December 2, 2004
Recent additions to Abzu:
- 115 items have been catalogued in Abzu in the period 1 November- 30 November 2004
Earlier monthly list remain available at the ETANA-Abzu-news Archives
To receive e-mail notifications providing occasional reports on developments at ETANA and Abzu, subscribe to the ETANA-Abzu-news mailing list
November 18, 2004
As part of its ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS ON-LINE, the Oriental Institute Publications Office announces publication of SAOC 38: The Demotic Verbal System, edited by Janet H. Johnson. This document is an Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) file.
November 16, 2004
Two recent University of Chicago Dissertations are now available in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) format:
- Urbanism and Society in the Third Millennium Upper Khabur Basin: A Dissertation Submitted to the Faculty of the Division of the Humanities in Candidacy for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, By Jason Alik Ur, Chicago, Illinois, December 2004.
- The Architecture Of Defense: Fortified Settlements Of The Levant During The Middle Bronze Age: A Dissertation Presented to The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations by Aaron Alexander Burke. The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago, June 2004.
November 16, 2004
As part of the Oriental Institute's ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS ON-LINE, the Chicago Hittite Dictionary Project announces the Electronic CHICAGO HITTITE DICTIONARY (e-CHD), and its first electronic publication, The P volume. Access to the P volume requires downloading to your computer an executable file for either the Windows 2000 & XP platforms or the Macintosh System 10 platform (it will not run on Macintosh computer running System 9.x).
November 15, 2004
HITTITE PARADE - The University of Chicago Magazine's Web log attends the Midwest film premiere of "The Hittites: The Empire that Changed the World."
November 10, 2004
Recent additions to Abzu
38 items have been catalogued in Abzu in the period 21 July - 31 August 2004
25 items have been catalogued in Abzu in the period 1 September - 30 September 2004
40 items have been catalogued in Abzu in the period 1 October - 31 October 2004
Earlier monthly list remain available at the ETANA-Abzu-news Archives:
To receive e-mail notifications providing occasional reports on developments at ETANA and Abzu, subscribe to the ETANA-Abzu-news mailing list.
October 28, 2004
October 1, 2004
The Middle East Librarians Association Committee on Iraqi Libraries has received permission to publish two reports, one on the damage done to the Central library of Baghdad University / Al-Waziriyya, the second on the Central Awqaf library in Baghdad. The two reports were written by one of the most energetic archivists working in Iraq today, Mr. Zain Al-Naqshbandi. He is primarily responsible for the investigation and content of the two reports. The report on the Waqf library is certified by Mr. Salah Karim Hussein, the head of the Library, Mr. Asim Dawud Al-Khattab, a specialist in libraries (with five degrees in library and information science) and Mr. Muhibb Al-Din Yasin Ibrahim, one of the employees of the manuscripts section of the Awqaf library who was able to save 109 manuscripts, and find a further five in the post-looting stage. The reports were transmitted to the committee by Hala Fattah, who also prepared the English translations.
The text is available in English and Arabic at:
September 16, 2004
August 5, 2004
The Oriental Institute Iraq Working Group announces the availability on-line of the three fascicles of "Lost Heritage:
Gibson, McGuire; McMahon, Augusta. Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums, Fascicle 1. Chicago: American Association for Research in Baghdad; 1992. 1 volume (xii + 54 pages [illustrated]): American Associaton for Research in Baghdad, 1155 E. 58th St., Chicago IL 60637, USA.
Baker, H. D.; Matthews, R. J.; Postgate, J. N. Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums. Fascicle 2. London: British School of Archaeology in Iraq; 1993. 1 volume (viii + 153 pages [illustrated]). ISBN: 0-903472-14-7.
Fujii, Hideo; Oguchi, Kazumi. Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums. Fascicle 3. Tokyo: Institute for Cultural Studies of Ancient Iraq, Kokushikan University; 1996. 1 volume (xxi + 43 pages [illustrated]).
At the moment we are also providing separate access to:
"List of Stolen Manuscripts" = pages 16-43 of: Fujii, Hideo; Oguchi, Kazumi. Lost Heritage: Antiquities Stolen from Iraq's Regional Museums. Fascicle 3. Tokyo: Institute for Cultural Studies of Ancient Iraq, Kokushikan University; 1996. 1 volume (xxi + 43 pages [illustrated]).
All are available at:
They are made available on-line with the kind permission of the original publishers.
August 4, 2004
As part of its ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS ON-LINE, the Oriental Institute Publications Office announces an additional letter, N, for the Chicago Demotic Dictionary, edited by Janet H. Johnson. This document is available as an Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) file.
May 25, 2004
As part of its ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS ON-LINE, the Oriental Institute Publications Office announces an additional letter, G, for the Chicago Demotic Dictionary, edited by Janet H. Johnson. This document is available as an Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) file.
May 18, 2004
A new Oriental Institute website component, Modeling Ancient Settlement Systems (MASS), presenting research papers and progress reports for this on-going archaeology project, is now available.
"Until recently, debates concerning humans and their environment tended to favor either cultural or environmental mechanisms as the driving force behind change, but the most persuasive studies now focus on the interface between human/cultural systems as well as interactions between them. We have proposed that early urban settlements in the Near East provide an ideal laboratory for the study of human-environmental interactions because they offer an enormous array of data drawn from archaeological and textual studies that can be incorporated into an overall social, economic, and environmental analytical framework stretching over several millennia. We are engaged in modeling and attempt to explain trajectories of development and demise of Bronze Age settlement systems for both the rain-fed and irrigated zones of Syria and Iraq. Climate, hydrological, agricultural, demographic, and active agent social models are being combined using Argonne's Dynamic Information Architecture System (DIAS) simulation framework to provide a new holistic dynamic object model. The goal is to determine under what conditions urbanization or its opposite, ruralization or even collapse, might have taken place."
May 14, 2004
A University of Chicago Chronicle article from May 13, 2004, entitled Martha Roth, Professor of Assyriology, named Deputy Provost is now available. This link will open in a new window!
A University of Chicago Chronicle article from May 13, 2004, entitled Oriental Institute returns ancient tablets that explain an empire's administrative life is now available. This link will open in a new window!
A University of Chicago Chronicle article from May 13, 2004, entitled In the News is now available. This link will open in a new window!
May 12, 2004
The Oriental Institute Research Archives is pleased to announce the availability on-line of: A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF UGARITIC GRAMMAR AND BIBLICAL HEBREW GRAMMAR IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, by Mark S. Smith. Its URL is: http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/DEPT/RA/bibs/BH-Ugaritic.html
This 136 page bibliography is a work in progress and is available in three formats, .pdf, .doc, .rtf
From the introduction:
"...In order to make this bibliography more "user friendly," I have presented it in the order of topics found in a grammar. The order here is largely traditional (with the customary division of phonology, morphology and syntax), although since the 1960s linguists have paid a great deal of attention to the interface between these levels of grammar. In section 15, the organization for syntax gives precedence of text linguistics before the syntax of clauses and their subunits, reflecting the current view that the sentence does not constitute the largest unit of grammatical analysis. One might go further and present syntax as theoretically prior to, and the context for, situating morphology, and, by extension, phonology as well; however, the traditional order of grammars is retained here for the sense of familiarity that it affords readers. I have included bibliography for the alphabet (under section 2), although properly speaking the alphabet is not a grammatical topic but a matter of the graphic representation of languages. However, the alphabet's historical importance for the study of West Semitic languages dictates its inclusion here. I have included some entries for Hebrew phonology or morphology with little or no mention of Ugaritic, in part to be more inclusive in these areas and in part to promote such work in the study of Ugaritic. Also included are entries for the syntax of particles (under 9.2) and for the verb (under 10.2.1) as well as some select individual verbal roots (under 14.11 and following). The bibliography in section 16 includes both basic and illustrative entries in the areas of lexicography, loanwards and semantics as well as personal names, but listings for dictionaries and lexica for Biblical Hebrew have not been included... Standard abbreviations have been used (see the list in the final section of this introduction); these are found also in Ugarit-Forschungen and Journal of Biblical Literature)."
May 6, 2004
About 300 new objects are added to our on-line Iraq Museum Database, including 250 ivories from Nimrud and 49 seals from Abu Salabikh. A quick overview over the Abu Salabikh Seals can be gained from the "Index of Museum and Excavation Numbers" s.v. "Abu Salabikh". I want to thank Harriet Martin and Nicholas Postgate (British School of Archaeology in Iraq) for generously making photos and descriptions of these seals--both published and unpublished--available to us.
Most of the recently added Nimrud ivories remain to be categorized--they are currently archived in a folder "*uncategorized". Due to the large number of items in it this will take a while to load--a fast connection is recommended. IM and Excavation numbers of these objects are already integrated into the index of IM and Excavation numbers. Once more, I want to thank Georgina Herrmann (British School of Archaeology in Iraq) for making the photographs of these ivories available to us. Over 1,000 ivories still remain to be added to our database over the next few months.
April 28, 2004
A University of Chicago News Office press release entitled University of Chicago returns ancient Persian tablets loaned by Iran is now available. This link will open in a new window!
April 28, 2004
NBC News coverage of the Oriental Institute's Iraq Museum Database project, "Chicago Researchers Seek Lost Iraqi Treasures" is available on the NBC5.com website:http://www.nbc5.com/news/3243596/detail.html This link will open in a new window!
April 27, 2004
A list, with active links, of the 221 items catalogued in Abzu in the period 13 March - 12 April 2004, is now available at http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/DEPT/RA/ABZU/AbzuNewMar04.html.
April 15, 2004
We have added three new components to the Site Photos from Iraq web page: Isin, Umm al-Aqarib and Ur, taken by McGuire Gibson. They are added to the photographs of Girsu, Nippur and Uruk posted some days ago.
In May 2003, less than two weeks after major combat had been declared over, Gibson undertook a trip to Iraq, during which he visited several archaeological sites, including Isin, Ur, and Umm al-Hafriyat. A detailed account of this trip was posted on IraqCrisis yesterday:
Gibson's photos of Isin and Umm al-Aqarib show extensive damage to both sites by looting. His dramatic shots of Isin, showing looters caught in action by U.S. marines, highlight the scope of the destruction and the difficult if not impossible task of protecting these sites adequately in the current situation. A harrowing account of the destruction of Isin, based on a site visit by the German archaeologist Susanne Osthoff at about the same time, was published in the New York Times on May 23, 2003:
These recent photographs are supplemented by links to earlier photographs of five of these sites, taken by John Sanders (Head of the Oriental Institute's Computer Lab and then site architect at Nippur) during the 1970's and 1980's.
View the Site Photos from Iraq web page at:
April 9, 2004
On the first year anniversary of the looting of the Iraq Museum, the Oriental Institute and the University of Chicago News Office present: Oriental Institute continues to support search for missing Iraqi artifacts a year after looting.
April 5, 2004
A new addition to the Oriental Institute's "Lost Treasures From Iraq" database, Site Photos from Iraq, presenting digital photographs of archaeological sites, which were taken by SPC William Peterson during visits in late 2003 / early 2004 and generously forwarded to the Iraq Working Group at the Oriental Institute. They are posted here with permission of of the photographer.
Peterson took photographs of several archaeological sites, of which three (Nippur, Uruk, Girsu) are shown here (a fourth page with pictures of Babylon is in preparation). The pictures from Nippur and Uruk show relatively little obvious disturbance by looters. Stamped bricks found on site (eg., Pictures 65, 66 at Uruk, 29, 30, 31 at Nippur) and damage to brickwork at both the Ziqqurrat of Nippur and Uruk may have been caused by looters while attempting to steal such bricks [Note, however, that looting at the site of Nippur had been reported in July 2003, which may have occurred in areas other than the Ziqqurrat, such as the "Tablet Mound" (Areas TA / TB)], More apparent damage has been caused on both sites by wind and water erosion (note deep water erosion gullies on the site of Uruk). In Girsu, by contrast, photographs of numerous recent robber holes show that this site has clearly been looted in the past year.
We invite people who know something about the sites to comment. We are willing to annotate the captions of photographs if there is something particularly worthy to note.
March 30, 2004
The Oriental Institute Publications Office announces the publication of OIP 123. Temple of Khonsu, Volume 3. The Graffiti on the Khonsu Temple Roof at Karnak: A Manifestation of Personal Piety, Helen Jacquet-Gordon.
March 16, 2004
Names and Contact Information for Senior Administrators and Librarians at Institutions in Iraq, supplied to Middle East Librarians Association Committee on Iraqi Libraries by Mr. Wishyar Muhammad, specialist for libraries at the CPA
March 15, 2004
The URL's of the web-accessible version of the Oriental Institute's Iraq Museum Database have changed. The entry page is now at: http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/IRAQ/dbfiles/Iraqdatabasehome.htm
The category overview page is at: http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/IRAQ/dbfiles/indcat.htm
These changes have affected all category and object pages. Those who bookmarked individual category and object pages are advised to retrieve the new URLs by logging in again through the project's front or category pages.
We continuously are adding new objects and re-classifying objects in an effort to make the data entry as systematic and possible. For that reason, some of the category URL's are likely to change agin over the next few months. Object URL's are unlikely to be affected by these changes.
As of March 15, 2004 the total number of objects from Iraq Museum posted on our website is 534, which include 246 seals and 228 ivories. We hope to increase the number of objects significantly over the next few months.
March 12, 2004
Regarding the current situation in Iraq, the Middle East Librarians Association Committee on Iraqi Libraries is making available an article by Jeffrey B. Spurr, Bosnian Libraries: Their Fate in the War and Responses to it, with Lessons for Iraq
February 27, 2004
As part of its ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS ON-LINE, the Oriental Institute Publications Office announces an additional letter, Q, for the Chicago Demotic Dictionary, edited by Janet H. Johnson. This document is available as an Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) file.
February 16, 2004
The Oriental Institute's Iraq Museum database, a part of the Oriental Institute's website "Lost Treasures of Iraq", has been revised and updated substantially. All files are now computer-generated, making additions and future updates easier to accomplish. New additions include an alphabetical index of object categories and and subcategories; all pages with object descriptions now also report the current status of the object, if known.
Note that the names of the category pages were changed to numerical code; bookmarks to the old category pages will no longer work. The URL's of the object pages have remained the same.
The number of objects currently posted on the Oriental Institute's website is now 496, most of them seals from the Diyala and ivories from Nimrud. Work on an additional 1000 object his mostly completed, which we hope to add successively to our website in the next few months.
February 11, 2004
The Oriental Institute Publications Office announces the publication of OIP 122. Neo-Babylonian Texts in the Oriental Institute Collection, David B. Weisberg.
February 5, 2004
Read a recent article from the University of Chicago Chronicle magazine, titled University Archaeologists Return To Amuq, Discover Tomb Unlike Others In Middle East. Aslihan Yener, Associate Professor in the Oriental Institute, is Director of the new excavations at Alalakh, an ancient archaeological site in the Amuq region of southern Turkey. She and other Oriental Institute researchers are involved in an effort to re-establish the institute's work in the region, which began there before World War II.
February 3, 2004
An activity called "Prepare a Mummy for Burial" that appears in the Kids Corner of the Museum Education section of the Oriental Institute website. Take a look at this activity at and let us know what you think! To operate properly, your web browser will need to have the free Flash plugin installed.
For additional children's programing, go to the Kid's Corner section of our Museum's Teacher Resource Center.
January 13, 2004
The Iraqi Jewish Archive Preservation Report is now available. This document is published on the website of the Middle East Librarians Association Committee on Iraqi Libraries with the kind permission of the authors and The National Archives & Records Administration.
January 9, 2004
The Oriental Institute is pleased to presents a new list: ETANA-Abzu-News
This list will provide occasional reports on developments at ETANA: Electronic Tools and Ancient Near Eastern Archives. and Abzu: Guide to the rapidly increasing, and widely distributed data relevant to the study and public presentation of the Ancient Near East on the Internet.
To add your e-mail address to the list, please follow the instructions at https://listhost.uchicago.edu/mailman/listinfo/etana-abzu-news
January 5, 2004
An article, Standing Guard, describing the reopened Mesopotamian Gallery at the Oriental Institute, from the University of Chicago magazine (December 2003, Vol. 96, Issue 2), is available from a University of Chicago website.