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The Diviners of Late Bronze Age Emar and their Tablet Collection
Author: Matthew Rutz
In Bodies of Knowledge in Ancient Mesopotamia Matthew Rutz explores the relationship between ancient collections of texts, commonly deemed libraries and archives, and the modern interpretation of titles like ‘diviner’. By looking at cuneiform tablets as artifacts with archaeological contexts, this work probes the modern analytical categories used to study ancient diviners and investigates the transmission of Babylonian/Assyrian scholarship in Syria. During the Late Bronze Age diviners acted as high-ranking scribes and cultic functionaries in Emar, a town on the Syrian Euphrates (ca. 1375-1175 BCE). This book’s centerpiece is an extensive analytical catalogue of the excavated tablet collection of one family of diviners. Over seventy-five fragments are identified for the first time, along with many proposed joins between fragments.
Author: Peter Alpass
Flourishing in the centuries around the birth of Christ, the Nabataean kingdom covered a large swathe of the north-western Arabian Peninsula and was shaped by cultural influences from the Mediterranean, Arabian and wider Semitic worlds. The Religious Life of Nabataea examines the inscriptions, sculptures and architectural remains left by worshippers in every corner of the kingdom, from the spectacular remains of the desert city of Petra to the fertile plains of southern Syria.

While previous scholarly approaches have minimised the diversity of cultic practices and traditions found in Nabataea, this study reveals a vibrant religious landscape dominated by a variety of local traditions.