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1993-94 Annual Report

Martha T. Roth

Martha T. Roth presented a lecture to the 40th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, held in Leiden, The Netherlands, in July 1993, on "The Neo-Babylonian Widow's Rights of Domiciliation." In the presentation she argued that widows in Mesopotamia in the late first millennium b.c. were not always cared for by their natal or conjugal families and often sought recourse through the legal system to secure their residence and maintenance rights. The full evidence and arguments are presented in her article, "The Neo-Babylonian Widow," in the June 1994 issue of the Journal of Cuneiform Studies.

The summer of 1993 was spent working on her editions of the Sumerian and Akkadian law collections, with the support of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend. Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor includes normalized editions of eleven Sumerian and Akkadian collections, providing reliable and up-to-date English translations for the use of both comparative legal historians and cuneiformists. The complete manuscript for the volume was sent to the editor in the spring of 1994, and Roth looks forward to a 1995 publication in the series Writings from the Ancient World sponsored by the Society of Biblical Literature.

In September 1993 Roth participated in a symposium of the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies on "Mesopotamia in the Neo-Babylonian Period" at the University of Toronto, where she spoke on "The Neo-Babylonian Family and Household." In November she attended the meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religions in Washington, D.C. where she was a respondent for the Gender and Cultural Criticism Consultation, "The Queen of Heaven: Goddesses in the Ancient World," and presented a paper, "Family, Ethnicity, and Community in Mesopotamia during the Persian Period," in the Literature and History of the Persian Period Group.

At the American Oriental Society Meetings held in Madison, Wisconsin, in March 1994, Roth was elected Section Chair for the Ancient Near East. Throughout the 1993-94 academic year, Martha Roth continued her editorial duties for the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary (see separate report), her teaching, and her other university service commitments.

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