This resource makes available online several texts relating to the study of ancient history, archaeology and Biblical studies. Included are English translations of some inscriptions and works by ancient authors as well as papers written by modern scholars. Whilst the works of ancient writers which are provided here (Julius Caesar; Tacitus; Livy; Herodotus; and Plutarch) are easily accessible elsewhere on the Internet, one area where this site is unusual is in providing texts relating to Assyria, Babylon and Persia. The following inscriptions are included in English translation: inscription of Tiglath Pileser I; black obelisk of Shalmaneser II; annals of Assur-Nasir-Pal; inscription of Nebuchadnezzar; and the Behistun inscription of Darius I. There is also: a translation of the Assyrian epic of Ishtar and Izdubar; the Babylonian law code of Hammurabi (1780 BC); the text of a 1937 article on Susa by H. G. Spearing; two articles on the Behistun inscription; and the full text of Austen Henry Layard's 1854 work Discoveries at Nineveh. Several resources for bible study are also provided here.
This is the official website of the Italian association of orientalists, scholars who study the ancient Near East. The website publishes information on the association and how to submit a CV or personal information to be published in "OrientaLista", a list of (mostly Italian) orientalists. The "Orientalia" publishes short reports; reviews; bibliographies; pre-prints; and papers; most files are in PDF format, and written in Italian or English. Among such contents are: "Wisdom Literature and Proverbs 1-9: A Bibliography"; "The Ugaritic Poems of Keret and Aqhat: A Bibliography"; "The So-Called ‘Jehoash Inscription’: Transcription and Bibliography"; "Magic and Divination in the Neo-Assyrian Period: A Selected Bibliography"; "Archaeometry of a Stone Tablet with Hebrew Inscription Referring to Repair of the House"; "Review of Gérard Toffin, Entre hindouisme et bouddhisme: la religion néwar, Népal"; "The Construction of Biblical Monotheism: An Unfinished Task"; "I colori nell’astrologia mesopotamica".
The association also organises some learned meetings; some information on recent meetings is provided on this website. In section "Orientalia" are also available the free and full-text PDF editions of the proceedings of such meetings, including Le discipline orientalistiche come scienze storiche. Atti del 1º Incontro «Orientalisti» (Roma, 6-7 Dicembre 2001), edited by Giuseppe Regalzi; "Mutuare, interpretare, tradurre: storie di culture a confronto. Atti del 2º Incontro «Orientalisti» (Roma, 11-13 dicembre 2002)", edited by Giuseppe Regalzi; and "Definirsi e definire: percezione, rappresentazione e ricostruzione dell’identità. Atti del 3º Incontro «Orientalisti» (Roma, 23-25 febbraio 2004)", edited by Massimo Gargiulo, Chiara Peri and Giuseppe Regalzi. Researchers specialising on the ancient Near East will find this website useful.
The Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR) is a regularly-updated online journal which publishes reviews, written by academics, of books on a whole range of classical subjects (since 1990). The reviews are generally longer than one expects to find within a scholarly journal, often giving a chapter-by-chapter summary of the work as well as critical comment. BMCR also publishes responses to reviews (and occasionally responses to the responses). The website gives access to all reviews published since 1990 and a simple search interface. The website also includes instructions for viewing Greek characters online, as well as guidelines for reviewers. The reviews are relevant to both Classics and Classical archaeology and may be useful to bot researchers and students.
The publication of 'Centuries of Darkness' by Peter James et al in 1991 provoked a stormy scholarly debate about the nature of the chronological frameworks used by archaeologists to study the Mediterranean and Near Eastern world in the second and first millennia BC. The discussion of the so-called Dark Ages between 1200 and 700 BC was especially controversial as it advocated a drastic downdating of many major historical events and archaeological horizons by several centuries. This website, published by several of the original authors in 2000, provides an interesting angle on the debate in the form of 100 reviews of the book and a sample of the responses made to the critics derived from a wide range of academic and popular publications. Also included is a series of frequently asked questions about the 'Centuries of darkness' debate in which the authors address many of the specific criticisms of their argument. A very useful page listing websites devoted to ancient chronological studies and details of other books by the authors complete the resource.
This resource is by no means an exhaustive guide to the debate about Bronze and Iron Age chronology in the Mediterranean and Near East and the authors' partisan position, which is rejected by the majority of contemporary archaeologists and historians working in the field, is clear throughout. Nonetheless, the website is a valuable source of bibliographic reference to publications on ancient chronology. It also provides important insights into the politics and polemics of scholarly discourse and the nature of academic authority. It will benefit in particular third-level students and researchers in archaeology and the Bronze Age history of the Near East.
Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI) is an online collection of resources on cuneiform, the international writing system of the ancient Near East for thousands of years, in which were recorded historical, religious and administrative documents in a wide variety of languages including Sumerian, Akkadian (or Babylonian) and Hittite. The (CDLI) is an collaborative project led by the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin and the University of California at Los Angeles to create a digital record of the earliest horizon of cuneiform texts ca. 3300-2000 B.C. to facilitate research and cast further light on the origins of writing and of urban civilisation. The resource, published as two mirrored websites hosted by the project partners, consists of a series of inter-related databases of fourth and third millennia B.C. cuneiform texts, including proto-cuneiform, from a variety of institutions including the University of Leiden, the Hilprecht Collection and the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin. The databases include extensive glossaries of words and sign types and high resolution photographs of many of the writing tablets. Navigating the databases is sometimes confusing and the limited introductory material indicates that this a website for specialist in ancient Near Eastern languages and scripts. Bibliographic resources include the Gelb Library of over 10,000 references to scholarly works on the origins of writing and a special section on proto-cuneiform. The full-texts of several scholarly articles is also available, including one on the undeciphered script Proto-Elamite. Technical information on the digitisation process is also provided as is news about the on-going CDLI programme. This is a specialist resource will interest students of the Sumerian and Akkadian languages and archaeologists and cultural historians working on the origins of writing and administration in the Near East.
An attractively presented and illustrated online edition of some 19 Sumerian cuneiform documents from the collection of the Special Collections and Rare Books division of the Library of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The resource consists of excellent, multi-scale photographs and concise but full descriptions of the inscriptions in addition to modern editions of the documents providing transliterations and translations of the Sumerian texts, as well as a short bibliography and a guide to the epigraphic conventions used by the editor. Most of the objects presented are clay tablets but the collection also features 2 clay foundation cones and a sealing. 16 are from the UR III period (late 3rd Millennium BC) and the remainder are royal decrees from the Old Babylonian phase of the Sumerian cities of Isin and Uruk in southern Iraq. Also provided is some background information on the nature and use of cuneiform and a small section of weblinks. This resource will benefit undergraduates and researchers in the archaeology and ancient history of the Near East and those interested in the development of writing systems.
"Cuneiform Tablets: From the Reign of Gudea of Lagash to Shalmanassar III" is an online catalogue of 38 cuneiform tablets from the Library of Congress' collections. The tablets are dated from the reign of Gudea of Lagash (2144-2124 BC) to the reign of Shalmanassar III (858-824 B.C.). Among the tablets are receipts of commercial transactions; clay bullas; cone inscriptions; school exercises; seal contracts; temple offerings (satukku); votive inscriptions; and others. There is a short article on cuneiform writing, which is aimed at a general audience. For each tablet there is a photograph, available in JPEG and TIFF (high resolution, very large) formats; and in some instances drawings of the tablet and transcriptions; a brief description; and some additional metadata. This website will be useful primarily to researchers in both Classics and Archaeology.
The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL) publishes nearly 400 Sumerian literary compositions from ancient Mesopotamia and dating to the late third and early second millennia BC. The corpus contains Sumerian texts in transliteration, English prose translations and bibliographical information for each composition. The transliterations and the translations can be searched, browsed and read online using the tools of the website. No further additions are planned. Both students and researchers interested in reading some Sumerian texts (including Gilgameš, Sumerian poetry and royal correspondence) may find this website useful.
The project has been funded by the AHRB; the Leverhulme Trust; the University of Oxford; the British Academy; and the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
ETANA is a cooperative project between ten scholarly institutions and organizations, funded by the Mellon Foundation, with the aim of enabling wider access to Abzu (the Internet gateway for Ancient Near East studies) and the digitization of core texts in the field. At the time of review, there were over 350 digitized texts, covering topics including ancient Egyptian and Babylonian history, biblical archaeology, and the religion of the Semites. There are also over 180 digitized cuneiform texts. Texts include an electronic version of the 'Pantheon Babylonicum: Nomina Deorum e Textibus Cuneiformibus Excerpta et Ordine Alphabetico Distributa' by Deimel, Panara, Patsch and Schneider. The site also offers a short list of links to archaeological projects and organizations affiliated with ETANA. The ETANA core texts collection can be browsed alphabetically, or keyword searches can be performed using the Abzu interface. Abzu also offers details of a vast array of websites, online journals, and ebooks relevant to academics and students working in this area.
George Ortiz spent over 40 years collecting works of art, and this website publishes online the complete corpus of his private collection. His predominant interest is Greece, and this is reflected in the dominance of Greek objects, ranging from a Neolithic steatopygus idol of the sixth millenium BC to a Late Hellenistic glass bowl of the first century AD. The collection is particularly rich in small archaic and classical bronzes. There are smaller quantities of Ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Etruscan, Achaemenid and Romance artefacts, and the total of 280 pieces also includes Polynesian, American, Chinese and African works amongst others. The website is attractively simple in presentation and each entry includes a photograph that can be enlarged and a well-written and referenced commentary. Twenty items can be viewed in 3-D, but QuickTime needs to be installed. There is also a search facility, and a glossary of relevant terms relating to ethnography and archaeology.
This is a simple website explaining the Hittite and Hurrian deities, their forms, roles, and relations. The information is divided into sections on the following topics: 'Who were the Hittites?'; 'What deities did they worship?'; and 'Cosmology and the structure of the universe'. There is also a short annotated bibliography of relevant sourc material. Within the explanatory text of each section the descriptions for each god or goddess contain hyperlinks to other deities, allowing for easy navigation around this single-page website.
K C Hanson's website may be a chaotic montage of loosely connected resources, but within this eclectic host of sub-directories, there are several topics worth exploring by those interested in history, culture or religion. Dr. Hanson's primary interest seems to lie with the interactions between various ancient and classical communities spanning from the apogee of the Egyptian to the Roman Empire (in particular the relationship between the later and the early Christian communities). He has assembled a series of dynastic chronologies for both Israel and Rome, along with a selection of texts relevant to this period. With a little searching one can find ancient documents from Mesopotamian, Hittite, and Greek civilizations, along with a selection from Semitic cultures. These texts, all translated, tend to cluster between the eighth century BCE and the third century CE but there are a number which predate these.
Part of the site provides useful support resources for the textbook 'Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts', which Dr Hanson co-authored with Douglas E. Oakman. Those wishing to delve further into a particular topic may also wish to consult Hanson's robust series of web links to the ancient world and/or his bibliographic collections on rituals on ancient Greco-Roman society; Hellenic, Semitic and Anatolia Cultures; and The Old Testament. An attractive collection of images from many of these cultures has been compiled.
This is an excellent resource offering articles on ancient history and archaeology together with an impressive library of photographic images of ancient sites which can be down-loaded for free for non-commercial use. The website is laid out geographically with sections on Greece, Persia, Anatolia, Carthage and Punic Sicily, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Judaea, Germania and Rome (as well a Dutch language resource on Dutch history) while the authoritative but very readable text has many cross links between them. There is no overall structure to individual sections: the Greek entries have a strong emphasis on Alexander the Great and his successors, on various authors such as Plutarch and Herodotos (including selections of extracted texts) and a series of short encyclopaedia-style entries on politicians, philosophers and literary figures. The Judaean passages discuss, for instance, Messianic claimants, the Diaspora and anti-Semitism in the ancient and mediaeval worlds, alongside more linear accounts of the Roman wars and potted biographies of leading Jewish figures. This website will benefit both students and teachers of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern world but the author makes the pointed observation that students must combine the use of electronic resources with proper library research for which the Web is not a substitute.
This website has placed online a large collection of maps held in the Perry-Castañeda Library of the University of Texas at Austin -- although some maps are available through links to other sites. The site is extensive and clearly laid out, with maps listed alphabetically according to continent and country. There are maps with geographical, topographical, economic and demographic information. Most offerings are current, but there is a special section for historical maps, with most translated at least partly into English. These would constitute a helpful tool both for research and teaching, and afford the opportunity for comparison with more recent versions. There is a links site to other online maps sites and to maps dealers, and an instructions page for viewing and printing site content. Navigation throughout is straightforward. There is an online form for general enquiries to the University of Texas librarians.
The Mesopotamia website traces the history and culture of the peoples that lived between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, from the first cities (c. 3000 BC) to the conquest of the region by Alexander (330 BC). Beginning with the Sumerians, the site narrates the events and cultural changes (and continuities) through the periods of dominance enjoyed by the Akkadians, Amorites, Hittites, Kassites, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and finally the Persians. The page devoted to the Persians seems to have been omitted from the main index, but can be reached from a link in the drop-down menu in the History and Peoples section. There is a section on the evolution of the Cuneiform script used in the region, and a further section of resources. These include a timeline, glossary, and links to other sites. A 'Mesopotamian readings' page includes the complete text of the Code of Hammurabi, translated by L. W. King, and a summary of the Epic of Gilgamesh. This site forms part of an online courseware unit from Washington State University's 'World Civilizations' project. It is targeted at students about to begin university and first year undergraduates.
The Nineveh Tablet Collection consists of two databases, one of joins of all cuneiform tablets from Nineveh, the other one of the Babylonian written tablets from the same site. It is a publication of the initial part of the British Museum's Ashurbanipal Library Project, which was focused on the Babylonian texts from Nineveh (Kouyunjik). It includes a clear introduction and updated bibliographies. The two databases open in new windows as popups. This is a very focused and spaecialist website that will be useful to researchers in Assyriology.
Developed and compiled by Scott Noegel (University of Washington), Okeanos is a comprehensive and detailed online gateway to a large cache of electronic resources related to the study of the culture of the ancient, Biblical, classical and late antique Near East. Sections covering the following types of resources are included: atlases; Bible; bibliographies; general resources; journals; discussion lists; museums; and philology. The structure of the site makes navigating these links simple, and sections are typically organized by topic and then by geographic location. Overall, the material presented by Okeanos will be most relevant to students and academics already involved in some aspect of ancient near-eastern studies who wish either to locate a particular journal or to familiarize themselves with the entire breadth of scholarly activity in the field.
Sumerian is the name given to the agglutinative language spoken in southern Iraq in ancient times and written down in cuneiform script from the end of the 4th millennium BC onwards when it was used initially to record economic transactions and later literary and religious texts. This excellent website provides a substantial online guide to many aspects of Sumerian language, culture, history and archaeology including : a lexicon of logograms and compound words with an accompanying bibliography of works on Sumerian language and linguistics; a guide to the origin of the Sumerian proto-language; a note on the development of the cuneiform writing system from counters and tally stones used in early administrative systems; a useful series of FAQs pertaining to Sumerian language and culture; a map of Neolithic and Chalolithic sites in southern Iraq; a very extensive page of weblinks to online resources in Near Eastern studies. There is also a set of Sumerian proverbs providing the original cuneiform text, a transliteration and a translation into English. The lexicon can be downloaded in a variety of formats including Adobe Acrobat and Word 6 and much of the relevant software can be downloaded from the website. The resource also features a catalogue of books on Sumerian topics from Undena Publications which can be ordered from the site. This resource will interest a wide range of students and researchers in Near Eastern studies from the specialist linguist and epigraphist to undergraduates studying the history and archaeology of ancient Iraq.
This Web page provides a description of the pantheon and cosmology of the Sumerians, who lived in what is now southern Iraq between 5000 BC and 2000 BC. Aspects of Sumerian culture are touched upon, as are parallels with Biblical stories. Information is provided for each major deity and legendary figure, and each entry contains hyperlinks to associated entries. A full and annotated bibliography of sources is provided. This is a clearly presented online resource which serves as a good introduction to ancient Sumerian mythology.
The Unicode Fonts for Ancient Scripts website by George Douros is a simple page from which a set of fonts with typefaces created from ancient scripts can be freely downloaded. The fonts can be used and modified free of charge. There fonts are Unicode compatible and include the Aegean (Linear B and other scripts such as the Phaistos Disk); Egyptian (both hieroglyphics and translitteration characters); Akkadian; and Greek sets. The fonts need to be installed on a local computer to be usable (access a PC as administrator) in Word or similar software packages.
The Women in the Ancient Near East website is a select bibliography of resources found in the research archive of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. The Oriental Institute is a research organisation and museum devoted to the study of the ancient Near East, founded in 1919 by the famous Egyptologist James Henry Breasted. The bibliography is compiled by Terry Wilfong, associate professor of Egyptology at the Department of Near Eastern Studies at the University of Michigan. The study of women in ancient Near East has attracted an increased amount of attention in recent years and this bibliography is an attempt to collect some of the more useful resources. The website contains the bibliography, a book review index and a subject index. It is a select bibliography and covers mainly acquisitions to the archive between 1988 and 1992. The bibliography is still a useful resource for anyone interested in ancient history and especially the history of women.