1999-2000 ANNUAL REPORT
John A. Brinkman
John A. Brinkman wrote numerous biographical entries on various Babylonians, Assyrians, Elamites, Arameans, and Chaldeans for The Prosopography of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, volume 2, parts 1 and 2 (being published in Helsinki as part of the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project). Daniel Nevez, Shelley Luppert-Barnard, John Nielsen, and Jonathan Tenney, graduate students in the Mesopotamian historiography seminar, wrote additional entries - a total of more than sixty articles contributed by all participants involved here.
Last summer, Brinkman did research at the British Museum, continuing the work of editing a small unpublished seventh-century Babylonian archive excavated at Ur in 1919. With the help of British Museum staff, especially Julian Reade, he was able to examine the sparse excavation records (mostly letters sent by the dig director, H. R. Hall, to the director of the museum) and managed to find out exactly where these tablets had been uncovered. Since one of the tablets contains an extensive inventory of household furniture and utensils, and the archaeologists found a large number of metal objects in the same building as the tablets, this may provide a unique opportunity to match up some of the rare vocabulary in the inventory with surviving artifacts. In May, Brinkman worked at the University Museum in Philadelphia, continuing to catalog the extensive Kassite archives excavated at Nippur.
This year, the historiography seminar began a consideration of various schools of historical research, beginning with post-modernism and current theories of narrative, and working back through feminism, the Annales, quantitative history, psychohistory (Freud and successors), varieties of Marxism, to von Ranke. This general theme will continue next year with other theoretical approaches to historiography.
Revised: July 30, 2007