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The Third Millennium

Studies in Early Mesopotamia and Syria in Honor of Walter Sommerfeld and Manfred Krebernik

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Edited by Ilya Arkhipov, Leonid Kogan and Natalia Koslova

The Festschrift containing 36 contributions celebrates the scholarly achievements of the two outstanding Assyriologists, Walter Sommerfeld (University of Marburg) and Manfred Krebernik (University of Jena). The primary focus of the volume corresponds to the main topics of interests of Professors Sommerfeld and Krebernik – Pre-Sargonic and Sargonic Mesopotamia and third millennium Syria. The volume also features a few contributions dealing with Sumerian language, Mesopotamian literature and the early history of Akkadian and its Semitic background.

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Edited by Jeremy Armstrong and Matthew Trundle

Brill’s Companion to Sieges in the Ancient Mediterranean is a wide-ranging exploration of sieges and siege warfare as practiced and experienced by the cultures which lived around the ancient Mediterranean basin. From Pharaonic Egypt to Renaissance Italy, and from the Neo-Assyrian Empire to Hellenistic Greece and Roman Gaul, case studies by leading experts probe areas of both synergy and divergence within this distinctive form of warfare amongst the cultures in this broadly shared environment.

Byblos in the Late Bronze Age

Interactions between the Levantine and Egyptian Worlds

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Marwan Kilani

In Byblos in the Late Bronze Age, Marwan Kilani reconstructs the “biography” of the city of Byblos during the Late Bronze Age. Commonly described simply as a centre for the trade of wood, the city appears here as a dynamic actor involved in multiple aspects of the regional geopolitical reality.

By combining the information provided by written sources and by a fresh reanalysis of the archaeological evidence, the author explores the development of the city during the Late Bronze Age, showing how the evolution of a wide range of geopolitical, economic and ideological factors resulted in periods of prosperity and decline.

The Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant series publishes volumes from the Harvard Semitic Museum. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include Harvard Semitic Studies and Harvard Semitic Monographs, https://semiticmuseum.fas.harvard.edu/publications.

The City Gate in Ancient Israel and Her Neighbors

The Form, Function, and Symbolism of the Civic Forum in the Southern Levant

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Daniel A. Frese

In The City Gate in Ancient Israel and Her Neighbors, Daniel A. Frese provides a wide-ranging portrayal of one of the most prominent social institutions in the kingdoms of the southern Levant during the Iron II period: the use of the city gate as a hub for numerous and diverse civic functions. The book provides an up-to-date description of the architecture of gate complexes based on archaeological evidence, and a systematic description of the many functions of the gate seen in hundreds of texts from the Hebrew Bible and the broader ancient Near East. The final chapters of the book discuss the conceptual significance of gates in Israelite culture, based on idiomatic and symbolic gate terminology in the Hebrew Bible.

Excavations at Tall Jawa, Jordan

Volume 3: The Iron Age Pottery

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Michèle Daviau

In Excavations at Tall Jawa, Jordan: Volume 3, the Iron Age Pottery, Michèle Daviau presents a detailed typology of the Iron Age pottery excavated from 1989–1995. She looks beyond the formal changes to an in-depth analysis of the forming techniques employed to make each type of vessel from bowls to colanders, cooking pots to pithoi. The changes in fabric composition from Iron I to Iron II were more significant than those from Iron IIB to IIC, although changes in surface treatment, especially slip color, were noticeable. Petrographic analysis of Iron I pottery by Klassen contributes to our growing corpus of fabric types, while Epler documents typical Ammonite painted patterns and Kirby and Kraft present a typology of potters’ marks.

Hrozný and Hittite

The First Hundred Years

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Edited by Ronald I. Kim, Jana Mynářová and Peter Pavúk

This volume collects 33 papers that were presented at the international conference held at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in November 2015 to celebrate the centenary of Bedřich Hrozný’s identification of Hittite as an Indo-European language. Contributions are grouped into three sections, “Hrozný and His Discoveries,” “Hittite and Indo-European,” and “The Hittites and Their Neighbors,” and span the full range of Hittite studies and related disciplines, from Anatolian and Indo-European linguistics and cuneiform philology to Ancient Near Eastern archaeology, history, and religion. The authors hail from 15 countries and include leading figures as well as emerging scholars in the fields of Hittitology, Indo-European, and Ancient Near Eastern studies.

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Shiyanthi Thavapalan

In The Meaning of Color in Ancient Mesopotamia, Shiyanthi Thavapalan offers the first in-depth study of the words and expressions for colors in the Akkadian language (c. 2500-500 BCE). By combining philological analysis with the technical investigation of materials, she debunks the misconception that people in Mesopotamia had a limited sense of color and positions the development of Akkadian color language as a corollary of the history of materials and techniques in the ancient Near East.

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Zenobia Sabrina Homan

In Mittani Palaeography, Zenobia Homan analyses cuneiform writing from the Late Bronze Age Mittani state, which was situated in the region between modern Aleppo, Erbil and Diyarbakır. The ancient communication network reveals a story of local scribal tradition blended with regional adaptation and international political change, reflecting the ways in which written knowledge travelled within the cuneiform culture of the Middle East.

Mittani signs, their forms, and variants, are described and defined in detail utilising a large digital database and discussed in relation to other regional corpora (Assyro-Mittanian, Middle Assyrian, Nuzi and Tigunanum among others). The collected data indicate that Mittanian was comparatively standardised – an innovation for the period – signifying the existence of a centralised system of scribal training.

Weapons of Words: Intertextual Competition in Babylonian Poetry

A study of Anzû, Enūma Eliš, and Erra and Išum

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Selena Wisnom

In Weapons of Words: Intertextual Competition in Babylonian Poetry Selena Wisnom offers an in-depth literary study of three poems central to Babylonian culture: Anzû, Enūma eliš, and Erra and Išum. Fundamentally interconnected, each poem strives to out-do its predecessors and competes to establish its protagonist, its ideals, and its poetics as superior to those that came before them.

The first of its kind in Assyriology, Weapons of Words explores the rich nuances of these poems by unravelling complex networks of allusion. Through a sophisticated analysis of literary techniques, Selena Wisnom traces developments in the Akkadian poetic tradition and demonstrates that intertextual readings are essential for a deeper understanding of Mesopotamian literature.

Knowledge and Rhetoric in Medical Commentary

Ancient Mesopotamian Commentaries on a Handbook of Medical Diagnosis (Sa-gig)

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John Z Wee

Knowledge and Rhetoric in Medical Commentary is intended for historians of medicine and interpretation, and explores the dynamic between scholastic rhetoric and medical knowledge in ancient commentaries on a Mesopotamian Diagnostic Handbook.

In line with commentators’ self-fashioning as experts of diverse disciplines, commentaries display intertextuality involving a variety of lexical, astronomical, religious, magic, and literary compositions, while employing patterns of argumentation that resist categorization within any single branch of knowledge. Commentators’ choices of topics and comments, however, sought to harmonize atypical language and ideas in the Handbook with conventional ways of perceiving and describing the sick body in therapeutic recipes. Scholastic rhetoric—supposedly unfettered to any discipline—served in fact as a pretext for affirming current forms of medical knowledge.