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Susa and Elam. Archaeological, Philological, Historical and Geographical Perspectives.

Proceedings of the International Congress held at Ghent University, December 14-17, 2009.

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Edited by Katrien De Graef and Jan Tavernier

In December 2009, an international congress was held at Ghent University in order to investigate, exactly 20 years after the 36th RAI “Mésopotamie et Elam”, the present state of our knowledge of the Elamite and Susean society from archaeological, philological, historical and geographical points of view. The multidisciplinary character of this congress illustrates the present state of research in the socio-economic, historical and political developments of the Suso-Elamite region from prehistoric times until the great Persian Empire. Because of its strategically important location between the Mesopotamian alluvial plain and the Iranian highlands and its particular interest as point of contact between civilizations, Susa and Elam were of utmost importance for the history of the ancient Near East in general.

From Face to Face

Recarving of Roman Portraits and the Late-Antique Portrait Arts

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Marina Prusac

This book is based on an investigation of more than 2000 portraits of which around 500 have proven to be recarved. It provides thorough analyses of the different recarving methods, some of which can be attributed to geographically localized workshops, establishing classifiable categories, and an analytical text with special regard to the cultural historical changes in Late Antiquity. The investigation underpins a hypothesis on the late antique portraits style as a consequence of the many recarved portraits at the time, which relied on a syncretism of politics, religion and ideology. The conclusion gives a new understanding of how broad-scoped, culturally and politically encoded and comprehensive the practice of recarving was.

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Nigel Strudwick

Edited by Ronald Leprohon

Ancient Egypt is well known for its towering monuments and magnificent statuary, but other aspects of its civilization are less well known, especially its written texts. Now Texts from the Pyramid Age provides ready access to new translations of a representative selection of texts ranging from the historically significant to the repetitive formulae of the tomb inscriptions from Old Kingdom Egypt (ca. 2700–2170 B.C.). These royal and private inscriptions, coming from both the secular and religious milieus and from all kinds of physical contexts, not only shed light on the administration, foreign expeditions, and funerary beliefs of the period but also bring to life the Egyptians themselves, revealing how they saw the world and how they wanted the world to see them. Strudwick’s helpful introduction to the history and literature of this seminal period provides important background for reading and understanding these historical texts. Like other volumes in the Writings from the Ancient World series, this work will soon become a standard with students and scholars alike.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

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Jean-Jacques Glassner

Edited by Benjamin Foster

This English translation of Glassner’s Chroniques Mésopotamiennes (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1993) collects all chronicle literature of ancient Mesopotamia from the early second millenium to Seleucid times. The volume, which incorporates revisions and additions by the author and a transcription of the cuneiform, includes every example of Sumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian historiographic literature, and magisterial essays on the genre and on Mesopotamian historiography in general.
Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

History of Biblical Israel

Major Problems and Minor Issues

Abraham Malamat

The history of Israel of the Bible remains one of the most hotly contested issues in scholarship of the Hebrew Bible today. One of the clearest voices in the debate is that of Abraham Malamat. In the pages Malamat distills years of writing on the history of Israel from its beginnings up to the destruction of the First Temple of Jerusalem (586 B.C.E.). Malamat divides his study into the following sections: (1) The Dawn of Israel; (2) Forming a Nation; (3) The Rise of the Davidic Dynasty; (4) Twilight of Judah and the Destruction of the First Temple; and (5) Historical Episodes in the Former Prophets and the Prophetical Books. All those interested in the emergence of Israel as a people and the rise of the story of Israel will find this an essential volume.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.

Between Text and Artifact

Integrating Archaeology in Biblical Studies Teaching

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Edited by Milton Moreland

Between Text and Artifact provides teachers of biblical studies all the tools needed to integrate the most recent archaeological information into their teaching and scholarship. Thirteen essays were commissioned for this project from archaeologists and biblical scholars who teach in undergraduate, graduate, and seminary settings. The essays give practical advice about the best available literature and audio-visual material in the field of archaeology related to the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, early Judaism, women in the ancient world, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. When viewed alongside biblical literature, the archaeological record can help create new knowledge of the items, environments, and landscapes in the Bible and of the political and social motivations for events described in the text.

Paperback edition available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org).

Israel in Exile

The History and Literature of the Sixth Century B.C.E.

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Rainer Albertz

The period of the Babylonian Exile (597/587–520 B.C.E.) is one of the most enthralling eras of biblical history. During this time, Israel went through what was probably its deepest crisis; at the same time, however, the cornerstone was laid for its most profound renewal. The crisis provoked the creation of a wealth of literary works (laments, prophetic books, historical works, etc.) whose development is analyzed in detail by the methods of social history, composition criticism, and redaction criticism. The history of this era is hard to grasp, since the Bible has almost nothing to say of the exilic period. The author nevertheless attempts to illuminate the historical and social changes that affected the various Judean groups, drawing heavily on extrabiblical and archaeological evidence. His study also includes the treatment of the exile in later biblical material (Daniel, Tobit, Judith, apocalyptic literature). Thirty-five years after Peter Ackroyd’s classic Exile and Restoration, this book summarizes extensively the results of recent scholarship on this period and builds on them with a number of its own hypotheses.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

Ancient West & East

Volume 2, No. 1

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Edited by G.R. Tsetskhladze

Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology

The First Temple Period

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Edited by J.C. von Vaupel Klein and Ann Killebrew

What are archaeologists and biblical scholars saying about Jerusalem? This volume includes the most up-to-date cross-disciplinary assessment of Biblical Jerusalem (ca. 2000-586 BCE) that represents the views of biblical historians, archaeologists, Assyriologists, and Egyptologists. The archaeological articles both summarize and critique previous theories as well as present previously unpublished archaeological data regarding the highly contested interpretations of First Temple Period Jerusalem. The interpretative essays ask the question, "Can there be any dialogue between archaeologists and biblical scholars in the absence of consensus?" The essays give a clear "yes" to this question, and provide suggestions for how archaeology and biblical studies can and should be in conversation. The contributors include Yairah Amit, Jane M. Cahill, Israel Finkelstein, Richard Elliot Friedman, Hillel Geva, James K. Hoffmeier, Ann E. Killebrew, Gary N. Knoppers, Gunnar Lehmann, Ronny Reich and Eli Shukron, J. J. M. Roberts, William M. Schniedewind, Neil Asher Silberman, Margreet Steiner, Lynn Tatum, David Ussishkin, Andrew G. Vaughn, and K. Lawson Younger, Jr. This book will appeal to advanced scholars, nonspecialists in biblical studies, and lay audiences who are interested in the most recent theories on Jerusalem. The volume will be especially useful as a supplemental textbook for graduate and undergraduate courses on biblical history.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

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Martti Nissinen

Prophecy was a widespread phenomenon, not only in ancient Israel but in the ancient Near East as a whole. This is the first book to gather the available ancient Near Eastern, extrabiblical sources containing prophetic words or references to prophetic activities. Among the 140 texts included in this volume are oracles of prophets, personal letters, formal inscriptions, and administrative documents from ancient Mesopotamia and Levant from the second and first millennia BCE. Most of the texts come from Mari (eighteenth century BCE) and Assyria (seventh century BCE). In addition, the volume provides new translations of the relevant section of the Egyptian Report of Wenamon, by Robert K. Ritner, and of various texts from Syria-Palestine containing allusions to prophets and prophetic activities, by C. L. Seow. By collecting and presenting evidence of the activities of prophets and the phenomenon of prophecy from all over the ancient Near East, the volume illumines the cultural background of biblical prophecy and its parallels. It provides scholars of the history, religions, and cultural traditions of the ancient Near East with important information about different types and forms of transmission of divine words, and makes these valuable primary source materials accessible to students and general readers in contemporary English along with transcriptions of the original languages, indexes, and an extensive bibliography.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)