Archives in Context – an outreach initiative of the “Persia & Babylonia” project

By Melanie Groß

We are pleased to present our web-based initiative Archives in Context. With Archives in Context we aim at introducing our research to a wider audience. Short articles and brief explanations of specialist terms give an insight into the ancient documentation left behind by inhabitants of 1st millennium BCE Babylonia and the ways in which we can use it today to reconstruct their lives of 2,500 years ago. On the one hand, we discuss how the ancient documentation came into being, how it was kept and in which ways it came down to us. On the other hand, we give an impression on the information and insights we gain from this documentation, be it on a micro-historical or a macro-historical level. For instance, what can a legal document tell us about the fate of a family who lived in Babylon during the reigns of the Persian kings Darius I and Xerxes I? Or, to which extent are power changes visible in the documentation and how were people influenced or affected by these power changes? In addition, we address digital methodologies and technologies applied within our research, including Social Network Analysis and 3D modelling of ancient artefacts. We hope that this initiative will contribute to the dissemination of our project and its ongoing research as well as to the general awareness of the richness of Ancient Near Eastern culture in the first millennium BCE when the first World Empires arose in the region and put a lasting stamp on the landscape and its people.

Vacancy for Research assistants

By Persia & Babylonia

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.

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