June 27, 2014

The dissertation of David Michael Calabro entitled Ritual Gestures of Lifting, Extending, and Clasping the Hand(s) in Northwest Semitic Literature and Iconography is now available online through the Dissertations page of the Research Archives. The study was completed in June 2014 for the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. It "addresses two kinds of questions arising from gestures such as these. First, we will be concerned with the realia of these gestures: what they looked like, who performed them, the kinds of ritual contexts in which they were used, what kinds of speech accompanied their use, what other gestures and postures were used in combination with them, and what physical objects might be held in the gesturing hand. Second, we will explore the meaning of these gestures for those who used them anciently: what symbolic values were attached to them, how the functions of these gestures contrasted one with another, and how these gestures contributed to the maintenance and creation of social relations in Northwest Semitic society."