from the Netherlands and Flanders in order to participate. Please apply before 15 January 2018 (based on first come, first served) through email@example.com.
Coffee and tea
Welcome by Caroline Waerzeggers
Klaas Veenhof De familiegod in de Oudassyrische samenleving
Carolien van der Brugge De Assyrische koningen tussen 934 en 746 v. Chr.: Heersers of Handelaren?
Jan-Wim Wesselius Taal, grammatica en stijl in het bijbelboek Daniel
Daan Nijssen Hoe bereik ik een jong publiek?
Lara Weiss and Nico Staring The Walking Dead at Saqqara: The making of a cultural geography
Jonny Russell The Theory of Healing in Ancient Egypt: A Lexicographic Analysis of Biophysical and Cultural Realities in Healing Papyri from the Ancient Nile Valley
Melanie Groß Business and Family Life in Babylonian Sippar during Persian Rule
Christina van der Wal Anonby Near East, Far Out: A history of Kumzari
Caroline Waerzeggers – NINO’s future
– Next Orientalists Day?
Dr. Seth Richardson is a historian who mostly studies the Old Babylonian period (ca. 2000-1600 BCE) of ancient Iraq. Among his topics are the ancient state and political legitimacy. In 2017 he gave a guest lecture at Leiden University.
First things first: Why did you choose to go into Assyriology?
That’s a very difficult question. I suppose everybody’s answer will be different. Mine, maybe, is even more different. I was a historian, I knew I wanted to study history, and I took some years to try and figure out what historical discipline I would choose to work on in graduate school. At a certain point I really decided, mostly as a reaction to having done American history, that I wanted something that did not have a lot of boundaries. I didn’t want something very ‘pigeon-holed’, so to say. So I decided I was going to do world history. This was a great, grand idea: there are people who do world history.
On Friday 1 December, Caroline Waerzeggers presented her inaugural lecture before an audience of family, friends, colleagues and students. “The future of Assyriology is sitting right in front of me,” she concluded.
The Leiden University Institute of Area Studies invites applications for three or four 1.5-year research assistant positions in Assyriology. The assistants will enter data drawn from Babylonian cuneiform sources into a prosopographical database. This relational database is a key research tool to be established within the scope of the ERC-funded project, “Persia and Babylonia: Creating a New Context for Understanding the Emergence of the First World Empire,” directed by prof. Caroline Waerzeggers.
RAI typically lasts five days, this summer from July 24–28. The topic for this RAI was “Dealing with Antiquity: Past, Present & Future”. It attracted about 450 participants — a record number, demonstrating the necessity of such an event and the debate about the ancient Near East. But what exactly happens during a Rencontre?