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Individual Scholarship

2000–2001 Annual Report

David Schloen

David Schloen’s research efforts this year focused on the completion of his lengthy book on The House of the Father as Fact and Symbol: Patrimonialism in Ugarit and the Ancient Near East. After a time-consuming period of final editing, formatting, and indexing, the book appeared in print in May 2001, the product of several years of research and writing. It deals with archaeological and textual evidence for extended patriarchal households in the Bronze Age of the third and second millennia bc, and in the Late Bronze Age Canaanite kingdom of Ugarit in north Syria, in particular. Schloen has begun to work on a companion volume that will treat important developments in the functioning and symbolism of ancient households during the first millennium bc, especially in the biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Meanwhile, Schloen’s article on “Archaeological Data Models and Web Publication Using XML” appeared in the May 2001 issue of the journal Computers and the Humanities. This was timely because Schloen, together with Oriental Institute Director Gene Gragg and other colleagues, had submitted a major grant proposal earlier in the year for a project to develop an Internet-based Electronic Encyclopedia of the Ancient Near East (e-ANE), making use of the revolutionary new Extensible Markup Language (XML), which has been widely adopted in the business world for distributing complex, structured information across the World Wide Web. This electronic encyclopedia will include both archaeological and philological data in a form usable by professional researchers worldwide, creating a new kind of research and publication environment. There is no better place to attempt this kind of ambitious project than the Oriental Institute, with its large faculty and long tradition of providing sophisticated research tools for the scholarly community. We will continue to seek funding for this important work.

In June 2001, Schloen went to Israel to participate in a study season at Ashkelon, in his capacity as associate director of the Leon Levy Expedition, which took a break from digging at the site this year after sixteen consecutive summer seasons of excavation. The first three volumes of the Ashkelon final report series are nearing completion, and in the coming months Schloen will be occupied with editing them and completing his own contributions to these volumes.

Revised: June 6, 2007

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