Les véhicules terrestres dans les textes de Mari I: le nūbalum
Les données des textes de Mari permettent aujourd’hui de prouver que le terme nūbalum désignait une sorte de palanquin, c’est-à-dire un véhicule d’apparat porté par des hommes. Les nūbalum abondamment décorés étaient destinés au transport de personnes de sang royal, d’effigies divines et de hauts fonctionnaires, aussi bien pour des voyages assez longs que pour des déplacements dans le palais. Cette réalité, absente de la culture suméro-akkadienne, appartenait plutôt au monde méditerannéen oriental qui est, pour cette époque, surtout documenté par les archives de Mari.
Deux lettres acéphales du temps de Zimri-Lim, A.358 et A.3379, contiennent de nouvelles informations relatives à l’artisanat de Mari et à son vocabulaire.
Since early Antiquity, people have replaced traditional toponyms with more prestigious names that reflected the ideology of the time. Old Babylonian Upper Mesopotamia provides two new examples of this usage. The city of Hanzat was renamed into Šubat-Šamaš, “the dwelling of Šamaš”, during Samsi-Addu’s reign. The city of Tupham was for some time called Ṣubat-Eštar, “the possession of Eštar.”
Material objects must always be seen in context with the humans who created and used them. It is only possible to recognize and evaluate material culture in connection with human thought and behavior. The material world depends on the immaterial one, and vice versa. Neither sphere can exist without the other. In historical research, however, such contexts have not been considered regularly. In particular, the inter-connections between emotions and material culture have not been taken sufficiently into account in research. This was the reason for the “Institut für Realienkunde des Mittelalters und der frühen Neuzeit” to organize a round-table-discussion on "Emotions and Material Culture“ and to publish its proceedings. The volume contains eleven contributions by specialists from eight countries. They show various possibilities to contextualize the material world and emotional behavior. They may be seen as a first step towards a “material emotionology” of the past. The complex results are intended to serve as a further impetus towards the systematic and comparative research into “emotional communities” and their material life in the Middle Ages and the early modern period.
The article is based on the introductory part of the collection on “Material Culture and Technology in Everyday Life: Ethnographic Approaches” (2009). The author presents a brief review of concepts that have been lately employed in research on material or technological culture. He attempts to show that different disciplines do in fact use adjacent notions and concepts in thinking about materiality, and tries to delineate ways of bringing the different research traditions to a unified platform that could serve as a theoretical foundation for the complex materialistic study of technological culture.
In July 2007, the 53rd Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale (the annual meeting of the International Association of Assyriologists) was held in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. In Moscow, several hundred Assyriologists enjoyed the hospitality of the Russian State University for the Humanities. Dozens of papers on the topic “Language in the Ancient Near East,” were delivered at the University. More than 50 of those papers are published in this 2-volume set.
This is the sixth volume of Babel und Bibel, an annual of ancient Near Eastern, Old Testament, and Semitic studies. The principal goal of the annual is to reveal the inherent relationship between Assyriology, Semitics, and biblical studies—a relationship that our predecessors comprehended and fruitfully explored but that is often neglected today. The title Babel und Bibel is intended to point to the possibility of fruitful collaboration among the three disciplines, in an effort to explore the various civilizations of the ancient Near East.
The tripartite division of Babel und Bibel corresponds to its three principal spheres of interest: ancient Near Eastern, Old Testament, and Semitic studies. Contributions are further subdivided into articles, short notes, and reviews. Highlights of this volume include several studies on Akkadian language, Mesopotamian literature, and publication of inscriptions in some Russian museums (in the ancient Near Eastern section); studies on negative markers in Semitic and on Aramaic language (in the Semitics section); and some significant review essays on important new publications, especially in Hebrew language, Aramaic, Hurrian, Lycian, Egyptian, and Syriac.
Since the first days of the Mesopotamian civilisation, bookkeeping in administrative bodies such as palaces and temples was a major source of cuneiform documentation. Archaeological excavations have brought to light hundreds of thousands of accounting documents, also labelled administrative or economic. In spite of the huge number, the principles and techniques of Mesopotamian accounting remain understudied, especially for certain periods. With few exceptions, previous studies treated the accounting documents as a source of information on early writing or economic history. The bookkeeping techniques were mostly studied for practical purposes, that is, to better exploit the content of the documents. A joint French-Russian research project (COMPTABAB) will explore Mesopotamian accounting as a social and cultural phenomenon of its own, in a larger historical and practical context. Special consideration will be given to the palace archives of the city of Mari (East Syria, 18th century BC). The paper will outline our approaches that would help one understand how and, ultimately, why administrators kept accounts in Old Babylonian Mari.