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Interactions between the Levantine and Egyptian Worlds
Author: 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 Museum of the Ancient Near East. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include Harvard Semitic Studies and Harvard Semitic Monographs, https://hmane.harvard.edu/publications.
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.
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.
Author: Artemis Karnava

Abstract

Before Bedřich Hrozný concluded his scientific career in the 1940s, he became interested, among other scripts, in the 2nd millennium bc Aegean writing systems, most notably Linear A and Linear B. There is archival evidence nowadays that his interest was lively for a number of years, even after his acute health problems in the mid-1940s. His interest culminated in a proposed decipherment of Linear B, which was harshly criticized by scholars such as Helmuth , Alice , Spyridon and Emmett . The reviews concentrated on both dubious recognitions of phonetic values of signs, as well as the historical arguments that were used by Hrozný to support his suggestion and his lumping together of Linear A and B as representing a single Indo-European language.

This paper aims to examine the phonetic transcriptions and the historical evaluations proposed by Hrozný at the time, in view of what we now know of the Aegean writing systems in particular and the Mycenaean civilization in general. His decipherment proposal was one of the first to be presented to the public and built upon the extremely limited Linear B material published at the time. His study of this material was based on the assumption that the Minoan culture was in close contact and affinity with Near Eastern cultures, a belief then widespread. An additional clue that led him astray was the fact that simple, ‘linear’ signs, such as the ones used in Aegean writing, were very similar to signs attested in the Egyptian writing systems, in the Anatolian hieroglyphs, the Indus script and even the Phoenician alphabet. This paper thus aims to insert Hrozný’s decipherment attempt into the intellectual circumstances of his era and evaluate its position in the history of the decipherment of the Linear B writing system.

In: Hrozný and Hittite

Abstract

One of the typically chaotic situations produced in Carian both by the singularity of the alphabet and by the scarcity of the documentation available is the so-called “defective notation of vowels”: the fact that Carian writing tends to omit the notation of vocalic segments, and does so without any clear pattern and for no apparent reason. In this paper I will try to bring some order into the chaos. I will attempt to show that, in spite of appearances, the Carian words attested in the Memphis-Saqqâra subcorpus offer a very regular and not particularly complex syllable structure, and that the defective notation of vowels can be explained if one interprets these vowels as excrescent vowels, i.e. unstressed and very short vowels of fluctuating timbre that are inserted without affecting the syllable structure of the word. The situation is not so clear in the rest of the Carian documentation, but I will present a first approach in order to establish whether a similar pattern of syllable structures and spelling procedures is at work in other Carian subcorpora.

In: Hrozný and Hittite
Author: Zsolt Simon

Abstract

Based on Hittite evidence, this paper argues that the <u> of some Hittite words and toponyms in Old Assyrian transmission does not represent an Old Assyrian anaptyctic vowel as was suggested by J.G. Dercksen. Instead, it reflects a phonetic peculiarity of local Hittite, an allophone of /a/ under specific phonological conditions. Due to the verbs involved, the paper also includes a critical discussion of the phonetics of the stem vowel of Hittite verbs with ā/a-ablaut. It is suggested that these vowels were neither empty nor schwa as hypothesised by A. Kloekhorst, but real ā/a-vowels.

In: Hrozný and Hittite

Abstract

The deity Nikara(wa) of KARKAMIŠ A 6 §31 is not the Mesopotamian healing-goddess Ninkarrak as I. Gelb long ago suggested, but an Old Syrian deity, who is also mentioned in the Aramaic inscriptions of Kuttamuwa and in Sfire A. She was associated with dogs, for which reason she could be equated with the Sumerian healing goddesses Gula, Nin-Isina and others, but Nikara(wa)’s dogs were terrifying. KARKAMIŠ A 6 §31, the Kuttamuwa Stele and Sfire A thus do not attest the veneration of the Mesopotamian Ninkarrak, but rather the survival of a genuine Syrian deity.

In: Hrozný and Hittite

Abstract

The Hittite myth of the disappearance of the god Telipinu (CTH 324) is one particular expression, and the most fully attested, of the genre of the disappearing god in Hittite tradition. In many of its structural details, the myth of Telipinu’s disappearance parallels strikingly a widespread Indo-European mythic tradition (with ritual underpinnings), being especially similar to the tradition of the disappearance of Indra following his slaying of the dragon Vṛtra. In the several Indo-European cultures that attest the tradition—Indo-Iranian, Italic, Celtic, even Greek—the myth is concerned with the functional absence of a powerful warrior after a combat episode in which the warrior prevails against his enemy but is then overwhelmed by trauma; in his traumatized state, the warrior turns his rage against his own society or physically removes himself from society: either way, he becomes a dysfunctional warrior. In the case of the Hittite myth, however, the disappearance of the god appears to be bound up with the rhythm of the vegetative cycle. The myth of the disappearance of Telipinu presents itself as a reflex of a transplanted Indo-European myth that has experienced synthesis with local southwest Asian traditions. Particularly significant in this regard is its apparent engagement with and influence upon a Syrian storm-god tradition.

In: Hrozný and Hittite
Author: Susanne Görke

Abstract

This paper deals with the question of how to interpret scribal errors. The first part tries to find explanations for inconsistencies in the determination of personal names focusing on the text genre and taking into account the study of the whole tablet. The second part analyzes the Gerichtsprotokoll KUB 13.35+, also taking into account the format and layout of the tablet.

In: Hrozný and Hittite

Abstract

This contribution focuses on the presence of Mesopotamians and Mesopotamian medical therapeutic texts, as well as their reception in Hittite medical knowledge. The paths of transmission and possible patterns of apprenticeship will be analyzed on the basis of Akkadian prescriptions found at the Hittite capital.

In: Hrozný and Hittite