Geoffrey Turner has written the definitive study of the mid-19th century excavations sponsored by the British Museum at the ancient Assyrian site of Nineveh in Iraq. Based on exhaustive analysis of unpublished archives combined with his own extensive knowledge of Assyrian architecture, Turner’s work documents the complete history of these excavations. Turner also draws on the archives and numerous additional sources to provide a detailed reconstruction of the architecture and relief sculpture in the building that was the primary focus of these excavations, the Southwest Palace of Sennacherib (ruled 705-681 BC). The result constitutes the final report both on the results of these excavations and on the original appearance of one of the ancient world’s most famous buildings.
Three millennia of cross-Mediterranean bonds are revealed by the 18 expert summaries in this book—from the dawn of the Bronze Age to the budding of Hellenization. An international team of acclaimed specialists in their fields—archaeologists, historians, geomorphologists, and metallurgists—shed light on a plethora of aspects associated with travelling this age-old sea and its periphery: environmental factors; the formation of harbors; gateways; commodities; the crucial role of metals; cultural impact; and the way to interpret the agents such as Canaanites, "Sea Peoples," Phoenicians, and pirates. The book will engage any student of the Old World in the 3000 years before the Common Era.
In Psalm 91 and Demonic Menace Gerrit Vreugdenhil offers a thorough analysis of the text, structure and genre of Psalm 91. Already in its earliest interpretations, Psalm 91 has been associated with the demonic realm. The use of this psalm on ancient amulets and in magic texts calls for an explanation. Examining the psalms images of threat from a cognitive science perspective, Vreugdenhil shows that many of these terms carry associations with sorcery and magic, incantations and curses, diseases and demonic threat. The psalm takes demonic threat seriously, but also draws attention to the protection offered by JHWH. Finally, the author proposes an outline of the situational context in which Psalm 91 might have functioned.
Tel Kabri, located in the western Galilee region of modern Israel several kilometers inland from modern Acco and Nahariyya, was the center of a Canaanite polity during the Middle Bronze Age (MB). Initial excavations conducted at the site from 1986 to 1993 revealed the remains of a palace dating primarily to the Middle Bronze Age II period, during the first half of the second millennium BCE. Excavations were resumed at the site in 2005 under the co-direction of the present editors, Assaf Yasur-Landau and Eric H. Cline. This volume presents the results of the work done at Tel Kabri from 2005 to 2011.
Author: Fei Chen
In Study on the Synchronistic King List from Ashur, CHEN Fei conducts a full investigation into that king list, which records all the kings of Assyria and Babylonia in contemporary pairs from the 18th to the 7th century BC. The texts of all the exemplars of the Synchronistic King List are reconstructed anew by the existing studies and the author’s personal collations on their sources, and part of the text of the main exemplar is thus revised. The author also looks into the format of the Synchronistic King List and draws the conclusion that the Synchronistic King List was composed by Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, to support his Babylonian policy.
For some time scholars have debated whether the Song of Songs has connections to the wisdom genre and how this changes our understanding of it. In Wise and Foolish Love in the Song of Songs, Jennifer Andruska shows that the influence of the wisdom genre on the Song is pervasive, running throughout the book, and offers an entirely new understanding of the book’s wisdom message. She demonstrates that the Song has combined elements of the ancient Near Eastern love song and wisdom genres to produce a wisdom literature about romantic love, inspiring readers to pursue a particular type of love relationship, modelled by the lovers throughout the poem, and aiming to transform them, through character formation, into wise lovers themselves.
Round Trip to Hades in the Eastern Mediterranean Tradition explores how the theme of visiting the Underworld and returning alive has been treated, transmitted and transformed in the ancient Greek and Byzantine traditions. The journey was usually a descent ( katabasis) into a dark and dull place, where forgetfulness and punishment reigned, but since ‘everyone’ was there, it was also a place that offered opportunities to meet people and socialize. Famous Classical round trips to Hades include those undertaken by Odysseus and Aeneas, but this pagan topic also caught the interest of Christian writers. The contributions of the present volume allow the reader to follow the passage from pagan to Christian representations of Hades–a passage that may seem surprisingly effortless.
In Scribal Culture in Ben Sira Lindsey A. Askin examines scribal culture as a framework for analysing features of textual referencing throughout the Book of Ben Sira (c.198-175 BCE), revealing new insights into how Ben Sira wrote his book of wisdom. Although the title of “scribe” is regularly applied to Ben Sira, this designation presents certain interpretive challenges. Through comparative analysis, Askin contextualizes the sage’s compositional style across historical, literary, and socio-cultural spheres of operation. New light is shed on Ben Sira’s text and early Jewish textual reuse. Drawing upon physical and material evidence of reading and writing, Askin reveals the dexterity and complexity of Ben Sira’s sustained textual reuse. Ben Sira’s achievement thus demonstrates exemplary, “excellent” writing to a receptive audience.
Moving beyond deeply ingrained orientalist and postcolonial paradigms, this series provides a platform for cross-regional, multidisciplinary and longue durée approaches to the cultural history of the Mediterranean, one of the richest and most dynamic intercultural meeting places in the world. Cultural Interactions in the Mediterranean hosts edited volumes and monographs that focus on the connected histories of all those cultures that shaped their identities on both commonalities and differences with others in this region. These identities were negotiated through a variety of social media, such as public rituals and performances, diplomacy, warfare, codified law, literature and material culture, and were applied to a wide range of political, economic and religious goals. The chronological scope of this series ranges from prehistoric times to the present day.
In Wom(b)an: A Cultural-Narrative Reading of the Hebrew Bible Barrenness Narratives Janice Pearl Ewurama De-Whyte offers a reading of the Hebrew Bible barrenness narratives. The original word “wom(b)an” visually underscores the centrality of a productive womb to female identity in the ANE and Hebrew contexts. Conversely, barrenness was the ultimate tragedy and shame of a woman. Utilizing Akan cultural custom as a lens through which to read the Hebrew barrenness tradition, De-Whyte uncovers another kind of barrenness within these narratives. Her term “social barrenness” depicts the various situations of childlessness that are generally unrecognized in western cultures due to the western biomedical definitions of infertility. Whether biological or social, barrenness was perceived to be the greatest threat to a woman’s identity and security as well as the continuity of the lineage. Wom(b)an examines these narratives in light of the cultural meanings of barrenness within traditional cultures, ancient and present.