Cincinnati – Sawyer Point: Cincinnatus Statue
I just arrived back in Cincinnati. We had a wonderful time in Seattle.
I was out of pocket for only about a week (I purposely took a break from most on-line activity) and many things happened while I was gone.
Prediction: Peter Enns is going to sell a lot more books. Baker, it’s time to get that press humming because the WTS trustees have just given you a windfall–controversy seems to be the number one way to sell a book these days. Exhibit A: I haven’t read I&I and I was hoping that I could skate by and not read it because there is so much other stuff piling up that I want to get to, but because of the blow up I know that I’ll be inundated with questions from students so I’ll need to put it in the queue. At least it’s not long…
My wife and I are enjoying a wonderful time in Seattle–she’s here for a radiology conference and I’m here enjoying myself and reading and writing reviews in various coffee shops and the Koolhaas designed Seattle Public Library building. Last night Lori and I celebrated our anniversary at Tilth restaurant–on Mondays they have a set menu in which they feature local fare. Yesterday the local feature was line caught tuna which was amazing.Â Here’s the menu:
Butternut Squash Soup
ginger, gala apple, mint
Albacore Tuna Confit
dried tomato, nicoise olive, frisee
Seared St. Jude Tuna
israeli cous cous, avocado, grapefruit
Lemon Cream Tart
meringue, mint, muscat grape
I should get back to my book before I start getting hungry again…
Dominique Charpin has announced the publication of a new addition in the Florilegium Marianum series.Â This is an excellent series centering upon Mari that combines studies with the publication of transliterations and photographs of tablets pertaining to the subject at hand.Â If you are interested in Mari this series is definitely something that you want to own and/or get your library to purchase.
North American orders can be placed at a discount through Jack Sasson until 8/31/08:
La SEPOA est heureuse dâ€™annoncer la parution de:
Lionel Marti, Florilegium Marianum X. Nomades et sÃ©dentaires Ã Mari: la perception de la taxe-sugÃ¢gÃ»tum, MÃ©moires de NABU 11, Paris, mars 2008
Le livre contient lâ€™Ã©dition commentÃ©e de 89 textes administratifs, reproduits en photographies.
Prix: 30 euros + port (48 US $+postage)
Prix promotionnel jusquâ€™au 31 aoÃ»t 2008: 25 euros (40 US $)
Commandes Ã adresser Ã la SEPOA:
â€“ par email: firstname.lastname@example.org
â€“ par fax au:
+33 1 44 27 18 39
â€“ par courrier:
SEPOA c/o D. Charpin, 14 rue des sources, 92160 Antony (France)
U.S. ORDERS: **Add 17 US $** for postage (priority) [So $57 until
08/31/08; afterwards, $65]
â€“ By email: email@example.com
â€“ By snail mail:
230 Divinity School, Vanderbilt University,Nashville, TN 37212
***Make check payable to *Jack M. Sasson* [you may add â€œSEPOA (FM
10)â€ at the â€œforâ€ line***
The Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions has made available several article free for download including:
The Origins of the Hebrew Bible: Some New Answers to Old Questions by John van Seters.
In two recent studies, one by William M. Schniedewind, How the Bible Became a Book, the other by David M. Carr, Writing on the Tablet of the Heart, these scholars present their answers to the age old question of how the Hebrew Bible came into being as a special collection of edited and canonized books. Both scholars reject the older formula of a three stage process of Law (400 BCE), Prophets (ca. 200 BCE), and Writings (First Century CE). Schniedewind, on the one hand, proposes an editorial process of collection and arrangement of traditional material within the preexilic royal court and among the royal scribes in captivity in Babylon that gave rise to an authoritative corpus, which was then augmented with some later works in the Persian and Hellenistic periods. Carr, on the other hand, sees the collection and selection of biblical books within an educational process of enculturation that was continuous over an extended period from simple oral tradition in early Israel to the final stages of curricular consolidation, i.e., the canon, in which the priests play a major role. This study will examine a set of issues (e.g. orality and literacy; dating and composition of texts; editing and transmission of texts in antiquity; the role of texts in education) that are covered by these studies, and will offer some alternative suggestions for consideration.
Was Dust Their Food and Clay Their Bread? Grave Goods, the Mesopotamian Afterlife and the Liminal Role of Inana/Ishtar by CaitlÃn E. Barrett.
Many literary texts portray the Mesopotamian netherworld as unrelievedly bleak, yet the archaeological evidence of grave goods suggests that there may also have existed an alternative way of thinking about the afterlife. An analysis of the types of objects found in burials indicates that many people may have anticipated a less harsh form of existence after death. Furthermore, iconographic allusions to the goddess Inana/Ishtar in certain burials raise the possibility that this deity may have been associated with the descent of human dead to the netherworld. The occasional presence of her image and iconography in funerary contexts does not necessarily imply a belief that Inana/Ishtar would personally grant the deceased a happy afterlife, but it may provide an allusion to her own escape from the undesirable netherworld of literary narrative. Inana/Ishtar’s status as a liminal figure and breaker of boundaries also may have encouraged Mesopotamians to associate her with the transition between life and death.
RS 15.039 remis sur pied by Dennis Pardee.
A new epigraphic examination of RS 15.039 has led to reversing the obverse-reverse orientation of the tablet as previously read. The new orientation gives a simple progression from distributions of wine to distributions of a second liquid commodity currently unidentifiable. The philological analysis has led to the conclusion that the recipients of these two commodities do not belong exclusively to the religious sphere.
BiblicalStudies.org.uk has a free downloadable version of Samuel Sandmel’s 1961 presidential address to SBL in which he used the term “parallelomania” in reference to over-exuberant uses of extra-biblical parallels:
Samuel Sandmel, “Parallelomania,” Journal of Biblical Literature 81 (1962): 1-13.
Sandmel was Professor of Bible and Hellenistic Literature as well as Provost of Hebrew Union College (for a bio click here). This is one of my all time top-ten must read articles in the fields of Bible and ancient Near East.
I was looking through ABZU this evening and I cam across a 2002 M.A. thesis completed at Texas A&M entitled “Ships and Shipbuilding in Ancient Mesopotamia (ca. 300-200 B.C.).”Â This interested me not only because of the topic, but also because I did my undergraduate work at Texas A&M.Â Â While I was there I took classes from Shelley Wachsmann and George F. Bass who were on the thesis committee.
The author of the thesis is Tommi Tapani MÃ¤kelÃ¤ and she included unpublished cuneiform shipbuilding texts given to her by Simo Parpola.Â Here is the link to download a free copy of the thesis.Â And here is a summary:
Mesopotamian cuneiform texts speak of a complex and well-organized trade on the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers where boats of wooden construction were employed. From the evidence it appears that Meluhhan and Dilmunite traders had an important role in the Arabian Gulf trade especially during the second half of the third millennium B.C. It is possible that the boat designs and techniques used in the third millennium are no longer present in traditional boats of present-day Iraq and those of oceangoing vessels sailing in the modern day Arabian Gulf. Based on iconographic evidence, it seems that Mesopotamian riverboats had flat bottoms and high curving ends, with a stem often ending in an elaborate design. Cultic vessels imitated the shape of a papyriform vessel. The riverine vessels in practical use described in texts, such as AO 5673, most probably had square ends. The use of bitumen might have allowed the Mesopotamian shipwrights to build hulls in which watertightness (before the application of a bitumen layer) was not the primary concern. Mesopotamian textual evidence from the third millennium B.C. does not provide conclusive evidence as to which edge-joining methods, if any, were used. Traditional modern-day Mesopotamian riverboats, some of which seem to be clear descendants of the ancient vessels depicted in seals and boat models, do not employ edge-joining methods. Instead, they are built according to a technique where the planking is nailed to the frames. In spite of textual references to “backbone” and “ribs,” it is unclear whether Mesopotamian ships had an elaborate internal framework connected toa keel. It is probable that these vessels had a keel plank or a flat floor similar to certain traditional modern-day riverboats. Structural elements evident from the texts are beams and longitudinal strengthening timbers or stringers. It also seems clear that there were floor timbers and probably frames giving extra support to the hull.
A piece on the Chronicle of Higher Education site gives some helpful hints on how to chair a session at an academic conference. Here are some of the highlights:
Your introductions should be brief; the longer you talk, the less time there is for the speakers.
The people attending the conference are there to hear the speakers’ presentations–not the chair’s introduction.
Before the session begins, go to the room where it will be held. If there is a microphone, adjust it to your height so that you don’t have to fiddle with it when you are trying to welcome people to the meeting. That step is particularly important for very short or very tall people. If you are quite short and can’t see over the lectern, for goodness sake, get a box to stand on or a floor mike positioned next to the lectern.
In short, prepare for your job as the chair of the session–don’t just wing it and hope everything turns out okay.
Still, it’s wise to gather your panel, at least for a few moments, before the session starts, and review the ground rules: Explain that you will introduce them right before their prepared talk. They will each have a certain amount of time to speak; five minutes before the end of their allotted time, you will place a note marked “5 minutes left” on the lectern; then a note that says “2 minutes left,” and, finally, if they haven’t stopped, one that says, in large red letters, “END.”
I have found that relatively few presenters manage their time well–either they go over their allotted time and don’t allow for questions, or they only present half of their paper and summarize the rest in 30 seconds. One of the roles of the chair is to help keep the speakers on track.
Also, one more thing that I have noticed. During Q&A sessions there might be times when the chair has to cut off discussion and move on to a different topic. Sometimes the people asking questions may be overly zealous in promoting their view and get into extended argument with one of the speakers (this happened during the CAD session at last year’s SBL). If this happens don’t be afraid to jump in and move on to a different question.
Here are two very good reflections upon John Cook’s article in JHS concerning how to introduce the biblical Hebrew verbal system in elementary grammars:
Both of these posts are definitely worth reading, enjoy.
I just received the results from my bids for volumes of John Brinkman’s cuneiform collection.Â I placed bids for seven volumes and ended up winning only three.Â I gave higher than suggested prices for almost all of my bids–some prices were several increments higher–however there must have been some heavy bidding out there.
I was especially surprised that I did not win Marek Stepien’s Animal Husbandry in the Ancient Near East, 1996; I didn’t think that would have many bidders but I guessed wrong.
However, I did win Thompson’s The Sumerian Language for about $250 less than the volumes that John Halloran was holding hostage on his website a little while ago.Â Furthermore, I won Thompson’s Zauberdiagnose und schwarze Magie in Mesopotamien and S.A. Picchioni’s Il poemetto di Adapa.Â Not bad, but I’m going to have to do better on the next round.
This morning on the website of the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper there was a story about a traveling kiddie attraction that is in town: a 4 feet tall, 40 feet long reproduction of the colon.Â Kids can take turns crawling through it.Â The organizers even gave it a name, “Coco the Colossal Colon.”Â Hmmmm.Â Not my idea of fun.